Feeling Uneasy is Okay

In this episode Melissa and JJ talk about trusting your gut feeling even when it might be telling you that your choices you are making could be different from what you normally would choose.

July 28, 2020
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Melissa Albers  00:00
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little banter is about a car ride along and features your hosts JJ Parker. And Melissa Albert's JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years.

JJ Parker  00:17
So I've got a kind of relatively new friend. He, he and I've been working on some projects together. He's a, he's got a day job, but he's a musician. You know, one of his passions, this is his music and, and he writes all sorts of songs. He's got a kid's album, and it's really awesome. And a few weeks ago, he called me up and said, Hey, JJ, I just wrote this new song, and he was super excited about it. And he asked me if I would help him shoot a video because he knows He knew that I did video work and I actually really like helping make videos like it's it's kind of my hobby, you know? Yeah, so I was like I would love to help you come shoot a music video so over the past few weeks we worked on this video, it was a blast I had a it's it's, it's goofy and silly and fun and I had a great time and it turned out it turned out really well and the song was fun and it was a it was a good project. So last weekend Dave calls me goes hey, I got another song that I really want to get out there. Right. And, and he said, Hey, would you would you mind maybe helping me on another video and you know me, I usually just say yes to everything.

Melissa Albers  01:58
Whether you want to work Not?

JJ Parker  02:00
Well, I mean, you know, part of it, like, I really do, like helping and serving other people. So I don't often, you know, say no, I try to say yes, as much as as much as possible, which is pretty much 100% of the time.

Melissa Albers  02:18
I have to file that away in my need to know later category, I think, you know,

JJ Parker  02:27
so, so Dave sends me over his new song and he wanted to get it out, like right away because it was, it was like a timely he had written it a while ago, but it's like a timely song for what's happening in Minneapolis right now. Mm hmm.

Melissa Albers  02:44
And you are and you are referring to the riots is what I arrived at,

JJ Parker  02:48
yo, yo. And so I listened to the song and I was like, Wow, that's really sort of culturally and socially and maybe politically relevant. Like right now. Right. It's kind of like wow, Dave, like you broke from your kids john right here and has got something fairly edgy. Yeah, you know. And so I said, Hey, give me whatever material you have. Let me see if I can you know what I can pull together for you this weekend. Well, that was like a Friday night and I kind of like, listened to the song a few times I I watched the the recorded footage he had from the recording studio and the random bits he had. And I went to bed woke up the next morning with an intention of working on this video. And I just like was poking at it and looking at the video and think about it and listen to the song and I just just couldn't work on it. I didn't know why. Right and I sat with it for maybe a couple of hours and finally I was like, You know what? something's not working here. I'm gonna go work on my fence side. I'm standing my fence for like three months is

Melissa Albers  04:14
it must look beautiful

JJ Parker  04:15
is a beautiful? I think maybe the fence is like, you know what, I gotta meditate or something because it's been hours. It's 43 miles long. So I'm working on my fence, right? And in you know, the nice thing about working on stuff like that, it's it's kind of mindless. So it lets your mind just kind of why my mind is just kind of wandering. And I had this thought I said, something's not sitting right with this video. And I thought, you know what, what if I just treat this not as a Something I want to work on but as a job, hmm. Maybe that will make me feel better, right? If I treat it as a job.

Melissa Albers  05:10
So in other words, if you just, if you just put away how you feel you should be able to act in a certain way.

JJ Parker  05:19
Yep. Yep. And I had that thought. And I stopped as like, nope, that not even for my job. Do I want to say I'm going to treat this as my job, let alone a side project that, you know, I, I should, you know, the energy was just totally wrong. So, while I was setting my fence, I was really checking in kind of with that feeling, right. And I was just really realizing that, you know, I just had this feeling in my gut that I didn't, I didn't want to work on the project like it wasn't aligning. With me in some way, like, my energy, and the energy of the song and the energy of the times, none of that was working. Wow. Yeah, sorry, there I went and I shot him a text and said, Hey, I can't work on the song. It's not, it's not going to work for me. Which was not, you know, which is not a typical thing I do. No, it's not at all guys. I would just plow through that and ignore my feelings about it. Yeah. And just deliver something right. Yeah. But I, I couldn't I couldn't.

Melissa Albers  06:42
Why do you think why do you think now was different for you? Like, what? What has happened for you? Do you think over the last several months or the last year or so, as you've been on this self awareness experience being more mindful Noticing yourself more like what happened for you. Now, that allowed you to stay the course and be in your centered space and say no, like, what was different do you think?

JJ Parker  07:14
Well, I mean, certainly over the past couple months, you and I have been talking about this a lot. Yeah. Yeah. Working on this podcast, we've been working on the map and the journey in and all this stuff together. And I think really what it was for me is we did an episode on I forgot what it was titled, but like, yeah, about checking in with yourself. Check it out. Right. Yeah. You know, and really like stopping and exploring that physical feeling that that's coming up from your body. That was it because I was sitting at my friends. I could feel this. I could feel it coming out of my body. I explored it right. I stopped and I sat and I explored it.

