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Both Sides Now

A certain feeling comes over me when I hear true words spoken. Words can be whispered and yet if truthful, have a strength so loud they resonate a deep knowing that settles like a gymnast landing a ten.

A certain feeling comes over me when I feel genuine love and caring from someone. True caring rings directly into my heart with a beautiful, fuzzy, warm feeling.

A certain feeling comes over me when I feel anger. My eyes take on a direct laser-beam focus and my breath deepens in long, slow, steady wide straws as I ascertain what just happened, feel heat rising in my skin and a slow burn emerges into a growl. I use this anger as fuel to take action.

A certain feeling comes over me when I eat something that I was yearning to eat, aligns exactly with what I had in mind to satisfy my hunger. As I chew, I feel a smile on my face.

A certain feeling comes over me when I sit in meditation with the intention of feeling connected to a Higher Power. A tingling sensation on my head is the knock on the door and I breathe and welcome the presence.

My body, mind and spirit talk to me. Yours does too.

A certain feeling comes over me when I’m in the presence of someone who wants something from me to satisfy their own needs. I feel pulled and manipulated and I don’t feel good. My stomach lurches and my energy lowers.

A certain feeling comes over me when I feel fear. My mind starts racing and I feel like I’m in a windstorm, helpless and vulnerable. The lump in my throat grows as I struggle to calm down and feeling my skin prickle.

A certain feeling comes over me when I feel anger at a perceived wrong and choose to be quiet. This anger finds its way inside and closes my heart down, binding my ability to feel and separates me from the outside world.

A certain feeling comes over me when my inner child is triggered and I feel like the world is full of scary big people who are moving too fast, changing the rules and leaving me confused. I feel helpless and afraid. My stomach ache starts.

A certain feeling comes over me when I feel disappointment from someone I trust and am down again. My eyes droop and my mouth turns down as my head hangs low and I walk away abandoned again.

I have been categorizing my feelings for 67 years now. The process happened in stages as I experienced the emotion, reacted to it, recovered, and then they happened again. With time and practice, I recognized and named the emotions because of their repetitive nature and their familiar character traits. Sometimes several emotions come at once and I’m confused until I take the time to separate the pieces and figure out what’s going on.

Through Dr. Susan Jeffers’ research and writing, I’ve learned about my Higher Self and my Lower Self.

My Higher Self represents my connection with my heart. I feel aligned with an intention to be kind to myself and acknowledge my uniqueness. I respect my physical and emotional needs while honoring the choices others make as they meet their needs. I have compassion for myself and all my foibles knowing everyone struggles with their own foibles while pursuing their paths through the process. I believe in making a difference. I find inspiration provokes my passion. I trust my Higher Power and lean into its presence.

My Lower Self represents my fear as I compare myself to everyone around me. I live with a chip on my shoulder always feeling like I have less. I am a victim waiting for the next disappointment because I must deserve it. I argue with life and doubt my success at anything I try because deep down I don’t deserve it. I wait for life to prove to me it’s as terrible as I think it is. I am impatient with things to change, hoping they will and knowing they probably won’t. I find myself obsessing about the bad things that could happen knowing if I think about them, maybe they won’t. I am guilty of taking up space on this earth.

Both my Higher Self and my Lower Self are necessary. It’s easy for me to get stuck in my Lower Self and life feels bleaker. I feel happier in my life when I focus on my Higher Self. Everyone has a choice.

My awareness is the key to help me see where I am in my emotional body so I can identify whether I am existing in my Higher Self or my Lower Self. Once I discover where I am residing, I enhance or I remedy.

In other words, I enhance my Higher Self using inspiration, calmness and gratitude and I feel even more connected and aligned. I identify my Lower Self when my thoughts are representing self-doubt, fear, anxiety and depression and I remedy with tools to move me back to my Higher Self. I’ve had a lot of practice trekking back and forth. Both aspects are important to honor.

I listen with my eyes, my ears and my heart. Awareness is the first step.

Participant’s Reflections:

  • Today would have been my daughter’s 39th birthday. I can choose to dwell in the loss which is always painful and feel it. I also recognize that she is my teacher, and I believe that she came into this world to teach me what I am doing now. That was her life’s purpose. To me, I can dwell in the pain or I can dwell in a truth, and I’m still knowing the pain is there. We can’t deny our lower self, it’s part of who we are. But I am dwelling in the truth of it which helps me function better.

  • It came to me when you were talking that everything is aligned. It reminded me when I used to sing in a barbershop quartet. When everything is aligned, it just resonates. It’s a wonderful feeling. I think what you were talking about today is aligning the body, mind, and spirit. To get everything aligned in a chord, you have to practice. We also have to practice to get this alignment between body, mind, and spirit. I think that’s what we are doing in meditation. We probably come closest to being in that place in meditation.

