The theme for this healing cycle within the universe that we are all experiencing right now, is feeling. We are being called to explore the feelings that have been repressed within us. We are being called to be with and experience our feeling by diving into it and by not doing anything to try to change it. Reconnection with our feelings and the expression of those feelings within our body is the next step for all of us. It keeps coming up again and again and again.
Yesterday, on a whim I decided to visit a somatic bodywork therapist named Norianna Diesel. I’ve never had somatic bodywork done, so I didn’t know what to expect. I’m planning on going back to see her for more sessions as well as partake in her Somatic Movement Therapy classes. The interplay between the body, feelings and mind is so crucial to acknowledge when it comes to healing. Somatic body therapy is particularly good at recognizing this interplay. Communication is happening through touch. And so touch, like any form of communication, is an art form. We can use touch to re pattern the flow of energy within ourselves and between ourselves and others. If touch was used to corrupt, as it is when it is part of abuse or trauma, a crucial part of re patterning the energy within the body and rehabilitating the individual, is touch. Touch can rehabilitate what touch corrupted. In hands-on work, through touching in different rhythms, through placement of attention within specific layers of the body, through noticing existing patterns of energy and suggesting new ones, and through changes in the pressure and quality of our touch, we can assist a person to come into alignment with the truest expression of themselves. If there is a mutual resonance between client and practitioner, both can embark on a discovery. In tandem, they can discover the primary energies and subsequent tissues through which the client restricts themselves and the primary energies and subsequent tissues through which the client expresses themselves. The energies and tissues can then be allowed to re-pattern themselves and recuperate in a way that is conducive to over all mental, physical and spiritual well-being. This has a profound effect on the consciousness of the individual and how that individual allows their consciousness to interact with the external world.
The conversation that took place on an energetic level and on a touch level between my nervous system and Norianna, had a profound effect on me. It was very difficult for me to let go and allow her to manipulate my body. It felt like reverting to a state of infancy, where I was at the mercy of what any adult wanted to do with my body. But the extreme gentle care of her movements allowed me to let go and be cradled by her. When the session ended, my nervous system had to re organize the way that it related to the world to such a degree that I was disorganized and disoriented. Disoriented enough that the Norianna had me crawl for two minutes on the office floor before trying to walk. After the session, I went to my favorite raw food restaurant (Omar’s Living Cuisine) and sat at the table allowing myself to drink water, eat the fresh, crisp greens in front of me and lose myself deep in both thinking and feeling. As I sat there, a spiritual truth that I have always been aware of moved from the realm of knowing to the realm of deep understanding. It sank into my being. It became part of me. And the spiritual truth is this… We do not get better by overriding or overcoming our difficulties. We get better by understanding and accepting them. When we understand things, we look deep enough to recognize that our difficulties arise from the past. They arise from conflicts that happened long ago. Conflicts that our system has developed defenses against, in the hopes that it will not happen to us again. These conflicts no longer exist. They exist in the imagination only. Our difficulties will have much less effect on us and we will no longer restrict the life that flows through us (by defending ourselves) when we realize that what we fear in the future, has already happened to us. It is over. It is not possible to feel a fear for something that has not yet happened to us. We are protecting ourselves from something that has already been done. In order to deal with the fear that has arisen as a result of that experience, we must revisit and surrender (let go of our defensive posture) to the original experience.
I used to value the will. I even got a tattoo on my arm that represents it. The tattoo is of the word Phaleg (written in the language I came to this life with). Phaleg means to overcome with strength of will. I thought that my incredible strength of will is what enabled me to survive the indescribable pain of my life. Now I see that surviving the pain of my life was not a gift. Many things are worse than death. Surviving the pain of my life and trying to hold it together for all these years, has been worse than death. Now I see that the will is a defense. When the will takes over and attempts to overcome, the experience and the human body and the soul are all simultaneously harnessed by the ego and led around by it, like a horse that has been “broken”. Will contradicts feeling; feeling which tells us that giving in and letting go and death, is the “downstream option”. Feeling tells us that letting go and surrendering and giving in is not resignation, instead it is the path of least resistance.
The lie we all believe is that will power makes you free. It doesn’t. It makes you a slave to the fear of being powerless. It makes you spend your life pulling against the powerlessness that is the truth of how you really feel. The greatest sense of freedom does not come from controlling action with strength of will. The greatest sense of freedom comes when our actions flow directly from feelings. Will interrupts this flow of energy. A river looses the flow of its freedom when it is dammed. The soul looses its freedom when the will impedes its movement.
We have been impeding the experience of and the movement of feeling for thousands of years. This is what human kind considers “civilized”. The primitive man experienced much more freedom, because he did not restrict his own life force by waging war between his will and his feelings. Ego did not therefore triumph over the spirit. Less destruction happened to his fellow man kind because the suppression of his being did not occur. The heinous crimes you see in today’s world are a result of suppression. Suppression that over time cannot be maintained, and thus results in an explosion ten times greater than the original expression would have been. We, people of the modern world suppress our feelings and hold ourselves back because we cannot mold ourselves into the current structure of our society and do anything other than this. And this mass suppression has resulted in a profoundly sick human society. When I was a child, being carted around from veterinary clinic to veterinary clinic, I often observed that animals in cages would turn against each other and fight one another when they could not direct their feelings of powerlessness and fear towards the cause of their imprisonment. They had lost freedom, but could not identify what caused that loss of freedom and why. And so, they took it out on each other. It is no different with humans today. We take our suppressed feelings of powerlessness and fear out on each other because we do not take the time to acknowledge and feel those feelings, identify the origin of those feelings and let go/surrender to the feelings enough to take down our defenses and thus experience a harmonious, unified world.
The denial of the right to express one’s feelings is an acute loss of freedom; a loss of freedom that society imposes on us and a loss of freedom that we then impose on ourselves. Freedom cannot be separated from self-expression. They are one in the same. Our need and journey towards health depends on one thing… more feeling. When feeling is strong, there is no confusion about one’s self. When feeling is strong, there is no confusion about desires and therefore direction and purpose in one’s life. It is immediately apparent. Decisions are made easily. Our feelings are like a north star. They will always lead us directly to the truth of ourselves.
We live in a culture that values being productive over being happy. We live in a culture that values individual achievement over communal harmony. We live in a culture that values thinking over feeling. But it is universal truth that being productive (doing) is only beneficial if it enhances happiness (being). Individual achievement is only beneficial if it enhances communal harmony. And thinking is only beneficial if it stems from and enhances feeling.