April has been a month of slippery emotions. For me, and for so many of my clients. Like spring weather: sunny one moment, then sudden thundershowers. Or hail. Sleet. Wind. More sunshine!
Yet learning to dress for emotional weather is an essential skill, both for understanding our selves and for being in right relationship with the world around us.
So why does it sometimes feel like you’re slogging through a rain forest without an umbrella? Why do we spend so much time obsessing about feelings, resisting them, or drowning in them?
Feelings are the language of your body. This is how your body tells you about how it experiences situations in your life, how it responds to the places and people you encounter, the choices you make. Feelings keep you connected with your body, when you listen to them, when you let yourself experience them fully.
All feelings are energy. Energy is vibration–in its natural state, it moves freely. When feelings are stifled or suppressed, or when you cling to them or make up stories in your head about them, you run into problems. (Emotions are feelings with a thought or thoughts attached.)
So let’s explore the world of feelings today.
Which feelings do you allow yourself to feel fully? (Start with the basic four: sad, mad, glad, and scared.)
Which feelings make you cringe? Which ones do you judge or push away?
Which feelings do you cling to? Which ones do you make up stories about?
Playing the Feelings Game
Tune into a feeling you’re feeling right now. You may experience it as a sensation, or as a feeling.
Close your eyes, and explore the cavity of your body, as though you were looking down inside it. Take your awareness inside your chest and belly, your back and buttocks, your hips and legs and feet, your neck, shoulders, and head.
Notice where this feeling is located, in your body. What is its texture? Its flavor or color, its density, its shape? Does it feel prickly or cold? Small, hard, lukewarm? Like a jelly bean? Is it sour or dry, juicy or squishy?
Notice the qualities of this feeling, meeting it with curiosity and openness, exploring it as though it were a life-form from another planet. Set aside, for now, your beliefs or stories about it and simply discover it as if for the first time.
All energy–including feeling energy–consists of vibrating particles. And the spaces between those particles are almost entirely empty. Even an atom is an energy eco-system of protons, neutrons and electrons held together by an electromagnetic force within mostly empty space.
Bring your awareness–your soul’s vibration–into the empty spaces inside the feeling in your body. Expand your consciousness into it.
Notice if any part of this feeling isn’t yours. The part that isn’t yours may feel dramatic or hysterical, over-the-top. Or you may experience it as a dullness or numbness–an inability to access your own feeling-vibration.
It may be someone else’s feeling that you’ve absorbed, or a larger energy field of feeling that’s floating around in the world.
Your body and your energy field are your personal space. No-one else belongs here, except by invitation.
Ask the feeling-energy that is not yours to leave right now. Move it all the way out beyond the boundary of your energy field, and release it there. You can also release it down your grounding and into the earth, asking the earth to take care of it.
Then tune in, once again, to the feeling itself. Invite it to move in any way that it wants to. Simply keep your awareness in the empty spaces inside the feeling-energy, and follow the trajectory of its movement with your attention and awareness.
Notice if the feeling wants to move upward or downward or sideways. Diagonally, or in a parabolic arc or in a spiral. Notice if it moves quickly through some areas of your body, if it slows down in other areas.
When the movement feels complete, check to see if there’s any more of that feeling-energy left in any other part of your body. Repeat the process described here.
If the energy gets stuck somewhere, and doesn’t move, breathe into the place where it’s stuck. Bring your consciousness into the empty spaces inside it.
Ask if the energy in this feeling is yours. If there’s any part of it that isn’t yours, move it outside the boundary of your energy field.
If the energy still remains immobile or stuck, talk with it. Ask it to tell you or to show you what it needs in order to flow naturally, to move in whatever way it wants to. Let the flow of the feeling itself dissolve any blocks to its free passage.
Feelings: The Musical
Feelings are like musical notes: each one has a unique tone and frequency to it. You can make more complex, interesting music when you use all of the notes in the musical scale. (Unless you’re Phillip Glass or John Cage, in which case, call me and we’ll talk!)
You’ll have a richer, more creative inner life when you allow yourself to feel the whole range of your feelings fully and freely.
Since feelings are energy, they are fluid; they change. Once you let them flow, and feel them fully–without hanging onto them or chasing them away or running from them–they change to some other form of energy.
So play with the energy of feelings. Be curious, open to surprise, and discover your own relationship with the full spectrum of your feelings.