Maria Skinner

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Archive for December, 2014

Choice & Surrender: Feeling Feelings with Gusto

I recently posted an article about emotional sobriety on my facebook status and I had to take a deep breath around all this and let in a new layer of awareness. There is judgement around being or not being sober. Sometimes I hear my own mind telling my sober self – you are no fun. And then the sober self tells the party girl, you are out of control. I tend to go more towards control while emotionally craving release. The emotional aspect of addiction for me is a deeper urge to merge and connect, to feel deeply, and then not feel how deep the feelings go. Astrologically speaking, sobriety is a Saturnian impulse, it is the ability to make a choice with alertness and awareness. It is about being responsive to what is and taking responsibility for my emotional experience. Neptune, on the other hand, is the impulse to merge and let go of control, to swim in the emotional soup that we are all part of and surrender to the bliss that is often available when we see each other as ONE. For me, the conversation about addiction needs to include the larger spiritual context. I ask myself, what am I looking for when I reach for my drug? Am I looking to avoid feeling something, am I looking for the sensation of pleasure, am I looking to quiet the cravings, am I looking to feel connected to my soul? There is a reason why alcohol is also called spirits. There is a reason why drugs, and sugar, before it became ubiquitous to our lives was solely used in rituals that often involved communal transformation. So even after the substances are gone, after I have quelled the chemical triggers, I am still left with the urge to merge and to feel the magic and the sweetness of life. In this merge, I need to look square in the eyes of my shadow because when I find great bliss, there is great sorrow too. For me, they come together, package deal. Strengthening my emotional body for me has been about being able to stay when these great feeling waves crash inside of me. To feel them and not run to something that will help me release the pain or the fear, to not run to someone and provoke them to provoke me to release. Strengthening my emotional body has been about strengthening my physical body. When I sense my body, I can feel the waves rising as sensations and separate myself from the story long enough to let the transformation happen. That is the gift I have found in staying, feeling the feelings as sensations in my body and letting them flow through to the other side, to the place where the release moves through my breath. There are still moments when I have emotional responses and think to myself, “I have no idea why I did that”. The onion keeps peeling. But those times are less and less. At some point, CHOICE and SURRENDER merge and then I feel that place where I FLOW and settle more easily into my body home.