What's Important About Feeling?
You don’t have to leave the world of society in order to live in harmony with nature.
“Feel” means different things to different people. Have you heard that “you can’t teach feel”? That some are born with it and others never get it?
When someone talks about “feeling”, do you cringe with thoughts of overemotional people? Do you find yourself saying, “I already know what she’s talking about…” and want to stop reading the rest of this article?
Our awareness and ability to feel, to sense, are truly our greatest assets. Feeling familiar senses as well as unfamiliar sensations is actually at the heart of all of our communication, our compassion, our connection. When one person is willing to feel themselves, they are available to feel others. When people feel one another, compassion can rise to the forefront. My willingness to be aware of what I feel brings awareness to my senses and I can engage with the world with an open heart.
As a very young child I was aware of my communication with animals, with nature, with life. At ages 3 and 4 I had no vocabulary to describe my experiences, so it was hard for my family to understand the richness of my interactions with other species. I was told that I “don’t remember what happened before I was born,” and that “the dog is NOT talking to me.”
A few years later, about age 11-12, I had more ways to understand my experience, but it was still difficult to communicate about it with people. I didn't know how to say, "I sense it," and I had no way to explain my senses.
Communicating with animals, grass, air, stones, insects, birds and other living creatures was as simple as knowing what I feel in my own body. If I want to say “I feel hot”, I become aware of how it feels to be hot and I share that sense of awareness. It’s simply broadcast as though my body is transmitting a radio wave. This is using sensory information to communicate. Every living being, every structure that can feel themselves who also wishes to know how I feel is then able to sense that “Kerri feels hot.” Its a completely natural, harmonious communication that offers the truth of my being with nothing to hide.
In my relationships with animals, I studied and developed my capacity to communicate this way. I expanded my “sensory vocabulary”. I found that when I used my sensory vocabulary along with my speaking vocabulary, I would speak to animals and people at the same time and everyone gets the same message. This has been the foundation of my work since those early times in my life.
What makes this possible is my willingness to be aware of what I feel. The difficult part for most people is that they want to feel “good” and not “bad”. Many people want to feel the positive and not the negative.
In sensory vocabulary, there is no “good” or “bad.” There is no “positive” or “negative”. What I feel is simply what I feel. To judge it is to analyze it, and analysis disrupts the clarity of what I know.
The animal kingdom does not evaluate whether a sensation is good or bad. They may communicate that it’s pleasant or unpleasant, but pleasant and unpleasant are still sensory words, not judgment words. Humans have this same capacity to feel without judgment - I know because I am a human and I found my capacity to communicate with the animals as they do with each other. If I can do it, other humans can do it, each at their own unique capacity.
The importance of this awareness and skill expands far beyond people communicating with animals. The real importance is in the clarity of communication with one another, no matter what species. Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, we feel each other beyond our words. Everyone is empathic.
Like it or not, humans are feeling creatures. People defend and protect themselves not from another’s words, but from the way it feels to hear those words. Defenses and offenses are built based on projections of future interactions. Humans are creatures of awareness. Bring awareness to sensory awareness and humans have a tremendous capacity to communicate, to create in the world.
The animals will always be here evolving with us, side by side. When I was learning how to communicate through my heart, the animals were there to acknowledge, validate and guide me by sharing their sense of themselves in relationship to me. My part was to listen with my senses.
Feeling our senses, expanding awareness and knowledge of our senses changes the way we move through the world. It changes our experience of being in a body. It changes the interactions in every relationship, with animals and with people.
The mind needs a new kind of education. You can’t think your way to sensing. The mind is not a sensory instrument. It is a calculating instrument, a tool of comparison and analysis. It’s not expected to sense things! When you expect a mind to be something it’s not designed to be, you create anxiety. Teach the mind about sensory communication through the body, and the mind begins to find its own source of validation and clarity in every situation.
Wellness begins with a willingness to feel well. One person feeling well invites others to feel that sense in kind. With guidance and experience, we can use our sensory awareness to communicate from a sense of harmony with life rather than evaluation of life. We can sense together what is in our common interest. We can create wellness.
The great unfamiliarity with wellness lies in its absence of conflict. People are so accustomed to living in conflict that wellness actually feels scary. In wellness, there is no enemy - how does a mind protect itself with no enemy and nothing to defend? It is a difficult puzzle for a mind trained to protect itself.
Sensing our environment is innate.When people are provided an education for what to do with sensory information, everything can open up. Fear dissolves. Numbness no longer seems necessary. Feeling can be intense and gentle at the same time. It’s time to educate people about their own senses and show them how to navigate in harmony with nature.