Feeling the Feelings

A particular theme has come up time and again over the last few weeks, which is a sign to me it’s not to be dismissed.

  • At the manifesting seminar last month, Koelle Simpson talked about how bizarre it is to horses (and animals in general) when we humans try to manhandle our feelings by pretending not to feel something we are. (Which is exhausting to practice over time; it takes a lot of energy to try to squash feelings.)
  • In Change Your Brain, Change Your Life author Dr. Amen speaks to the importance of letting yourself acknowledge and feel what you’re really feeling in order to overcome anxiety and depression.
  • In The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process author Dr. Berceli also stresses how crucial it is we let ourselves feel what we feel, otherwise the body ends up paying the price for it and we never experience mental peace.
  • Some of my favorite work is renowned life coach Tom Stone’s “how to feel your feelings” tutorial.
  • One of our blog community members touched on this subject in their comment; which a few of you inquired about.

So it seems appropriate to devote a blog post to this topic …
Why do we need to be reminded to feel our feelings? A couple of reasons:

  1. most of us don’t realize how important it is.
  2. especially law of attraction savvy people sometimes get nervous when they’re flowing something “negative.”
  3. and most of us have been socially conditioned throughout life to avoid expressing certain feelings (we judge certain feelings as not cool).

Which just gets us in trouble.
After all, we’re human – we’re gonna have a variety of feelings. That’s one of the joys of being human, isn’t it?! We get to experience the whole amazing range!
So when that happens, and a feeling comes up that we deem as not worthy or wrong in some way, we then enter denial and create resistance.
(In fact, Martha Beck said that when you feel a strong feeling come up, if you just let yourself feel it, it’ll take roughly 90 seconds or so to come and go. But if we deny it, we can get stuck in it for decades.)
From a law of attraction perspective, when I’m irritated but I try not to be – either because it’s not a reaction others appreciate, or because I don’t want to acknowledge that I am capable of the lower vibrations, or whatever reason I might have for disavowing this feeling – when I try not to feel something I’m feeling, I just get even more enmired in it.
Which means the feeling of irritation lasts longer; the vibration gets stronger (because like attracts like and thus more things begin to irritate me), and I’m off my best game.
When I get irritated, and I let myself feel it, it passes. Sooner rather than later.
When we feel what we feel we don’t get stuck in the feelings we don’t want to dwell in.
It’s actually the exact opposite of what you might expect, right? Some LOA savvy folks are nervous that if we acknowledge the “negative” feeling then we attract results that match. But the truth is we attract those things when we get enmired in the feeling through denial of it.
From the Shrinking It post earlier this month Wakati says:

Funny thing happened to me last night. I admitted to my boyfriend that I was afraid about our finances. The instant I said it, the charge went away, the bubble deflated, and I was fine with all of it. All of a sudden, I really believed what I had been affirming, that all is well, that there really is abundant supply.
Since that worked so well, I decided to spend some time today working writing down all the things that I’m afraid of … Pure relief. I’d been fighting so much. I feel like the gates opened.

This gives you a sense of what’s possible when we acknowledge what we’re feeling, right? Freedom, relief, possibility.
So my invitation to you is to become more accepting of whatever feelings come up for you throughout daily life: the good, the bad and the ugly. When you release the judgment you may have held for certain feelings, or free yourself from caring about what others’  may think about you for feeling it, and simply let yourself feel whatever comes up, my prediction is you’re going to find a much more enjoyable ride.
For those of you who already practice this, I’d love to hear about your experiences! And for those who may not be sold that this is the way to go, let’s hear what you’re thinking. This is an important subject!

  • April 20, 2009
  • BIO says:

    As usual I haven’t read the other comments above before commenting myself because I want my expression to be as honest as possible — much like realizing what we feel. I love the anecdote about facing one’s feeling that may take roughly 90 seconds to do and the act of not facing it that may lead to dwelling on that feeling for a lifetime. It’s a reality in our lives. I practice coming to terms with my current feelings for what they are because it reflects my state of mind that may be reacting to present or previous situation. Sometimes, though, I also forget doing so. And then I find myself sooner or later stumped at an unbearable situation that’s persistent. By dealing with my feelings regardless of what they are and not dwelling on the routine of evading what I see to fear — bad vibes — I end up learning more about myself and life and how I can be a healthier, happier individual because my moments of honesty always veers me towards a life of freedom and not constraints.

  • Janette says:

    Emotional constipation, that’s IT!
    For the first couple of decades of my life, I tried to feel only the good feelings so I could be a good well-mannered girl and not upset anyone.
    And then I did all this healing and personal development work, and learned that yep, I should STILL keep suppressing those “negative” feelings because they were BA-A-AD.
    And then I learned about LOA – and until just recently, was STILL thinking I had to avoid those “bad” feelings.
    Doh!! Seems wherever I go… there I am (LOL!) But I think maybe I’m shifting again…
    Only this afternoon someone I at work, with whom I normally get on very well, sent me a snippy email out of the blue – it was just a mean comment in the subject line and no message, ouch! – and my immediate response was to weep, it hurt so much.
    I couldn’t believe this overreaction and was all ready to jump on myself from a great height with a big stick for being an idiot… until I decided to honour the moment of hurt and vulnerability. Lasted all of thirty seconds and it was all over.
    Like pulling off a band-aid!!
    This is magical stuff, Jeannette, thank you so much 🙂

  • Check! Just yesterday I was mad at myself for letting someone get to me and reacting to their below the belt punch.
    I didn’t want to be mad cos I didn’t want to give it any more energy but it was bubblin n boiling n needed feeling. I thought “Gosh I’m HUMAN! I’m allowed to feel mad, sad, bad, anything I want and behave badly if I want to!”. Boy was that a relief! So I raved and ranted a bit and today I feel muchos better 🙂
    Just because I’m a coach doesn’t mean I won’t have my moments (the person said to me that I wasn’t in alignment with being a coach cos I was saying things that were unacceptable to him). LOL!
    Hello!? Being a coach helps in that WHEN I have those moments, I feel them through and am aware of what’s going on, what’s been triggered etc and can change how I’m feeling after a while. It doesn’t mean I will always say and do the right thing … always being happy and floaty and in perfect control of every single emotion .. that would make me an angel, aka, dead.
    Did I just have a wee rant again? teehee 😀

  • mamamagic.wordpress.com for anyone wanting a direct link to Danae’s site. Great material there, girlfriend!
    I liked this especially:
    “… allow things to be the way they are, to let go of resistance and to flow downstream towards the natural dissolution of ‘problems’ and obstacles.”
    That’s a beautiful piece of advice to remember and practice! Thanks, Danae. 🙂

  • how could I have missed this post?? I just wrote about exactly this subject yesterday on my own blog about the magic of being a Mama!
    …sometimes having all the ‘tools’ (such as The Work) means I try to rationalise or question away the feelings I have – to trick myself into feeling something different by thinking other thoughts… it doesn’t work! EFT, and the Sedona Method, on the other hand, encourages acknowledging those feelings and THEN I can get to the thoughts/beliefs that are underpinning them.
    Thanks for the opportunity to affirm this practice J! xx

  • Well said, Vanessa.
    Every once in a while I’ll wonder what the emotion is right above wherever I’m at – and when I can’t remember what it is I know my GUIDANCE system knows what it is – even if I don’t.
    All I gotta do is head in the direction of relief/feeling better.
    Nice fail-safe option, huh?! 🙂
    Thanks for pitching in, Vanessa!

  • Vanessa says:

    One thing that has helped me with dealing with negative emotions is Abraham’s advice on the emotional scale. I don’t have the details committed to memory, but the gist is that there is an incremental scale of emotions- great feeling ones down to very negative ones and lots in between.
    I know for me, if I am feeling something very negative, trying to “jump” to happy/joy/content just feels very wrong. Abraham suggests just trying to see if you can move up one notch – so maybe from sad to angry or even revenge (not that you have to act on it!) – but this really loosens me up – and I find if it is OK to be really angry for a bit, I can relax and move much more quickly up the scale to a happy place.

  • You know, Missy B, I think you might be on to something good here. When you said:
    “I worry that perhaps I should be looking as to why I feel an emotion to resolve it.”
    I think there likely is valuable information there, and that info is best gleaned when we’re not busy investing energy in avoiding the feeling itself. Like .. the value is easier received when WE are in receiving/allowing mode.
    Didn’t say that well, but hopefully you get the gist of it.
    Thanks for reading and especially for writing, my friend! This one was for you! 🙂

  • Missy B says:

    THANK YOU ! I asked and it was given. My tea break is complete.
    Love the surrender box thing Toni.
    We’ve been given emotions and feelings for a reason. That is to feel them. I’m hoping that it really is that simple ? Though I worry that perhaps I should be looking as to why I feel an emotion to resolve it. Still recovering from a serious motorbike accident in November, I was told that if I am in pain it is a huge indication to stop what ever I am doing and take it easy. Pain is there for a reason too.

