“How long has it been since I slept a whole night in a twin bed with a stranger?” (Joan Baez)
How long has it been since you allowed yourself to feel a wildness, a full heart experience whereby you lost yourself totally in the moment?
How long has it been since you set aside customary rules, thinking and shoulds to do something that has been burning inside?
This is not about over indulgences or an excessive version of something superficial that you already do. Go beneath the surface chatter and face the ultimate questions of your life. The questions that continue to surface and nobody else can answer. Nobody else can feel the hunger in your heart. We learn from those who go before us, but nobody can take our journey for us.
When was the last time you set aside conditioning and allowed yourself to feel true joy, or deep sorrow? If it was sorrow did you allow yourself to really cry or sob until you felt cleansed? How long has it been since you acted freely and erotically, leaving yea old missionary position behind? Whether it is your actual position, or a metaphor for the way you live your life, are you ready to explore without judgment, the hold that the metaphor has on the way you live... Yes! Your life, the only one you have.
The woman who will not allow herself, to feel the sorrow and disappointments, the “full catastrophic of life,” cannot feel the fullness of joy and love, even though it is all around her. When we squelch the sorrows, we flatten joyful feelings, as we cannot pick and choose. The avoidance of feeling what is real in the moment, causes, in spite of all that we say we want, a flat lined existence. This way of living leads in turn to boredom. At this point we may wonder, “Is this all there is?” We limit our experience when we avoid feelings that need attention. We often suppress our feelings thinking that there is no harm done, if they are out of sight, and out of mind. When the suppressed feelings come roaring back as a migraine, or high blood pressure, do you connect the dots?
You may be aware of your different moods and feelings, but how often do you actually stop and allow yourself to feel and honor them. When I do not allow myself a moment to acknowledge what I am feeling, I often find myself on automatic, using food to distress. Not feeling creates inner tension that becomes a foundation for addictive and destructive behaviors.
“…May the Angel of Wildness disturb the places
where your life is domesticated and safe.
Take you to the territories of true otherness” (A Blessing of Angels, John O’Donohue)
Our culture and conditioning, does not encourage the expression of a full range of feelings. If you notice carefully every family has it limits as to how much expression is allowed. Sometimes anger is allowed but not sadness. What you often find in this case is that anger was used for both emotions: anger and sadness; or conversely, sadness was allowed, but no anger. What was your family pattern? You can bet there was a family pattern! It is up to each of us to examine and change a pattern that precludes full expression. For instance men often get a pass when they express anger, while expressing sorrow is not encouraged. Women are more readily accepted when they express sadness, even though men and women have a boatload of both emotions.
Give voice to your emotions, even if they come out in a strangled way. Hearing one’s self speak out is important. A good time to practice is when driving. Hearing yourself speak in an assertive or emotional way will break the spell suppression has over you... A woman said to me the voice that comes out is ‘not me.’ It was not her adult voice, but her voice nevertheless; just a younger version. It was a young vulnerable voice of childhood when she was not allowed to express, especially anger or sadness. How then can this woman be joyful, wildly in love with life unless she can work her way out of this cage? It can be done. In my Journey into a Passionate Life Workbook, I give step by step process and strategies to do just that.
I was raised to be seen and not heard, and it has been difficult for me to go against those early injunctions. I have had to force myself to break the silence, to express my opinions, feelings, and ideas. One of the reasons I did fifty-two radio shows was to help myself break the fear of speaking out .Each and every show was a test of determination and courage, as it never became easy. Once the interview with a guest started, I could temporarily forget my fears, but each week it was a test.
I can’t sing but sometimes I have to sing to let out emotions that should not be suppressed. Sing as if your heart is full of joy, sing as though your heart is breaking, and sing as though nobody is listening. It is a wonderful way to open up the pipes for expression and allow emotions that you need for a wild, wonderful, wacky life to emerge. Let it out!!
“Do not seek any rules or method worship,
Say whatever your pained heart chooses.” (Rumi)
It Is Important to Break Some Rules: Often our life has no "juice" in it because we live without questioning beliefs and patterns that have been passed down to us by others. Others, important though they are for our survival, in the beginning, start with family rules or codes, church rules, school rules, with their attempts to civilize us, and take the wildness out of us. Is it any wonder that many of us are bored with our life as it is? Whose life is it anyhow?
“I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.” (T.S. Eliot, 1920)
Having known the gray cloud of boredom, gives yourself an inner permission to break whatever rules necessary for you to live a full passionate life, and be true to yourself.
Read more on this subject in my book and workbook, Journey into a Passionate Life.