‘I can’t feel anything’

I have several clients who have trouble connecting with their feelings, yet harbour a deep yearning to feel more. They’re warm, personable people, but at some level they’ve cut off from a depth of feeling within themselves. This has often left them feeling starved and like there is something wrong with them.

The other extreme, being on a rollercoaster of emotional crises and dramas though is not the answer. Fortunately, connecting with feelings does not mean ‘being emotional’. In fact feelings and emotions are experientially different things, as outlined in Samuel Sagan’s book Regression: Past-Life Theory for Here and Now Freedom.

Feelings and emotions

In Sagan’s model, emotions are fairly basic and limited in range, and most importantly take you out of yourself. Think of road rage for example! Feelings on the other hand, connect you deeply with yourself, they take you inside. Like awe, vulnerability, wonder and joy, feelings are infinitely more varied and subtle.

The other evening, I was watching a glorious sun setting as a full moon rose on the opposing horizon. I was so moved by the experience and grateful for being on earth that tears came to my eyes. Feelings like this can take you into a deep sense of Being or Oneness.

Here are 5 ways to feel more…

1. Feel safe

This is the first thing I ensure clients experience when they can’t access their feelings. People often cut off from their feelings early in life for a reason – perhaps the domestic world around them was out of control and unsafe, or perhaps feelings just weren’t allowed to be expressed in the home.

Whatever the reason, it’s important for you to be in a place where you can be yourself, and know that things aren’t going to fall apart or explode around you if you start experiencing your bottled up rage, grief etc. It’s important to feel that something or someone is there to hold you.

2. Be present in your body

It’s almost impossible to feel things if you are not present with yourself. So start with your body. Where is it rigid, fluid, painful, soft? Become aware of the sensations in your body, experience them, even the uncomfortable ones and notice how they change as you stay with them.

Don’t try to to change them, or do anything with them, just take the time to be open and receptive to what is already going on. And I can promise you, plenty of stuff is always going on inside!

3. Let go of your chatter

The mind can find an unlimited number of reasons why it’s not a good idea or dangerous to feel things. So an essential step is moving your awareness out of the relentless chatter. This is not about fighting your thoughts, but letting your awareness dwell in a different standpoint which is where meditation can help.

Give yourself time to be still, relax, have a bath, whatever helps you loosen the grasping nature of your thoughts.

4. Express yourself!

Creative and right brain pursuits are happy friends to feelings. Whether it’s through painting, playing piano, dancing or writing – express what’s going on inside you in a way that feels most natural to you.

Let the good, the bad, and the ugly come through. Nothing is ‘wrong’. Moving your body can help a lot too, doing anything vigorously shakes things up inside.

5. Find the moment of disconnection

Ultimately, if you feel separate from your feelings, you need to re-visit when this disconnection happened in your life. In an ISIS session, using a process called sourcing, we’d look into when this initial cutting off occurred. There may be a specific point in time when you decided (somewhat unconsciously), ‘That’s it, I’m going to have to grow up, be responsible etc.’, and effectively cut off from your feelings.

In the deep meditation-like space of the session, I would hold you in this moment, helping you to feel the fear or whatever it was that drove you to make this decision. Only then, can something really change at a ‘root’ level, in other words, for good. You can start to see that there is another option now, and you needn’t be locked into this exhausting and unsatisfying dynamic any more.

Can you relate to this?

Then it would be great to hear from you in the comments below. Are there are other things you do that help you get in contact with your feelings?

And if you want to find more about how ISIS can help, get in touch with me today. I’m happy to answer any questions you have.

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