If you aren't with the times and haven't yet caught up on all the abbreviations "the kids" are using these days, feels is the current term for feelings, aka emotions. In this case, it's a noun.
We are experiencing a natural transition with the change of season. This shift brings us into longer periods of darkness, as the daylight hours lessen. We are transitioning out of the energy of summer, a time when energy is directed outward. Summer energy is full of light and life. We are moving into the energy of autumn when energy turns inward. Autumn energy is darker and welcomes things coming to an end. Darkness is necessary for growth. We wouldn't know light without it.
What happens inside when you feel into the darker days ahead?
Does the shift toward more inward energies bring you relief or do you resist the invitation to retract?
I'd like to share a few, simple things, guiding questions and practices, to support you in making an intentional and easeful shift.
Loving Presence, Somatic Meditation, Receiving, Grounding and Basking in Truth.
One practice to hone in on as we get quieter and more reflective at this time of year is Loving Presence. We can experience ourselves as loving presence because ultimately, we are just that. We practice increasing our capacity to stay aware of what is happening in the present moment and attune to it. We attune to it in order to know it quite intimately and as we gather insight we can learn how to respond. We build trust through listening, understanding, and responding. Through our commitment toward this practice, we build and shape a reliable relationship with ourselves, others and the planet.
Building our capacity and tolerance to make space for whatever arises, to abide in loving presence, is a process. It isn't easy as a lot of the time, in everyday life, committing to the practice can really feel like we are swimming upstream. However, if we abort the mission we aren't really allowing ourselves to feel through the whole of life. We end up turning away from challenging realities and only crave or attach to positive experiences. As good as that may sound, that cycle keeps us stuck in the same old patterns and stunts our ability to grow through the times when we are able to meet discomfort. As my late teacher, Dr. Micheal Seick used to always say,
"The only way is through".
We can slow this process down and really feel it through the practice of meditation. I am quite fond of Somatic Meditation, using the felt-sense of the body to meet and experience ourselves and our truth. We have to experience something to truly know it. In somatic meditation we use the body to realize who we are in essence and to touch into our fundamental nature. In my experience, this is a clear way toward an embodied spiritual life. I have been studying with Reggie Ray of Dharma Ocean. Ten Points is the foundation of the practice. You can try the Ten-Points practice and feel it for yourself. Free download on the Dharma Ocean site here.
If you are not (practicing) loving presence, then what (are you caught up in)?
For example: If I am not loving presence, I am in defence.
Receiving is an inward energy. At this time of year, I notice that honing in on this ability is key. My teachers at the Ryzio Institute blew my mind when they talked about the human need to receive and the tendency that some of us have to keep our cup turned upside-down even when we are wanting it to be filled up. We have to be willing to receive in order to truly refuel. It can be excruciatingly hard for some of us to take in nourishment. Sometimes we are just going through the motions without truly allowing for ourselves to luxuriate in the process. As a person who airs on the side of always giving, I have to remind myself that my ability to receive is actually and ultimately another way to give. This is my funny way to boost the will to get really good at receiving wholeheartedly. In the end, it's a win-win. Getting is the new giving.
How well do you receive?
I am a full-blown, natural extrovert and a forever-practicing introvert. For me, recharging has always been much easier to do with others. However, through practice, I feel I have a full toolbox of honed tools that I can trust and actually love, for recharging solo.
Practice for refuelling on your own:
What would you do or advise for someone you love dearly when they are expressing a need (eg. for rest, food, quiet, etc.)? Can you offer yourself the same ear and respond to your needs tenderly as if you are gifting a loved one?
Practice for refuelling with others:
When someone is offering you something (a smile, a hug, a meal, a compliment) notice if you are taking the time to take it in wholeheartedly? Notice if there is a tendency to be plotting a way to give back before truly taking in the gift.
I will leave you with a simple and special practice taught to me by Joanne Morgan, a spiritual coach and therapist. This is one way to cultivate a felt-sense of safety in your body before tending to whatever is arising:
Start with an image of an object at the centre of the earth. This can be a stone, rock, or any other solid and secure anchor for you. Feel roots growing from your navel and lower back toward the ground and eventually anchoring to the object of your choice. Keep that connection strong. Choose an image of something above you, in the higher realms. This can be a light, a spirit, a cloud or anything that provides a secure connection to your higher self. Feel a light beaming from the top of your head, joining with the source of this image. Keep that connection strong. Feel from the centre of your being, your aura is expanding in every direction, filling up the space around you. Feel yourself in this place, whole and complete.
When you are feeling grounded, connected, stripped down to nothing but the felt-sense of being and basking in loving presence:
What is true about you?
From that place, how would you finish this sentence:
Repeat your truth and let it permeate each and every cell and space around your body.
The more you practice the more you build trust.
With more trust the safer you feel.
The safer you feel the more you can expand and touch into your fullest potential.
Reminder: it is a process.
Keep your light bright.