Melissa Albers  08:05
Yeah. So So I just want to ask you, you know, well, I want to ask you a couple questions, though, because this is so helpful. Like, this is so interesting. So when you said you felt something in your body, like, Can you just be like, be more specific? Like, what did you feel? Did you get a stomach ache? Like, how did your did your shoulders get? Like what happened? And number?

JJ Parker  08:27
That's a good question. Yeah. I'd say that. That feeling for me was, it was like an uneasiness. what it was, it was really like, deep in my body. It was almost like I mean, from my hips. Like an uneasiness through Yeah. Wow. That's my body up through. Yep. up through kind of my whole core, right. Oh, and that kind of knew it wasn't like a superficial like, I'm just kind of got anxiety. about things it was a real deep reaction.

Melissa Albers  09:03
Yeah. Yeah. And and what did that reaction feel familiar?

JJ Parker  09:11
Oh, yeah. You know, I'd say like, I'd felt that before in some different contexts. When I had a very similar feeling, actually, like when my ex business partner and I were also not, I was like, yeah. But if, again, like, it wasn't like a conflict between people even Oh, no, no, no. Murder stuff wasn't. It wasn't even so much a conflict between people. It was a difference in values and energy maybe, right? Mm hmm. Yeah. And so I think, dia that energy is not aligning with a project or a person. You can feel that.

Melissa Albers  09:56
Yeah, well, actually, I'd even make it more broad and say that our bodies and I've said this before and I know we've mentioned parts and pieces of this, but this is a really good example of how our bodies will tell us exactly what's going on. Before we have a conscious awareness of that and but forever we we just put that away like we ignore. We'll get this, you know, you hear people say I had a gut reaction to something. And oftentimes people will use that as a positive example. Like all my you know, I had a gut reaction that just said, I should do this. You hear entrepreneurs talk about gut reactions a lot. You hear people that are comfortable with risk, talk about gut reactions, but they're usually referring to it more in a positive light. However, the gut reacts in many, many people, the gut is reacting all the time, but if it's not favorable for us, like if we have feelings that we judge ourselves, like, Oh, you know, like in this case, I should just be able to do this little video. What's The big deal, my name's not on it, it's just this guy's work and he's my friend and, but there was something intrinsically that wasn't in alignment with your feelings inside. So the what was happening on the outside didn't match your feelings on the inside, and you were having a physical and emotional reaction to it. And we have those literally hundreds of times a day. If this isn't, this isn't special. But what's so special about this is that you are now like, noticing that, you know, and, and, and not only noticing it because a lot of times, we'll notice if something starts to not feel good, but then we make ourselves wrong for it. So we try to pretend like it's fine. And then that just sits inside of us somewhere. And and in this case, you chose to act in your highest and best interest which was different than what you would have done for a long, long time. In your past? Uh huh. So it's not even a judgement, right? It's not bad or good. It's it's not. It's not like you were failing before, and now you're not. It's not like you're enlightened now and you'll never have that happen again. Of course. But what, uh, when that you had that experience? Like, I think that is really kind of amazing.

JJ Parker  12:20
Yeah, thanks.

Melissa Albers  12:22
Yeah. Well, you know, because we talk about this, and I think like as we talk about self awareness, and, you know, it can sound like a catchy phrase, and maybe we even overuse the phrase self awareness. And, you know, most of the time if people are looking at self awareness in the in the dictionary or on Google or whatever, it throws you into the Buddhist quotes or throws you into, you know, meditation and Eastern Eastern philosophies, which are all fantastic and absolutely true. Yet, there's a very simple, logical, easy way to be, which is what we're talking About it's just the day to day like, how does being more self aware impact your ability to stay happy and content and productive and not have those feelings that pop up and sit with us?

JJ Parker  13:15
Yeah. So my follow up feelings to say no to the project. Well, worse, like, I felt bad about it like, well, like, well, I felt like well, I feel bad that I can't deliver this because I really want to be helpful. Like my true intention is to be helpful, right? But then I realized like, of course, forcing a project out that I'm not in alignment with isn't going to be my best work is probably not even going to be good or passable work. It might just be terrible. And then, what's awesome is my buddy was super gracious about it, you know, he, no problem, man. I understand like, you know, and it was wonderful of him to do too. So all wrapped up at it

Melissa Albers  14:05
and ended up buying

JJ Parker  14:06
it ended up fine.

