HangingOutInTheMiddleI am in an amazing space! I continue to be present. I continue to be in a place of contentment. Hovering somewhere in the middle of my life. And I realize the middle is the perfect place to hang out!

I think in some past thought process I might have believed I wanted to spend my time in the top end of life. In the high. That my goal was to always be up!  Joyful, blissed out! Yet in this moment, that doesn’t feel quite right. At least not for me.

I imagine the origin of wanting to live in the ‘high’ of life originates with an exercise I did back in 2004. A year of awakening and change. In fact I credit this as the year that I started my personal/spiritual journey.

I was at a weekend workshop where we did an exercise that looked at how we spent our time and energy emotionally.

Each participant had a deck of cards. Each card described different emotions or emotional situations. We were suppose to sort through these card and choose the five that we experienced the most. Which 5 felt the most consistent in our lives.

The five words that I came up with at first seemed awesome! Happy, content, belonging, balance and peace.  I was quite pleased that I didn’t have words like anger, depressed, scarcity or fear.  But as I sat there in my state of contentment, I stated to notice other words that also weren’t in my five.

Words such as thrilled, joyful, bliss and ecstasy. I knew these words but rarely (if ever) felt them. In that moment I felt a longing. A longing to know and experience these expansive emotions that in that moment felt so foreign.

Of course I learned that if I wanted to feel the expansive emotions, I had to feel their counterparts too.  Those emotions that are constricting. You see, working with and accessing your emotions is like inflating a ball. It gets bigger or expands in all directions at the same time. It is never in one direction only!

I definitely had emotions on both sides of the continuum that I was avoiding. I spent a great deal of time and energy keeping my range of acceptable emotions in check! Part of me thought that if I were to access the emotions outside of my safe-range; I would lose control. I had weird thoughts about what experiencing them might be like.

For example, if I was to joyous or blissed out it would jinx the circumstances. I would end up disappointed. Or if I really let my anger out, it would take over and consume me. I imagined I would never NOT be angry!!

That exercise was a pivotal starting point for me. I wanted to develop and expand the access I had to emotions. ALL emotions. As important as this whole experience was, I now think I distorted the exercise. Along the way, I created an impossible hurdle of myself!

I thought if I wanted to experience Joy, Bliss and Ecstasy in my life, that meant they had to be part of the five! That they should be the constant . Not happy, content and belonging… those were the middle! Right!?!  I needed to be in a constant state of bliss!  Which of course is a set-up.  The belief that everything is suppose to be ‘positive’!  Which of course then makes any other emotion bad or unacceptable!

In hindsight I think I see the problem. It was never about changing the core emotional energies I experienced!  It was that I needed to have the flexibility to access the full-range of emotions. Something I had not allowed before. I had pre-defined an acceptable range of emotions that I thought worked for me. A small range that I thought kept me safe and on track.

When we try to control our emotions or make them fit in a perfect package; they end up seeping out in unexpected ways. Or they end up being so stuffed in to the dark corners of our inner being that we forget where we put them. They become denser and harder to move or work with. They become the dis-ease that eats away at our insides.

I think it is important to develop ease and access to our emotions. To feel the joy, bliss and ecstasy whenever they are available to us. And of course when we have access to them, we experience them more.

We must be willing to feel the constriction and weight of the emotions that are on the other side to the continuum. Fear, anger, grief or dread. These too are real emotions and the relationship we craft with them is just as important. When we experience situations that cause sorrow or loss we need to grieve. Otherwise those unexpressed emotions go somewhere. And.., it is never a tidy little package tucked away in a safe place.

Any of these unexpressed emotions will eat away at you. Sooner or later they will find the weirdest and most untimely places to show themselves. In ways you would never intend.

Today, it feels as if this place of neutrality that exists in the midrange of our emotions is ideal. Some call these the transitional emotions. From here, you have more fluid ability to move with the situations and circumstances of your day. If you develop your emotional fluency, you will move into joy or disappointment with ease.  Then move back to your center when you have expressed or experienced those emotions. This is perfect awareness for where I am right now.

I like this place of happy, content and belonging. It is a great base to operate from!

With Light, Love, and Laughter
Charles

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