David Whyte recounts the tale of Beowolf, the epic warrior who gets called in on a sticky situation where a terrible monster, Grendle, rises from the deep and steals away all the men and maidens. The Danish king Hrothgar offers Beowolf and his men half the kingdom of Heorot if he can help with this. After 3 days and 3 nights of battling, finally, he slays the beast and the kingdom is saved. Beowolf receives the riches, much celebrating ensues, yay! winning ... And the next night, Gendle's mother rises out of the deep and goes crazy on the village, delivering ten fold the damage of her monster kid.
The moral of that story? It's not the problem that's the problem, it's the mother of the problem that's the problem. And so, we must go deep.
I often tell people that I am wrong all the time, or that I enjoy being wrong. Neither is true. I'm not wrong often because it MAKES ME SO UNCOMFORTABLE that I play it close to the vest in my guesses or wagers. But one very memorable instance of being wrong was this notion I carried around for decades that emotions that made me uncomfortable were to be avoided. That they were wrong and that's why they were uncomfortable. I was just totally wrong. I didn't know that the place where life is rubbing me is the exactly most usable point of entry into my deepest and realest experience of now. I had no clue that I could turn my buttons into portals.
Then I heard David Whyte talking about how weird it would be if the moon decided to hide itself when it wasn't in it's fullest glory of having the sun shine on it fully and I knew that the time had come to meet the rest of me, to admit I had been in err to hide myself from myself.
As I stepped into this quest, to meet all of me, I discovered the most wonderful sort of ladder to hold me as I journeyed, a process I've gracefully come to call Just Feel Your Fucking Feelings of JFYFF for short. It's something I use in small and large ways and got the idea from a woman who got a mega tumor and healed herself just by stepping onto (her version) of this ladder.
It has the most astonishing affect of dropping you deep because your surface reaction is often just a button, a trigger, an unfelt and unloved part of you and by dropping below the button, or going spelunking as we say, you get to meet the parts of you that have been trapped beneath that kneejerk response, which is wicked good fun.
The process is simple. Ready to go spelunking? I think I'm gonna post a video of this on one of the hundred days, but for now, I'll talk you through it.
Next time you get triggered, instead of spinning out, rejecting the feeling or trying to distract or run away (unless any of that seems truly light and fun, then freaking go for it) you can turn toward the button instead, and ask,
"what am I feeling" Whatever comes, just feel it, feel it fully, feel it in your body, enter it. Then ask:
'what's beneath this?" and follow the raw emotional thread to whatever emotion is just beneath it and repeat step one. And so on, taking time and care to feel each one fully, and breathe into it, and resist the urge to protect yourself from shame or regret or despair.
Usually, you'll pass through despair into the most wondrous all is nothing all is everything ness. It's fun to enter that fully, too.
Sometimes memories emerge. They're like champagne bubbles effervescentizing this new space you're discovering. Greet those with love. Feel them with tenderness. Keep feeling.
Note: I use this in micro ways thru the day when I hit something, even the question, "what am I actually feeling?" can pierce the veil and start me back toward a place of connectedness.
here's a snippet from Kyle Cease's book, "I hope I screw this up" about how we can begin to live from a deep down perspective.
love from the deep