“Is that a tattoo on your arm?”  … “Yes sir, it is…. Why? You ask?  Let me see if I can put this into words that will be understood.”

In our culture, here in South Jordan Utah, tattoos aren’t super common.  By some, they are frowned upon, by others, respected, and then there are myself and others who are indifferent.  

As I taught cycle class today, which is where I seem to get a lot of inspiration, I was pondering over the fact that we humans don’t like to feel. 

 We came to earth as spirits to have a physical experience…. Which means then, that everything we do is a spiritual experience.  The thing we are lacking and that I believe so many are searching for is what they believe to be a “spiritual experience”, but actually, it’s a physical experience they are missing.  

Here’s the way I see it.  Most of us humans live in our heads, we run ourselves ragged on all the hamster wheels we think we have to keep going.  Heaven forbid we slow down or stop…. And what ever you do, DO NOT BE STILL…. That would cause us to feel something.  It’s interesting that we seek after certain emotions,  like joy, happiness, and pleasure, but we run from pain, sadness or grief.  Why is that? How and when did those emotions get deemed as bad.  Why do people apologize for crying, but not for laughing?  Why is anger a more accepted emotion than the vulnerability of sadness?  Isn’t it true that emotions are made up of energy? Some high and positive, like love, and gratitude?  While others are low and negative, like fear and apathy? (even anger has a higher vibrational energy than apathy) 

Why come to earth to get a physical body if we aren’t willing to feel anything?  Why do we leave cycle class early if it feels to hard?  Why do we avoid exercise if it makes our muscles sore? Why do we avoid difficult or awkward conversations? Why do we use drugs, alcohol, food, and other addictions to avoid feeling?  It seems like an oxymoron to come spend a lifetime here in this body but then to go to extreme measures to avoid feeling.  

Another confusing aspect is where the tattoo comes into play.  Many of us live in our heads, on hamster wheels.  We listen to the voices in our head that give us constant, nonstop, play by play commentary …. Basically lies or distorted beliefs that we’ve concocted, things that will most likely never happen or aren’t even true.  It’s exhausting.  It wears us out emotionally and even physically.  It keeps us in a state of constant chaos, confusion, anxiety, panic, and we will do almost anything to STOP THAT VOICE IN OUR HEAD.  This is why people get tattoos.  Not everyone will agree with me but I have asked complete strangers about my theory, some who were tatted from head to toe and others with just a few tattoos.  Every time they have agreed that at the root of the tattoo there is pain they are trying to escape from or express outwardly.  

Its not much different from people who cut themselves ….. if for just a few minutes they can feel pain in their body, it gets them out of their head.  Typically when a person is in a state of mind that drives them to get a tattoo, it is from lack of self- love.  It is a way to express that they have control over something when the rest of their life seems out of control.  

Anyway… my final thoughts on feeling were this… If I hadn’t learned to feel and practiced it for the last six years, you would find me in a dumpster, tatted from head to toe, with cuts all over my body, drunk and high and eating twinkies.  The things I am facing head on and feeling right now in my life are not for beginners.  

I used to be a master at not feeling… I had denial down to a science and checking out and running were easy peasy.  But once you learn better… you cant go back, you can only go forward.  The statement that “ignorance is bliss”, is true. Don’t learn new stuff if you don’t want to change because once you learn it, it will drive you insane not to practice it.  

I just want to express my gratitude to everyone who has helped me learn to feel.  To greet life head on and allow every emotion to move through me while I sit with it and retain the lessons learned.  We have a choice in every trial.  We either let it make us bitter or better. 

And last but not least I want to thank myself, and acknowledge me!  I’m proud of myself and I love myself for going through hell and coming out better instead of bitter.  I have a long road ahead of me but I know I’ll not go it alone and I have developed the faith and confidence to believe that in the end…. I’m going to be okay.

By the way… I know you’re curious as to what my tattoo says.  It says Nilapataka Nitya, and to me it means that I chose to take deep dives, to feel, and to stay, while the heat of the fire refined me and helped me find my spiritual gifts.