We've been so deeply conditioned that most of us can't even remember our natural expression anymore. Do you remember when you were a child and you were totally connected to the joy of life? You didn't care what anybody thought about you. You just followed your own natural flow.
How would we express ourselves now as adults if we reconnected to that state and freed ourselves from a lifetime of conditioning?
A fun way to explore this is to self-reflect with radical honesty every time a movement towards action arises in us. The key question to ask yourself is "what energy is underlying this movement?"
So you might feel an impulse to call someone. Ask yourself the question. Maybe you'll discover that you're actually feeling lonely and trying to escape the feeling by interacting with that person.
You might feel an impulse to eat a cookie. Ask yourself the question. Maybe you'll discover that there's an underlying feeling of sadness that you're trying to numb.
You might feel an impulse to post a selfie on social media. Ask yourself the question. Maybe you'll discover that you're feeling needy of attention.
Of course you may also discover that there is no underlying, unconscious motive and it's really true for you to do whatever the impulse moves you towards, and that's wonderful. But if you do find that the movement is not coming from Truth, this is an exciting opportunity to align with Truth.
When you discover an unconscious underlying motive, first of all celebrate. Your consciousness literally just expanded. The mind tends to be negatively oriented so it can try to use this opportunity as a way to invite for self-criticism and loathing. Don't go there. Stay with feeling gratitude for the seeing and the fact that you're currently releasing unconscious, destructive behaviours and opening more deeply to your True self.
Now, open to gently meeting and exploring the emotion. Bring your attention fully present into this moment and follow your breath. Drop your attention into the body and open to feeling. If you look closely, the emotion will present itself as a sensation somewhere in the body. Move your awareness into that sensation and open to fully feeling it. Don't judge it or attach any interpretation to it, just purely feel as you remain present. You may notice the sensation moving or changing. That's ok, the energy has its own intelligence and will release when it's ready. You simply rest as the perceiver and allow.
Now as you are totally at one with the feeling, with no agenda to get rid of the emotion or change it in any way, complete this sentence...
I feel........... because................
Be radically honest and allow whatever wants to come to come. You may find very old feelings and beliefs arising from your childhood. Explore whatever arises with gentle, non-judgemental, honest curiosity and enquire if the beliefs that arise are really true. If you remain fully present during the exploration, and consciously include the sensations in the body, whatever old emotional baggage is ready to release will release and whatever unconscious beliefs are ready to be seen will be seen.
This process may be challenging at first because it means that we have to become aware of the darkness, distortions and pain which are alive in us, but with practice it gets easier, especially when we don't take the darkness to mean anything about us.
This practice is incredibly rewarding and literally transforms us from the inside out. We become discerning, authentic and once we see where we're moving through life out of alignment we don't need to act that way anymore. The unconscious behaviours become conscious and we make the shift to flowing through life in alignment with Truth.
If you're interested in this kind of exploration, you can find more information about Open to Truth events here.
Photo by Robert Collins
Most of us as children experienced situations where we felt overwhelmed by our emotions. Maybe a parent yelled at us or hit us, projecting their own emotional traumas onto us. Maybe we met our parents with wide open hearts and they weren't able to meet us back in that love, leaving us feeling unloveable and unworthy. Maybe it was something seemingly small like another child not wanting to play with us. And our gentle hearts were so open. We were so sensitive, innocent, pure, and oh so sweet, and our tender little nervous systems didn't know how to handle these situations.
That little one wasn't taught how to be present with emotions, how to gently feel and allow the sensations in the body with unconditional love. In fact, most of us were taught that our emotions are bad and that there was something wrong with us for feeling what we were feeling, that our sensitivity was in fact a sign of weakness and that we should hide it and 'be strong.' And so feelings were repressed and emotional traumas were born.
Different nervous systems respond to these emotional traumas in different ways. Some shut down and became numb, some put up walls of protection around the heart and most develop coping mechanisms, behaviours which allow us to keep on surviving despite the agony we feel.
When we begin to mature spirituality, part of that process means meeting the emotional traumas from our past. We have to remember how to feel again in a healthy way. We have to learn how to hold gentle, unconditionally loving space for ourselves and our old pain.
For many people it is scary to open up to these feelings. "What if I open a can of worms and I can't handle it? What if it's too overwhelming? What if it's too painful? What if I open up and then lose my capacity to shut down again? I might have to live in a state of constant overwhelm! Then how will I function in my life?" These fears are a by-product of past emotional trauma. The nervous system remembers how challenging it was to feel overwhelming pain as a child and the mind produces thoughts to try to protect us from feeling that pain again.
