Saturday, August 24, 2013

You are not something that needs to be fixed

Go deep into the sensations found within your own body, for there is tremendous creativity there. Your feelings and emotions are carriers of wisdom, but they cannot share their gifts unless you allow them to dance within you.

Inside your anger is crystal clarity.  In the center of your fear is a courageous freedom. Your sadness is made of particles of compassion. Your despair is filled with raging possibility. Stay close to your experience and let it show you why it has come. Nothing is broken. You are not something that needs to be fixed.

There is no higher spirituality than the direct transmission of your own body. 


  1. I disagree. You are broken if you feel these feelings, especially if you are stuck in them. The clarity, courage, freedom, etc. come when you calm down and can see things more objectively. Why would anyone want to spend longer than necessary in a place of pain? I don't understand your POV. For myself, I definitely need and desire to be "fixed" and change my m.o. and life. I think I didn't learn some essential life skills when I was younger and it's haunting me now.

    1. Thank you, friend, for offering another perspective here. In my experience, when we are finally able to make actual embodied contact with difficult emotions and feelings – when we can finally allow them to be there rather than believing that they shouldn’t – we can begin a process of metabolizing them and integrating them into the totality of what we are. I agree that when we wallow in the story about the feelings and emotions we can easily become stuck; but this is not feeling them, in my experience; this is spinning around them. Many people believe they are directly meeting feelings and emotions when in fact they actually never, ever have; rather, they are hovering around them, in contact not with the direct sensation level of feeling, but with the conceptual stories around them, judgment, and actual aggression towards one’s self-experience. This only further entrenches one in the feeling (and the stories around it) and further prevents them from finally touching what is actually there.

      In my experience, the suffering that we so naturally wish to avoid is not found in the direct experience of sadness, grief, despair, fear, and so forth, but in the movement away from them – in the belief that they shouldn’t be there, in the stories of ourselves as the sad one, the grieving one, the one in despair, etc. When we meet the experience of sadness, directly, for example, without the narrative that it shouldn’t be there, it is hurting me, it means this or that, it is this or that person’s fault, it is my fault, etc. – we might discover that it is and never was a problem, but is only a messenger, come to show us something important about ourselves. It is not about wanting to spend more time in a place a pain, but wanting to know the truth of what is there, wanting finally to meet and touch what is inside us that we have been running from for so long. For we might discover what is there to be very much different than what we have been led to believe. And to possibly discover the radical truth that there is no pain inherent in sadness, or grief, or anger, or jealousy, or rage, or fear; that, yes, there are intense and sometimes uncomfortable energetic movements, but that their direct experience is a doorway into freedom. It is only the moving away from these energies, subtly or otherwise – conscious or otherwise – that feeds the suffering we so naturally wish to cut through.


    2. The language around “not needing to be fixed” is used in a more poetic way, to be honest, as a finger pointing to the moon of kindness, self-compassion, and self-love. It is meant to point to the possibility (which must be discovered in one’s own immediate embodied experience) that you are not broken simply because a particular feeling or emotion is arising in your body. Is it necessary that you act against your sadness? That you take sides against your anger? That you go to war with your anxiety? These are parts and pieces of you who are crying out for your attention and integration. In my experience, when we are willing to go into the sensation level of our experience, dropping down underneath the stories and narratives about what we think is happening or shouldn’t be happening – the endless conclusions and judgments – we will finally meet what is there, and it is often not what we think. When we are willing to become intimate with all of what we are – light and dark – that is the moment of real healing and transformation; this could never come, in my experience, as a result of self-aggression or scramble to become different, to change, etc. This healing that is being sought is only found in direct meeting. When we have the direct experience that these feelings and emotions are teachers and not enemies, and are actual harbingers of transformation, we set aside decades of the habitual response to escape from intense experience. While this avoidance and escape was very intelligent as a young child, another opportunity is finally presenting itself. And until we meet all that is unresolved within us, in my experience, we will never truly be able to love ourselves and others, and live in a wise and free way.

      I certainly appreciate your deep desire to fix and change yourself. And can see how what I am suggesting here (which is based on my work as a therapist) may not resonate with you. But hopefully it has clarified what is meaningful, true, and important for you. I wish you the best on your journey!

  2. I suppose as if I don't feel that I am "spinning" around those darker emotions. They have very real physical effects in my body. I'm not sure how you "integrate" these emotions (anger, anxiety, fears). I take the Eckhart Tolle approach, when I have enough awareness, and just say "Hello, Fear. . . I'm choosing Optimism today." Anxiety is just when I ignore the inner voice that screams at me and I don't follow it. Any time that I have given them more attention than needed, they just amplify, and nothing positive comes of it. And that is never an energy that I would want to put out into the world-- it's destructive. Perhaps this is a subject that I won't be able to understand from a blog, although you are very articulate.

    I appreciate all the care and tenderness of your message. If nothing else, your gentle, kind, patient, loving spirit come through and that's beautiful to see.

    I am very open to seeing a new perspective and expanding my experience, so I will continue to read along and see if I can relate to your message. I'll be honest, I don't wallow in my past, I have a cognitive understanding of how it influenced me up until this point. . .but, I like to think that I am not a slave to past conditioning.

    I found Sounds true products a few weeks ago, and I'm soaking up all the wisdom on the podcasts and some of the books. I love your music, too. I couldn't figure out how to access the 23 videos about Self-Acceptance. I saw the register sign. . .but, I wasn't sure if that was just for Sounds true newsletter or for the specific series. Any help appreciated-- that's such a perfect topic to discuss and an area I'd really like to work on.

    Thank you for your patience with me!

  3. Hi Lisa, it's nice to hear from you. It is certainly possible that you are not spinning around disturbing feelings and emotions; not knowing you, I of course would not assume that this is what you are doing. In my experience in speaking and working with hundreds of people - most of them very committed spiritual practitioners - I have observed that many believe they are working directly with emotional energy simply because they "feel" a lot or they are very upset, and so forth. But as we've gone into a bit, we have come to see together that much of their suffering is actually arising out of a very subtle movement away from the actual and very raw somatic material.

    I certainly appreciate any method or approach that works for you, including what you outline here with Eckhart, etc. And I certainly understand what you mean when you note that if you give the difficult emotion more attention than needed, nothing positive comes from that. In my experience, again, if the attention is given to the raw sensation level, there is tremendous information there; if, on the other hand, attention is given to the narrative and story, it can become real frustrating, real fast. In my experience, there is nothing destructive about meeting what is there; in fact, destructiveness could only ever arise from not doing that. Getting to know what we are and what is moving us and what is alive and unresolved within us, in my experience, is the kindest and most compassionate thing we could ever do - for ourselves, others, and for the world.

    Yes, I agree; some of this is very subtle and not easily communicate-able in writing, especially on a very informal blog or through facebook, etc. I do really appreciate your kind words and for dialoging with me, though. I also agree that wallowing in our past tends to not really produce much value. But nor does not meeting what is arising in our bodies and our psyches in the present. It is an interesting sort of paradox, really.

    I'm happy to hear you're enjoying the Insights at the Edge podcasts and the other Sounds True offerings. As for the Self-Acceptance project, yes, I'd highly recommend this, to anyone. If you go to, you should be able to just enter your email address and access all the videos at no cost. I have heard from some who are using iPhone and iPad that they have had difficulties logging in, but you should have no trouble at all on your desktop or laptop.

    Take care, my friend,