What’s this Feeling? (Anxiety & Your ‘Inner Chiropractor’: A Lesson in Course Correction)

(NOT into reading? LISTEN to the audio version instead! (Or listen to me narrate along as you read the text below. Best of both worlds? #AudioBlog)

It’s Friday July 17th and something isn’t sitting right. I have a weird feeling.

I’m supposed to spend the day figuring out which of my 50-something semi-finished blog ideas (I’m an ENFP – I come up with at least 10 new ideas a day) will be the topic I polish up for blog post #4; up until this point, I just went with the most “finished” draft (efficiency, really.)

The internal discomfort I’m feeling – which resembles anxiety in that it’s just an unsettling feeling, a slight heaviness in my chest – is impossible to ignore.

It’s a feeling I also happened to feel after posting blog #2 and #3.

INNER VOICE: Didn’t you have the epiphany recently that any conflict you’re dealing with, at its core, challenges an aspect of yourself or your identity?

SK: Well. I’m not trying to identify with anything these days. All I’m doing is writing, really.

INNER VOICE: You’re not in alignment.

SK: What are you, a chiropractor?

INNER VOICE: You’re not doing what you set out to do.

SK: Wasn’t I just supposed to blog? Isn’t that the whole point of this? Just to create and put it out there?

INNER VOICE: That is not the path of a true artist. Creating just to say you created doesn’t create fulfillment.

SK: You just said create a lot. Ha.

INNER VOICE: You’re not expressing yourself.

SK: What do you mean, I’m literally writing and finding lessons in everyday situations. How is that not expressing?

INNER VOICE: Expressing YOURself. Look at your last two posts. Find the problem.

Okay…so whatever was creating this slightly heavy feeling had to do with a lack of expression.

I mean…I shared my own epiphanies in all of the posts. What were the last two blog posts missing?

  • Blog #1Am I Afraid To Start Things? // That was an exploration about my fear of starting things and analysis of my fear of failure.
  • Blog #2Was I Friendzoned for Having Black Friends? // That was an examination of anti-Black bias within minority communities inspired by an interaction with a guy who may have carried those negative beliefs.
  • Blog #3Keep Your Options Closed – Don’t Fridge Your Life // An analysis of my mom’s indecisive ways and how to avoid regret.

Ohhh….I see. I wasn’t exploring my own issues.

THAT’s what made blog #2 and #3 different from blog post #1.

Even if they were good posts with interesting insight, I had strayed from the blog’s purpose of self-exploration (though I’ve had many, many fridge search-like scenarios myself.)

Is this what my Inner Voice meant by not being in alignment? Is this feeling of discomfort after doing something your body’s way of forcing you to re-align? To course correct?

Do we all have an inner…chiropractor?

INNER VOICE: The feeling you feel tells you everything you need to know.

SK: But…I also felt anxious with blog post #1. Though it was only before – it went away after I posted.

INNER VOICE:  There’s anxiety that comes from the unknown, which at its core, is excitement. It’s a nervous anxiety, a good anxiety.

SK: Like how I felt doing standup for the first time, which was ultimately a good experience.

INNER VOICE: Right. Unlike the slight, unsettled feeling you experienced when considering topics for blog post #4.Which comes from a conflict of values or interests. When you do things that are not fully aligned with your purpose.

SK: So today’s feeling was like a warning? Was the discomfort after post #2 and #3 just a sign I had unfinished business? (I think I finally understand Casper.)

INNER VOICE: While you had your own epiphanies in all of the posts, the unsettled feeling reflects the lack of deep self-exploration. You were writing “ideas” for an audience. The conflict wasn’t yours. Your blog is called Khanflicted.

SK: Right. Not Momflicted. Though…her last name is Khan too. Loophole?!

INNER VOICE: You’re trying to figure yourself out, SK. The journey has to be yours. YOUR self-exploration.

SK: So this is why you challenged my artist cred earlier…

INNER VOICE: It wasn’t your truth. It wasn’t Samia Khan’s journey. Just observations you encountered on your journey. You were being your old self. A journalist, NOT an artist.

SK: A KHAN Artist? (*laughs at own joke*) Sorry. Too easy.

INNER VOICE: Even when writing about someone else, explore how the conflict affects YOU so you’re in alignment with the goal of self-discovery.

SK: Right. Taylor Swift wouldn’t write about Joe Jonas randomly. I mean, unless she had a present day epiphany about that relationship, or if they ran into each other at a party (but they should be social distancing right now so hopefully not.)

INNER VOICE: Think like Taylor Swift. The blog is your very own Taylor Swift album. It’s just capturing you and where you’re at right now. Eventually you’ll change again.

SK: Right…Like 2017 Reputation album Taylor. She’s not that person anymore, but she was when she made the art and even if it wasn’t commercially what people expected of Taylor, she had to do it for her.

Okay so this feeling I was having made so much sense now.

This feeling was just my body’s way of letting me know I was getting off course from my goal.

This feeling was just my inner chiropractor guiding me back into alignment – and, interestingly enough, inspiring blog post #4.

LESSON

In any area of life – professionally, personally, romantically, platonically – we’ll know if something is right or not based on whether we’re warned by our ‘inner chiropractor.’

The reality, though, is that most people who receive the warning choose to ignore that slightly heavy, uncomfortable feeling (or rationalize their actions with their brain), rather than course correct.

But…ignoring the slightly heavy feeling (as I did after blog #2 and #3) will only worsen whatever problem is there, a problem you might not even be consciously aware of.

Instead of avoiding the discomfort, you should lean into it…that’s how you actually avoid feeling it long-term. The sooner you figure out why it’s there and what’s causing it – the core of the actual issue – the sooner you can realign.

 (Like when you continue to respond to texts from someone even though you feel slightly ‘heavy’ after each interaction. Your brain says you’re just being ‘nice’ or ‘networking’ – but after months of heaviness, you actually have an internal conversation and realize “nope, this is not in alignment with your career goals, this guy just wants to date you and no, he doesn’t align with your romantic goals, either.” You finally block his number, and suddenly feel free. And wish you had done it a year earlier. [pause] This may or may not be a hypothetical scenario. Anyway.)

We all get off course sometimes, and that’s okay.

Whether it’s a career plan, a romantic pursuit, a financial goal, a fitness goal or just an intention for a blog on self-exploration…getting off course isn’t the problem.

Choosing to stay off course (by ignoring the unsettled feeling that lets us know something isn’t right) is.

By acknowledging the warning and realigning, we have the ability to course correct in any area of our life before it’s too late (i.e. by the figurative blog #4 moment of a goal vs. figurative blog #50.)

We just need to pay attention to the feeling.

Some might call it anxiety.

I, however, just call it my ‘inner chiropractor’ – getting me back into alignment with my life (or blog) purpose…no co-pay required.

Recommended Listening: Justin Timberlake Can’t Stop the Feeling

Got this feeling in my body
I can’t stop the feeling
Got this feeling in my body
I can’t stop the feeling

(And yes, I picked this song strictly because it has the word ‘feeling’ in it and I was obsessed with Justin Timberlake throughout my teenage years. Anyway. Enjoy. I’ll see you next week — 💜 SK)

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ICYMI…PREVIOUS BLOG POST: Should We Keep Our Options CLOSED?

START THE JOURNEY FROM BLOG #1: Am I Too Scared To Start Things?

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