When you are an open vessel, when you are open to life and the living of it, then a lot of the impressions of this Earth, a lot of the dust swirling around in commotion, a lot of ideas and feelings are going to pass through you.

Feelings, feelings, feelings, swirling, swirling, swirling. Feel them full.

A wise teacher may help a child by explaining that it is not necessary for the child to own his or her feelings or to identify with them, but rather to feel them, to simply feel them. For example, the teacher could encourage the child to say, “I feel sad” rather than “I am sad.” It’s enough to just feel. Especially because, soon enough, the feeling will pass, and sadness will no longer be felt. A little later on, a completely different feeling will take effect.

Children are such a beautiful example—we have all seen them crying and squealing one moment, only to be giggling with delight five minutes later. Children appear capricious because they are uninhibited about processing their feelings. They process feelings as they come. And, just as easily, they let the feelings go. They are onto the next. There is no backlog, no blockage, just flow, just feel feel feel.

Those who are agile in feeling their feelings are at an advantage in life. A tarot card recently read: “Feelings are what you feel. Emotions are your reaction to your feelings. The more you learn to accept and acknowledge your feelings, the less time you will spend in emotional turmoil and the more energy you will have to live life.”

Amen to that. Emotions are that tricky, half step from feeling. Tricky because they can easily be muddled or confused with feeling. But, a feeling is a feeling, whereas an emotion is a choice. One can spend the day in bed feeling sad without needing to go out and identify oneself as sad. One can digest feeling without letting it clog their system.

It’s ok to be vulnerable, too. By that I mean: it is ok to feel your feelings on the spot. It is ok to be visibly moved by a sudden feeling, such as when receiving good or bad news. One need not conceal, for that only clogs the vessel. One may feel in real time, out loud, in the open. One need not suppress.

Today, I felt inconsequential. I felt tired of this cold dark city of concrete and squares. I felt annoyed about buying the same groceries I always buy, eating the same food I always eat. I felt shitty about being late for work. I felt sad and somewhat panicked when I got a call from the doctor diagnosing me with a disease (A DISEASE!) that I’d never before heard of. I felt alone. I felt tender and cared for when a lover had flowers surprise delivered to my workplace, late in the afternoon. I felt like lying in bed all day, cancelling all my commitments, all my plans, all my dreams. I felt like I wanted to be 17 years old again, but with a blank slate and all the wisdom I’ve gained since age 17. I felt like I wanted to erase all the bad things that have ever happened to me. I felt sorry for myself. I felt weak. I felt ugly. I felt tired and used up. I felt bored by the humdrum of my everyday reality. I felt irritated with myself for riding the rut for so long, for being ineffectual in advancing my dreams.

But now that it’s evening, and I’m home alone, in my own space, listening to Rob’s Dark & Dreamy playlist, writing and releasing, those feelings aren’t pressing in as tightly. I felt those feelings all day long; I graced the day; I was present. And here I am again now, in a new moment. And it’s alright, and I am alright.

I know that life is the whole gamut, that when you’re here, when you’re physically here, walking around this Earth, you’re lucky if you’re not spared a damn thing. You’re actually better off being the raw nerve. Because, nothing’s really going to hurt you. You’re invulnerable. Life is a whirlwind of blazing color, and you’re here to paint the light and shadow.

You know, dance with it. Feel those feelings full. And at the end of the day, get some sleep.

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