Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

Ep: 254

How much time each day do you spend thinking about your feelings?

Not thinking about what you’re feeling…but thinking about what lessons might be waiting underneath to be unwrapped?

Every emotion we experience is a gift, and it deserves acknowledgment.

The challenge is to know when we’re ruminating on negativity, permit ourselves to feel it, and then…surrender and let it go.

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment®, Blake explains why feeding the negative allows the darkness to outweigh the light. In order to transform emotions into lessons, we have to make sure we don’t get stuck in a cycle of rumination.

In this episode, you’ll hear a parable that will help you learn to identify which emotional wolf you’re feeding through the thoughts you’re giving space to. You’ll learn how to shift your perspective by acknowledging the challenges you’re experiencing, but instead of focusing on them, choosing to feed the things that give you life.

What You’ll Learn:

  • A Cherokee parable about life (0:47)
  • What to know about the thoughts you let in (2:48)
  • The truth about pushing away negative thoughts (4:08)
  • Allowing space to acknowledge your emotions (5:48)
  • What to do when you’re feeling discontent (8:36)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. What you think about and what you focus on are perhaps the most important things on a day-to-day basis.
  2. When we deny the dark wolf or the negative, we actually create more [negativity].
  3. We can’t avoid pain, anger, sorrow, or grief. But we can choose how we deal with it. We can choose to acknowledge how we feel and acknowledge our humanity.
  4. Why do I feel this way? What is it teaching me? How can I be grateful for the feeling of discontent and the lesson and then surrender that and move back into a place of empowerment, ownership, and movement in the right direction?

Additional Resources: 

For programs and opportunities to work with Blake, go to www.BlakeSchofield.com


Blake Schofield 0:05
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment®. Mom to three, USA Today Top 10 Professional Coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand perspectives to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment®.

Blake Schofield 0:40
Today I want to share one of my favorite parables. It’s an old story. And one that’s really powerful. An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It’s a terrible fight and it’s between two wolves. One is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self doubt, and ego. The other is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you. And inside every other person too.” The grandson then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.

Blake Schofield 1:45
You know, I heard this parable years ago, and I found it really compelling. There’s something about it that I think speaks to the true human experience. And the more I’ve gone in my own personal journey, the more I see the different layers and understanding of why that parable is such truth. And I want to share some of those with you today. Because here’s the reality as we know it to be true, what you focus on, expands. So when you focus on love, faith, kindness, forgiveness, you reap more. We’ve seen this in all the data and statistics that will talk about gratitude, and how just focusing on gratitude has turned some of the biggest pessimist into optimist.

Blake Schofield 2:33
And we see this in people who become bitter about a circumstance, or a person, or a thing that happened in their life. And they get stuck on that. And they become more and more bitter and disconnected, and angry, and less capable of creating what they want in life. What you think and what you focus on are perhaps the most important things on a day to day basis. And so I love when it says what you feel is what wins, because that is the truth. But I think there’s also a beautiful layer that’s not really talked about here, that I think is important.

Blake Schofield 3:07
As a society, what I consistently see is that we believe that we should just be happy. And we celebrate the more positive emotions of, you know, pride or joy, or happiness. And we really struggle to deal with things like sadness, or grief, or anger. And I think the first time I heard this parable, I thought, well, that means that I shouldn’t feel any of those negative feelings and I just need to focus on the positive. But here’s the truth, yin and yang, light and dark. You cannot have joy without pain. So what does that mean in a world where what you focus on, expands? When you focus on the positive emotions, you reap more benefit? And yet the reality is that we are human beings who experience every emotion and feeling. Well, here’s what I know to be true. When we deny the dark wolf or the negative, we actually create more.

Blake Schofield 4:16
So what do you do with that? Here’s the challenge I want to give you today. We can’t avoid pain, anger, sorrow, grief. But we can choose how we deal with it. We can choose to acknowledge how we feel. Acknowledge our humaneness. Understand that every single emotion is a gift. We can acknowledge, yes, I feel anger. And then we can also surrender it. Give it to God and let it go. And in doing so, we allow that emotion to pass through our body and move forward. But when we deny we actually trap that emotion and our body, when we ruminate, we actually increase it, right? What you focus on, expands.

