I write this early December 2016 again in my cozy southern Cali home, surrounded by my fur babies Bijou and Jasper (dog and cat). Loving these little beings gives me such pleasure! I guess expressing my love for them is as good an intro to freeing emotions as any. First let me say that this is the second part in a series that I originally thought would be a trilogy, but I have a hunch it will be more. Not sure what the topics will be or how they tie in together yet but this information comes to me in visions and messages and I just deliver them. My only real job here is to communicate the message in the clearest way possible and trust that it will reach the hearts and minds that it needs to.
Foundations of Feeling as a series first came to me as a concept in the spring of this year. Part 1 discusses the Mirror Effect, which I recommend you read prior to this installment. It outlines how everything you believe consciously and unconsciously is reflected back to you in the panorama of your life experience. Using the Mirror Effect to your advantage is one of the keys to my work. Coupled with freeing the emotional body in a mindful daily practice, you have the foundation tools for your own dynamic transformation experience.
I have studied personal growth practice for decades via many avenues. In my early shamanic training, there was an emphasis in controlling emotions as a “spiritual warrior”. This was a very exciting time and I learned a great deal about cleaning the mind. I dug deep into the underbelly and cleared the emotional charge on many core beliefs. But the mind still hung around and those beliefs still circled back making me think I still had more to clean up. I have said before that I had a false belief that the mind would eventually dissipate and be transformed in a way that it would not exist for me. I was wrong about that; the mind is always there doing its thing.
Back then my fellow apprentices and I would talk about being mirrors for others but rarely did we talk about how we were experiencing our own reflections. This was in part because there was a strong judgement held about feeling any negative emotions. It meant you were losing at the game of being a spiritual warrior. You were a victim not a warrior.
This isn’t a criticism it’s just a statement of what was. Creating an image of something to be, stronger and more adept at navigating the landmines of the mind, was a powerful tool of transformation. Eventually though that image is just another mask, no more real than the mask of the emotional victim. During that time in my life, I developed a great deal of awareness which served me very well as I created a reality that reflected my deepest wounded core beliefs. I look back now and see that there was no other way but to manifest the seeds which are the underpinnings of reality. Without manifestation, there would be no way to see it and ultimately take responsibility and be free of it.
Eventually through a deep forgiveness process, the core beliefs revealed themselves and began to fall apart. As this tapestry was coming apart I felt pretty out of control of my emotions. Despite all my early training and expertise at “being happy” and a “spiritual warrior” I could not control the waves of emotion I was feeling. The merry go round continued as I saw the beliefs roll by as if on cue. It was not until I experienced freedom for the emotional body that the story of my movie came undone. Transformation was the result and it happened as if by magic.
If the beliefs in the mind are the storyline to the movie of your life, the emotional body provides the soundtrack. We feel intensely, whether we admit it or not, we all have emotions.
The emotional body is like the weather system for the earth. Feeling states change from moment to moment day to day, year-to-year. The only differences we observe our emotional states with our minds and judge it. We look to quantify it and justify it. If it is cloudy out do we blame ourselves for that? Or do we just pack an umbrella. Likewise if we have some uncomfortable rumbling in our emotional body, is it our instinct to relax feel it and be gentle? Or do we become harsher and try to repress the natural waves of the ocean. The emotional body is perceived but it exists as a separate entity from the mind. Like the mind it is not you, you are the presence on changing that creates everything. The inner child is the equivalent of the emotional body, and the judge is the mind. They perceive each other. Intensity of emotion I track the mind which perpetuates itself on the energy of the emotion produced. But that is where the relationship ends. We Piece it together in a linear way to create a reality but it’s not really linear.
“I felt like I was being thrown around in the ocean by giant waves.” Jackie O describing the days after the assassination of JFK. A big shock to the system from an event can create this feeling, but if we pay attention to the smaller waves the emotional body is always moving and shifting. It can be disconcerting at first to realize that nothing is as solid as it seems…ever. But this is also the key to freedom.
