How to Feel Your Feelings
We imagine, we believe, we focus, we chill … we’re really good at lots of stuff.
But one that’s missing from many of our manifesting resumes is this one:
feeling our feelings fully.
Many of us do an about face whenever something negative pops up (be it thought or emotion). As in … “Ack! Don’t think that! Don’t feel that!”
But that practice doesn’t serve so well.
Because when we deny or ignore our feelings (which is especially easy to do if we’ve been well trained about the importance of feeling GOOD) all we do is guarantee those “negative” emotions will hang around longer (in our body, in our vibration).
The fact is we’re human beings living real life – and those full range of emotions are part of the gig.
Some think conscious creation is about avoiding the negative feelings, so we don’t create more negative stuff. But all we end up doing is perpetuating and empowering whatever we resist. So getting friendly with your feelings – all of them – is a good manifesting skill.
Here’s what Abe said about it this month in Portland:
We’re not encouraging of you to maintain connection and alignment all day every day, because step one is as important a part of the process as step two or three.
Someone who says, ‘I want to be in alignment every single moment’ is someone who says, ‘I’ve given up expansion’.
So it’s not only okay to feel less than fabulous, it’s important to!
I love how Jennifer said it on my facebook page last week:
i may have been taking the ‘find a better feeling’ thing a little too literally, and not letting myself feel anything that hasn’t been hunky dorry… which just lets it sit and pile up.
Very true, my friend. And many of us do it.
But we’re a step ahead once we realize it’s happening, and understand the importance of letting ourselves feel whatever’s up. Not to live in it forever, but just to process whatever’s present.
Positive thinking can be a powerful tool for happiness, but it’s more detrimental than helpful if we use it to avoid dealing with life.
In fact, it’s been said that not feeling our feelings is the source of much dysfunction in life (overeating, overworking, alcohol and drug abuse, etc).
In a recent newsletter, Michael Neill shared:
I don’t need to control my feelings to enjoy my life any more than I need to control the weather to enjoy my day. I am not a victim of the weather not because I can control it or avoid it, but because I can always work with it and through it. And I need not be a victim of my feelings not because I can control or avoid them, but because I can always work with them and through them.
When I’m not scared of my feelings, (because I don’t need to change them, avoid them, or act on them), I’m free to feel them fully. Unresisted sadness can be delicious; unbridled anger is like being one with a gale force wind.
Can you sense the liberation in being fully present to your feelings? It’s a good one to have on board.
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So with lots of good reasons to get better at this particular life skill, let’s cover
5 Ways to Feel Your Feelings:
First of all, it may be as simple as how Abraham instructs: “own it and get over it.” If that simple awareness prompt works you, let’s not complicate it!
For those who’ll benefit from more support than that …
Many coaches suggest journaling our feelings in order to better feel and process them. (A tried and true technique, even if it’s not my personal favorite.)
And some therapists recommend giving our feelings physical expression (scream into a pillow, hit a punching bag).
If that works for you, great! If that’s not your style, let’s go here:
Since feeling your feelings is not a mental exercise, and it’s not to be used as a story telling opportunity, you can get a good handle on this by getting out of your head and “going south” – partnering up with your body for this work. Here’s how we do that …
First, be willing to accept your feelings, rather than judge yourself for having them.
Yes, it might not be “nice” to feel upset about something or to have inspirations of vengeance, but our first step is to be willing to be present to whatever emotions are up. Allow them. Without judgment.
(This in itself may allow the feelings to complete themselves.)
Second step, tune into your body.
Get quiet and notice where the energy of the emotion is in your physical body. Sense for where the energy of the feeling is in your body. Might be a tension in your shoulders, or a pit of fear in your belly. Maybe it feels like a darkness in your chest. As you tune in, you’ll feel it somewhere in there.
Wherever it is, focus your attention into that area in order to be present to it.
Tom Stone instructs us this way:
As you notice the energy of this feeling, you’ll become aware of an area where it’s more intense. Zoom in with your sense of feeling to notice where it’s most intense. Allow your awareness to penetrate down into it, to feel into it, just be completely present and in the very center of the most intense part of the energy of the feeling.
Even though it’s intense, you can be there. As you continue to feel into it, just by being there, it’s not uncommon that the intensity of the energy will change. Sometimes it’ll become more intense, but stay right in the center in the very heart of the most intense part of the energy of the feeling. That’s where it’s the safest. You’re not getting wrapped up in or getting lost in or succumbing to overwhelment of the feeling. It’s like a laser beam of awareness going down a vortex into the eye of the hurricane of the intensity of this feeling. The idea is to feel it so clearly that there’s nothing left to feel.
And that’s it.
It might take just a few minutes, or lots of them.
It’s important to know we’re not feeling our feelings to get rid of them. These feelings will likely complete themselves and dissipate as we become present to them, but not if we approach this process with the agenda of eliminating them.
The way out is actually in. Stone says,”We’re conditioned to go away from these negative feelings, but when you develop the habit of allowing them you become liberated.” I like to think of it as aligned.
Leigh Newman writes that “research has shown that when you sit with those clean, pure emotions like sadness or anger, they actually pass through you in about 90 seconds.” So if you can just be with it and say, “I can handle this feeling,” it will burn up and dissipate. This doesn’t mean you’ll be over your breakup or your dog’s death in 90 seconds. That emotion is going to come back. But the more you let yourself feel those minute-and-a-half hells, the quicker you’ll start feeling those minute-and-a-half happinesses.
That’s my personal favorite approach, but if you still feel challenged about how to feel your feelings, try thinking of it this way:
Imagine a dear friend comes to you with something they’re struggling with. The first thing you would do with this friend is hear them out. You would listen. You would let them share. You’d be open, non-judging, and safe for them to share with.
Your feelings are that friend. They just want you to be present, they want to be heard, and you don’t have to take any action to resolve them. Just your allowing them is the gift they want from you.
That doesn’t mean we have to wallow in them for days, either. We listen and let go. That’s not so hard, right?
For those of you who are good at feeling your feelings fully, will you share your tips and encouragement with us? Thank you!
And on the lighter side, Louis C.K. shares how to feel your feelings in this 5 minute clip.