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Posts Tagged ‘Feelings’

 

I am finishing out the month on the topic of sadness.  This is one that I’ve written taking a lighthearted approach into the paradox of sadness … enjoy!

Sadness is present.  It was one of my former mentors who instructed us to state it just like that, in lieu of: I am sad. The ‘I am’ statement being one that married or joined you to sadness.

It’s just that ‘sadness is present’ has a sound akin to taking roll in class where Sadness sheepishly answers from the back row, “present”.  I wish that all my Sadnesses were in the back row, sheepish and barely audible.  Yet this one feels as if it’s in the front row and it’s cleared out the entire row for itself.

Actually, I am hoping that Sadness takes a bathroom break because Mischief has plans.  The plan is to stick a big thick wad of gum on Sadness’ seat.  That way when the bell rings, Sadness will be stuck there.  Ah, well now, Mischief has just been nudged by Wisdom and Kindness.  They say,  “All our emotions have a place here.”  “But why does Sadness have to take up an entire front row?” I argue.

“It wants to be noticed and embraced like Humor is.  It wants to see you welcome it the way you do when Joy bounces in the room.  It wants to see your face light up the way it does when Surprise and Delight saunter in.  It wants to be acknowledged just for who it is, not shunned.  It wants to be first-picked to play in the game, not last.  It takes up an entire row just to tell you, it has a right to be here.  And while you have a right to ignore Sadness, in doing so, you lose out on the full technicolor experience of living.”

Mischief never did put that wad of gum on Sadness’ seat.  Eventually Sadness sat in the center of the room, surrounded, embraced even, by all emotion.  There was one day in particular when the whole class voted on the Emotion of the Quarter.  Everyone picked Sadness.  Sadness, flanked by all its Friends, beamed with pride as it accepted the award.  It never sat alone in the back again nor cleared out an entire front row.  It was content to simply Be.

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If you sit for long enough with sadness, fear or anger, or some strange energy or urge you can’t even name, in a place of no hope and no expectation, it eventually breaks apart, its imagined edges and boundaries dissolving into the vastness, and it reveals its deep intelligence, and its benevolent nature.  At the core of everything we run away from is everything we long for. And we’ll never know if we run away. ~Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster asks us to consider sitting with any feeling without hope or expectation.  It’s not that he’s asking us to have no hope, he’s asking that we sit with the feeling with no intended, purposeful gain in mind.  In other words, you don’t sit with it because you’re privately hoping if you do, it will simply go away.  That’s virtually the same as not accepting or allowing the feeling.

When I was 17 an event that would change my life occurred.  Lately, in the past few months memories of that event popped up seemingly out of nowhere, and with them was the rawness of the pain associated with it.  My first response when they popped up, was to want to forget about it.  I was having none of it.  The next time one of these memories popped up, I chastised myself: get over it, Bethie, move on!

Still the memories continued, asserting themselves at the oddest of times catching me completely off-guard.  I thought I might go to a trusted friend, until I realized I could be that trusted friend.  I remembered how there was no support for me back when I was 17, and in many ways it was the antithesis of support.  I learned to “stuff” the feelings, but the feelings were having none of it, they’d been stuffed long enough.  But they didn’t just want to be heard, they were reaching out for that support, that caring, that nurturing which it never received.  Recognize me — they cried out — be there for me, understand me.

Finally, I sat with the feelings.  I listened with the open heart and ears of understanding and acceptance.  I “mothered” myself and treated the feelings with the same attention a healthy Mother would give to her wounded child.  The memories began to dissipate, their intended purpose apparently fulfilled.

In the words of my current beloved mentor and teacher, Jean Haner: “All any feelings wants is to be welcomed with tenderness.”

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Yesterday’s post was this quote: “All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness.” (Jean Haner)

Can you take that in?  Is there any resistance to welcoming any feeling with tenderness?  It’s ok if you said yes, really it is.  It only points you to the places you have yet to allow your love.  It’s all any feeling is asking for, not judgment which is the antithesis of tenderness.   We know the voices of the judgment triplets well: coulda, woulda, shoulda.

To truly allow is to welcome whatever comes including any resistance to allowing.  Welcome that, too, with tenderness.  The moment you shine love where there was judgment of self, that familiar tension you carried with it releases, as do those feelings.

We are taught from the Bible that judgment day is coming.  For some of us, it’s been here all along.  How about entertaining a new paradigm?

Non-judgment day is Here.

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“All any feeling wants

is to be welcomed

with tenderness.”

~Jean Haner~

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Recently I expressed to my teacher and mentor, Philip Golabuk, that as a facilitator, I could now declare that I was *that* Alice.  I was referring to the movie we have both seen and loved, Alice in Wonderland.  Alice isn’t sure she is The Alice, until far into the movie.  The Mad Hatter knows but she’s got doubts.  There’s a pivotal moment when she no longer doubts, she knows, she is *that* Alice.

And so it goes with being a facilitator, you get certified and then you go on into real life and do the practicum and practice what really is art in motion and its a different work of art every time.  Basically I was declaring I was a practiced artist by saying I am now *that* Alice.  Once I’d declared that, a piece of me felt like high five-ing myself for the courage to be that and to speak it out loud.

A much smaller part of me said: really, we’ll just have to see about that.  Doubt.  Here I had picked up the thread of doubt and like a loose thread on the hem of my shirt, I kept on pulling and unraveling until I was in a heap of doubt.

But, wait, there’s good news here!  If I can grab the thread of doubt, an unwanted feeling, and run with it, then it’s opposite is true!  I can finger the thread and unravel the flip side of doubt.  Hell, I don’t have to pick up a thread of it’s opposite, I can put the whole damn coat on!

Enter the Coat of Many Feelings.  My friend Ahmee inspired me when she spoke of how she puts on the coat of Freedom.  What a concept!

So I took *that* Alice’s coat and I slipped my arms into it one at a time, pulling each end up until it sat upon my shoulders.  I looked down, I was wearing a tawny colored coat, medium weight, high collar, button down (many buttons), fitted at the waist and then it flared out from there.  Finished off at the hem and sleeve ends was fluffy faux fur.  No animals sacrificed here!  It appeared to be Edwardian style.  It was Alice’s coat!  Next I caught the wave of the feelings that went with *that* Alice’s coat.  The feelings I’d already known and felt.  The courage, the complete confidence, the strength, the knowing.  I settled into it until I knew I had caught the feeling again.  Then I took it off; it’s work was done.  And frankly, a girl’s got to move freely when she’s slaying jabberwockies.  :)

Then I thought of all that this could be used for.  How about the coat of creativity and inspiration?  The coat of – I believe in myself.  Or my favorite, the coat of — I am in love with life.  Oh when I put that coat on the whole world shimmers like every day is a sunny, spring day, the world is alive and vibrating, I am alive.  I know the full out joy and the rapture of being alive!

Anytime, anywhere I can put on any coat I want to, so take that doubt sitting over there fingering the loose threads of a hem, I’ve got the whole damn coat!  And more than that I know how to catch the wave of what turns me on, what lights me up, what makes my heart sing, what makes me swoon with delight.  I’ve got the power and don’t mess with me, because now I’ve got the coat, too!!

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