One of the most commonly asked questions in my CIRCLES, Retreats and Workshops is, “How do I feel;” Meaning how do I go about actually FEELING instead of thinking.

The post below is from one of my MOST favorite (and handsome) writers of all things REAL, Mr. Jeff Foster.

Because as I share my experience of thought vs feeling and the journey of awakening into a life of EXPERIENCE Jeff Foster comes to my heart constantly.

This dude can explain the unexplainable EVERY TIME.

He touches me and I thought I would share one of his most POTENT writings to date.

Enjoy!

H

No more pity parties!

Let’s clear up the most common misconception about Presence.

‘Sitting with a feeling’ is certainly not the same as wallowing in it, or indulging it. This is not a pity party. This is not narcissism.

The absolute opposite, in fact.

For in presence, we do not fuse with feelings nor do we cling to them. Nor do we run from them, in order to maintain an image of ourselves as ‘the enlightened one’ or ‘the blissful one’, or any other ‘one’, in fact.

This work takes so much courage. The willingness to be naked, vulnerable and unprotected as life surges through. To stay connected to what is alive. To breathe through the trauma as it cleanses. To not abandon ourselves, chasing future states or manifestations, because someone promised us ‘happiness’.

I bow to anyone who has the courage to stay with their doubt, when the whole world is pathologising doubt, urging us to go ‘beyond’ it, calling it ‘evidence of our lack of evolution’.

I bow to anyone who has the nerve to hold fear close, when every guru and self-help teacher is judging us, shaming us, trying to lead us into some fearless state (a state that’s secretly at war with fear).

I bow to anyone who can be present with their anger, breathe into its burning core, allow it in, even when the mind is spinning old stories of ‘unsafe’ and ‘bad’ and ‘damaged’.

I bow to anyone who can be fully present to their sorrow, even if it’s for the 573th time, even if everyone around them is telling them to ‘cheer up’ or ‘stop wallowing’ or ‘raise their vibration’.

But what do they know of this extraordinary courage. They have not yet walked in the fire.

There is a middle place between fusion and self-abandonment, identification and disembodiment, clinging and running. It’s a knife edge, for sure, and many get lost along the way. It takes skill to dance along the wire.

It is not self-pity, for sure. It is radical self-love that makes room even for feelings of unloveability, that does not dispense with sorrow or try to annihilate doubt.

It is not violence within, but a gentleness of such power, like the ocean eroding great rocks over time.

The addiction to bliss must crumble, for we are not limited in nature, and in the vastness of our being the darkness is as extraordinarily beautiful as the light, and the shadows hold such volcanic intelligence, and even grief is sacred.

Once we were children, and we dreamt of a life without pain. Now we are grown, and free, and our hearts have been smashed wide open, so all of life can surge through, and we are no longer split.

The relief. The sheer relief of no longer having to be ‘happy’, yet knowing this deeper happiness in which all of our shattered selves are embraced, moment by moment, in love.

Love is the power, and her path is courage. Damn courage. Simple courage.

I do not ‘pity’ those who have the courage to be authentic, who no longer need to pretend, who have awoken to such naturalness.

I do not pity anyone; I bow to where they are; for I see myself in all. I think we look down on others only because we do not see ourselves everywhere.

We want so badly to be special, yet humility breaks us in the end. The liberation is in the breaking, and the relief is in the knowing that we cannot break, as we prostrate ourselves before yet another sunrise, another dawn, another evening.

For those who are ready, the path opens before them, without pity.

Trust yourself, friends.

– Jeff Foster

Sending LOVE and fanny spanks,

xo_heather