The 'spiritual ego' may decide to open to feeling but this is another form of identified ego which wants to control our experience, "Yes, ok I will open to feeling, but not too much, just enough to feel without getting overwhelmed. Then I won't have to experience the suffering that I felt as a child. I'll just be a balanced person with healthy emotions instead of being totally numb." This is actually not true balance and these thoughts are also a form of protection based on fear.
Part of the process of maturing spiritually is the transcendence of mind, seeing the bigger picture. We open to that which lies beyond the mind and beyond the world of duality, which includes emotions. We open to that which is constant, untouchable, formless, without preference, without desire. That which simply IS. Opening to this ultimate truth means surrendering control of which feelings arise in our experience. We no longer identify with or try to control our emotions because we know ourselves to be that which lies beyond emotions, the formless, open space of awareness from which emotions arise.
True dedication to the path of spirituality doesn't mean partially opening to feeling so that we can control how much pain we feel. It means allowing ourselves to be totally ripped open and surrendering everything to truth. It means living in 100% raw vulnerability. It means having the courage and willingness to feel whatever arises in the moment. In doing so we don't become over-reactive and manic with our emotions, screaming and wailing. We become deeply present with whatever arises and we gently open deeper and deeper to feeling and allowing all sensations as we dive into the infinite void of peaceful, transcendant Being.
Like with everything, as we practice being present with our feelings and opening to them with love, our capacity to do so increases. We are able to stay present with larger and more intense waves of emotion. We don't try to avoid emotions, and nor do we get taken over by them. We surrender to the emotions and become one with them, and by doing so we walk through the gateway of truth, the gateway to our true self, the gateway to the infinite oneness, our true nature, pure awareness.
So don't aim to 'half-open' to feeling in order to stay safe. Dive in head first. Let your heart be smashed into a million pieces. Let it be ripped and torn and broken and shredded. Feel the rawness and the vulnerability. Surrender fully, and what you will discover is that you cannot be broken. What you will discover is that you cannot be hurt. What you will discover is the truth of who you are. Eternity itself. ~ Louise 💙
Photo credit: Caleb Woods
The mind is in a hurry. It wants answers and it wants them now. "When will such and such happen?" "When will I get that?" For the mind the present moment is incomplete and unsatisfying and it continuously and desperately seeks completeness. It believes that completeness will come at some point in the future when a different emotion is experienced, when certain information has been attained, when a particular status has been reached or when material gain has been achieved. "When will I feel differently?" "When will I finally be happy?" "When will I know my purpose?" "When will I meet my life partner?" The barrage of thoughts never ends and if one question is answered, another appears. If one desire is fulfilled, another appears.
The only way to end this vicious cycle of seeking and to experience a true and lasting sense of completeness is to transcend the mind by totally letting go of all thoughts and surrendering fully into the present moment. Letting go of thoughts doesn't mean that thoughts stop appearing. It means that they are noticed but not believed in. They are observed but they are not given any power and they are not identified with.
Transcendence of the mind cannot happen in the future. It can only happen in this moment, regardless of how this moment presents itself. Become still right now and notice how this moment feels. Simply perceive whatever is here without any judgement. Observe the thoughts, notice the breath and feel the body. Open to the completeness that is already here. Accept this moment fully, exactly as it is without trying to change anything about it. Maybe that means feeling sadness or heaviness or anger. That's ok. Feel deeper and deeper into the sensations in the body and gently welcome whatever is here. This moment is not a mistake. This moment is perfection. It is only the belief that this moment is flawed that prevents us from experiencing the perfection that is here. When we release ourselves from the grasp of that belief by recognising it, and we have the willingness to embrace our experience fully, we naturally open to the completeness that is already here. ~ Louise
Question: I was watching a video about the environment and I am feeling a little confused. Some say that planet Earth is capable of handling a lot and is fine and some say the opposite. Do we really have to do something to help or will it take care of itself?... I was feeling very sad that the planet could be in a very bad condition and it could get worse. What do you feel about that ?
Answer: From the perspective of the absolute, the deepest truth, everything is always perfect. Everything is divine, both the light and the dark, and everything is one.
However, recognising this doesn't mean that we should negate the human experience and the physical world. It doesn't mean that we sit in lotus position all day chanting om while our rainforests are destroyed and our drinking water is polluted.
