Santa Fe CSL Blogs
Feel Your Way to Wholeness
By Rev. Gregory Toole
In his book, “Conscious Living,” Gay Hendricks writes “We are doing one thing wrong that is at the root of our problems. We are failing to honor and love our authentic experience and failing to notice the authentic experience of others.“
One clear path to stepping into our wholeness is to honor where we are right now. And one straightforward way to do that is to fully feel our feelings.
Many believe that if they fully feel their feelings they will be totally overwhelmed and might not be able to function. In this belief, feeling our feelings isn’t practical.
What seems to be truer is that with practice, regularly experiencing our feelings, they rise and pass fairly quickly. Perhaps it is in our habit of suppressing our feelings or rationalizing them away from that we have created a floodgate that seems like it would burst if we allowed ourselves to feel.
The beauty of our feelings is that they are totally honest. They represent something that is going on with us in this moment. With practice, we can check-in, see what’s going on, express the feelings appropriately to ourselves and others, and move on.
Eckhardt Tolle provides an excellent example in his book, “A New Earth,” writing “After two ducks get into a fight, which never lasts long, they will separate and float off in opposite directions. Then each duck will flap its wings vigorously a few times, thus releasing the surplus energy that built up during the fight. After they flap their wings, they float on peacefully, as if nothing had ever happened.”
Feeling our feelings requires being fully in our bodies, aware of the energy moving through us, sensations coming and going, and the flow of emotions.
Often, we have strategies to avoid our feelings, in the form of various addictions, whether it be sugar, alcohol, or sex. These are ways of numbing, leaving us out of touch with our bodies and our emotions.
Many have asked me, “Why should I feel my feelings?” My response is that it allows you to be more alive. When we shut down our feelings, we cut off our very life force, the currents of energy that are moving in us, and we experience life as a contrivance of the mind rather than as it really is.
With practice, the energy is freed to flow rather than getting stuck. When it flows, feelings are momentary rather than continuous. Feelings rise and pass, rise and pass…
All the while, we are experiencing the fullness of each moment, noticing what arises, allowing it to inform us. We might say, “I notice I feel sad when you say that” or “I notice I feel joy as you touched my hand.”
We are experiencing the moment as it is, without judgment. This is wholeness—to experience ourselves and others as we are, without judgment or trying to make the experience something different.
Some would ask, “What about choice, don’t we choose our experience?” The answer is “yes,” and we create our experience by starting from where we are. If we pretend we are somewhere else, we disconnect from ourselves, which is also disconnecting from source energy. Thus, we disconnect from our power to create and, ultimately, we find ourselves unfulfilled, living in an imaginary ideal, rather than our actual embodied experience in this life.
The invitation this day is to ground fully in your body, be present, and allow the flow of life-force energy to move through you freely. Feel those feelings and allow them to pass. Notice the feelings, express them, and be informed by them. And claim your wholeness in what actually is.
Enjoy the journey.