Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts
Subscribe to Letters from Mama Gena
Get free tips on life, love and sisterhood from Regena Thomashauer

It’s worth the risk to FEEL.

Hi.
How ya feeling?

How many times a day do we get asked that question?

And how many times a day do we actually sink into the question, sense, discern and become conscious of the actual way we feel – and then, risk the truth of transparency in our answer?

I get to feeling kind of awkward when someone asks me how I am and I know they don’t want to really know.

I have a moment of wondering if I should reach for my truth anyway, or give them the finey-shiney answer they are expecting.
Or maybe I make the inner call that I don’t want to risk anything with them beyond “Fine.”
I might decide that they can’t handle my truth, or they are not really interested. Maybe I don’t want to be known by them.

We make instantaneous decisions about who we are – and who we are not – going to reveal ourselves to.

Who hasn’t been told to keep her feelings to herself?
Too much, too loud, too emotional, too intense?
We restrict our true feelings to conform to a culture that does not understand, appreciate, or acknowledge the ever-changing, ever-unfolding inner life of an emotionally healthy woman.
And by doing so, we restrict ourselves.
Suffocating ourselves.

When we tourniquet our truth, we cut ourselves out of the love we long for, the intimacy we crave, and our own innate sense of rightness with ourselves.

What will my date/my boss/my classmates think of me if I say:
“I am exhausted; my kid had a tummy flu and I was up all night.”
“Pissed – I just got a ticket for running a red light on my bicycle.”
“Lonely.”
“Frustrated.”
“Humiliated.”

What do we do with all that?
Stuff it all inside?
Pretend it’s not happening?
Stiffen the upper lip?

Not in the world of the feminine.
In the world of the feminine, everything you feel is right, perfect, beautiful, changeable.
Like the wondrously variable weather, the emotional variety of a woman is glorious.

You feel. Exactly what you feel.
The feeling part is the best part of each of us.

Our feelings connect us to ourselves, and one another. Our feelings connect us to the joy of Malala, shyly accepting her Nobel Prize on behalf of all students in the world. Or the feelings of unbearable sorrow as another life is claimed by a new virus. Our feelings connect us to every animal, every blade of grass, every human being.

When we risk feeling, there is a very deep body sensation of being absolutely connected, plugged in, a vessel for divinity.

Feel is from the Old English word, felan – to perceive through the senses. The sense of being conscious of sensation or emotion was documented in the 13th Century. And ‘to have sympathy or compassion’ dates back to the 1600’s.
So, let’s break this out a little.

Feeling is how we establish a relationship with ourselves.
Something happens, and it either feels good, or it doesn’t.

The way a human being is structured is that when we are safe/happy/healthy, we locate our center by moving in the direction of pleasure, or what feels good. When we truly feel, we can sense when it’s time to move away from what is unsafe or bad or wrong.

If we don’t take the time to locate ourselves, then we are lost.

I was in trouble on Thursday.
A speaking gig I had been longing to do got cancelled.
At first I tried to ‘be strong’ and carry on business as usual.
But, as much as I could rationalize, the hurt, wounded part of me was whimpering around like a lost puppy. My feelings were hurt. Not rational, just feelings.

Instead of hiding my disappointment, I told everyone.
Not only did I tell everyone, but I sung my feelings. Danced them. Got some friends on board and had them dance and sing my disappointment right along with me. (I highly recommend belting the song ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Misérables, next time you want to process some disappointment!) And by the time I moved through all of my emotions and feelings, I was free. And even more deeply connected with everyone who witnessed my story, and with everyone, everywhere, who ever had a loss or disappointment.

I want to know what happens to you when you feel overcome with a deep emotional response.
Do you brush it aside?
Or surrender?
Do you move it through?
Or push it away?
Do you feel righteous about honoring every gorgeous experience that you are able to perceive through your senses? Or not?

What is one feeling risk that you have taken and had it work in your favor?
What is a feeling risk that you could take, today?

Let me know in the comments . . .

 

Want more of Mama in your inbox?
Subscribe to our newsletter to get free updates.
43 Comments / Leave a Comment

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Marie March 19, 2015, 1:30 pm

    I am trying out a new technique concerning emotional feelings. I am focusing on the sensation of the emotional feeling. I am not allowing myself to make up stories about the feeling, nor understand it, nor make it go away, nor figure out how to prevent its reoccurrence. If I just hold to the sensation, I find that stories and understandings not in my typical pattern will pop up. Now I am only doing this with unpleasant feelings. I do not get very analytical about pleasant feelings – but maybe I make up stories about pleasant feelings too.

  • Elisa October 28, 2014, 4:08 pm

    Hi Mama Gena! Thank you for being like you are and for this post!