Blake Schofield 5:07
And so today, I want to encourage you, to be willing to feel all of the feelings, but to recognize that you always have a choice. What will win is what you put your energy and attention to, but we can’t deny how we feel or what we experienced, but we can choose what to do with it. And so often, right, when we have those difficult emotions, we feel frustrated or angry, we feel disrespected, or unvalued, we feel grief or sorrow, we are so not used to processing them. And I guess it either suppress or immediately let it out. And one of the things I would encourage is to allow just a little bit of space. I feel that feeling, can I sit for a moment and acknowledge it. Maybe you even say it, I feel angry, or I feel grief, or I feel sad. Acknowledge that feeling whatever it is trying to teach you, and then surrender, and let it go. And then come back to a place of gratitude or kindness or joy. It really can be so much simpler.

Blake Schofield 6:25
And like I said, because most of us haven’t been taught how to do this, we are fearful to feel the negative thing. Because we have been used to creating these cycles of ruminating, and then further growing the negative, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You know, I have found so much peace and joy, and happiness, and alignment in my life. And learning how to appreciate and value the entirety of my experience. To recognize that anger is not necessarily bad. In fact, anger often is good. To recognize that every emotion, all it is is teaching you something. And when you can come to acknowledge it, surrender, release it, and then understand what the lesson is, you can move through life so much more fluidly. I’ll share an example for you of how I used to kind of deal with these things and how a shift has really been so powerful.

Blake Schofield 7:22
So I spent 18 years in corporate America and much of which I was constantly hoping the next job, the next promotion, the next company, would finally make me happy. And there was this feeling of discontent. This like unsettled feeling I constantly had, and I was seeking to solve that externally, like most of us do. Without ever really understanding internally, why did I feel this deep level of discontent, because the discontent was teaching me something. And so I would either try to solve it by finding a new job, or I would try to solve it by shaming myself. Well, I should be happy, you know, people would be grateful to have what I have.

Blake Schofield 8:05
And in both of those cases, I dishonored the feeling. I stuffed it down, or I tried to redirect it into something positive without actually addressing the root cause. And as a result of that, I went through actually multiple rounds of burnout before I hit the breakdown moment and finally got to a place where I learned my lesson and solve the root cause of what that discontent was that I wasn’t doing the work that I really am here meant to do. And that I wasn’t honoring myself by listening to why I was feeling that way.

Blake Schofield 8:36
And so today when I feel that level of discontent, it’s much faster and much easier to stop and say, Why do I feel this way? What is it teaching me? How can I be grateful for the feeling of discontent and the lesson, and then surrender that, and then move back into a place of empowerment ownership movement in the right direction. That discontentment for me was well over a decade of me not really listening and not solving and sometimes really stewing in the discontentment and the frustration and then therefore increasing it, right, without ever really creating the positive momentum I wanted.

Blake Schofield 9:18
And so we look at this beautiful story of the two wolves. I want to challenge you. Where are you putting your attention? What are you feeding? And understand that it’s just as important to feed the things that give you life, as it is to acknowledge the challenges that are coming your way. And not disregard them, but understand they are a gift. Take them for the gift they are, don’t ruminate on them, learn the lesson. Surrender and release them, and then move back into the for momentum of joy, peace, happiness, empowerment, to create more of what you want in your life.

Blake Schofield 9:53
I want to challenge you, take this lesson this week. Spend some time each day, thinking about what you’re thinking and feeling? And where are you putting your time, attention, and energy? And when you’re finding yourself putting time, attention, or energy into things that are the dark side of things, can you stop, instead of ruminating, and acknowledge, seek the lesson, surrender, and release it, and then move back into a place of gratitude, move back into a place of joy, move back into a place of empowerment. You’ll be amazed at what it will do for you.

Blake Schofield 10:31
As always, thanks for listening. Until next time, have a great week.