A Feelingwork Session in Detail: Receiving Love

Moving Shame


J: So in this moment, in the spirit of exploration of what’s possible in a perfect world, if this part of you were free to become, oh let’s say harder or softer, bigger or smaller, warmer or cooler…?

S: Definitely softer, no more porcupine quills. And it would change color. It would be yellow, kind of like a glowing light, like a sun.

J: OK.

S: But really, very soft. 

J: Yes. OK. And so in becoming softer, and changing color, if this part of you were free to take on qualities of any substance at all, would it prefer to be more like some other kind of solid, or a liquid, or a gas, or some kind of pure light, or energy, or something else?

S: Pure light or energy I think.

J: And in becoming this pure light or energy, if it were free to take on any temperature?

S: Comfortably warm. Like maybe a hundred and two degrees, like a little warmer than body temperature, but you know, you could still have your hand on it for a while without being burned.

J: Mm hm. 

S: Maybe only a hundred degrees. You know, just a little bit warmer.

J: OK. And in taking on this new quality of being pure light or energy at 100 degrees or so, to confirm the color, if it could be any color of the rainbow…?

S: Sunshine yellow, or maybe lemon yellow, or egg yolk yellow. Like the heart was the reddest red? This is like the yellowest yellow.

J: OK. Great. And would it want to have qualities of being transparent, or translucent, or opaque?

S: Translucent, maybe. Like transparent, it really likes being yellow, and it wants to be noticed.

J: Ah hah. And obviously it’s luminous, this light? Any qualities of being sparkling or shimmering, iridescent, anything like that?

S: Shimmery or sparkly.

J: OK. And if this part were free now to located itself anywhere in or around, or in and around your body, and occupy any size and shape at all, where would it most want to be?

S: Well, the center of it would be right where the porcupine was, but then it would definitely go, like covering all the parts that were gray before. Almost like a circle except there’s not sharp, defined edges. So it would even go up to my chin, probably an equidistance down which might be the top of my thighs, and maybe out to my arms…

J: How about forward/back, also? Would it be a sphere or more of a circle?

S: It’s kind of a shape like this , so however far back the gray fog went before, it’s like that far back, and then however far the steel plate was, it’s like just past the edges of that. So sort of encapsulating.

J: Right. All right. And does this light want to be moving in any way? Is there any kind of a flow, a pulse, a radiation, vibration?

S: No. It’s just glowing. But it’s not… The fact that it’s light means that there’s activity.

J: OK. 

S: Without any overt activity.

J: OK. And if you listen internally, does there want to be any kind of inner sound that arises with this feeling?

S: It’s kind of tinkly bells or wind chimes. I don’t know, celestial sounds, angelic sounds, music of the spheres sounds… I mean I can hear them in my mind because I have CDs that have music like that.

J: All right. So you know what that means.

S: Yes.

J: And is there anything else you want to notice about what this wants to be?

S: No. I think that’s it.

J: And so from this new place, this new feeling, what seems true, or real, or important now?

S: It seems very expansive. 

J: And what’s important to you about that?

S: That I’m very open, so it’s like I am open to let the love in. It feels like it made that expansiveness.

J: Mm hm. Great. And what new name would you like to give this?

S: Receiving.

J: Mm. Great.

Here I am providing a rich container within which Susan is invited to explore new qualities for the expression of this part of her. In the mapping phase, Susan created a tangible image expressing Shame. Every feeling state image has the unique quality of being a bidirectional pointer. As Susan experiments to deliberately alter the image, the actual feeling state changes to reflect the adjustment. At each step I invite her to test out adjusting the image in two opposite directions to discover which one leads to a state that feels “better.” Once we establish the best direction, I invite her to test out the full spectrum of that property to identify its optimum value. As we make our way through the full set of properties, the feeling state transforms from its original distressing state to one that is full and resourceful.

Some people like Susan will have an easy time simply inviting the shift and following where the part wants to go. Others will need more step by step guidance.