Sometimes action is needed and what is most important is the energetic origin of that action. When action is taken from a space of inner being it is infused with a higher power. It is infused with the divine. This is the energy that births creativity and innovations and this is the gentle power that brings transformation.
The action that we take is an extension of our energetic state of being. If we identify with anger and sadness that arise in us when we hear about greed and destruction on our planet, and we then take action from that state of identification, everything we touch will be infused with those energies. We will emanate aggression and violence and a sense of powerlessness and victimhood and we will unknowingly add to the pain and trauma on the planet.
However, if we first meet the anger and sadness that arise with gentle, unconditional love and we fully allow the feelings by welcoming them and feeling them deeply in a space of presence, we can open to the infinite, eternal peace beyond the emotion. We open the gateway to the divine and that higher consciousness fills our Being. From this space we recognize our connectedness with the whole universe and we feel a deep peace within. This is the time to speak our truth and to take action. From this space our words carry a different vibration and a gentle power. We speak and move from peace because we are an embodiment of that peace and we are able to contribute to the transformation of higher consciousness on our planet.
In this way we become a bridge between the infinite perfection and the finite imperfection, the form and the formless. We find balance within our Being and this balance brings harmony to our physical world. ~ Louise
How would your life be different if you didn't believe your thoughts?
When a thought arises in our experience and we follow it with our attention our focus moves away from the experience of this moment. We become less alert, less present and ultimately we miss the beauty of life because this moment is what is real, not thoughts about the past or the imagined future.
So what if we chose not to follow our thoughts, just to notice whatever thought arises, let it pass through our experience and allow our focus of attention to rest on what's here right now - the sky, the trees, the gentle movement of our breath.
Try it out and see how your experience changes!
You may notice tension in the body that you weren't consciously aware of before. Your body may begin to relax. You may notice the birds singing and the pretty formation of clouds in the sky. You may appreciate the colours and shapes of buildings and objects, like you’re seeing life through fresh new eyes. You may even notice something unpleasant about your experience, like a contraction in the stomach or a sense of unease or heaviness. Let those experiences be ok too. They're also part of life. Let yourself fully experience this moment exactly as it is right now, without wanting any aspect of it to be different.
Over time we develop habits and patterns and the more those habits are repeated, the more crystallised they become in our experience. Most of us learnt to identify with thoughts from a very young age so we’ve been practicing it for many years and have become absolute masters at it! But it’s actually not a habit that is serving us, and once we recognise this we can retrain our system to stop following thoughts and instead focus fully on the beauty that is here, right now in this moment. ~ Louise
Why I'm not channeling anymore...
Over the past few months in India I experienced a big inner shift and the result was a deep clarity that it's time for me to start expressing myself in a new way.
Enjoy the dark just as you enjoy the light.
Most of us don't resist the 'positive' experiences in life because they feel good. But when we are faced with challenges and 'negative' emotions we often want to run away from our experience. We want to change it. We want to make it go away. And the more we resist, the more it persists.
When we allow ourselves to relax into the emotion we are experiencing and really feel it, it is also possible to enjoy challenges and discomforts in life too, knowing that they are just as valid. After all, if we felt comfortable and happy all the time we wouldn't have as much opportunity for growth.
So let yourself feel sad.
Let yourself feel lonely.
Let yourself feel heartbroken.
Let yourself feel scared.
It's ok to feel this way.
These emotions don't make you any less of a person.
Allow yourself to feel what you're feeling.
No more resistance.
No more pushing.
No more trying to escape.
No more trying to fix everything.
No more struggling.
Bring your attention here now.
And allow yourself to feel.
Feel the hurt.
Feel the pain.
Feel the discomfort.
Dive into it and surrender.
You aren't broken.
And this is a valid human experience.
When you resist what is you add unnecessary suffering to your experience but when you allow yourself to be fully present, the stress surrounding the experience dissolves and as you fully meet your emotions, you fully meet yourself on a deeper level.
In giving yourself permission to be as you are, and to feel what you feel, you validate your experience and you validate yourself. You accept yourself fully and this acceptance is a form of unconditional self-love, which can be very soothing and healing.
You may notice that as you sink deeper into the sadness, the grief, the loneliness, the despair, the anger, the fear, or whatever other emotion is present, a subtle underlying sweetness to the experience arises. This is the deep peace within which never leaves you regardless of outer circumstances. It can be accessed when resistance is removed. This is your true nature which goes beyond any feeling or emotion. This eternal stillness transcends both the light and the dark and allows us to embrace and enjoy life fully, whether the moment presents itself as bitter or sweet. ~ Louise
When you validate your feelings you embrace a deeper aspect of your self.
