Saturday, January 14, 2006

Jan. 14: When We Feel Bad, 1: Sense

We all have moments when we feel bad. Good. That’s part of life. Rather than getting in a huff about it, all we have to know how to do is to have some skills and tools and options available to us when we feel bad. Here’s the first one: go back to the now of sensing ourselves. Sense where we are in relation to gravity.

How will that help us feel better?

Well, the goal isn’t to instantly feel better. It’s to have our lives rather than being had by our feelings. Feelings can be absurd ( being afraid that someone doesn’t like us when they frown, and they were really frowning because of heartburn), or they can be indicators of something we should pay attention to ( feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough in our lives, when getting out and walking more or talking to more people isn’t exactly what would be good for us), but when they control us, we aren’t really free either to enjoy ourselves or to make changes that might make our life better.

So, to make sense of life: sense. Where is gravity. What is holding us up? Sitz bones? Feet? Back? A combination? If we aren’t in outer space, we are being held to the earth by gravity. This is part of the Life on Earth deal. To notice that at any given moment is a sweet and important connection back into the real world.

Reality heals, that kind of reality.

And then there is the parts of us that are “feeling bad.” Usually it’s mainly a bunch of words, but there are also physical parts to “feeling bad,” such as a constriction in the chest area, or a tightening of breathing, or a teary feeling in the eye areas. Whatever that is, can we sense that, too? Along with gravity.

And then sense the five lines of ourselves: our two arms and our two legs and our pelvis-spine-head line. To sense all these five and our relation to gravity and the part of us that is “feeling bad” begins to bring everything into perspective. We are alive. We have arms and legs to move and interact with the world, a pelvis-spine-head to coordinate all this and help us orient in gravity.

In short, we are alive and a miracle that has a part of us that “feels bad.” Okay, that’s fine. What else can we do about feeling bad?

Get interested in the sensations of the “feeling bad” part. How big are they compared to the arms and legs and central axis:? Are they a round shape, or cylindrical. If “painful” what kind of pain. Sharp, dull, cold, hot, tight, jaggedly. Feel what’s there and feel the whole self.

And then sense the breathing.

Ah, then we are alive. Then we are interested in what it this now of life is all about. Then we are free, or well on the way to freedom.


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