If you can’t feel good, it might be that you aren’t good at feeling in general. In this episode, I share my “sensation feeling” concept and walk you through several questions to get you started practicing this skill. 

Scripture Reading

In Joseph Smith History it says:

9 My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the Baptists and Methodists, and used all the powers of both reason and sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least, to make the people think they were in error. On the other hand, the Baptists and Methodists in their turn were equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others.

10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

11 While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

12 Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart.

What Is Your Heart Telling You?

I wanted to read all those verses because many of us might be feeling a “war of words and tumult of opinions.” It’s pretty relatable! And I think the skill of feeling, the topic of this episode, helps in a larger scope of discerning truth and acting from the Spirit.

But it’s this last phrase I want to place my attention on in this episode. “into every feeling of my heart.”

Does the heart have more than one feeling?

What are all these feelings? How many are there?

Place your attention on your heart right now.

Without using your hands to touch your chest over your heart, can you feel your heart beating?

This is very difficult for me!

Now place your hand on your chest and tune your attention to the heart space. What do you notice?

I want to suggest that feeling is a skill. Yes, it comes naturally too, but we can also develop it intentionally.

Because we think that feeling comes naturally, we don’t see it as a skill to develop.

But— many of us have endured things in our lives that have created trauma. Trauma is a disconnection from feeling. Feeling itself becomes a threat, and we have to learn to overcome this threat with intentional feeling practices.

Resistance Is An Obstacle

One thing you might consider: not all sensations are resisted the way emotion is often resisted.

When we have to use the bathroom, we don’t tell ourselves, “I’m a failure. I have to pee!”

We don’t get alarmed when we feel hot or cold.

They are simply sensations that are signals from our body to put on layers or seek the shade.

When we distil emotion down to the sensation layer, we take away all the meaning. The way I think of this is what I call “Sensational Feeling.” It’s a focus on the sensations of feeling without going into our minds to figure out why. Being present to the sensations helps your survival brain learn they aren’t a threat.

Questions To Ask Yourself

Here are several questions to get you started on doing this work on your own, but please know that if you feel resistance to doing this work alone, there is a reason. Don’t push yourself, because you can cause more alarm in your nervous system if you force yourself to do something you aren’t ready for. We wouldn’t want that, because that’s what we are trying to solve for!

What are you feeling? Can you name it? (It’s ok if you can’t.) For some people the answer to this question comes easily and for others you might consistently answer “I don’t know.” It is all ok.

If you can identify a feeling, Where do you feel it? Where in your body would you place the emotion?

Or put another way— How do you know you feel the emotion?

What sensations do you notice in that place in your body?

Do the sensations move or change at all?

Do you notice any urges along with those sensations? Perhaps an urge to stretch, or an urge to curl in, or maybe even an urge to yawn or sigh or even scream.

How does it feel to be with these sensations and-or urges?

If you had a more difficult time identifying and emotion at all, place your focus on one part of your body. You might choose your hand, your chest, or your head.

When you focus your attention in just this one place, what do you notice?

If the answer is still I don’t know, zoom in a little closer.

Let’s say you chose your chest and it was difficult to identify anything. When you zoom in, you might only put your attention on your collar bone. Close your eyes and examine it with your mind. Is it tight? Is it hot or cold? Do you notice any heaviness or lightness?

Touch your collar bone with a hand. Now what do you notice? How would you describe how it feels to touch your collar bone with your hand?

This can be a difficult exercise, so take your time and know that there is no wrong way to do it.

It’s fine if, while examining the collar bone you notice something in your throat or your stomach. That’s perfect! All we are doing here is noticing our noticing. The more you practice, the more you notice.

Presence

Viktor Frankl famously said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

When we practice sensational feeling, we widen the gap between the stimulus of our own emotions and the response of the rational meaning we make of them. We grow our power to choose our response which leads to freedom from the prison that can be our emotions.

Another term I use is Presence. When we practice sensational feeling, we practice presence.

And the present moment is God’s timezone. This practice allows God into our response, to help direct and guide us.

If you are so blessed, but can’t feel good, maybe it’s because you don’t practice the skill of feeling.

Do you have questions about this episode? Email podcast@denitabremer.com and I’m happy to answer questions or entertain a discussion.

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That’s enough for now, and so are you!

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Cello music is written, recorded and produced by Jacqeline Walker.

This podcast is recorded by me, Denita Bremer, and produced by Denita Bremer Studios.