  • What you’re saying, Ms Nikki, reminds me of what a coach said once upon a time to me .. that the very thing you think you’re afraid to walk away from, is what you walk TOWARDS when you make that journey.
    (I was very nervous to quit a stable job to start a coaching practice. She said the financial security that I thought I was LEAVING – by quitting – was what I was actually walking TOWARD by starting a coaching practice.)
    I didn’t get it then, but I’ve seen the truth of that in so many different life circumstances that I don’t doubt the truth of it any more.
    Kudos to you for letting go of the old pants!! 🙂

  • MSNikki says:

    Another kick a** post, Jeanette!
    A psychic friend recently advised me to say “cancel” every time I had a negative thought or emotion. This led me to become emotionally constipated because I was unable to let those feelings flow naturally. I just felt stifled and worse off than if I had just had the negativity in the first place.
    Why not do the counter-intuitive thing and let the negativity help you achieve a postive outcome? For example, I told my ex that I felt stuck and thus so angry/despondent- even after a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos (imagine that)! I just ranted on and on. Then he suggested that I make way for new adventures by clearing out the old. Hmmm… I cleared out my house most of the unwanted and unneeded items from my life (my “blood pressure pants” from back in the day, ie super tight pants that should only be worn when I need to take blood pressure). I felt so much better afterwards and not as stuck!

  • Oh. My. Gosh.
    I think this might forever alter my ability to work with feelings, Melissa:
    “When, in truth, feelings are like children. They want most to be acknowledged, then they bounce away.”
    I LOVE it!!! (Goose bump moment!)

  • Melissa says:

    I am acutely aware of the importance of feelings and the presence of authentic personal needs. Mine emerged and took center stage in quite a non-graceful manner.
    Still, I find myself resistant to some feelings because of he perception (key word here) of the associated pain, or my own emotional laziness.
    When, in truth, feelings are like children. They want most to be acknowledged, then they bounce away.
    Love to you,

  • Nice perspective, Dana, and I’m not surprised to hear you offering it:
    “… those emotions are actually a gift.” I also like how you see managing emotions as a fun lesson and to lighten up on yourself.
    This is an approach that I suspect would give many huge relief! Thanks for sharing it here, Dana! Much appreciated!

  • Judy says:

    Yesterday, a girlfriend told me that I was moody. Several others who I love, flashed before my eyes before I could say “moody? I’m not moody!!” lol
    I blame it all on peri-menapause, why not? Peri-menapause is such a sweet gift to me because I can no longer hide my feelings. Cry? I’ll cry at the literal drop of a hat, and in moments that others might deem inappropriate. oh well. . .
    I also get mad really quick. Rationally mad, or so it seems in the moment. So, while displaying this full range of emotions is new to me, I’m glad that I also know, “they are JUST feelings!”
    JUST FEELINGS. I’m with you Jeannette, the more I just let myself “be”, the quicker I distinguish the delusion within my feelings from the gifts of insight they provide.
    I’ve had plenty of close friends inquire about an outburst of feelings they witnessed me express. I’ve often look at them curiously and say “huh? oh my gosh, THAT was an HOUR ago!”
    Martha Beck’s perspective works well for me.

  • Dana says:

    I have learned that feelings and strong emotions are all messages from our innermost being. They are telling us that we are experiencing something that does not feel good to us. That’s obvious, right? Well, to some of us in LOA circles, perhaps. Many of us judge ourselves for our feelings or, as you said, refuse to feel them or explore them because we fear it means we are capable of something we despise or resist, something we perceive as weak or inferior or…
    However, those emotions are actually a gift, and when we become masterful at decoding them to identify the contrast that has caused them to rear their heads and utilize the information to create what we do want, therein lies the beauty of truly welcoming and feeling our emotions! I’m still learning, but it’s a fun lesson that helps me to lighten up on myself.

  • That’s one of my favorite sayings from you, Judy:
    “Huh? oh my gosh, THAT was an HOUR ago!”
    What a helpful thing to remember when we’re right in the middle of one … to know that if we just let ourselves be with it it won’t be that much longer.
    Crazy system, huh?!
    Thanks for pitching in, my friend! Always a pleasure to hear from you!

  • Thanks, Toni, for reading and for sharing! I’m afraid the other day’s post (Q from Melissa) is getting all the attention right now, but this one is an important topic too!
    This is the first I’ve heard of a Surrender Box and I LOVE it!! Wow … I’m off to go make one myself.
    Thanks again for sharing this idea here with us, Toni!! Much appreciated!

  • Toni says:

    I really like Wakati’s story – the relief you feel when you put your worries to paper is incredible, and it is indeed possible to let go of it once you’ve really felt it and described it in detail.
    In my home office I have a little box which I’ve named “surrender box” (don’t know where the idea came from, it’s an LOA source, for sure! 🙂 I use it when I feel something’s bothering me, nagging me, haunting me. Usually I just write a few lines, pinpointing the essence of the problem – the emotion behind it – but it could also be just a short description of actual facts that I wish would go away soon.
    When I’ve put my note into the surrender box, I instantly feel the weight is being lifted off my shoulders. It’s as if the problem has been removed from my brain, and I can go on with my daily routines. Of course, it may pop up again, but most of the time I’m able to tell myself that it’s in the box now and the Universe will work out a nice solution for me in this regard.

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