Your assignment this week

A simple two-parter for you this week. First, see the animated movie, Inside Out 

It's cute with 1980's references that will make you smile. And it will profoundly shift how you think about your feelings.

I liked this interview with director Pete Docter, and Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air where he talks about how he made emotions into physical, relatable beings. He also shares a story about a little boy who was scared and after watching the film learned to do it anyway. You know I loved that part.

How often do you hear: it's okay to feel sad?

Not often I bet, especially if you count how many times you have said that to yourself.

Joy, the character played by Amy Poehler (my girl crush continues) and the real-life emotion, we give free reign. The whole point of life and social media seem to be to pack as much happiness into every moment of every day as possible.

While on the surface this seems like the best idea ever, in reality it can be debilitating. It doesn't leave room for, well, reality.

One of the core messages in this film is that all of your feelings matter. While you watch it, and I hope that you will, notice how the characters interact with Joy and Sadness, and how that relationship changes over time. Then notice how your relationship with those emotions changes.

Because that's your second assignment. Feel all of your feelings. 

I lied at the beginning of this post. This second assignment is not simple. You can't snap your fingers and feel emotion, and you definitely can't while remaining put-together, conscientious of others, and rational.

But it is totally worth it. In fact, the fullness and richness of your life depend on it.

The end of the movie packs a big ah-ha for everyone in the audience. Wait for it.

You are all of your emotions. You can't be happy and not be a little sad too.

I've been facing that personally this week. It's my birthday on Monday, and festivities are in full swing. I love celebrating with friends, and feeling loved. All of that happiness has brought twinges of every other emotion along with it. Anger at insensitive remarks, grief over people not here to join in the fun, regret about the past. It's all here.

Your assignment is my assignment from my coach. It was too good not to share.

She asked me to take time this week to feel whatever I feel, whenever I feel it. I told her that I might cry at a happy hour with friends on Friday in Washington, DC, and she said it was okay.

I hope everyone attending is prepared for the sniffles. I hope I am!

Go forth with your assignments for the week! All of us need you to be you.