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Or less than.

From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light” by Shakti Gawain.

Feelings are an integral part of connecting to guidance and intuition. They are the language we use to define where we are.

Shatki says most of us don’t pay enough attention to our feelings and quickly stuff them at first sight.  She says that we are afraid of being consumed by them. The truth is we can be more than consumed, all the way to hurt, by ignoring them. In fact, Shakti tells us, “When we are willing to fully experience a particular feeling, the blocked energy will be released and the feeling will dissolve.”  So, what you resist persists.  If you shine a light on the feeling, see it, feel it, it will dissipate.

There is, perhaps, a lot more to say on this subject of feelings.  It takes up a whole chapter in my upcoming book.  Feelings are the guide posts. We need to feel them and hear them.  They are derived from thoughts that may or may not be true, but what we feel is always true. Feelings tell us the truth (even if it is based on false evidence).  I would add, then, we not only need to experience our feelings, we also need to respect them, listen to them.

Shakti also tells us that taking care of ourselves first is the best way to improve our connections to guidance, as well as others.  An important piece of this is listening to  feelings to identify what we need.  Taking care of ourselves is always at the center of any of this work.

Exercise 20  Talking with your Feelings
This mediation starts with closing your eyes and paying attention to the “middle of your body.” That would be your heart, your solar plexus or your abdomen.  See if you can find what you’re feeling in that moment.  Some examples are: peaceful, excited, anxious, happy, sad, lonely, playful.  Zero in on the unpleasant ones.  Go inside one of them.  Ask that feeling to talk to you.  Let it explain what it’s all about.  Listen with a loving and open heart.  Then ask the feeling if there’s anything you can do to take better care of yourself and this feeling.

Exercise 21 Expressing Your Feelings in Color
Gather crayons, paints, colored pencils and a big piece of paper.  Take a breath and note how you’re feeling.  Pick a color and let your hand just flow over the page.  Draw what you are feeling.  (You can use your dominant hand or your non-dominant hand.)  Follow any impulses; just let it flow.  Add another color.  Do whatever you feel led to do.  When you sense that it is complete, write three words, in crayon, that describe the feeling.

Exercise 22  Using Sound and Movement to Express Your Feelings
This is good when you’re not sure what you’re feeling.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.  Breathe a few times and then as you inhale, stretch your hands above your head.  As you exhale, drop hands to the floor, bending at the waist.  Repeat a few times.  Shakti says, “Imagine you’re scooping energy up form the earth, then straighten your body and reach to the sky.”  On the exhale, breathe a sigh of relief.  The next step is to lightly pat your whole body. “This touching will energize you,” Shakti says.  “It lets your body know that you know it’s there.”  Twist from side to side, and shake out your arms and hands.  Pick up your feet and put them down.  Shakti wants us to make sounds when we do this. Whatever sounds you please. Then shake everything out.  As child songster, Raffi used to say, “Shake your sillies out.”  Get your self moving for five to ten minutes.  Then pound a pile of piles with your fist, a plastic baseball bat or a tennis racket.  Shakti suggests making sounds as you do.  “Scream and make noise for all the times you didn’t and wished you had.”  You can use the pillows to scream into if you need to.  She says to do this for another five or ten minutes.  When you’re done, rest a bit.  Notice how you’re feeling, physically and emotionally.  If you feel so compelled, write about it. Note how you feel after doing these exercise.  The point of these exercises is not to change your feelings, but to allow you to experience them more fully.

Let those feelings flow!

From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain.

As we return to Shakti’s teaching, let me remind you we are practicing identifying and listening to the voices in our heads.  We do this so we can start to pick through all that noise and find the still small voice of Intuition, quietly waiting behind all the chatter.

You may be able to identify the voices of the Tyrant and Rebel inside your head. The Tyrant drives you ever on to achieve more, do more.  It may have been constructed from voices outside saying you “should” do this or that. The Rebel was developed to keep us from being run into the ground by the Tyrant. So we don’t spend all our time trying to keep up with the Tyrant’s demands.

These two tend to feed on each other. The more the Tyrant yells to do it, the more the Rebel says, “No way.  I’m not going to.”  The more the Rebel stomps a foot, the more the Tyrant must step in to restore the status quo.

It’s very hard to hear Intuition with all that yammering going on. In fact, this constant battle can easily end up in stale mate. “The true source of energy movement and power lies in listening to your intuition, heeding its guidance and acting on it,” Shakti tells us.

Exercise 16 – Listening to the Tyrant and the Rebel

Two columns this time: Tyrant and Rebel.  Under the Tyrant column, write the rules and expectations that you live by.  What are you often telling yourself you have to do.  In the book, Shakti suggests doing it in categories like Money, Relationships, Career.