    I am a singer, so I know some famous singers. They are very nice, but tend to be nicer when everything about my career is going great.
    I don’t think about them as my intimate friends, because they are not, but still, I have a tendency do be transparent and always tell the truth about my life, my career and my feelings, when asked about it… I was raised in a very caring family and this is how I learned to behave…but I think people, and especially this ladies, don’t want to know about me when I am not happy and honest about it. So I shut down and try not to spend time with them. Am I being to critical?

    lots of love from Portugal

  • Sister Goddess Rene aka The Mighty Muse October 26, 2014, 5:14 pm

    You’ve done it again Mama, expressing yourself for the benefit of one and all. Thank you for always willing to be present and open for us. I’m facing a big project today, one I’ve resisted for way too long and I realize more than ever it’s time to feel my feelings around it. So instead of fighting against it and distracting myself I’ve decided to go outside and take a little walk instead. While I’m at it I’m going to talk to the Sky an out loud spring cleaning with Patches (my visiting dog friend) as she is always interested. Then, I’m going to come back to my drawing board and start fresh. My antidote soundtrack will include some loud Aerosmith and I won’t forget to take a few dance breaks in-between. I do this for myself and all my Sister Goddesses everywhere, and also to make our Mama proud ! oxox

  • Sasha Stone October 24, 2014, 8:18 pm

    Mama Gena you divine Goddess!! I love this! I am reading it “late” but at the perfect time for me. This morning I was feeling heartbroken, torn, confused, overwhelmed. Instead of pushing it aside, I went into the kitchen and cried about it with my roommate. Then I went for a walk and cried about it on the phone with my Dad. Then I put my feet in the ocean, splashed around a little, and gave all my glorious hurt, heartache, and confusion to mother nature. I surrendered!
    From there I went home feeling lighter, feeling clearer, feeling energized and excited to move forward. It’s beautiful the release we can feel when acknowledging and expressing our emotions, versus the heaviness and pain that results from stuffing them somewhere deep inside.
    God bless.
    Love, Sasha xo

  • Otiti October 23, 2014, 9:47 am

    When my feelings threaten to overwhelm me, I sit down and get it all out in my journal. I talk to my mum, my sisters, my soul sisters, collectively known as my Angel Soul Posse. Sometimes I blog, Facebook, or Tweet about it. Whatever I do, I get it out of me and right up front so I can process and move through it. I’ve found that emotional suppression injures no one but me, and keeping it real about how I feel brings me closer to the brave souls who have my back and love me through all my emotions and feelings. I believe in speaking out and claiming your truth! It’s time for us as women to own our voices and say what’s up without cowering or playing small. Now is the time. Yes.

  • T. L. Cooper October 21, 2014, 5:29 pm

    Last Thursday I had one of those days where a bunch of little things just went wrong. Nothing major, just the accumulation of a series of tiny things that threw my day off and made everything I did take longer than usual. I had German class that night, and I really didn’t want to go because of the day I’d had; however, I did. I showed up, and when another student asked about my day, I was completely honest. I even told her I was worried how my mindset from the day was going to affect my participation in class. Even as I told her, I felt my mindset change and a smile come to my lips. She offered me a few understanding and encouraging words. Class went pretty well!

  • Julieth October 21, 2014, 4:28 pm

    I feel bad today, frustrated, I have wanted to leave everything behind and start from scratch. I do not feel fulfilled in my work and my boyfriend went to Spain, is very absent and elusive, I feel I do not talk to me, although that’s his personality.

  • BSG Glitzy Cougar Karen October 21, 2014, 3:22 pm

    I still struggle with this one. I did leave the 25 year marriage and have made so many amazing changes, it boggles my mind (and everybody who knows me). And I certainly let it all out in Mastery and Inner Circle, but with men? Hmmm. That’s been a slow one for me…letting them see the real me. The rejection piece still lives. But my ex had a secret life with a dominatrix, and clearly he was loving the “inner bitch”. I think they like the drama…the volatility…and I’m kind of sick of being nice.

  • Birgit October 21, 2014, 2:43 pm

    Thank you, Regena, for this post,
    thank you for the sisterhood and community that so much help to let out who I am. The tricky thing is: the more I let out my full me the more I am confronted with my fear of being rejected, of being the weirdo, the nutcase …. so good to have people like you reminding me that what I feel is perfectly right. And 🙂 when I am rejected by people who feel intimidatet and do not want to be around … thats good, that makes space for the soulsistas …. the real ones.

