Feeling into the Core of the Feeling is a sort of meditative process which is a very quick and easy method for gaining conscious control over unwanted emotional reactions. It is based on several theories including:
1) that all emotions are energy in our body,
2) that unwanted emotions take control of us in conflict with our conscious intentions and
3) that the emotions retain this power because we have been resisting fully feeling those feelings.
As an example, let’s say you have an angry outburst with a colleague even though you know it is not in your best interests to do so. This person has a way of pushing your buttons and causing you to react in a non-constructive way, that perhaps you regret later. So it would be useful to be consciously in control of your reactions so that you can operate in your own best interests.
As per the theories above, the emotion you feel when your button is pressed, that is when this colleague upsets you, is an energy in your body that you can feel. This emotion probably has its roots in your childhood when you felt a similar emotion. Children are very sensitive to feelings and can easily by overwhelmed by them. All children, no matter how perfect their upbringings, have emotional experiences that overwhelm them and that they learn to avoid or resist in order to protect themselves. Without knowing this fact, or having the tools to correct this emotional avoidance, virtually all adults still resist or avoid certain specific emotions and as a result have emotional reactions that they cannot control despite knowing consciously that they are not useful.
Choose one particular emotional reaction that you would like to handle and remember a time when you had that reaction. Continuing with the example above, you would think of the last time this particular colleague upset in this specific way.
As you remember that time, generate the emotion you were feeling and identify where it is in your body. You may feel an ache in your chest, a tension in your head, a sore throat, weak legs, or any other physical feeling.
The first thing you will notice it that it is possible. This feeling you’ve been avoiding for maybe your whole life, can simply be felt as a discreet energy. It’s not so difficult to feel it at all. It is only your childhood interpretation of this feeling that makes it scary.
Now focus your attention on the feeling itself, it’s energy. Feel it fully: it’s size, density, shape, location, intensity. You may even notice that is has a colour, temperature, texture or sound. Don’t think about it …it is not about having a mental insight or any thoughts at all. However, as you focus on it, you may have thoughts. Just let them pass by and continue to focus your attention on the feeling itself.
Many people find that the feeling moves from one place to another or changes in intensity or other characteristics. Just continue to focus on it as it changes, continually probing for its core. You are trying to feel its source or its densest, strongest part.
If the feeling reduces in intensity, you might try zooming in to get a closer experience of the feeling. Allow your feeling awareness to penetrate into the most intense part of it. You may find yourself experiencing different layers of it or different waves of feeling. Just stay with it and continue to follow it, feeling all the time.
After a few minutes, as you continue to probe to the core of the feeling, you may find that the feeling starts to dissipate or lose it’s intensity. If this happens, continue to focus on it as long and as deeply as you can until you cannot sense it anymore. When you have felt the feeling so fully that you cannot feel it anymore, you may experience a deep peace which is your pure awareness. This is the place from which the feeling was created in the first place.
It’s important to know that you are not ‘trying to make the feeling go away’. In fact you are working to accept it fully by feeling it fully. As an adult you are fully capable of feeling your emotions without getting overwhelmed or hurt. Once you do this, the feeling will not go away, it will simply lose its control over you because you are fully accepting of it.
Then, check the time (or otherwise break the state that you were in) and once again try to generate the feeling just as you did at the beginning of the exercise. If you can generate it by remembering a past event when you got upset, you may wish to repeat the process. Or, you may find that it is difficult to regenerate the emotion at this time.
Benefits and Uses
Many people find they can easily gain control over their emotional reactions using this method. Whenever you notice you have reacted in a way that was not useful or appropriate for you, try feeling into the core of the feeling. You can also use it to feel fears or blocks that stop you from knowing yourself or making decisions. Over time you may master all of your emotions through feeling them fully.
In rare cases, some people may find themselves locked in the emotion of the feeling. This is because they are actually THINKING about the feeling rather than FEELING it. They could be remembering events that happened in the past to cause that feeling, or worrying about the consequences of the feeling. The risk of this happening is only that you may find yourself unnecessarily in a bad mood! If you are tend towards depression or prolonged bad moods, practice this method first with milder feelings and see how it goes.