  • That bridge between the two is a well-worn path. It’s in sync, it’s connected, it’s aligned.

  • Thank you for sharing all that, the powerful feelings. Today is the anniversary of a death of a dear, long-time friend of mine. I had a dream last night about this person. She came to me as a younger person, standing in a white sauna towel. She looked beautiful. She was trying to console me. She said she was going away. How profound it all is. When you were sharing, I was thinking of a circle: who we really are, where we are in time and, on the outside of the circle, how we respond. Feelings are not always facts, although feelings are very real. Sometimes they reflect something that happened in our past, and our whole body responds with whatever that initial feeling was. All the rejection, all the stuff that happened. Some of us have had dramatic pasts. I can relate to the depression of thinking we are lower than who we really are.

  • Thank you. I really appreciated the way you talked about the different emotions and relating to where you feel it. I think having that body map is so important to figure out what one is feeling sometimes and understanding where it is based. I really liked it. It helps me sort through feelings. When you were talking about the Higher and Lower Self, where the anger was, I consider anger an important emotion, especially for women in a patriarchal society. It is important for us to experience our anger and appreciate it and be empowered by it. You don’t want to be controlled by it, but you don’t want to be controlled by any single emotion. A positive experience of anger is a good thing for us.

  • I agree. We synchronize through both. Feeling anger gives us fuel to take action is very empowering and is wonderful. Feeling anger that we turn inward and turn on ourselves is part of the Lower Self.

  • Thank you for your words and your heart-felt sharing. Seeing your daughter as a teacher for me is the ultimate. When you talked today, you ended with awareness. I’ve been trying to pay attention to awareness and how I know things, and how fast I go and how I need to slow down. With this injury, today is my first day back upright. Yesterday, I went for a walk. I got a text inviting me to go on a drive. My first thought was, yes, I’d love to get out and spend time with my friend. But I started thinking about what that really meant, and I realized I should not be doing this. I had a feeling of a bit of panic regarding the commitment I made. In my meditation, what came up for me was the question which came first? Did I feel the panic and then make up the story? Or did I logically tell myself this is not right for me? It’s something I want to pay attention to. Today, what I’m going to take away is paying attention to: does the thought come first and make the feeling, or does the feeling come and I make up the story as to why I might be feeling that and it happens spontaneously in a split second.

  • One of the things I was thinking as you were talking, you loved her fiercely and what a gift for her. I loved your analogy of the paths to the Higher Self and the Lower Self. I spent all day yesterday laying wood chips in a new portion of the yard where I’m maturing the garden in that side of the yard. It dawned on me, I use the analogy we can change where our paths are. We can adorn our paths. And paths to the Lower Self have a lot of garbage down there we can compost and use the garbage to grow flowers along the path. Or put something in the path so that it’s not even a path anymore and make new paths. That’s what meditation helps me do. Lay down new paths in my consciousness and spirit.

  • A spiritual teacher told me that she sees anger as rooted in boundary violations. I found this interesting and I’m chewing it over. I was talking about when I get angry at my children. To look at it that way helped me see that this is about standing up for my boundaries or at least knowing where it comes from.

  • It’s interesting to learn from these emotions because there is so much to learn. And as we learn, we learn more. It opens us up.

  • My heart goes out to you. I don’t think we can bury our emotions or ignore them. My husband died very young, and my daughter was 12. On the first anniversary of his death, she didn’t say anything. And I thought, okay, I’ll just ignore it. But this little girl got on a bike and rode ten to twelve miles to sit at her father’s grave. It was a learning experience for me. I need to remember to be in touch with my emotions and not assume just because she didn’t say anything, that she didn’t remember because she did. Life gives us opportunities that sometimes hit us in the head until I learn it right.

  • You are in my heart today. It would be so easy to fall completely into the grief. I would guess her spirit would be so enormously warm and grateful and feel blessed that her mom is looking out for her. A lesson in learning.

  • Thank you to this group, you are wonderful. I’ve taken a break from the world, did me some good. I am looking forward to your upcoming webinar.

  • I’m offering a free webinar entitled Feel the Fear-Down to the Wire. So many people are anxious and fearful that envelops their life. There are tools that can help. It’s what I teach because I’ve lived it for years. So many people are rising up: the teachers, the mentors, the gurus, the sages, the mages. Everyone is rising up and using their voices, using their gifts and helping. It’s important to recognize that everyone is doing their part and there’s a lot of good going on.

  • Thank you everyone for your presence and your heart and the love you share, your vulnerability and the pain you feel, and your willingness to look at it all. It’s remarkable. I hope you all have a gentle day.

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