Whatever it is that you are feeling right now is ok. Relax. Sink into it. Allow it. It is ok to feel this way. Most of us don't have an issue with feelings when we're experiencing happiness or bliss, but the moment we experience more unpleasant emotions, such as anger or sadness many of us turn on ourselves at the time when we actually need self-love the most. Don't judge unpleasant feelings. Don't try to push them away. They're here for a reason, and they are perfect, just as you are.
If we're tensed up and trying to escape from our experience we miss an opportunity for deeper healing. But when we relax and allow our feelings without resistance or judgement we create more space within ourselves and from this space we can see and understand our experience more clearly. We can reflect with a clear mind on what it is these emotions want to tell us and what lessons we can learn from them and in doing so we allow wisdom surrounding our situation to flow to us with ease. This state allows the energy of the emotion to flow freely through our system in a healthy way and release, rather than getting repressed and trapped.
So when you're feeling down, don't beat yourself up for feeling that way. Love yourself even more deeply and as you do so you will embrace deeper aspects of your being and allow deep healing to take place. We all have darkness and shadows within ourselves and when we meet these aspects with love, we embrace more and more of who we truly are, allowing ourselves to fully shine in the light of truth. ~ Louise
The source of all knowledge resides within each and every living being.
There is an infinite intelligence underlying the whole of creation. It is sometimes referred to as God, the creator, the universe, the divine, love or truth .... but actually this energy cannot be labelled because any kind of label is a form of limitation and this energy cannot be confined to a description or a word. This energy holds all the knowledge and wisdom of the totality of creation. It is like an information bank which is constantly feeding back information to itself through expression in the physical realm. We experience the expression of this energy in a myriad of ways as it explores and plays through physical manifestation, from the power and majesty it bestows upon us in nature, to the darkness and horrors played out in war. We can see its infinite capacity to create diversity in every face, flower, cloud we see, all unique and different in this ever-changing world of manifested form.
But there is much more to our world than the outer experience. Residing beneath this ever-changing physical illusion is a constant: an unchanging stillness, which makes up half of existence. Form cannot exist without space, matter cannot exist without void and the physical cannot exist without the non-physical. When we turn our attention inwards we can connect with the source of creation, this stillness, and access its infinite pool of vast wisdom. It's always there, within every living being, waiting for us to embrace it. ~ Louise
Deep feeling brings divine healing.
Children are masters of feeling. They fully feel and express every emotion without holding back. But as we get older we take on conditionings and belief systems from society which can prevent us from expressing ourselves in this natural way.
Boys in particular are often taught that it is unacceptable to express emotion and are bombarded with expressions like, "don't be a cry baby," and "man up!" The repression of these emotions leads to an inner numbing. We forget how to deeply feel and express emotions because we stop doing it. Like everything, these emotions are energy, and energy must flow somewhere so if it doesn't have a healthy outlet it flows into our bodies where it remains trapped. Layer upon layer of repressed feelings are pushed down, until eventually it becomes too much for the system to contain and they either explode like a pressure bomb in the form of a breakdown or create so much havoc within the body that a disease manifests.
We can get in touch with these repressed emotions by holding a loving, non-judgemental space for them and fully allowing them. It doesn't make us any less of a person if we experience anger, sadness or even hatred. They are simply energies which want to be felt. They don't belong to us and they don't define who we are. They are simply an experience. When we embrace this experience with consciousness it can become a way to connect more deeply with ourselves. So how best to do this on a practical level? When the emotion arises, go to a quiet place, lie down, breathe, notice how the energy feels in the body, and sink deeply into the experience. Surrender to it without trying to run from it or push it away, because in truth there is no escape. Embrace and allow the emotion, holding it with unconditional love. Allow the body to move in whatever way it wants - shake, yell, scream. The body has an innate intelligence and when we release control, the body's intelligence can take over. It may release the energy in spasms, yawns, twitches, laughter, tears....simply allow whatever comes. It can also help to talk to the emotion as you would talk to a small child in pain, telling it, "I love you. I'm here for you." This opens up a spaciousness around the experience which allows divine energy to enter the body, like a healing light penetrating every cell. It is in this space that we reconnect to our true nature and healing occurs. ~ Louise