Posts Tagged ‘feeling’

A heady experience

May 11, 2010

I have a tendency to live life from my head.

When I feel an emotion in my body, I listen to my brain tell me what emotion it is and what it means. I let my brain tell me what I should or should not do about the emotion or the situation that I am responding to.

I am not so different from about 99.9% of other humans. We all ascribe meaning to our lives, using what our brains know about us, our individual histories, and what we have been taught. It is a useful mechanism. Our brains are always working to take care of us in some way. They save us from certain death. We feel fear when threatened by people with guns or knives or a mother bear protecting her cubs. The primordial response to flee is programmed into us and our brains need only issue one command: get us out of here.

How we might flee, however, and surviving the flight requires every resource within us. So, we may not stop at that moment and consider what the threat means to us. Later . . . later when we talk about how we survived and live that moment over and over in our heads, there will be all sorts of meaning and judgments. We will have more feelings about the situation. Our heads will label each feeling and give them definition and meaning.

On a more subtle level, our brains assess, label, define, and give meaning to nearly every feeling. Our hearts, our souls, our spirits experience a sensation that we always believe we must interpret somehow. We cannot ignore the advice our brains give us. A lot of it is very useful. As my friend, Laurie, at Speaking from the Heart, says the key would be to connect our thoughts and our judgment with our bodies and with our souls and then do just do the best we can. She uses much prettier words than I do, but that is the simple message I have received from her wisdom.

Since I have been following that wisdom along with all of the other intents I set to bring my true presence to life, I have had the wondrous experience of not living in my head at all for small moments at a time. I have felt my presence just be in my body and felt only wonder at the feeling of being present without thought. Incredibly, my head does not fight back for attention. In that moment, thought is suspended and all is quiet. And there is a particular awareness that this way of being is absolutely perfect.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The perception of presence

April 16, 2010

Don’t take anything personally.

This is the second agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements.

And he doesn’t just mean anything . . . he means everything.

When a person let’s go of taking everything (or anything) personally, they essentially let go of our sometimes snarky nature of being judgmental towards ourselves and others. We are trained at a very early age to please others to get our needs met, to receive affirmation, to know that we are accepted and loved. When someone praised us, we felt good. We had done a good job. We could consider ourselves good.

But when we did something that another person considered “bad,” we would not receive praise, but rather be reprimanded, rewards would be withheld, and we felt bad. Some of us even considered ourselves as being bad.

The key, Ruiz says, is to realize that another person’s judgment of you or your actions as “good” or “bad” is all about them and their perceptions. None of it is about you. Perception is just as much a presence in you as it is in others. You and I also perceive and judge our world from our personal perspectives.

When someone does something we like and it makes us feel good, we compliment them. We would like for them to do more of those things that we approve of and make us feel good. When we do this we have just given power and control over our feelings to them. Ditto for feeling bad about what other people do and say.

Just for one day, be mindful of the presence of perception in yourself and others. Be aware of what you feel when another says or does anything. Watch that little judgmental angel rise to the occasion and begin to label another’s actions or words. Pay attention to how that judgment makes you feel. Then change your perception. Pretend you are someone else who might think what that person did or said was good. Watch your feelings change as you change your perception.

“ . . . for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Hamlet, William Shakespeare

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass