There Is Value In Consciously FEELING YOUR FEELINGs ?
The heart can think?
Feelings have intelligence?
"The idea that we can think with our hearts is no longer just a metaphor, but is, in fact, a very real phenomenon. We now know this because the combined research of two or three fields is proving that the heart is the major center of intelligence in human beings. Molecular biologists have discovered that the heart is the body's most important endocrine gland."
"In response to our experience of the world, it produces and releases a major hormone, ANF -- which stands for Atriol Neuriatic Factor -- that profoundly effects every operation in the limbic structure, or what we refer to as the "emotional brain." This includes the hippocampal area where memory and learning take place, and also the control centers for the entire hormonal system. And neurocardiologist have found that 60 to 65% of the cells of the heart are actually neural cells, not muscle cells as was previously believed."
Isn't It Crazy?
Do We Have To Feel?
Did you know that human beings have feelings all the time about everything? The feelings can be at low level of intensity, or high levels of intensity, but they are just feelings. If you have feelings all the time, isn't it crazy that after you have been through at least 14 years of education, you never once had a class about how to intelligently feel? Perhaps in a feelings-phobic culture this kind of education is maybe not so crazy. However, whether the culture accepts feelings or not, feelings are there, all the time, about everything. And this is not an exaggeration.
Do We Have To Talk About Your Feelings?
Putting words to feelings is not about everybody being free to scream or yell at any time of the day or night. You learn to put words to feelings for a very practical reason: feelings are your rocket fuel for your destiny. They are one of your internal resources, one that you have probably not been using. Do you want to know how to create change? Connect in with inner and outer resources that modern culture knows nothing about.
NO, your (emotions) are not valid!
Derrick Jensen does not distinguish between feelings and emotions, but we do!
What he describes here are emotions.
The distinction is explained below,
don't worry if you don't understand what we are talking about yet!
Map of Four Feelings
The Thoughtmap of 4 Feelings was created by Valerie Lankford.
We have been discovering that human beings have only four feelings: anger, sadness, joy, and fear, from which every other feeling or emotion is made.
The four primary feelings are like the primary colors from which all other colors can be made.
A feelings conversation does not have to be loud, twisted, or confusing! With internal experiential clarity about feelings the conversation can be clear, simple, and tremendously productive. Clearly communicating about your feelings and emotions establishes deep connections between people almost instantly. Learning how to clearly communicate your feelings and emotions does not take so long.
Some people ask about shame, or disgust.
Our research is showing that shame is a phantom emotional experience created by mixing together three of the core emotions:
We find that when a person unmixes their three emotions of shame into its component parts of anger, sadness, and fear, then the shame experience disappears immediately.
The same is true for jealousy, greed, guilt, envy, resentment, disgust, etc.
Only four feelings? That's it?
This is often great news, especially for men!
Clinton Callahan and Anne-Chloé Destremau were invited to the GEN Online Gathering (Global Ecovillage Network) on November 8-9, 2020. They talk feelings as a resource for connection and the practice of admitting the fears that block connection.
Take a look and enjoy!
'Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-happiness. I like being happy. I'm a pretty happy person. But when we push aside normal emotions to embrace false positivity, we lose our capacity to develop skills to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. I've had hundreds of people tell me what they don't want to feel. They say things like, "I don't want to try because I don't want to feel disappointed." Or, "I just want this feeling to go away."
Only dead people never get stressed, never get broken hearts, never experience the disappointment that comes with failure. Tough emotions are part of our contract with life. You don't get to have a meaningful career or raise a family or leave the world a better place without stress and discomfort. Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life.'
In one way or another, each of us has been wounded. In order to develop the matrix of consciousness upon which our being can grow, our childhood innocence must in some manner and at some point in time be taken away from us. Whether the destruction of our innocence was brutal and extended, or precise and swift, does not so much matter. What matters is that, at some point, like now, we gain the clarity about what happened to us from the perspective of a bigger picture about the process we are involved in. What is important is that we come to understand the necessity, value and use of shattered innocence.
