In order to feel alive, we must feel. Busyness dims our emotional sensitivity. In that dull state, we may have a mental sense of our feelings, while the feelings themselves have become vague memories belonging to someone we used to be.
It’s often when we near a state of emotional numbness that our hearts, desperate to feel something, pick the emotion that will wake us up: sadness. If we ignore the glint of sadness long enough, our bodies respond with illness. Our emotions hunger to thrive as much as our minds want to be sharpened by challenge.
To feel alive, we must nurture our emotional selves. It’s not difficult, but it requires the courage to take care of yourself first. Slow down. Connect with the present moment by observing your surroundings. Notice. Notice. I am awake now to the soothing purr of the air conditioner. A light randomly flashing from my computer printer catches my peripheral vision. The gentle humidity of the room reminds me that I have left the door open downstairs for my sweet old dog, and that I can do that thanks to the inviting temperance of today’s weather.
Breathing in such present moment recognition gives us the awareness of being alive. We raise our consciousness, not by revving through a list of tasks to check off a to-do list, but by slowing enough to bring meaning to the fewer things we do by feeling them as we do them.
Until we can recognize, identify, and claim our own feelings, we cannot connect with the feelings of others. People frequently argue about political, social, or religious views because they’re expressing thoughts. But when we explore the richer field of emotion, we have nothing to argue about because we are all seeking to fulfill similar emotional needs: to be heard, to be acknowledged and appreciated for who we are, and to feel the connection with others that draws in the collective energy that reminds us we are all one.
I know you’re busy. But if you slow down enough to observe your life experiences, you can feel and be moved by them. That awareness is the distinction between being active and being alive.