This is a continuation of Louise’s story of doing Feelingwork, in her words, with my commentary in italics.
The experience of shifting the feeling left me stunned. It moved so quickly and the feeling of relief and lightness was sweeping and overwhelming.
After identifying this first, intense emotion we shifted it. I began the first shifting process by looking at the color. What color did it most want to be? Yellow. The color stayed the same. I was disappointed. I tried to make it a new color but it stayed stubbornly yellow. I moved on. Particles swirling and sinking moved into a solid pillar in my center. I felt it. It felt warm. Like the warmth of stone in the sun. It felt solid under my hand. It felt good. Each element of the feeling was very clear. I was surprised at the clarity of each part of the feeling. I tried making it cooler but it didn’t feel right. The temperature was very specific. Warmer than body temperature but not hot. The color was specific. I tried making it lighter, then darker. It would shift reluctantly and immediately I would start to loose track of the good feeling. I brought it back to the state where it felt best. I tried changing the shape. It wouldn’t budge. I allowed everything to return to its perfect state. A feeling of strength, calm and confidence flooded over me. It felt right.
One of the most surprising, and intense parts of this process is the physical feeling that accompanies the emotional states. It feels like a real realignment is happening within, not only your mind and your emotional state, but in your physical being as well. Shifting a strong emotion was commonly accompanied by a feeling of tingling all through my body, lightness and excitement.
The Surface Self and the Deep Self
During this process, I mapped two sets of surface-self parts and the deep self. It’s not always possible at first to know for sure if an emotion is part of the deep self or one of the surface self sets. As I gained experience with the work, I began to feel the difference between the states. Surface-self parts were less intense than deep-self parts. Often moving a deep-self part left me feeling disoriented and off for a few days while moving a surface-self part left me feeling instantly better. After discovering a deep-self part, I often felt overwhelmingly sad or angry or frustrated. It varied depending on the nature of the feeling state. After shifting a deep-self part it would often take time to realign. The feeling of improvement took longer, but once achieved it felt solid and permanent. The first emotion I mapped and moved turned out to be a part of the deep self but at the time I was not even aware of the difference between deep self and surface self. Looking back, the intensity of the feelings as I mapped and moved “crumbling” to a feeling of solidity in my center or “core strength”, indicates that it was a part of the deep self, but at the time I had no point of reference.
Feeling description: Hot bath temperature; slowing down, lighter weight, like a solid, all holding together, all the particles, hard, heavy, upright, like sandstone; a warm, yellow-gold, shimmery solid color; up through my core, a foot in dia., through whole torso; has weight but not heaviness, solidity but not rigid; there’s energy movement in it; energy that takes the form of a solid; a pulse all the way through it, heartbeat-speed. A warm, humming sound like a beehive or something. Seems like the pulse would change and adjust depending on circumstances.
Thoughts/beliefs: Forward movement, a reaching out into full experience and true understanding and awareness. Fully awake, aware and receptive without fear of threat. “It’s OK.” It’s a safe state of just being.
A Couple Weeks Later
In a session a couple weeks after Louise shifted Crumbling to Core Strength, during which time she shifted several more states, she had this to say:
I love how this has a path that you follow. And each part really couldn’t be any other way. It just is. It’s like a discovery. I like how each layer unfolds naturally. It’s not forced. And the few times I have tried to make it be something I thought it should be, you’ve stopped me, to focus on just experiencing, unfolding the next piece, to see what it is.
I could tell when I was getting off track, but it’s hard not to have ideas. I’ve been working on that. This work really can’t be forced.
Updating the Language
The terms Louise uses here, the “surface self” and the “deep self,” come from an earlier model of the inner structure. Currently I’ve been able to identify that these “self” sets, (each with nine distinct feeling parts), arise in sets of three. I call such a group of three sets a constellation. Constellations have one each of what I now call a core set, a reaction set, and a manager set. We can think of these as sub-personalities, and they work together in creating any kind of ongoing patterns in our lives. Doing Feelingwork with a full constellation creates a profound shift on many levels.
To be continued tomorrow…