Melissa Albers  14:08
Yeah, don't you think so many times, like we have a we have a really a feeling or realization about something inside of us and that it's an instant reaction it doesn't take forever. It doesn't ponder it doesn't wander around and then all of a sudden hit you like it's an immediate response like your body, your emotional body, your physical body, your mental body will have an emotional or will have an immediate response. But what we do with that response is where all that energy gets sucked because we feel guilty about it. We just ponder it. We worry. You know, what's the other person gonna think? What will this look like on the outside? Will I be going against the grain Will I be thought of as less than favorable? Will people get mad at me? And all of those emotions that were covering up that instant feeling. All of those emotions are what get us all bundled up. Mm hmm. And I think a lot of times when we just like, just call it like you just called it and and he was absolutely fine with it. There's some learning in that right?

JJ Parker  15:21
Yeah. Yeah. And I was thinking back to, again, a previous episode where where we talked about, like, these things come up, right. And every single one is an opportunity to learn and practice, right? It's not like, you know, to me, it's not like, Oh, I became self aware. And now I'm done. Right?

Melissa Albers  15:42
Yeah, exactly.

JJ Parker  15:47
We're checking off a list of move on, right. Boom,

Melissa Albers  15:52
just go to the last lesson.

JJ Parker  15:54
Right. It's like a daily practice, right. And like you said, it happens all the time. Ever. Every day, we're only consciously noticing a very, very small amount of it. And I'd say for me, I'm only probably noticing the peaks right the top though. Yeah, yeah,

Melissa Albers  16:13
the highway. I always say

JJ Parker  16:15
I wave, right. But if we can sit and, and and listen, you know and feel we can start noticing the smaller waves to.

Melissa Albers  16:26
Yeah, I and I think that's the really and the other thing that I would say about that is what's so funny about this work is when we enter into the experiment of exploring ourselves a little bit. Often it's with trepidation or a little fear, or this is going to be scary because I have this history. I have all these emotions that I've been carrying around with me for 20 years or I have all these histories, history of relationships that weren't good or blah, blah, blah, whatever whatever it may be, when we first enter into the Atlantic, Experiment. It seems scary. And then once we're into it, what's so fun is that we recognize that it isn't scary at all. It's super freeing. And, and the other thing I think that comes right behind that, in my own example, when I start thinking about becoming more self aware, the one thing that I've really noticed in my experience and I'm sure not there, I've got long way to go yet, but it's how other people interact with me as I'm explore exploring my own self awareness, and what feels huge to me. Oftentimes, other people don't even notice. But But I notice, but I notice, and I feel so good. And I feel so sad. satisfied with how I'm being like, I'm so satisfied with that. And it's not the immediacy, immediacy of these changes. It's, as I stay in this place of No Oh, here I am, again, I could, I could do this for this person or I could just honor how it feels for me to be more honest how I'm feeling. As I do that more and more, it becomes easier and easier, and other people begin to notice. And it's a pretty big shift. And then the energy comes back to you. So like, if people are ever wondering like, where I'm where am I in the self awareness journey? Like? How do I even know how do I even know I always say there's really two quick questions that you can ask yourself. And, and the first question is, how do I feel? How do I feel? I mean, that's just a real easy one. How do I feel because if you feel good and content And it's naturally easy for you most of the time, you're probably have you probably have a really good start in the self awareness journey. But the second question is what's coming back to you? What's coming back to you in your relationships? Are they healthy, positive, they also feel very easy. And you're very satisfied. That's another thing to ask yourself. So even just using those two kind of anchor questions, I think it's a really easy way to enter into this exploration, and I don't ever think we're done. You know?

JJ Parker  19:45
Right. Well, because the, you know, you and things around you and everything's kind of always changing. So, there's always there's always work to do.

Melissa Albers  19:55
Yeah, yeah, there's always more to do. There's always more to do

JJ Parker  19:59
and I have 42 Miles fence left to stain last time.

Melissa Albers  20:05
So in in two weeks time, you've only done four miles. That's really that's a great visual. I think you should do the whole Huckleberry Finn thing and get a bunch of kids involved with paint brushes and white lies.

JJ Parker  20:25
Best perfect. We'll do another podcast episode, kids and self awareness and staining fences.

Melissa Albers  20:34
And it'll be awesome and getting them to do what we want before they're aware. That's actually a trick because kids are way more aware than we are. But that's another whole episode.

JJ Parker  20:47
Well, thanks for chatting and thanks for listening to my story today.

Melissa Albers  20:53
Yeah, thanks for sharing that story that's helpful to

JJ Parker  20:56
you know, even after we have You know, after I have a moment like that, it's actually really helpful to, to go back and and talk about it and think about a little bit more because, you know, it just makes it makes it that much easier along the journey.

Melissa Albers  21:12
Yeah. And I think to the more that you have those experiences, which because they're happening all the time, the more that you have awareness of those experiences in the moment, you can tell that you're cleaning out your kitchen, so to speak, right? Like you can tell you have really become more and more aware because you're noticing even in the moment when those things are happening. So it's it's just a really cool process. I'm happy for you. Thanks, JJ.

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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