If someone asked you how you feel right now, would you be able to tell them? Would you be able to not only grasp your innermost feelings, but also put them into words?
I avoid myself. I see my feelings and blink them away. I pretend I do not feel them at all, because to feel them wholly, to sit with them, would mean to acknowledge them and that requires action of the kind I usually so very much want to avoid.
But if we refuse to acknowledge how we feel daily, we deny ourselves a truly authentic existence, and more than that we fail in our efforts to be our own best friend if we so utterly refuse to listen to that which needs to be heard.
And so today I want to introduce you to a very short ritual I recently encountered in my counselling class and have started to include in my own Miracle Morning Hour. A tiny ritual designed to both encourage you to both check in with your feelings, and more than that to sit with them for a while. To acknowledge them wholly and gently formulate a plan to take the kind of actions those feelings demand if we are to grow towards our very own sun.
In class you see, we start each session with a moment of closed eye silence, then follow this up by taking turns to talk about how we are. In the beginning we would allow a flood of thoughts to spill out, or declare with all the hard-faced lies of those to seek to deceive themselves, that we were OK. But as the term moved on, we were encouraged to dig deeper, to tell our own truth, and to describe not the circumstances of our woes or joys, but the feelings those circumstances inspired.
And you know what? It is hard. While we may be adept at describing what has happened to us, to acknowledge out loud how we truly feel about those turns of events is harder than you would imagine it would be because we are so very used to burying that which might be ugly, too painful or worse than all of that, too true. But from this kind of uncomfortable truth, we allow ourselves permission to grow away from that which hurts. To recognize what needs to be done and to see that once we have acknowledged our own truth, it simply isn’t possible, nay it is borderline wicked, to shove it back down and bury it deep.
So today I want you to think about who you could be if each and every morning you acknowledged your own feelings. If you took ten minutes to sit quietly and face yourself.
Begin then by committing to doing this tiny ritual at the same time every morning. Creep downstairs before the rest of the house wakes up and make a coffee, then wrap yourself in something cosy, and sit straight-backed in an armchair. For a moment or two, or indeed for as long as you feel necessary, try to think of nothing. Open up the space in your head and heart in order to be able to have a good root through all that you have tucked away there, when you finally open your eyes, and when you do take a few deep breaths and write the words “I feel…” on the first line of a new page in your journal.
Then write. Don’t stop to think about what you are writing. Indeed allow yourself to be astonished by your truth. Just write until you have described that feeling, and then start a new paragraph with the words “I feel…” at the start and repeat the process over and over until you are done.
IF you decide at this point to rip out the pages and bin them in case anyone else should see them, then that is ok. These are not words designed for prosterity. They are merely the conduit through which you are releasing all that is flooding your veins and once they are spoken out loud, or indeed written down, you can look at them objectively, acknowledge them and make plan to use them as a springboard for a life less ordinary.
This then is a daily gift to yourself and as you practise it you will instinctively start to confront all that is buried and find yourself with the tools to change what isn’t serving you and treasure all that is precious.