Various aspects of life and/or spiritual practice can often lead to an increased awareness of uncomfortable feelings. We get many messages about our feelings and most of them are that uncomfortable feelings are not good. Even people who “know better” may find themselves judging their feelings.
Uncomfortable feelings are often associated with uncomfortable thoughts. Sometimes a feeling can arise without a thought directly attached. Other times a specific memory or event is obviously influencing the feeling that one is experiencing. However a feeling arises, integration is beneficial. Integration allows you to fully experience feelings while benefiting from whatever message they are giving you so you can take conscious action if necessary. This is always about awareness and results in various forms of healing (i.e. emotional, past, physical, etc.).
In the moment a feeling surfaces in your awareness you may notice tension in the body, constriction in your throat or energy, a drain or sinking feeling, knot in the stomach, or any other variation that feels significant for you. We are each unique and the way feelings present for one may be different than another, but we can all develop awareness of feelings.
Truly, feelings are neutral signals. They bring awareness to areas that need healing. They may indicate past hurt we have experienced or done to another. They may indicate an in the moment perception of loss of power or well being. They can certainly relate to present moment experiences of physical or emotional anguish. Feelings just are. Notice any judgments you make about feelings and recognize them as judgments instead of absolute truth.
Initially it is helpful to notice feelings arise as soon as you begin to sense a differentiation in your awareness. You could be happily cooking dinner and your partner says something. You notice a variation in how you were feeling just before. It is likely that what you think about what he said is causing the variation, but don’t let yourself get caught there. The mind will always dissect the inner workings of itself when possible.
In order to integrate what you feel while noticing the thoughts around it begin to consciously breathe. Your breath is your direction connection to Life. Breathing consciously brings you into a more full awareness of what you are experiencing. Bring your attention to your breath. Really feel it come in and out of your body. This is a simple shift of attention, not something you do with great effort. Let it be effortless. As you focus on your breath, notice thoughts. Just notice them. As you focus more deeply into your body and how it feels you will notice a sense of integration begin. What you think and feel will stop opposing your being, your body as you witness. Go deeper into the inner body with your attention and begin to feel the life energy inside of you. Begin with your hands, move up your arms, shoulders, neck, head, down your chest, abdomen, legs. Now feel yourself whole. If you get distracted, re-focus on your breath. In and out, a little space between.
As you integrate what you are feeling you are acknowledging the signals you receive from your own awareness, whether that is the physical or emotional body. This may come in the form of past memories you did not consciously remember bringing about feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, shame, or remorse. The “stuff” coming up is doing so for liberation – so you can be free from the unconscious hold it has on you and your life.
Breathe life into the sensations and consider having gratitude for them. They are a part of you that you do not need to stuff, ignore, judge, or otherwise avoid. It is taking harmful or potentially harmful action from uncomfortable feelings that causes the havoc in our lives. Once you recognize the signals they are sending you can make choices about what to do in your life in relation to them. This allows you to free the past and move forward with intention backed through fully experiencing feelings and the signals they provide. In truth, feelings are gifts from your soul asking for integration.
If you are experiencing feelings or thoughts that you find overwhelming please talk with a trusted friend or other person who can assist. This is especially important if you feel inclined to take potentially harmful action from the feelings.
You may also be interested in Energy Healing and Emotions.