There are two main states we can experience at any time.
Contraction and expansion.
I don't know of a more simple explanation than this one to highlight how the language of our innate system communicates and interacts with its immediate environment and experience.
Contraction is the term I use for all the feelings that feel "bad". It has a sense of compression in our system, of pain, of something most of us want to get rid of, push down, ignore, bury or turn away from. We feel this when we are out of alignment with what is.
Expansion is the opposite feeling. It is one of freedom, lightness, flow, it is uplifting in its very nature, it feels closer to who are than contraction and it is a feeling of affirmation, peace or joy and acceptance. When we feel expansion we are in alignment with what is.
Contraction can be further explained as any feeling that is "negative" or limiting. Hate, fear, anger, sadness, jealousy, denial etc. A feeling that is in resistance to what is.
Expansion can be explained as feeling love, forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, peace, joy, gratitude, humility. Being in alignment with what is.
In working with people and witnessing the state of the world affairs at large, it is not uncommon for people to be cut off from their feelings. We often misinterpret our feelings and have internally labelled a feeling as "good" when in fact, if we pay a little attention to them, the feeling they hold is not a pleasant or expanded feeling. It is contraction but we have turned away from it or mislabelled it to divert ourselves or cover it up.
An obvious example of this is how we misuse sex. When we explore the feelings we have about and during sex, although different for men and woman, it is often a feeling that stems from a primal and self serving feeling rather than one of connection, intimacy with self and partner, sharing, love and expansion. Many people use sex as a tool for releasing pent up emotion, to make themselves feel better or to give them a nicer feeling than the one they have at the time they started. Its always interesting when we really be with what is, rather than how we have trained our brains to interpret what is being felt into something else. It is like we don't want to feel the feeling for what it is so we label the feeling with a thought to cover up the truth. The more we explore our own inner world, the more of this we uncover in ourselves.
When we are cut off or detached from our feelings, or are so caught up in our minds, we don't even really feel or acknowledge these feelings until they are really loud. By really loud, I mean we experience something that makes us stop and listen, through illness or pain, sadness, grief or a circumstance that is quite intense. These feelings are a natural guide to which state we are in, in any given moment but we have taken ourselves away from them. Control has been given over to the mind which loves to create stories about our emotions and inflate and feed the stories we have already created.
This cycle keeps us in thought and away from being present with what is.
There is always a feeling to be experienced, the language of expansion or contraction is always present but we have taken ourselves away from our natural state of navigating the experience and made the mind our home. The mind does not understand the language of the universe, the language of words is "man made" and the wrong tool for the job.
Animals, plants, any living thing relates to the world by feeling. Animals can feel fear in a person and respond to those who are gentle and loving, children are the same. Animals follow incredible migration paths and food finding treks all on the felt sense. All on an internal guidance system which is natural to us ALL.
We have cut ourselves off from this natural form of communication or at best recognise and use it rarely.
Know that you are your own highest authority. Don't surrender your source of authority to something outside of you. But, rather, go within to see if the truth you've found is in harmony with the truth you find in your heart.
Take a moment now, to see if you can feel a slight feeling of contraction or expansion. What does it feel like?
Is it familiar?
Where is it in your body?
Use this navigation tool to be with what is happening at any given moment.
Finding out which state you are in is the first step.
The next step is how to move from contraction to expansion..keeping it simple.
There will be more on this to come in part 2.
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We operate with the most intelligent and efficient system there is.
We have a system of instant feedback within us that tells us at any given moment, what state we are in, what we are feeling.
If you are unaware of your thoughts, your feelings will tell you, the state you are in will let you know just what is going on.
Thought and feeling are intrinsically linked.
Here is the most obvious example I can give.
It is not meant to cause offence but serve as an obvious example.
A man has an arousing thought.
Immediately, his feelings change and depending on the strength of the thought, he begins to have an erection.
That is an outward display of a thought into action. It is instant.
I use this because there is an obvious physical reaction. Other reactions are inner and with a shift in attention we can see they are still quite obvious.
We have the same response to our own thoughts, although mostly somewhat less obviously physical but our bodies still react to what we think.
If we take the time to sit and relax and then think of a happy thought, we start to feel differently.
If we take the time to centre and tune into our inner world, and we have a sad thought, we start to feel differently again.
It is an instant feedback.
In this way, we have an obvious living and breathing laboratory at our disposal.
What we think has direct influence and consequence to how we feel.
If we are fearful, we will behave fearfully. We will feel tense, contracted, we will have physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, slight nausea, our pulse and heart rate is raised, our pupils dilate. These are symptoms most humans are used to on a regular basis as we see and feel fear in places where there is no threat at all.
I often ask people to become aware of how they are feeling when someone approaches them, do they feel expanded, do they feel relaxed, welcoming and warmly greet the stranger or do they become wary, slightly anxious, nervous, detach and worry about what this person wants from them?
Which one sounds like you?
Which would you rather experience?
We are so cut off from our emotions that most of us do not even realise the states we are in at any given moment. Our bodies literally have to scream at us with pain, or illness, or stress or anxiety or sadness or anger etc just to get our attention and by this time we are in crisis state.
If we take the time to notice our thoughts and notice what is happening in our bodies, we will be able to see how our thoughts create how we feel, then how we feel dictates how we behave and what we do.
If you are not being who you are, then who are you being?
If you are not behaving how you would like, or feeling how you would like, what are you doing about it?
Do you feel powerless, like you have no control? Do you react and cause drama and want to change...or is it someone else fault?
That's a big one, external blame, but that will be a subject for another day.
Keep your attention on what is happening inside of you, become an inner inquirer.
It is your experience you are improving, what better reason to look?
Start where you are now!