Innocence may be shattered through being betrayed, abandoned, or abused, through losing something you cherish or being stuck with something you hate. One person’s innocence is shattered by being born prematurely and living their first three months in a plastic incubator. Another person’s innocence is shattered by being sent to public school when they are five years old. Someone else’s innocence is destroyed by the psycho-emotional terrors perpetrated on their family by an alcoholic father or a choleric mother, by a disease or an accident requiring surgery, by being sexually molested or by someone close suddenly dying, by natural disaster or the effect of war.
Whatever exactly happened to you, whatever story you produce about what happened, the consequence of the wounding will be the same at the moment of the wounding as it is now, even if the wounding was lifetimes ago. The result of the wounding will be objective, having the same result from person to person. The result of your wounding is a broken heart.
Old Thoughtmap Of Feelings
Why even talking about feelings - let along experiencing and expressing them - is so uncomfortable? Well, the culture that most of us has been born and bread in (Modern culture) has hammered into us that there are three BAD feelings which are anger, sadness and fear, and one GOOD feeling: joy, of course. :)
So whenever we feel one of the BAD feelings, we think something is wrong with us. Don't we?
When we feel angry, we believe (or others think of us) that we are aggressive, out of control, dangerous, loud, crazy, hysterical, we create conflict, we destroy everything, ... If we feel sad, we believe we are weak, or we look bad and are not attractive, that it will be painful and heavy, and we are broken and a burden, ... When we feel fear, we think again that we are weak, so we cannot be professional or strong, we are paralyzed, and fear is anyway not rational, out of control, unattractive, outrageous, ...
What about joy? Can we even feel really happy? If we walk down the street feeling 80% happen, they might think that we are crazy, on drugs, childish, stupid, too girly, bubbly, superior, heartless, or maybe that we want attention... It seems that we are not even allowed to feel joy...
It seems like our culture teaches us that IT IS NOT OKAY TO FEEL. That it is a design error from God and that when we might feel something then we conclude rapidly that we should stop feeling straight away.
This is a huge handicap for actually living life....
Map of Maps
This is an experiment (4FEELING.04). The experiment cannot be true or false. However, an experiment can be useful or not. The question then becomes: Is this experiment useful for you?
The experiment is to do exactly what Galileo did when he proposed the new map of the world: to shift the map of the world from a flat map to a round one.
The experiment is to create a new map for the same territory: the territory of feelings. We started with the Old map that told us that feelings are bad and are not okay to feel. Now let's see if we can create a new map that would give us more possibilities, freedom, awareness, diversity and knowledge. Let's assume that feelings are neutral information and energy and are neither good not bad.
This is changing our thought-map, the maps with which we think with.
New Thoughtmap Of Feeling
Let's try this. The New Map of Feeling starts with the assumption are NOT good or bad (!), but NEUTRAL source of information and energy.
The idea is when you know what you feel, you know in which direction you are steering in your LIFE. Each feeling has its own unique information and energy that is your own rocket fuel to fulfill your Destiny. Pretty cool huh?
So, what can you create with those feelings?
With anger you can start, stop and change things, you can say no/yes, say stop, say what you want and what you don't want, make boundaries and distinctions, make decisions and hold commitment, etc (and a lot lot more!)
With sadness, you can be with, be empathic, clean out, grieve, let go of things or people, be vulnerable, be loved and love, accept, appreciate, connect, and bond.
With fear, you can look out, be attentive, be careful, make safe choices, try new things, be awake, be present, ask dangerous questions, ... (check out this)
With joy, you can inspire, be inspired, motivate, lead, research and discover, leap over obstacles, bring people together, have energy, give energy, ...
These are your resources to fulfill your Destiny and be who you are! Just that.
Some Essential Distinctions
There are a few essential distinctions you need when starting to explore the territory of feelings so it makes more sense.
The level of your numbness bar establishes your threshold of awareness to your feelings. Any feeling that is less intense than the level of your numbness bar may not be experienced at all. The combination of idealizing a pain-free hero cut off from his or her feelings and a pain-free modern life cut off from chores pushes our collective numbness bar to its highest point in the two hundred thousand–year history of Homo sapiens.
You can only use your feelings if you can feel them!! To feel your feeling, you will have to lower your Numbness Bar.
There is a distinction between feelings and emotions. Without this distinction, any feelings initiation will be confusing and mostly ineffective. Emotions are not feelings and feelings are not emotions, even if they feel the same in our bodies.
