INTRODUCTION TO FEELING HABITS
“It is the feeling level that controls most of our inner life, yet often we are truly unconscious of our feelings.”
Feelings are rudders. Like dreams, feelings help guide us through the mystery of life. Yet, to really hear them, we need to unlearn some bad habits. We need to stop judging some as “good” and others as “bad,” and allow all feelings to flow through us, even the scary ones. We need to stop postponing the dark feelings until they make us ill to get our attention. We need to stop losing perspective by getting so caught up in them.
It´s easy to make friends with feelings, once we set aside judgment, doubt, and fear. Mind wants to distance us from our feelings by thinking and analyzing the feeling. But the quickest way back to joy is to drop down into our bodies and feel it directly. Say “Yes” to what feeling is present, even it makes you uncomfortable. Be curious. Imagine you are feeling disappointment, grief, or loneliness for the first time. Note your habitual reaction to it, then let it go. Welcome your new friend. Notice where you feel it in your body, and its sensations. Ask it, “What are you trying to tell me?” Listen respectfully to each feeling, the way you have always hoped someone would honor you. Honor your feelings. Experiencing each feeling directly, even the dark ones, is gateway to joy.
As Rumi reminds us in the poem, A song of Being Empty: “If you want peace and purity, tear away your coverings. This is the purpose of emotion, to let a streaming beauty flow through you. Call it spirit, elixir, or the original agreement between yourself and God. Opening into that gives peace, a song of being empty, pure silence.”