    With much love and pleasure
    Birgt

  • Ahhhhhh Regena YOU once again lead the path by example! I am receiving your gift and sharing with deep gratitude and inspired on how to handle disappointment next time it crosses my path – how to keep in touch with my own feelings and how to share my feelings with others CREATING intimacy wherever I go.
    Mwoa to you and palace team

  • Dana October 21, 2014, 2:14 pm

    This is one of my favorites you have ever written Regena- pure brilliance. Thank you for taking me higher today! With love and gratitude

  • Sister Goddess MEG October 21, 2014, 1:25 pm

    I found myself completely inspired to write this poem after reading this post:

    This is my Call for Love Letter, but it’s mainly for myself.
    I won’t live a life not loving every inch of me.
    I won’t go down this road not expressing every aspect of my capricious nature.
    So I ask,

    Can you handle me?
    Can you handle my lust, my rage? My greed and my jealousy?
    Can you handle my sweetness, my love? My tenderness and my need?
    Will you still be there?
    Can you handle my tears, my laughter? My screams and my moans?
    Can you handle my destructiveness, my creativity?
    Will you create with me?
    Can you handle my moodiness, my temper?
    Know that, first and foremost, I am a woman. I am mother earth. I am the full, unstoppable, and beautifully terrifying force of nature, inspiring wonder, fear and awe. I will not be tamed or domesticated. Like the ocean, I am more wild and powerful and have more depth and beauty to me than you could ever hope to know or explore. I’ll invite you in. But be warned. I am not always nice.
    I am the dancing flame, the majestic volcano before and as it blows. I will burn you. But I will also inspire you, pull you along, as the stars and the mountains calling for poetry, dance, music, sacrifice.

    Can you handle that I’m a real person?

    Know that I want it all. I will have it all. I will feel everything. I will be everything. Will you take this journey with me?

    If you can, if you will, then bring it on. Let’s dance.

    Handle me, but not with care. No calming words. No pacifying gestures.
    Handle me with passion.
    Handle me with truth.
    Handle me with love—with a fiery, furious love that challenges as it accepts, inspires as it honors, calls out as it holds.
    Handle me for real.

    Show me your reality and I’ll show you mine.
    Give me your ecstasy and I’ll give you mine, and freedom, joy, and power besides.

    If I am too much for you, I don’t blame you.
    Raw passion and emotion, especially in women, have been given such disgusting labels. Hysteria. Witchcraft.
    Don’t worry, don’t look back. Run and find your nice, safe girl or boy. Settle down.

    But come to me if you want—not always a good time, I can’t promise that—but a real time, an alive time. I’m not interested in anything less.

    • SG Heidi October 21, 2014, 3:39 pm

      Sister Goddess Meg,
      Thank you for that amazing poem. That is EXACTLY what I needed to read today! You are a true gem!
      SG Heidi

    • Murzila October 21, 2014, 6:43 pm

      Sister Goddess MEG, your words represent my feelings and emotions for some time now. Today I want to scream every single word of your writting. I supress who I am, because I make loved ones feel uncomfortable. I supress who I am because I have been told I have a personality disorder and I am looking into managing outbursts as part of this disorder. When I eliminate all signs of it, what will be left of me and my personality?

    • SG Ali G. October 22, 2014, 6:25 pm

      Man oh man! This is exactly what I needed to hear. Another incredible woman speaking the TRUTH, and owning it!

      THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    • Amy October 22, 2014, 10:34 pm

      I almost was inspired to write something similartonight, but not so eloquent. My husband left me three weeks ago, filed for divorce Friday, and I know part of our downfall was he wasn’t strong enough to handle my truth. He wasn’t ready to hear it. I want a man who will love all of me, the light and dark, because he has learned to embrace that within himself. Thank you for sharing. I may have to print this out to remind myself I didn’t lose my husband because I was passionate, but because he couldn’t handle all of me.

    • SG Janell October 23, 2014, 1:40 am

      Holy wow. This is going up on the bathroom mirror. Thank you. This is amazing.

    • Otiti October 23, 2014, 9:51 am

      CHILLS! You’re amazing, Meg! Every woman needs to read this. Why not make it a post or graphic we can share? 😀

    • Sasha Stone October 24, 2014, 8:21 pm

      That final line, wow, goosebumps. You rock sister goddess!!! Thank you for sharing this beautiful and inspiring piece.
      God bless xoxo

  • SG Ti Sugarbitch October 21, 2014, 1:21 pm

    In the four-person Team Terror mini-tribe formed during my Mastery 2012, we’d ask each other, “Which sounds better, to be ‘fine’ or be a HOT mess?” Whenever one of us was scared about the rate of change, the flood of feelings we were finally allowing, the others would shout, “Congratulations! You’re terrified! Yaaaaaaayyyy!!” It was amazing. Recently, I shared some icky squicky ‘if I was a good girlfriend/evolved person/strong woman I wouldn’t feel this way’ feelings and fears with my sweetheart. He was so lovely and it’s brought us closer than ever.
    Today, there is a work situation that has me feeling dismissed and disrespected and I didn’t say it was “no problem.” I let the person know that I am not okay with them regularly making their disorganization my problem. They were surprised and I feel GOOD!

