† Listening to and experiencing life through the sensations I feel in my body is the most direct way of tapping into a connected and full existence.

This new way of operating in the world comes with both feel good and not-so-feel-good emotions.

Norman Duenas

Norman Duenas

The good of it happens when I feel a deep sense of peace and connectedness with the people I choose to spend time with, but I’m learning that there are also liabilities when I’m not cautious.

By choosing to live in this state of heightened awareness, I’m affected by the energy around me even more than before.

So I have to be more discriminating with my energy in all aspects of my life – love, friendship, work, everything.

It’s like I’m walking into the world each day on fresh legs and with an infant-like perspective of the world. Everything is new to me and I can’t just apply the old way of doing things to situations that come up.

They don’t fit me anymore.

These realizations came about a week ago when I cracked something open inside of me and inadvertently released a torrent of emotion. It was a pretty painful week and not fun to navigate, but the intensity was bearable because I know that by dealing with the emotions that came up I’ll be able to experience even more happiness and truth in the future.

Going through painful times now feels very similar to being 45 minutes into a hot yoga class when I’m exhausted and dripping sweat and the instructor calls for us to go deeper into a lunge and hold it for five more seconds.

In this moment, there is psychic pain, but it also comes lined with a feeling of power – the knowing that I can break through physical pain by tapping into my mental strength – and then it’s over and I’m hit with a rush of calm and tingling and bliss.

I’m not the same person I was last October. In fact, I pretty much feel like a completely different person. Not just a makeover, but like a total reconstruction of a person, like I’ve started breaking up with huge parts of how I used to identify as a person.

In addition, I’m not used to being present with people the way I am now. I’m not accustomed to the intimate nature of interacting with people from a place of complete openness.

One thing that really stands out is how aware I am now of the energy flowing between all of us and I’m just experiencing for the first time how intense it is to share any part of yourself – your words, your time, your space, your body, your anything – with anyone else.

With this new awareness also comes the realization that the old way of doing things won’t work for me moving forward. I can’t walk through life open, aware and exposed and operate in the same manner that I used to because the rules are different when you live from this exposed and intimate place.

Energy is permeating me and affecting me much more deeply now because there’s a shield that’s gone from around me now. I’m recognizing, acknowledging and abandoning old defense mechanisms that no longer serve me.

So without these protections, it’s essential that I guard what I’m cultivating. I’m tender in places where I used to be hard. And to no surprise to anyone who knows me – I’m super sensitive. So as I move forward I need to pay more attention to this aspect of who I am.

Now that I’ve started experiencing life through the sensations I feel in my body, I am acutely aware that I don’t have the capacity (or desire) to take on any energies that aren’t completely in sync with what I seek.

I’ve gutted and skinned the person who I’ve been living as for the last 33 years and it feels sad. Like I’m breaking up with this outer layer of myself that I don’t identify with anymore. I know it’s the right thing, but it’s just really hard to let go and step into completely foreign territory.

I talked to my friend the day this all started coming to me and between crying fits I said to her, “I feel like I’m losing my mind.”

And she said, “Well… Isn’t that the point?”

And I just laughed because she’s right. All this shadow work is aimed at me learning how to let go of my mind – the voice in my head – and move into a place of listening to my soul and body instead.