Most of us assume we feel life as it's happening. But actually, the majority of us don't. Not really. At least, not fully.
That's because most of us are living life almost completely from the lens of our minds. And when we're living from mind, there's not a whole lot of feeling going on.
We may not realize this, since we often mistake thinking for feeling. But thinking--even thinking about a feeling--is actually very different from feeling.
In fact, more often than not the reason we're so full of thoughts is precisely because we don't want to feel. Thoughts are the ultimate distraction from having to feel all of our unwanted feelings.
You might argue that if you're thinking about something you must be feeling the emotions that accompany the thought as well, but that's not actually true. Thinking is a mind thing, while feeling is a heart thing.
Feeling keeps us grounded in the now, while thinking keeps us out of this moment, hashing and rehashing a past and future that don't even exist right now.
It's not that we do this consciously. And it's certainly not that we don't want to feel the happy and joyful parts of life. But when we make the unconscious decision not to feel the unpleasant parts of life, we don't usually realize that we're also cutting ourselves off from feeling the pleasant parts of life too. Because once we've wired ourselves not to feel, the good, the bad and the ugly all get filtered out together.
What that ultimately translates into is the rather miserable condition of being lost in the mind, living life at an arm's length away. When we spend our lives almost completely in mind, we're living in a bubble world. And when we're living in a bubble world, we're cut off from our real, authentic self, and from the sense of life's natural rhythm, flow and oneness.
Everything we haven't been willing to feel our whole lives doesn't just magically evaporate just because we refused and continue to refuse to feel it. It gets uncomfortably log-jammed inside of us, just waiting for its chance to rise to the surface and have its day in the light.
This is the stuff that eventually starts to feel like the weight of the world on our shoulders, as it continues to compress and compact in upon itself.
When we open up to feeling after years or decades of living in the mind, there's usually a stockpile of previously unfelt "gunk" waiting for most of us to acknowledge and make peace with. It can seem overwhelming--but it's not.
Unpleasant, painful and difficult as it might be to finally face and feel it, being able to feel this "gunk" is actually a blessing. It's the doorway back to our true self, and to an authentic life that is a direct expression of this self.
When we come out of the mind and reclaim that feeling-ness of being again, only then can we see what we've been missing out on by confining ourselves to the small bordered territory of the mind. And what we often find is a gratitude, a joy, just to be feeling something, anything at all. Even the gunk is appreciated--and that's just the gunk.
Just a gal experimenting with what it means to live outside of mind.
Read more about Notes to Self, the "manual" on living beyond mind.