A half eaten raw red pepper lies next to me on the bed this morning. It has created a tiny pink stain against the white of the bed sheets in this West London hotel. I have come here to London (as part of a small European tour) to give a series of talks at The Mind Body Spirit London Festival. After London, I am off to Berlin, Geneva, Aix-Les-Bains and the Czech Republic.
It has been an unsettling trip so far. After the most turbulent trans Atlantic flight I’ve ever taken, I ended up in a spontaneous out of body experience last night. I went into the memories of a thought form that was stuck in this area of London. It was not the memories of a person this time, but a dog. My fur was black and white. I was running on all fours in a state of terror, mostly as a result of the screaming and unsettling instinctual reactions of the people around me. In no predictable pattern, bombs were being dropped from airplanes in the air and the shrapnel sprayed violently from each explosion. The external chaos perfectly mirrored the feeling of shock and terror that I felt. I had no thoughts about what was occurring. Instead, I felt at the mercy of my body, which screamed for escape. But there was nowhere to hide. Once the attacks subdued, I followed the taste of the familiar scent trail back to the shop where my human master worked. But as I approached the doorway, I could see him laying face down about five feet from his shop. He had been killed in the attack. I could tell by my nose that he was not there in his body anymore. I felt like something in me stopped working. I felt desperate to find him, but I didn’t know where to look. So, I laid down by him and placed the bottom of my chin on his body. The smell of his cologne burnt my eyes. But the familiarity of the burn felt wanted. When I came back into my body, I could still smell the cologne. I could still feel the trauma of loss.
I have often observed that extrasensory gifts seem to only become activated by pain. When was the last time you heard of someone empathically tuning into someone else’s joy? When was the last time you head of someone being pulled out of body so that they can have fun? When was the last time you heard of someone running into a happy ghost? The reason it sucks to be empathic is that you pick up on everyone else’s pain. The reason it sucks to be clairvoyant is that you see the imprints of trauma everywhere you look. The reason it sucks to be an astral traveller is that you are called out of body to assist people who are suffering. As a result, it becomes very, very hard to feel like Earth is a good place to be. And these places (London more so than any of them) that have been graced by trauma again and again over the centuries, become imprinted by pain. The residual thought form left here by the dog who was caught in the WW2 bombing is a perfect example. Upon waking, I intentionally went back into the thought form and took it through a process of internal de-manifestation.
After attending the business meeting I have committed to today, I have decided to take my aching heart out to a park today. Each time I have come to London, I have TRIED to enjoy it here. I have felt desperate to make it feel different than it feels. This time, I am tired of trying. Resident in that trying is a resistance to the way things are here. As an extrasensory and as the leader of an authenticity movement, I find London to be the most painful city I’ve ever visited. London has become my ‘shadow totem city’ so to speak. And I have decided to practice allowing that to be the case. There is something about my relationship to this city that feels fated. As some might say, there is karma here that is too heavy to escape. And even if the cognitive understanding of that karma is absent, it is felt like a vapor in the veins. Ultimately, all I have are fragile theories as to WHY I continue to be drawn here. But obviously, without a reason, I would not be here. So, I am practicing the art of submitting to that greater reason while I am here. I am approaching the city with curiosity, waiting for that reason to reveal itself in time.
The way I am feeling being back here has caused me to think about feeling good and feeling bad. It is normal to want to feel good. Our basic survival instinct is to shy away from pain and go towards pleasure. This is not in and of itself a problem. This instinct in and of itself does not cause suffering. Suffering is caused when instead of going towards pleasure, we resist the pain. And yet this is what we have done with emotion itself.
A while ago, I did an Ask Teal video where I said that I want you to imagine that in the back of your head, there is a control switch, like a light switch on a wall. Except instead of light and dark, this control switch controls good and bad. This switch is designed to be triggered and switch on whenever you encounter something that you have judged as bad. If you register something as bad, you register it as a threat. So when this switch goes on because it thinks it is encountering something bad, your body responds to that threat by going into fight or flight mode. You either try to escape or fight with that thing. Escaping from something and or fighting with something is an attempt to CONTROL that thing, yourself or the course of events to follow.
The problem is, when we judge certain emotions as bad, this control switch is triggered by those emotions. It is essentially an emotional control switch. We immediately try to control these emotions by escaping from them or fighting with them. The thoughts we think about the emotion we are having, cause us to immediately add emotion to emotion and this is like adding kerosene to a fire that is already blazing. No matter what we do to feel better, nothing works.
The way to know that you emotional control switch has turned on is that you will start to feel bad about feeling bad. For example, you’ll feel angry about feeling depressed or anxious about feeling anxious or afraid about feeling anger or sad about feeling depressed. You will also immediately revert to all of the emotional control strategies that are linked to that control switch such as: Drinking alcohol, reading a book, going running, eating, shooting up heroine, distracting yourself, obsessively writing affirmations, positively focusing, arguing with and contradicting your negative thoughts, all of which are an attempt to make the emotion go away because you have judged it as bad.
This is the reason that it doesn’t work to positively focus negative emotion away. Control in and of itself is resistance. So, the minute positive focus becomes a tool of maintaining control, it now serves as resistance instead of allowing or deliberate creation.
Our emotions work like quick sand. When we struggle against them, we end up drowning in them. If we are in a situation where we feel like nothing ever works and like we will never feel better no matter how hard we try, it is because we are approaching our life from that very angle… that we must feel better because negative emotion is not ok. Anxiety is not ok, anger is not ok, sadness is not ok, grief is not ok. The way we feel is bad and so it has to change. We think thoughts like, “what have I done to deserve this? or what is wrong with me? or I wish I didn’t feel like this or I can’t handle this or why am I like this or the very worst… I shouldn’t feel like this.” Painful emotions only become chronic (as in nothing you do ever works to make you feel better) if your emotional control switch is switched on and as such you are in resistance to the emotion you feel. This is the difference between temporary discomfort and long-term suffering.
Outside, a tree is blooming a cruel color of red. The branches, heavy with blossoms, are being tossed about in the chilly, grey wind. The agitated taxis speak to one another on the street adjacent to the hotel. As per usual, I have packed poorly for the weather here. I have been here enough times to wonder if my terribly impractical packing is some kind of subconscious defiance, or if it is just that I get carried away with my love of beautiful things when I get around to packing my suitcase. Either way, preferring form to function, the cold has made its way into my bones. But instead of fight with that cold, I am letting it speak to me. I am letting it say what needs to be said.