Waves of sensation from the emotional body keep coming and we perceive after the mind matches it with a story. By witnessing we can see the mind will try again and again to match some story to the feelings were having with different thoughts and then different reasons for it. We label everything we see and also everything we feel to try to control and feel safe. Even if its negative, we feel safer knowing what it is. When the mind serves up a doozy core belief and the emotional wave hits at the precise moment, we believe it. It’s a powerful combination, it seems real because we think we know the reasons why given to us by the mind. And if we felt that before we could judge it and say here it is again, so it must still be true.
This is why despite years of therapy sifting through our childhoods, those patterns are still there. As a psychology intern I saw that catharsis was easy to achieve for clients, but catharsis produced no lasting results. Because memory allows us to recall those past experiences and the emotional body can react because it’s linked in our minds. We can emote over our pasts and how those issues still haunt us but no matter how many times we get that release, the cycle will repeat itself.
To summarize, the emotional body is a separate entity from the mind producing thoughts about what you are feeling. The mind can interpret the exact same sensation in the emotional body with a myriad of conflicting explanations. In fact if you practice observing and experiencing the emotional sensations and refrain from believing the labels offered up by the mind, eventually the mind will loosen its grip on the need to know what the feelings mean. For this I recommend leaning in to feeling and letting go of the sensation as soon as it passes. Let the mind do its thing but when you accept that the beliefs will keep moving like clouds in the sky, the only thing to do is surf the emotional feeling states as they happen and let the mind go.
Everything that we feel is exactly what we are supposed to be feeling. I find my mind is always questioning and looking to see what I should be feeling instead of what I am. Because of past associations I made with those sensations, I resist feeling certain tones of feeling in my being. Exploring is what we are free to do here in this reality. There is nothing that we feel or think that can hurt us. And we are not what we think and feel. Thought and emotion are tools that we use to build our reality and we deserve to have the best reality we can. Just like Tibetan monks creating a sand mandala over a period of days and then wiping it away in a moment. The purpose is not to demonstrate that God can take away what you have made, the purpose is to demonstrate that you have the power to create and destroy what you make. As beautiful as it is. As gorgeous as you might get your reality, continuously creating with your expert tools is how to navigate and create moment by moment.
After awhile, you will notice that you have sensations that are not related to anything at all that is happening. You could call it moods which are encompassed within the spectrum of feelings possible through the emotional body. We are always feeling something. It may be subtle but it’s there. I call this, foundations of feeling, and sometimes what we are feeling are tones of energy. These tones are qualities of feeling that I experience something like music. It may be different for you, I don’t know I only know my reality! But what I do know is that because we all label experience through the mind, you probably have a definition in your mind for what these feelings and sensations are. And these tones of feeling may actually be unconscious as well, and that’s perfectly normal. The more you lean in to the feelings you have, the stronger your ability to surf the waves without relying on the mind to tell you a story to feel safe.
The key to managing emotions is to respect your feelings completely. Respect and embrace your ability to judge and how often do you have use that skill! Leave space to discover that the feelings and thoughts can be experienced separately that is a practice that is counterintuitive because the images are so powerful in the mind and the emotional sensation in the body is very potent. We have to treat the emotion and beliefs as connected initially, but as you resolve and clear beliefs with the Mirror Effect, you will begin to see the belief dissolve and the emotion may stay profoundly strong. It becomes evident that the feeling is present and the beliefs try to explain it after the feeling is there. Because we experience everything as a reflection in a mirror, we are seeing it backwards. Depending on the point of view you are holding in the moment, you may feel first and then notice the mind trying to label OR the thought come in and the emotional body react. Both perceptions are possible and completely normal. Just keep leaning in to the feeling sensation with complete acceptance and when the feeling has had its moment, it will shift to the next thing.
One thing remains constant, feeling states change constantly. Some are joyous and pleasant, some neutral and some unpleasant or even painful. Holding on to any one feeling state is the opposite of freedom. Rather than try to stuff your feelings into a box, open the box and enjoy the experience of deeply feeling the sensations brought to you by the emotional body. That is the choice we have, to enjoy every moment that life brings to us.
Part 4 in this series will tie the first two parts together with mindful practice to help you develop and use your awareness to facilitate the freedom of your emotional body and the simultaneous cleaning of the mind.
Copyright © 2016 Catherine Chase. All Rights Reserved.