What is FEEL?
Updated: Dec 30, 2022
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." -Helen Keller
If you have a body, you can feel. Feel can be physical, emotional and subtle (think energy). Some people are more naturally attuned to feel, while others have shut it down. By becoming aware of the different levels of sensations in your body, you can remind yourself to feel, cultivate it and even enhance it.
Why do we need feel? Feel is how we truly navigate through this life. Your five senses are only showing you the basics of what you need to know in order to survive. Feel moves beyond survival and can bring you into a whole new level of living!
Feel on the Physical Level
On the basic level, feel is one of your five senses. It keeps you in balance, tells you if you are hot or cold, if something is hard or soft, rough or smooth and so on. This is a great place to start, however, there is a subtler realm to the physical level of feel that needs your attention. You can feel your heart beat, your lungs fill with air and your stomach digest. With awareness, you can feel if you are tightening your jaw, your neck, your shoulders, your sternum, lower back, hips, hands, fingers or toes.
Feel lets you know where there is pain. Your natural response is to turn away from anything that is painful, but what might happen if you actually put your awareness there instead? If you've ever gotten a piercing or had a shot of any kind, you may have experienced that, in order to make the best out of it you exhale during the poke. When you exhale, you have the opportunity of releasing tension. Tension causes more pain. When you release the tension, you allow the sensation to move through you. When you tense up or brace against the pain, it gets stuck, prolonging and even worsening the feeling you are trying to avoid. By putting your attention to where you are feeling pain, you can exhale and relax into it. This allows the sensation to move through you and dissipate. This is just one of the ways where you can bring your awareness to feel and create a better experience for yourself.
Feel on the Emotional Level
How are you feeling today? Do you feel excited? Sad? Anxious? Bored? Stressed? How is your body responding to the way you feel? Your emotions are there for a reason. Each one has a message for you. Are you listening or are you going about your day, trying to bypass how you're feeling? By tuning into your emotions, you can begin to learn the subtle language of your body.
You can feel your emotions on an even deeper level. If you are excited, you may feel a lightness in your chest and a heightened beating of your heart. If you are sad, you may feel a lump in your throat. If you are anxious, you may feel a swirling in your stomach ('butterflies'), or a tightening in your chest and throat. When you feel love, your heart flutters and seems to expand. When you become aware of how your body responds to your emotions, you can begin to unravel their mystery, decode their message and respond accordingly.
Feel on the Subtle (Energy) Level
All matter is energy. Your physical body is energy. You may not be able to see this energy, but if you pay attention you can feel it. Spend a few seconds vigorously rubbing your hands together. You will create heat. That is energy. If you've ever experienced adrenaline, you have felt the sensation of sudden energy coursing through your body.
On a more subtle level, you can feel other people's energy. You may even be able to feel the energy of a room or building. You can feel the energy of an animal. Is it fearful? Playful? Friendly? Protective? Content? You can be assured that the animal can feel your energy. By feeling the energy of others, you can move more subtly through life. You do not have to get bit by an animal if you can feel that it is being defensive and therefore avoid the encounter. You might choose to remain quiet in dialogue with a friend because you feel that it is just not the right time to say something. Even this subtle level of energy can be felt physically if you pay close enough attention.
Connecting Through Feel
These different levels of feel are all interconnected. Physically felt sensations are subtle energy movements, as are emotions! Emotions present themselves in a physical manner as well as a more subtle, energetic manner. Subtle energy currents can be felt physically, as heat or tingling sensations.
By becoming aware of what you are feeling, physically, emotionally and subtly (energetically), you can better attune your body to the messages it is receiving. In general it is easiest to begin with the most obvious sensations and work your way inward. Through attention and consistency, you will develop your feel on all levels. When you are tuned in, you have an understanding of what you are feeling and why, allowing you access to your heart's deepest desires. When you pay attention to life's subtleties, you give yourself the chance of making changes before they turn into big ordeals. When you access the subtler planes of existence, you truly begin to thrive!
Can you feel your heart beat?