In the next column, under Rebel, answer those demands. See what the Rebel is saying back to all that.  Notice how it’s keeping you from doing what you choose.

Exercise 17 – Imagining and Seeing the Rebel and the Tyrant

“Close your eyes and allow images of your tyrant and rebel to form in your mind’s eye.” As always, Shakti advises that if you can’t see it clearly, find a sense or a feeling.  Just form an “impression.”

Then, describe what you’ve felt or seen.  Give them “full color and form,” she says.  You might name them.  They could have a talk or interact in some way.

After that, imagine them being stuck in their positions.  “When the image is clear, move away from them, and allow an image or feeling of your Higher Self or your intuitive wisdom to appear.  Listen to what this part has to say to you.”

Then, write about it.

My Tyrant has shades of my mother, or the German House Frau she might have been in another life.  She’s always scolding and telling me I didn’t do enough.

My Rebel wears sunglasses, a favorite tee shirt, a leather jacket and pajama pants.  She thinks the Tyrant is such a drag. “I doan wanna!” she shouts back.  “I’m going to the beach today.  See you later.”

“You most certainly are not!” The Tyrant rails back.

 “Well, if I stay, I’m not gonna do it.”

What’s a girl to do?

From the Book and Workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain.  (Her post for the day has to do with Male energy.)

In each of us we carry male and female energies.  The female side is receptive.  She is our intuition and speaks to us through “inner prompting, gut feelings or images that arise out of a deep place within us.”  The female energy provides nurturing and support.

The male energy is the one that takes action.  He is outgoing and assertive.  He is responsible for carrying out the intuitive requests of the female.  The female can’t do much without him.  “Female intuition plus male action equal creativity.”  Or manifesting.

This interaction reflects the yin/yang, the animus and the anima, nature of the forces in the universe. Ultimately, we need a healthy balance of both these sides to effectively move and grow in this world.  

Exercise 13
Shakti gives us a meditation here.  Simply sit, relaxed and find a peaceful center inside yourself.  Then, you are to call to mind your “inner female.”  It could be anyone or anything.  “Accept,” Shakti says, “whatever arises spontaneously in your mind.”

Notice the details of what she looks like, what she’s wearing, the colors.  See how she makes you feel.  Ask if she has anything to say to you.  Listen openly for whatever comes, without judgement.  (You never know what you will hear.  Often when thinking back on it, you will find it far more apt than you might think at the time.)  Say something back to her, if you please. 

Then, let her go and return to your center. Do the same for the inner male.

When you have completed your interaction with him, let him go and return to your center. Then, ask them both to come back together.  See how they are with each other. Ask if they have more to say to you. Reply if you like.  Then, release them.

Return to center and take a few deep breaths, coming out of your mediation. Then, using paint, colored pencils or crayons as Shakti suggests, draw them.  If you prefer, add a written description.  (I will attempt this and give you my report later.)

Exercise 14
Another meditation.  Get comfortable and call forth the female energy.  Ask her if there’s something she wants.  Then see the male energy taking action to fulfil her wish. How does this feel?

Exercise 15
We’re going to put this on paper in two columns.  Column 1 is Female (What you Want).  Column 2 is Male (What You Can Do to Give Yourself What You Want). So as not to get overwhelmed, Shakti suggests doing only one or two at a time.

For me, I want to play more.  So a Male Action I might take is to schedule a time to go to the park and swing on the swings.  Another Female Want I have is to play music.  My Male might get out my guitar and tune it, pull out my guitar books and sit down and play.

See how this works for you.  If you like it, try another couple.  Have fun with it!

Next week we’ll investigate further energies inside as we learn about the Tyrant and the Rebel, the Victim and the Rescuer.

Now, where were we?  The chapters are long and not so clear in the workbook.  What I thought was a chapter break was only a blank page.  So, I’ll just cut off each week as I please.

Last time we got in touch with the Higher Power in us and learned to trust in it.  Now we need to distinguish that voice.  Shakti tells us there are lots of voices inside of us.  We’ve all felt that. The ego, when it gets poked, can expose itself as one of those voices, loudly.  Libby Gill had you “Tuning into Your Inner Voices” in “Traveling Hopefully.”  Study of archetypes speaks of the characters who reside inside of us.  I have played with this concept often and always find I make deep discoveries about myself through it.

I tend to disdain, as many creative people do, the administrative details of life.  But I have found an efficient secretary inside who enjoys the endless minutia of that work. Most all of us can hear our inner critic from time to time.  The one that picks on and criticizes everything you do (or try to do).

Shakti, says, “If we become aware of who is ‘talking’ to us or directing us internally, we can began to have much more consciousness and choice in our lives.”  She suggests a book by Hal Stone and Sidra Winkelman called “Embracing Ourselves.” Getting to know the crowd of voices inside you become more able to distinguish your Intuition.  Some of the voices Shakti identifies are: The Perfectionist, The Vulnerable Child, The Rational Mind, The Rebel, The Spiritual Seeker, The Creative Artist.