You can know that it is an emotion when it lasts more than 3 minutes in your system. Have you ever been angry for an hour, an entire day, or even a week after a conversation with someone? That was an emotion.
Emotions are useful for healing things.
Feelings arise in the present and provide information and energy to use immediately. After using the feelings consciously, they disappear completely.
A feeling lasts between 3 to 5 min maximum.
Feelings are useful for handling things.
Conscious and Unconscious Feelings
10 Distinctions for Conscious Feelings
Map of Phase 1 & Phase 2 of Feelings Work
Every new skill has a Phase 1 & Phase 2. Feelings work is no exception! Phase 1 of Feelings work is to learn how to feel, Phase 2 is to learn how to use our feelings consciously. You cannot do Phase 2 before doing Phase 1. Start with Phase 1.
Map of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Feelings Work.
Feelings work is about growing up and becoming responsible.
We work with our feelings not as an end but as an mean to an end.
Feelings serve us in our professional and personal lives, we work with them so the dreams, vision and projects inside of us can break through and blossom.
The feeling are inexhaustible energy and destroy all blocks so that we can be our Destiny in action.
'Hurting' your own feelings...?
Phase 1: Experiments and Practices
Matrix Code 4FEELING.07
Including feelings in your conversations is a big step towards growing up and becoming a responsible adult. Feelings serve you in your professional and personal life. This experiment is about learning to communicate your feelings.
During your weekly possibility team, at work with your colleagues, or within your friends or family circle, introduce and use the sentence "I feel 'mad/sad/scared/glad' about ... because ...". Doing so lowers the numbness bar and therefore raises the level of vulnerability and connectedness in the community.
You can do so by proposing the following experiment for people to check-in or share 'how they are' by using the 4 feelings instead of a simple "I am good". Be ready to take the leap of being the first one to show how it is done. You would be surprised how many people are willing to play!
Bonus experiment: after a week of check-ins within a circle, introduce the % of feelings. For example: "I feel 6% scared that my glass of water is going to fall on my computer".
After creating a sharing ritual within one of your circles, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.07 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Point.
Matrix Code 4FEELING.08
Feelings are neutral source of information and energy. Each feeling has its own unique information and energy that is your own rocket fuel to fulfill your Destiny. This experiment is about reconnecting to each one of the 4 feelings.
These are your doctor's orders: for 2 weeks, each morning during breakfast, place 4 objects in front of you (cup of coffee, car keys, knife, sugar, post-it, your possibility stone, your watch, a ring, ...). Each object represents one of the 4 feelings, give each one 3 minutes of space.
Look at the first object and say either out loud or to yourself: "Hello anger. What do you have for me today?" and listen. Your anger will provide you with information that you need for the day.
Look at the second object and say either out loud or to yourself: "Hello sadness. What do you have for me today?" and listen. Your sadness will provide you with information that you need for the day.
Look at the third object and say either out loud or to yourself: "Hello fear. What do you have for me today?" and listen. Your fear will provide you with information that you need for the day.
Look at the fourth object and say either out loud or to yourself: "Hello joy. What do you have for me today?" and listen. Your joy will provide you with information that you need for the day.
After doing this experiment for 2 weeks, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.08 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Point.
Matrix Code 4FEELING.09
Here is an eye-opening experiment about feelings from the domain of Radical Responsibility. Read and think along with this conversation between a trainer and a client.
Trainer: “What do you think about this pencil?”
Client: “I think the pencil is yellow, has bite marks, and needs to be sharpened.”
Trainer: “Thank you. What do you feel about this pencil?”
Client: “I feel like I would rather use my pen instead of that pencil.”
Trainer: “That is a thought, not a feeling. I am asking what you feel about the pencil, not what you would prefer to do or not do with the pencil. There are four feelings: anger, sadness, joy and fear. In your statement there is a hidden feeling. Find your feeling and try again. What do you feel about this pencil?”
Client: “I feel angry about this pencil because they made me use a pencil like that in English class and I hated my English teacher for not explaining things so I could understand them.”
Trainer: “Thank you. Could you feel scared about this pencil?”
