I recommend starting each day by clearing out old feelings, making room to experience all the blessings the day holds. For over 13 years, as I walk into the kitchen to make tea, my morning ritual is to check in on what I am feeling.
When we do this, the first feelings that come up are usually so subtle they are hard to define, but not up to the bottom-line level of joy or happiness. After the subtler feelings release, frustrations, irritations and about a half-hour to an hour’s worth of feelings that are all over the fear spectrum come up. Just the act of experiencing a feeling releases the feeling out of our body. When the feelings are love-based, feeling them causes our bodymind to integrate them, reminding us of how wonderful life is.
Some of us may be more evening orientated. Feeling all the feelings that come up—just before going to sleep—unencumbers our dreams of the past day’s noise, freeing up our dream world to be creative instead of reactive. Feeling all those pesky feelings every morning (or night) liberates us from our past and frees us to live our own powerful stories.
With dozens of negative feelings gone, it’s like we have taken the trash out of the house. The noise in our bodymind ceases.
When We Don’t Feel Our Feelings
Most of us don’t stop and actually feel our feelings, causing a build-up of internal emotional pressure. The pressure that builds up in our bodymind compels our brain to generate thousands of toxic thoughts. The internal pressure from unfelt feelings also creates, by far, most of the pain we experience.
Because most people do not actually feel their feelings, the average person—based on many large studies of pet scans—generates 70,000 thoughts per day, almost all of them about the past or the future. The unresolved feelings that get triggered all during the day cause our brain to create hallucinations, one right after another.
We may be having a beautiful moment with our loved ones when an unresolved feeling gets triggered. If we don’t feel that feeling, the brain takes us back to the earliest time we didn’t handle that feeling well, often early childhood. The feelings and coping skills of that unresolved time get superimposed over what should have been a beautiful moment with our oved ones.
If that earlier time was when you were six-years old and felt so inadequate and self-conscious about not fitting in, all your coping skills revert to an inadequate six-year old who didn’t fit in. This gets overlaid over the beautiful day you were experiencing, and you are not really here. You are actually in a hallucination from your unresolved past.
We all hallucinate dozens of times every day and are mostly not aware of it. If we don’t feel the feeling that got triggered, we turn what would have been a beautiful experience into one of our old stories. Our old stories are rarely as wonderful as the present moment. All those stories are our baggage.
When we start off the morning—or end the evening—by feeling all the built-up feelings, we prime the pump to feel our feelings all during the day. When we commit to the third habit of feeling all our feelings, we often go for long periods without a single thought. We float along in the childlike joy, living in the present moment. Peace of mind and the blessings our spirit would like to bestow on us naturally float up into our awareness.