So here we are, in phase of 2 of checking out your inner home. Last week, you just started to get the feeling of your inner home, and to sit in it consciously, for five minutes each day. This week, you will go one tiny step further into inhabiting your inner space.
After a week of turning the volume down on your thoughts, and tuning in to how you feel inside, you may notice that without doing anything else, you already feel more present and embodied. Just feeling how you feel can be something of a revelation. Often we sweep our feelings under the rug, not wanting to experience them, lest they should disrupt us, and our lives. They scare us a little, or a lot. Once we realize that, in and of themselves, that they are just sensations wanting to be experienced, we can relax and get to know them.
It’s liberating to realize that you don’t have to be afraid of your feelings.
You don’t have to avoid them, deny them, or hide them. You also don’t have to express them, address them, or “deal with” them. Just feeling them is a complete experience in and of itself, and at this point, that’s all you need to do.
In this phase of the practice, you will tune in to your physicality, your breath, and your body, as the anchors for your awareness. In other words, experience your feelings through your body, rather than just thinking about them. Go back to the image of turning the volume down on the radio or television in your head, if that helps. Drop all stories, concepts, and explanations about why you feel the things you feel, and just feel your feelings as they present themselves to you, in your body.
Notice as you scan your body, from your toes to your head, and back again, if your body feels heavy or light, cold or hot. Are you tingling in any area? Or numb? Simply observe, and stay connected to your breath.
Some people feel shapes and see colors, for example a black thing the size of a golf ball in their throat, or a cold, flat sheet of paper in their upper back. And what most of us experience is that these areas of consolidated energy change in shape, color, density, as we sit patiently with what we feel. Most of us notice that if we sit with these sensations and continue to anchor attention on our breath at the same time, the sensations shift and transform.
All we need to do is observe.
Again, at this point in the process all you need to do is experience the energy as it shows up and moves through your body. Let your thoughts go for now, like people walking past your home that you don’t intend to connect with right now. What you are doing here, building on last week’s exercise, is taking up residence in your inner home by becoming more fully present in your body.
If five minutes still feels right, continue setting the timer for five minutes and go on about your day when the timer goes off. If you feel like more time would be even better, set the timer for 10 minutes, or do two five-minute intervals. For now, though, do not exceed 10 minutes. Get in, get out, and get on with your day.
Next week, we will begin to move beyond just taking up residence in the inner home, and move into some more conscious cleansing of our inner space. Take good care of yourself until then…
Go here for Part III of Inner-Housekeeping, by Mick Kubiak.