It has been my great search for truth that led me to this kind of exercise: “authenticity hour”. And actually, being a seeker of truth, calms me down. Sinking down into my realness feels relaxing. Sinking down into my realness feels the same as rising up to my realness. Both sinking and rising, falling and rising, become a unity, a unity beautifully encompassing a paradox. Truth is about paradox. Being a seeker of truth I am also becoming a lover of truth. I am becoming okay with things being paradoxical, and being multi-faceted. But it’s all a process. And it’s all an elusive process – trying to catch this realness trying to catch my truth.
My most recent practice, the one I want to share with you, is the “authenticity hour”. Every day you take time to feel the truth. To appreciate what is going on. To learn something about yourself. It’s impossible to enjoy life well unless you know yourself well. So, you take time to feel into what you are feeling, to feel into what you like about the day, the moment…or what you don’t like. What you absolutely love, or what you absolutely don’t. And the thing that matters the most in this practice is that you stay totally completely honest with yourself. Honesty with yourself is such a marvelous experience, yet can be painful. You have to stand naked in front of the mirror of self. You are your own mirror reflecting back your own truth – for the sake of feeling, for the sake of awareness. If you know what you feel, you can choose what to do with it. Thus it means you have to decide which feelings you will grow, consciously. This conscious decision is a beautiful act and this is your power.
For example, I can catch myself feeling joy, and I can make a decision to grow that feeling, to grow my ability to feel it and thus to make practice out of feeling joy. I can catch myself feeling sadness, and thus choose to listen to it. I can catch myself feeling as a clean slate and thus breathe in this simple potential and rest in its creative pulse. I can choose to feel elation. I can choose to get depressed. Mostly, I feel that joy is my natural, and easy state, but there is so much heaviness and shadow that can pinch the chord to joy. My chord to joy – the thread that connects me to it, took me time and effort to feel. And now I am feeling myself from new perspectives, with new openeness and new knowledge. I have become more expansive and more embracing and more non-judgemental. I am feeling too big and too small for life. It’s fair to say that I am feeling everything at the same time. And yet, right beneath is stillness – the place where every need is met and every feeling is felt through, the place of complete knowledge and the absence of it.
So, actually, there is more than one practice that I want to outline here. The first being the authenticity practice where you get to the bare honest bones of your reality at the moment. You admit and write down the truth. It can be painful, pleasant, relieving, any combination of feelings. The second practice is called “getting under the skin of your material desires” which means that you think about all the material things and experiences you want, and then going one step further, you try to focus on the feeling that fullfilling those desires would produce in you. Now, this exercise requires imagination, openness, and also concentration, because here you try to access the feeling that may be quite distant from the feelings you are used to. I ask you to stick with both exercises, and record your experiences of them. But actually, this “getting under the skin of your material desires” exercise is an organic outflow of another exercise which may be a little easier and certainly lots of fun. This one is called “ granting your desires”. Everything you have ever wanted, you can imagine giving these things to yourself or being given by others. Every time you find a desire or a wish in your consciousness that you would like to fulfill, you say to yourself “I grant your wish”. You can get creative with the phrasing of course. The most important thing here is to focus on the emotional uplift this exercise is supposed to induce. And most of all, have fun with it.
Ultimately, all of these exercises are working with the emotional energy and are supposed to deepen and refine the ability to feel. To learn about feelings and learn about ourselves. All of these exercises are also done in the name of love. I didn’t even create them, they spontaneously emerged out of my practice of seeking truth, authenticity and a positive relationship with myself. It’s my honest desire that you learn something valuable from these exercises and that you find a feeling state that you love.