Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Waking up and feeling the feelings...

I woke this morning, or rather I was half asleep and waking up, but I realised in my groggy state that all was not well in my world. 

There was a (annoyingly familiar) sense that something was wrong and a sense of discomfort that was emotional and physical at the same time. My mind went into irritation, disappointment and then immediately to trying to plan things to do in order to “solve the problem” and “make it stop”. This is a pretty familiar morning pattern. What happened next is less familiar.

In the midst of this turmoil, by grace, the enquiry arose:

“Are there any difficult feelings that need to be felt that you're not feeling?”

Still half-asleep, I felt into my body.

I could feel tension in my belly, holding and shaking in my jaw, but beneath that there were feelings of fear, petulance, sadness and some others that I could not even name.

There was also resistance to feeling the feelings – a sense of not wanting them, but I noticed that the resistance was melting fast in the presence of my new-found curiosity about what I was feeling.

I stopped trying to name the feelings and gently felt into them.

Gradually, as I did so, they moved and shifted, everything softened and the resistance melted away.  I could sense the texture of the feelings, their shape and colour.  I felt tender towards them.  Feelings still remained but it was no longer me and them – we were in it together. I felt ease in the midst of the feelings.  I felt a sense of peace and drifted deliciously back to sleep.

I woke 2 and a half hours later. It was now 10:30am. I was delighted! I felt so rested. I felt easy, peaceful and simple.

I had this insight (both new to me and a reminder of something I already knew but had forgotten) and I wanted to share it:

The sense of problem
The sense that something needs to be done
That I need to do something (but it isn't clear what)
The feeling of discomfort/suffering
The sense of needing distraction
The feeling of being incomplete...

...are all essentially the same thing.

And are all caused by my not feeling feelings that want/need to be felt.


Whatever is left afterwards is simply sensation and feeling.  This may include both pleasant and unpleasant sensations/feelings and frequently both.


Right now, as I write this having got out of bed and to my notebook and picked up my pen, there is no problem. There is nowhere to go, nothing that needs to be done in order to perfect this moment.

Even though I have not yet brushed my teeth and my mouth feels like the morning after the night before. My mouth can wait.

Even though there is holding in my stomach and shaking in my jaw.

In the midst of a soft, sweet sadness, lying like a gentle blanket over all the world.

Here I know I need nothing and it's all OK.

There is an ease and a quiet satisfaction.

There is very little mental activity and no worrying or planning for the future.

I am very simply in contact with myself, my feelings and my truth (which is both mine and not mine).

It is clear that from this place action (if necessary) is simple and unproblematic.

I feel gratitude and love.

This is what it feels like to be home.