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Today, notice which part of you is in charge - your programmed mind or your higher mind. When your programmed mind - your wounded self - is in charge, you will likely feel stressed. When your higher mind - your loving Adult connected with your Guidance - is in charge, you will likely feel peace and joy.


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Are You Having Trouble Feeling Your Feelings?

By Ivanka Jankovic
January 13, 2012

If you have trouble getting in touch with your feelings there is a good reason for that. To feel your feelings you need to be in your body. But the body has recorded each painful episode in your life - small, big or deep trauma. Not knowing how to deal with pain, we all learned to leave the body.

We all have quite predictable ways how we react under stress. Stress is anything from bad news, a difficult conversation, a tight deadline, a resistant child, a doctor's appointment - anything that affects our balance and prompts an emotional response showing how we deal with difficult feelings.

Agrimony and Water Violet are Bach Flower remedies that treat the same kind of imbalance - an inability to cope with difficult feelings.

An agrimony person has an outgoing personality, when under stress takes a light-hearted approach, laughs, or goes out to party. Mingling with others is a way to avoid feelings. Agrimony wears a mask of carefreeness, and even jokes about their own problems while real feelings get pushed away.

A Water Violet person is very quiet and private. When under stress they prefer to be left alone and undisturbed. Water Violet goes into its own world of books or any other activity that disconnects her from her feelings. Being Water Violet myself I know how important it is for us to have our down time to recuperate. I also know now the difference between using down time to shut off feelings vs. embracing and learning from them.

Neither Agrimony nor Water Violet allow themselves to feel their feelings. They do not want to dump them on others as well. They are two sides of the same coin.

Why Do We Avoid Our Feelings?

If you have trouble getting in touch with your feelings there is a good reason for that. To feel your feelings you need to be in your body. But the body has recorded each painful episode in your life - small, big or deep trauma. Not knowing how to deal with pain, we all learned to leave the body.

Pushing away or denying feelings is learned behaviour. It was lifesaving. Repeating this behaviour later in life takes a toll on health and relationships.

Feeling your feelings today means getting in touch with old and new pain in your body, and releasing it. That is very scary. Each of us fears being swallowed up or annihilated by anticipated pain. 

When you do not allow yourself to feel, your energy becomes fragmented, scattered and ungrounded. It takes a tremendous amount of your valuable vital energy to suppress feelings

Learning to Feel Feelings Again

Learning to feel your feelings starts again with a decision that you will do your best to stay present and in your body. As you start tuning into your feelings and your body you will notice a sudden urge to run away, do something, talk to somebody, suddenly get hungry or remember a chore that you have postponed for a while and must do it now, or simply you will zone out. Those are all attempts to not feel the feelings.

The most common way of not feeling the feelings is staying in your head and get proficient analysing how you feel and why. When I ask clients to tune in and tell me what are they feeling in the moment, he/she fights to stay in the head or starts to choke, can barely breath. Shallow breathing is a protection against dropping into a body.

Trying to find a solution and understand a distressful situation, or understand yourself or others without feeling the feelings, is futile. The same problem comes back as a boomerang with more intensity. However to truly tap into your well-being and create a fulfilling life, you must be willing to get in touch with your feeling Self, your inner child.

If you have difficulty getting in touch with your feelings you may try those steps.

  • Breathe. Every time you feel discomfort take a couple of deep breaths, then put attention on your heart. You can place your palms onto your heart area.
  • Acknowledge the fear. It is quite normal to feel it.
  • Set your intent to be willing to explore your feelings.
  • Name a feeling: sad, angry, irritable, jealous, impatient, heartbroken, etc.
  • Tune into your body. Are you having tightness in your chest, a knot in your belly, tension in your shoulders? Just notice what is going on.
  • Peeling an onion. Notice the longer you stay with your feelings that underneath is another feeling. Example: helplessness covered up by irritability. You will know when you have peeled the onion and reached the feeling that would give you the most valuable information.
  • Journal. You can take a piece of paper and write your feelings and body reactions for a week to gain awareness about your most common feelings, as there are always reoccurring themes in our lives.
  • Stop ruminating about a past event. This is again a way to distract yourself and become a victim; gently attend to what you are feeling in a moment. It may seem like some past event is causing your pain now. It is not. Current pain is caused by something you are doing or not doing now.
  • Trust that you will never be given more than you can handle. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
  • Practice. There are no magic bullets. Everything boils down to willingness to stay with a feeling, learn from it, and being consistently present in your body.

Feeling the feelings is step one of the Inner Bonding process, and when you feel ready you can then proceed with other steps. Avoid temptation to rush, get over it or simply skip it.   

Getting in touch with your feelings is a process - not a one time thing. Each of us has years or decades when we denied our feelings so reversing our habits takes time. At the beginning it may look like you have opened up Pandora's box. It gets worse before it gets better.

Knowing your feelings means knowing yourself and living without protections and masks. The biggest gift you can give yourself is to learn to emotionally soothe yourself, be there for yourself, and then you can be around others without a need to make them take away your pain or take on their pain. It is your ticket to vitality.

"When your fear touches someone's pain, it becomes pity, when your love touches someone's pain, it become compassion." - Stephen Levine


Ivanka Jankovic is Holistic Energy Practitioner, the founder of Gaia Holistic Center. Ivanka facilitates lasting change for growth oriented or spiritually minded people who feel overwhelmed, fatigued, frustrated and stuck. Through their work with Ivanka they are able to finally and permanently reclaim their vitality, create loving relationships and recapture the Joy they are missing. Visit her web site http://www.gaiahc.com/


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