Client: “Yes. I could feel scared about this pencil because I have a black scar in my finger where I once fell on a pencil like that and it jabbed me. That pencil could hurt me.”
Trainer: “Thank you. Could you feel glad about this pencil?”
Client: “Yes. I could feel glad about this pencil because I love the way pencil wood smells. It is cedar like they used to make the wooden arrows that I practiced with during summer camp where I had so much fun.”
Trainer: “Thank you. Could you feel sad about this pencil?”
Client: “Yes. I could feel sad about this pencil because I wrote my first love letter with a pencil like this to a girl who already had a boyfriend and she decided to stay with him and not come to me. After that I did not try to have another girlfriend for ten years.”
Trainer: “Thank you. So let me review what we just did. I asked you what you thought about this pencil and you told me what you thought. Then I asked you what you felt about this pencil and you said that you felt angry. Then I asked you if you could feel scared about the pencil and you said yes. Could you really feel it? Was it a real feeling?”
Client: “Yes. I could really feel the fear.”
Trainer: “Then I asked you if you could feel glad about the pencil and you said yes, and sad and you said yes.”
Client: “Yes, and I could really feel those feelings too.”
Trainer: “So let me get this straight. I showed you an object. I selected a pencil to use for this experiment, but it could have been any object. You said that you could feel mad, sad, glad or scared about this object. Could you feel all four feelings about any object?”
Client: “I guess so. I never thought about it before. Yes, I probably could.”
Trainer: “Where do your feelings come from?”
Client: “I create the experience of my feelings myself according to the story I tell myself about the object. Each different story creates a different feeling. To change my feeling all I need to do is change my story about the object. This is astonishing!”
Trainer: “As we began this experiment with the pencil you said that you felt angry about the pencil. Now we see that you could have felt angry, sad, glad or scared about the pencil. But you arranged to feel angry first. If we had stopped the experiment at that point you would have concluded that you actually felt angry about the pencil. But we kept going and you felt all four feelings. Of the four feelings, why did you choose to feel angry first?”
Client: “The anger is my first defense. People say I get angry easiest. If I am angry about something then I do not have to take responsibility for it. It is someone else’s fault. I get to persecute everybody else. It is very safe and normal for me to feel angry first.”
Radical Responsibility with regards to feelings starts when you declare, “I create my feelings. I do not feel a feeling because of any external experience or circumstance. I feel a feeling because I unconsciously create a story that allows me to feel this feeling to best serve my BOX's survival strategies.”
For the next 3 days, pick an object for each day and do this experiment until you feel all 4 feelings about the object.
After finishing this experiment, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.09 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Point.
Matrix Code 4FEELING.10
This thirty-minute partner exercise is done once or twice a week for as many weeks as you wish. It’s a simple, safe and effective way to learn to consciously feel. Ask a friend of someone from your Possibility Team to do this practice together, it builds strong connection.
After doing this experiment for 4 weeks, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.10 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 2 Matrix Points.
Matrix Code 4FEELING.11
Anger is the energy of boundaries, it is often the first feeling that is turned on so that we can use it to create our safe personal space to feel the other feelings. There are huge blocks in modern culture about feeling consciously angry, especially for women.
This experiment is about rewiring all of your Bodies to get used to the energy of Anger.
For 3 minutes, 3 times a week, for the duration of 3 months, be consciously angry. This is how long it takes to change your nervous system.
You can find the complete instructions with illustrations about the 3-3-3 process right here!
After 3 months of doing 3-3-3 with Anger, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.11 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 3 Matrix Points.
Phase 2: Experiments and Practices
Here is an example of the conscious use of feelings by the founders of the Extinction Rebellion in Oxford Circus on April 15th 2019:
“We gather and rebel not with a vision of a fairy-tale future where we have fixed the climate, but because it is right to do what we can. To slow the change. To reduce the harm. To save what we can. To invite us back to sanity and love. The truth is we are scared and we are brave enough to say so. The truth is we are grieving and we are proud enough to say so. The truth is we are traumatised and we are open enough to say so. We are angry and we are calm enough to say so and invite others to join us.”
Matrix Code 4FEELING.12
Not knowing what you want indicates that you are trying to figure out what you want in your mind and not letting your anger give you the neutral information and energy to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, to decide here and now, to follow your intuition. You are simply not angry enough. You want to decide, raise your anger, and let it speak. Anger is clarity. Anger will tell you if it is a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’.