For Exercise 6, Shakti offers another mediation.  It’s a rather elaborate journey down a spiral staircase to a “large, majestic room with a round table and chairs . . . “ You take a seat and get settled. Then, listen for your voices and pick the loudest to ask to sit down at the table and talk with you.  I have a feeling I’d have several at the table at once, but I think she wants us to take them one at a time.  Just listen to what they have to say, she advises. When they’ve all had their say, acknowledge and thank them. 

The next step takes you deeper.  Move out of the room and into a tunnel that opens into your sanctuary or safe place.  (I found this place, too, with Libby Gill in “Traveling Hopefully.”)  In your sanctuary, talk to your Higher Power.  Ask any questions you have and allow the answers to come. Stay as long as you like.  Ahh.  That sounds nice.  Then, come back out through the tunnel into the room where you’re sitting.

When you’re done, Shakti encourages you to write about the experience.  Record the voices, talk about what you saw and felt. And describe the sanctuary and what it was like being there with your Intuition.  Did you bring a certain theme or message from it?

Exercise 7 is in three parts:  A.  This is a written one.  Shakti wants you to think about times you have gone “against yourself.”  I’ve heard it said, going against your best interests, or not listening to yourself.  She asks for 10.  That’s a lot!  I know I did it frequently in my youth when I ignored what I thought in favor of what was expected of me.  These days, I try to listen to my Intuition when I’m aware of it, but sometimes that voice is subtle and quiet.  Or it’s “just a feeling.”  It’s that feeling that something inside is trying to tell you something.

I often have a feeling I should say something to someone.  It’s hard to know what would have happened if I had. More often than not, though, my fears and people-pleasing ways talk me out of it.  Those other voices are often more urgent and considerably louder.  They are, after all, fighting for their lives and can be quite convincing when they need to be. Especially when the prevailing winds go against what you feel or sense inside. Shakti wants us to see we can trust those inner yearnings.

B.  Now we get to think about the times we did follow our Intuition and how that played out.  Again, reinforcing the validity of the voice.  Something like, the time we were house-hunting and I said, let’s try that street and it turned out to be the house we bought.

C.  What would you do if you totally trusted your Intuition?  “What is your gut telling you to do?”  Learning to trust your Intuition is learning to stay in the present moment.  Listening for what you want to do right now.  I keep getting messages to publish more of what’s in my files.  Do I have the time?  Is it the right thing to do?  Too many questions. Gotta give in to some of these and see what happens when you trust a little more.

Next week, we’ll talk about becoming a creative channel.

I’ve just begun reading again, Shakti Gawain’s book, “Living in the Light, A Guide to Personal and Planetary Transformation.”

It’s quite a notion – this You-Create-Your-Own-Life business.

It’s full of implications that goes to the core of who we truly are. First of all, as Shakti points out, it stands in conflict with what most of us grew up believing. (However, I would like to take the positive slant and say that if you look more closely at what you were taught you may find that What Is could well be interpreted that way. The things we learned came out of a misconception about these principles. They are not so far fetched, so far-flung from the Truth.)

What does it mean then? How far do these implications go if we do create our own lives? It means a whole new way of looking of things, a whole new way of doing things.

Shakti tells us that what she experienced from that notion was that voice inside of us does know best. That the rational thought we have been listening to for years may not be the best source for information. Ration can only draw on what we see and experience with our five senses. But Intuition comes from another place and is not limited by the duality of life as we know it. “I saw that it would probably be smart,” Shakti says, ”to try and find out what that inner guidance was telling me and follow it.”

This means that we are ultimately responsible for whatever we choose to experience. That is an awesome concept which is both scary and delightful at once.

It does come down to a surrender. Allowing our cup to fill and overflow. Trusting in the wiser self instead of trying to make things happen. A rather radical approach indeed.

We find a large split here between reason and intuition. Shakti explains it, “We do acknowledge the ability of animals to seemingly understand things that are way beyond their rational capacity; we call this instinct. But it’s a mystery that defies logical explanation, so we shrug our shoulders and dismiss it as something vastly inferior to the magnificent human ability to reason.”

That would indicate that if we have heretofore not found the satisfaction and happiness in life we crave, it is likely we are forcing the issue. We are working too hard. If we can let go and allow our higher self, the Loving Universe, God, the still, small voice to guide us, to trust Its inner knowing, we will find ourselves just where we need to be. Without all the fuss and muss.

I will have more to say on this.  I will be away for most of the weekend on “retreat” working on a book proposal.  I hope to be back on Sunday with a SARK blog post.  Have a happy and safe 4th!

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