“Healing doesn’t necessarily come from feeling the feelings more intensely (as some may tend to think). Rather, long lasting relief and healing comes from noticing the felt sensations attached to the feelings. THEN, you can work to discharge the intensity and begin shifting the body-based story.
The steps we take to heal are not exactly from feeling the intense feelings, but rather, it’s the ability to feel the more descriptive qualities associated with the emotion like the "heaviness" or “the frozenness.” By tapping into the deeper layers of how the body actually feels the feelings, we help the intensity move through and out of the cells of the body.
When we feel into our bodies using our “felt sense”, the intensity gets diffused, bringing our experience to a more tolerable level. This then makes makes processing the emotional experience a lot more tolerable too.
Ultimate change and process comes from that unclear, intangible, fuzzy, murky "something just feels off and I can’t pinpoint it" kind of awareness.
If someone never had the opportunity to foster emotional attunement, they might start this journey just learning to identify the obvious emotions they are feeling, and then maybe where those feelings are felt in their body. A “felt sense” might follow when they recognize that there is a lot more to emotions than they had previously thought. There is a more subtle quality that, when connected with, enables a less intense emotional experience. It can even be described as the ability to observe all the qualities without attaching too much significance to it. It feels liberating.
Once someone masters the “felt sense” they usually say that it was there all along, but they never really connected with it or noticed it. This mastery is not like anything they have felt before. This intuitive quality is a life altering epiphany. It is a new way to relate to the world and to yourself. It opens up a whole new beauty - like finally seeing things as they are because you finally got glasses that you never knew you needed.”
- Esther Goldstein
Maya Angelou observed that “you only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.”
Solitude is something you refine and develop and create. And again, I think crucially, it has to do with refining our ethical intelligence. It has to do with refining our capacity to see where our impulses are coming from, to what extent those impulses are just driven by conditioning and habit and fear, and to what extent we can somehow open up a nonreactive space within us from which we can respond to the world — respond to our own needs, too, but in a way that’s not driven by familiar habit patterns, which are often rooted in attachment and fear and other things. So solitude, the practice of solitude, is the practice of creating an inward autonomy within ourselves, an inward freedom from the power of these overwhelming thoughts and emotions.
When someone loves you they like it when you write about them because writing is the product of a pure and focused attention. There’s no proof of love more real than sustained attention.
Life gets distilled into singular moments. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never stop wanting all the things and people and places that I’ve wanted.
When I question why I’m here, sometimes I think it’s just to make a good story. I know I always have to be prepared to walk away. And it’s not hard to know that the simple things are ultimately what matter, but it’s difficult to get off the ride.
It’s a carnival. It’s lonely out here. Oftentimes, I live inside my head too much. Reality’s stark; my imagination is lean. I’ve always been a magnet for happening.
The life I want is the one I have, but how can I be sure?
Beauty is painful. My entire life gets lost in it: muddled and blended til all I know is the whirr of an aeroplane and that wherever I rest my head tonight might be the closest I’ll ever get to home. Which is to say that I was restless.
When people call me strong, what they’re really saying is: you’re on your own.
One summer I was picked out of a crowd. Still can’t quite say why. And all the places I come back to are just reminders of the things I have lost.
Sometimes I feel so alone that I can almost grasp the freedom and desperation in the potential of being anybody. How long does it take to disappear? Forty minutes with some hair dye, the rate at which no one can find you. And that, for me, is easy.
I know when I look at the stars at night that I’m staring at moments that have passed. Endings raise the hair on my skin like fear and cold air.
If you don’t know me, you’d think that I wear all this well. Transient shit.
Last summer I was in San Francisco. I yelled Solange as we cruised down Highway One, watched the fearless boys bullet down the hills (and I love them so).
I sang in Dolores Park with my Morpho and that blue butterfly, let my heart ache its way over Twin Peaks. I always know what will hurt me most later. And so a certain savour.
When I lie on the couch in a hoodie watching basketball, I’m indulging in a normal thing. I kinda feel most like the me I could’ve been, in another life, but I got this one.
I’m not afraid to say that love is the only thing that really healed me. People who experience it unconditionally and on a regular basis don’t know it as a feeling but rather a default state of being.
Still. I can’t waste time resenting the hand I got dealt. I’m lucky in many ways, I know, but mostly I didn’t come this far not to be happy.
I know that happiness will have a different look about it. It won’t be the flavour by which society persuades you.
I also know that the most I have to give will be invisible, and it will be given to you. Someone like that.
I try to tell myself to find ways to be happy with what I have now, that if this is all there ever is…
In another language, you could call it gratitude. In another language it’s called survival. The point of survival is to move forward.