Almost like clockwork, when I ask my clients how they feel about something – be it elements of their Human Design Map, their partners, their work, whatevs – they tell me a story about what is happening in their lives.
Perhaps they tell me that…
…they don’t feel like they are allowed to integrate certain parts of their map….
…their partner isn’t being supportive enough…
…that they have a massive project they’re working on…
or something like that.
They often find it confusing when I say:
Those are your thoughts. Tell me how you feel.
They think that they just told me how they feel and aren’t always sure what I’m really asking.
And it’s totally understandable.
Most of us haven’t been taught how to feel, process, or communicate our emotions.
We’ve been taught how to think, analyze, logic, and buffer our way out of our feelings.
But, in both my personal and professional experience, I’ve come to learn – whether we have a defined emotional solar plexus or not in our Human Design – learning to effectively work with our emotions is THE MOST important skill we can learn.
And that is because…
The worst thing that can ever happen is a feeling.
If you fail, the worst thing that can happen is a feeling.
If you succeed, the worst thing that can happen is a feeling.
If you screw it up, the worst thing that can happen is a feeling.
If someone dies, the worst thing that can happen is a feeling.
If you drop your iphone in the toilet, the worst thing that can happen is a feeling.
The worst thing that can ever happen is a feeling.
Take a moment to think about something you aren’t doing in your life…
And think about all the reasons why you aren’t doing that thing.
it’s setting a boundary.
Now, think about what you believe the worst case scenario is.
The person you set the boundary with won’t respect your boundary. They will be mad at you. They stop talking to you. They never want to speak to you again. They cut you out of their life for good. They write all over facebook that you are a horrible bitch and then they detail out every dirty little secret you ever told them.
And then ask yourself…
Why don’t I want that to happen?
And keep asking.
Eventually, you’ll uncover that the thing you are really afraid of is…a feeling.
You don’t want to feel the burning hot shame of having your secrets posted on facebook.
The shame. The guilt. The horror. The terror. The grief.
The only thing you’re afraid of is the feelings.
So, when you are willing to feel any feeling – even the gnarly ones – you will become wildly confident in the pursuit of whatever your inner authority says is right for you.
And that’s our ultimate goal, right?
But, to get there, we have to start at ground zero with what feelings actually are and how they are different from our thoughts.
So, I’m going to throw a curveball right away and say that there isn’t a real difference between our thoughts and feelings. From a bigger spiritual perspective, everything you are is just energy and pure creative potential.
Every aspect of you ( and in your Human Design) are all working together, as a whole, to create your own unique flavor of Divine expression. Your thoughts, feelings, and actions are just 3D symbols of what’s happening energetically within that expression.
But, as Human Beings who often forget who we really are, it’s important to discern between thoughts and feelings because it actually helps us remember by giving a point of connection…a starting place for finding our spiritual center.
Otherwise, we are floating heads, aimlessly walking through this game of life.
To find our center and remember who we really are, we have to reunite with the parts of ourselves we’ve disconnected from, and if it’s our feelings we are disconnected from, we can’t do it by digging deeper into our thoughts and stories.
We do it by reconnecting with our feelings.
So, let’s start with some basics.
What are thoughts?
Thoughts are the ideas, judgments, assumptions, sentences, plans, beliefs, values, interpretations, meaning, and stories that happen in your brain and in your nervous system.
You will often hear your thoughts in your head or you may see them as pictures in your mind. And, for many, it’s a mix of both.
There is a lot of debate about how many thoughts we have a day – some say as little as 5,000 and some say as many as 60,000 – either way, it’s a fucking lot!
And we are only conscious of a select few of them. We would not be able to function in the world if we were conscious of every single thought we have.
What are feelings?
Feelings, on the other hand, happen in your body.
They are vibrations that, depending on the emotion, will resonate in specific parts of your body.
We typically describe them with single emotion words like happy, mad, sad, or afraid. But it is important to make the distinction that the word itself is a thought.
The feeling is the vibration that you are calling happy, mad, sad, or afraid.
Where thoughts and feelings come from
Thoughts and feelings arise from the interpretation that our brain, nervous system, and gut makes about our environment.
Through repetition, those interpretations become neuropathways, and those neuropathways become our beliefs about ourselves, life, other people, and the Divine.
They become the lens we habitually see the world through.
For example, let’s say that you have an intention to be more loving in your primary relationship and one of the obstacles you identified is that you yell at your partner a lot (especially when they come home late).
You may start to notice that, in your head, you hear thoughts such as:
If they came home on time, I wouldn’t have to yell.
I can’t believe they do this to me all the time.
Why can’t they just be on time for a change?
You may also notice an intense tightness in your jaw and a pressure building in your head and arms. And you might label that emotion mad.
And when you notice that you feel mad, you get the urge to yell because your primitive brain thinks that your partner being late is a threat to your identity.
But, you also have an underlying story that anger is dangerous in and of itself and that it will hurt you in some way (maybe even that you wouldn’t survive it.).
So, you scream to relieve the tightness and pressure that you’re feeling in your body.
And, it will feel better to force the tightness and pressure out.
At least temporarily.
But, since yelling completes the pattern of the neuropathway, it reinforces it and you’ll keep yelling every time your partner is late until you consciously break the habit.
To stop the yelling, not only do you need to allow the urge to yell without giving in, resisting, or avoiding it, but you also need to process the anger that triggered it.
Because here’s the thing.
The reason you’re mad has nothing to do with the time your partner arrives home. The reason you’re mad is that your brain, nervous system, and gut are making your partners lateness mean that something terrible is happening.
Perhaps you make it mean they don’t love you. Or that you are with the wrong person. Or that if you were a better partner, they’d always be on time.
And guess what?!?!?
Your primitive brain thinks all of those things are a threat to your survival but they aren’t. Even if they are all true, the worst thing that can happen is a feeling.
So, if you want to be a more loving partner, the thing for you to do is feel the anger.
And when you do, something magical happens.
Emotions are energy in motion. If you look at the Human Design bodygraph, all of the energy in the chart is flowing towards the throat center. And it’s meant to flow the channels between the centers and come out of the throat as authentic expression. For some that expression is art, for others it’s stories etc. The specific gates in the throat tell us more about that.
But, either way, when flowing properly through the channels it “purifies” the energy by enlightening the mind with wisdom and pointing us to aligned action.
Feeling your feelings enables that natural flow to happen.
It SHOWS your brain and body that you are safe, that there is no threat to your survival, and that you can handle this situation.
When the anger doesn’t kill you, and it won’t, your brain and body can relax, and in that relaxed state, you gain access to the wisdom of your emotions.
You’ll clearly see the beliefs that are creating your surface level thoughts and feelings and you’ll know the most aligned action to take. You’ll even discover new ways of thinking about yourself and your partner.
Feeling your feelings is pure magic. With every feeling you feel, you’ll gain insight, courage, and confidence.