After finishing your first Introduction to Rage Club, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.12 in your free account at StartOver.xyz, and then join a full 4-week Rage Club series.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Point.
Matrix Code 4FEELING.13
The purpose of Fear Club is to learn how to consciously experience your fear, utilise its creative - and intelligent - energy and information, so you can navigate to the edges of your world and into the alive unknown field of Possibility and Invention.
After finishing your first Introduction to Fear Club, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.13 in your free account at StartOver.xyz, and then join a full 4-week Fear Club series.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Point.
Matrix Code 4FEELING.14
“He turned and looked at me…and this is what he said: ‘My heart is broken. I never want it to mend.’
"I carried those two sentences around for years without understanding a word. It came to me slowly that this was more than him talking about the movie or about how he felt. This was a prayer. Blue was praying for a broken heart. I have never heard anyone do that, not before and not since. Most everyone prays for their heart to mend, to get on with their lives, to have no broken heart at all, a grief-free or grief-contained life. He was praying for what almost no one else wants. He knew so many vast things about human life, about how we are, in the face of mayhem and sorrow.
"He taught me well, and I’ve seen it hundreds of times in my work in the death trade, how so many of us believe in amnesia, how getting over hard things is so much like forgetting them. He knew—probably he knew this from a young age—that remembering means gathering back together again something that was once whole and has been scattered, and that the human heart was built to break, and that feeling that heartbreak each time is remembering again the deep things of life that need remembering.
"He knew that heartbreak is something like the orphaned or disowned sibling of love. So he was willing to know sorrow, that older brother of love, and he prayed for it, so that no passage of time would heal over his memory and his ability to love how life is. He was my first teacher and still the most able in the skill of broken heartedness (361-362).
"The antidote for depressions is sadness, and it is sadness that must be taught. To be heartbroken isn’t a diagnosis. It’s a skill ….You don’t learn about these things in order not to have to do them, or to be able to quit doing them. You learn these things so you can do them well." (p. 298-300)
From: Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul. Stephen Jenkinson. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2015.
This experiment is about reconnecting to your personal territory of conscious sadness. For the next week, each day spend 15-20 minutes practicing being broken hearted. Sometimes do this alone, sometimes do this in the arms of someone who can hold space for you to practice being broken hearted (Afterwards they may want you to do the same for them...) Each time find a different doorway into your deep sadness (Archetypal Sadness) of brokenheartedness and go further and further into it. The territory of sadness is a rich source of aliveness. The territory is inside of you. It is yours.
Doorways to brokenheartedness can be from the past (you could never really connect with your brother, or your father, you have remorse about a past relationship), from the present (so many refugees are being forced from their homes, so many soldiers only live to fight, so many businessmen are hollow inside, so many children are not supported to be themselves in school) or the future (Gaia and the ecosystems of Earth are becoming less and less able to continue supporting a diversity of species on Earth, your children are having their future stolen from them), etc. There is plenty to be broken-hearted about.
After doing this experiment for a week, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.14 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Point.
Matrix Code 4FEELING.15
Everyone has a pattern of emotional reaction, jumping from one emotion (anger, sadness, fear or joy) to the next, or mixing them without feeling all four feeling unmixed. An experience and communication is complete when you feel all four feeling unmixed about one experience. During the Feelings Cycle Process, you start bringing awareness to your emotional reaction pattern. It is also a fantastic process to learn how to consciously feel a low and medium intensity of all four feelings to have completed experience and communication.
Bring this experiment to your next Possibility Team meeting.
It is done in pairs, one person is the spaceholder and the other is the client. Each client gets 15 minutes to go through the Feeling Cycle.
The client starts anywhere on the cycle, you can take the first biggest feeling, then let the pattern unfold.
The first part of the experiment is to simply notice the usual pattern. The spaceholder coaches the client to stay with the feelings, and takes notes of the cycle.
For the second part of the experiment start again and try to go through the complete cycle, twice. The spaceholder can have the map of feelings cycle and coaches the client to go through it.
After doing this experiment, please register Matrix Code 4FEELING.15 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Point.