  • Deborah Smith aka SG Wicked October 21, 2014, 12:42 pm

    Dear MG,

    “Too intense.”, “It’s not OK to cry.”, “Needy.” and “You’re crazy.” are the phrases I learned and have used against myself. Because of you, because of program, I am learning to fully love, honor, respect and cherish my feelings.
    Because of you I am practicing transparency more and more. I have had some amazing responses to my being transparent. This research has shown transparency serves me. Being transparent not only allows others to come to me on the level I am at at a given moment, It allows me to keep my head clear-no more brain running on a squirrel wheel- so that I am both moving forward faster and getting clarity and truth on any given situation much faster than before.
    As always, I find myself feeling deep and overflowing gratitude for your teachings.
    Thank you.
    xoxox

  • SG Emily October 21, 2014, 11:31 am

    Dear Regena,

    Thank you for coming back to the rightness of our full emotions and our health being based on the right to feel and experience our emotions fully. I have always known a sense of deep health and rightness as I feel my life fully and have always known deep inside that I am not “too much” for feeling fully. It is the root of my well being and health. I’m so happy you have the courage to form such a strong container for us to all come together and validate this bodily rightness of feeling our feelings somatically and on a fleshy level. xo, SG Emily

  • Sheri October 21, 2014, 11:27 am

    Absolutely fantastic! Thank you for the reminder!

  • Starshine October 21, 2014, 11:23 am

    What if over and over year after year stuff keeps happening.
    I weep, I cry, I feel my emotions, I share with my friends
    BUT
    I want to focus on more positive things
    I want to MOVE forward to more positive outcomes.
    How can you get out of a vortex of sad?

    • helen October 21, 2014, 11:36 am

      Starshine ~ do a gratitude daytimer – every day, log in everything good, no matter how small…EVERY DAY, i mean it, every damn day, even if it is only to log that you got enough sleep, or breakfast was good, or you saw your favourite (whatever) today….. and keep doing it, no matter what… every day especially when you don’t feel like logging it… start looking for good stuff to log in your daytimer- it will shift you (it’s that -“not break a bad habit but develop a new one that makes the old one obsolete – bucky fuller i think – changing your focus)… xoxo 🙂

      • Starshine October 21, 2014, 3:23 pm

        I Will!
        Thank You for you insight!

    • Shauna October 26, 2014, 4:39 pm

      I agree with Helen! Change your focus – find positive and good in everything. It will make a difference.

  • KadyBloom October 21, 2014, 11:16 am

    Hi Regena and Sister Goddesses!

    I left my body in my childhood and have been working and healing my way back. So feelings in the body, sensations, both dark and light sensations to read are something I really want to unlock. As a committed creative person, I know for sure that my creativity is connected to my feelings and spirit. I want it back fully. No interest whatsoever in fine. No interest in being around “Fine” people. I want to step forward, rise and conquer my fears. I am really anticipating Miami and rupture. God damn it, I want to bloom open so bad I can almost feel it!!

  • Stephani Adams October 21, 2014, 10:57 am

    I clamp down on my intense feelings shutting off the flow of energy through my body- I stop eating because my stomach is so clamped, I give myself UTIs and or yeast infections because my pussy is so clamped. I was raised to be quiet, never yell or shout out.

    • Ruby Red October 21, 2014, 11:23 am

      I’m so glad you found this site! This can help you! Sisterhood is powerful!

  • This is Donna A October 21, 2014, 10:45 am

    Well , enough of that. I want to get through this with grace and dignity. But I’m worn out. REALLY! I need that push to get me through the last round. HELP ♡♡♡♡

    • SG Jill is MAGIC October 21, 2014, 11:06 am

      Sending Love and Light to you Donna A. Way to stand for yourself XO

    • Lois October 21, 2014, 11:17 am

      Donna A,

      Sending loving energy to you. You are going to come out of this with strength and joy. Continue being true to yourself and your feelings.

    • Ruby Red October 21, 2014, 11:22 am

      Stand strong, Donna. I support you!

  • This is Donna A October 21, 2014, 10:41 am

    He has a full time staff of 117 people. The constant interrogatories and now depositions and continuing court appearances an dfdcertificatiom

  • SG Amelie October 21, 2014, 10:38 am

    I have been feeling a little put-off and jealous of my fiance’s relationship with another woman he works with…I know deep down that things are okay, but I’ve restricted my engagement with the feeling. I’ve hidden it from him because “all of the rule books” say we as women need to be “cool” all of the time. Cool with everything, never nagging, always indifferent. Instead of outing my feelings maturely and with compassion, I’ve bottled them up and they’ve certainly manifested in other ways. I love the idea of moving and feeling through our real selves. Sometimes we’re not just fine!

    • Ruby Red October 21, 2014, 11:21 am

      Wow…. i went thru a similar thing just this am! I just spoke my mind, shared my feelings with love and openness, and it brought us closer. I feel better.
      These are the tests of a new relationship, and sharing can cement your bond. If this works for you, you could have much more joy in your engagement, and strong joy is something you will need to get you thru the wedding planning! xoxo

  • This is Donna A October 21, 2014, 10:37 am

    Hi Mom a Gena, my husband left completely 15 months ago asking me not to tell anyone including the children and grandchildren so things could stay the same but he wanted to have fun. I’m 60 now he is 68. We have worked and played hard for 32 years. And left a wonderful community legacy.
    I can not live that kind of life. I immediately filed for divorce. Grief stricken as I was and full of fear because he is a well known Hard man to go against. (To say the least)
    My point is I’m the plaintiff and am being tortured by legal demands emotionally and financially. I’m on my own and he has a staff of 1117

    • deb October 21, 2014, 11:51 am

      Your story matches mine so closely it’s eerie. My husband did tell the kids. But no one else. I did not file for divorce because I thought he would miss me and come back. Ha! Now 15 months later he is in the process of selling his business, something else that I “must” keep under wraps, and the divorce will happen. More people now know he quit our marriage after 38 years,but not many know about his new life or his girlfriends. It’s taken a lot of reading, journaling and advice from Mama Gena and others, to feel my devastation, acknowledge it, and grow as a result of it. Still a work in progress!

  • Sue October 21, 2014, 10:34 am

    Right now I’m struggling with an enormous amount of aggravation and disappointment. (I plan on belting out “I Dreamed a Dream” later today by the way.) When I feel this way, I tend to hold on to the feeling for a day, then process it with anyone who will listen. I need to move through this because as happy as I am to finally be feeling these emotions, I don’t want to stay here.

  • Sister Goddess Dazzling Debra October 21, 2014, 10:28 am

    “No one is interested in hearing your sob story”…..My well meaning mother would say. So I learned to behave in a way that would “win friends and influence people”. One of the last things I remember my father saying to me before he died, when talking about a man that I was dating, was “don’t let him see the real you, the dark angry side”.
    Of course he was speaking of himself, and my mother still doesn’t touch her emotions. Nor does she deal well with mine, so the whole concept of allowing others to see all of me is still challenging.
    As I anticipate Rupture weekend in creation I do so with anticipation and trepidation. Sure I have swamped and biffed and let it all out in mastery, and have processed some pretty profound emotions in first creation weekend, but still. I wait for the bottom to drop out of my world if I got so transparent that everyone would see who I really am….
    That said, I am pretty sure they would see a fierce, loving, emotional tigress who feels deeply and loves powerfully.
    Whoever cancelled the opportunity to hear you speak Regena isn’t ready for your message.
    I am so grateful that I am.

  • Thea October 21, 2014, 10:27 am

    MG, I just love this!
    Last night I was talking to a friend who said that she’d noticed with people in her life the default answer to “How are you?” is no longer “Fine,” it’s “I’m Busy.” I know I’ve used both “fine” and “busy” to brush off the question when I assume the asker does not really want to know. But what’s more, I see how easy it is to use “busy” not to feel. Feelings (and meals) are crammed to the edges of life unless we intentionally carve out time and space to “locate ourselves” as you say, to feel/express, or to nourish ourselves. It’s so important.
    Thank you for this reminder!!

  • Caroline October 21, 2014, 10:25 am

    Thank you. I will try that the next time. What I do is write a nasty letter to the evil doer and save it to draft. If it’s really bad, I invite the feeling in. I actually intensify it as much as I can and try to pinpoint its exact location. I may even taunt it- come and get me. I dare you. What I have found is resisting the feeling is what causes the long dull constant ache. Once I invite it in, it’s much subdued. Then I ask, what gift does it bear? (Some knowledge about myself. Time freed up to…? Some illusion dispelled). In the end the loss of illusion is always a gain in reality, always a win. The doorway to pleasure is always now. What door shall I walk through. Will it be 1, 2 or 267?