Are You Truly Feeling Alive?

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Day 11 of Feeling Alive

What does it mean to you to feel alive? What would your life feel like, look like? What experiences are you going through, what emotions? And all the rest of it.

We probably have a very similar view of being alive. If I think of fully being alive I see someone standing in nature with his or her arms spread wide open. Feeling that sense of freedom, of being alive. I feel the wind, see the sun, I see a grassy field full of flowers, and there is this sense of bliss.

There’s one thing I noticed, there is no thought. No thinking involved. Funny right? We all want to feel alive, we all want to feel what it means to be fully alive and stand with our arms wide open. Experience a sense of bliss and joy. You and me, we want to FEEL alive.

There’s one thing I noticed when I felt alive, there is no thought. No thinking involved.

You see that. FEEL. When we describe what it means to be alive, we talk about feeling. We don’t say I want to think alive. Or I want to think about being alive. We want to feel alive. Actually going through the experience itself. Feeling, not thinking.

And what’s closest related to feeling? What’s something that can only be experienced and not thought about? Right your senses. Touch, sound, taste, sight, and smell.

FEEL Alive

The gateway into feeling alive lies with our senses. Our ability to touch, taste, hear, see, and smell. All of these are experiences, things that we can feel. And that feeling is what we want right? We want to FEEL alive.

You see, the senses are always present. They are a guide to being here and now, to be mindful and present. We cannot experience any physical sensation in the past or in the future. We can think about something of the past, and therefore experience the physical sensation of that in the present moment, but we cannot possibly feel and experience anything physical in the past or the future. Cause physical experiences can only be right here, right now.

Which is a beautiful thing, cause if we feel alive, we feel the experience of living. We cannot think about it. We just feel it.

We can’t think about the things we touch, taste, hear, see or smell. If we think about it, we aren’t actually feeling. We are thinking. When we think about what we touch, we aren’t experiencing the touching itself, we are internally labeling what we are touching.

Which is a beautiful thing, cause if we feel alive, we feel the experience of living. We cannot think about it. We just feel it.

So if you were to dip your hand into the water, you can feel that. You can feel the temperature, the texture, the experience. Which will give you an extraordinary rush of excitement.

Yet what we mostly do is dip our hand into the water and then label the temperature as either cold or warm, we see if the water is filthy or not, and all the rest of these labels and judgments of the experience. We say that such a simple experience as dipping our hands in water cannot simply make us feel alive.

This completely takes away from what we want, which is to feel alive. We now say that the only thing we can do to feel alive, which is to experience our bodily senses, is not actually what makes us feel alive. What is it then that makes us feel alive? If not simply our senses.

A Physical Manifestation

You might say that to feel fully alive we want to feel emotions like excitement, joy, happiness, love, etc. And have positive and loving thoughts. That’s what truly makes us feel alive.

Well, let’s look into that, cause you are partly right. If you feel excited, doesn’t your heart feel full and light? Doesn’t your heart rate increase? Doesn’t your body feel energized? Doesn’t a smile appear on your face? Doesn’t the world around you become more vibrant and rich in color?

It does right? The same goes for thought. If we think of happy memories our physical body responds. We feel happy within our bodies. We again feel that full and light experience in the heart. We start to breathe deeper, have a smile on our faces.

So yes emotions and thoughts are part of fully feeling alive, but only if we see their totality. They don’t exist on their own. The emotions of excitement in truth are nothing special, it’s the physical experience of that emotion that makes you feel alive.

In truth emotions and thoughts are only confining the experience of being alive. Thinking about the physical experience means we aren’t experiencing the physical experience anymore, we instead are thinking about it. Which isn’t the feeling of being alive.

Thinking about the physical experience means we aren’t experiencing the physical experience anymore, we instead are thinking about it.

We start to label and judge life, but to feel alive, we must be aware of reality, without giving it a name. We feel the physical sensations without thinking about them, or giving them a label like happiness, or joy, or sadness. We just feel the sensation.

Not So Quickly

We are very quick to label things. Which actually makes the experience of living less lively. When you see a flower on the side of the road, for example, seeing the flower is entirely different than dividing the flower into different aspects. Like internally saying that the flower is yellow, is small, has a few dying leaves, and all the rest of it.

All of this is thinking and labeling. Not the actual feeling of being alive. We could just see the flower in its entirety. Not think about it. Nor label it as a flower. We just see it. That will create a sense of magic, and bliss within you. This experience of being alive is full and rich. The smallest of experiences can feed you with that feeling of being alive.

This experience of being alive is full and rich.

But how do we stop the labeling and thinking about the experience then?

Very Subtle Now

There is a very simple way to feel more alive. It’s subtle attention to what’s going on around you. This subtle attention is very different than forcing ourselves to be present through focusing.

This is often what happens, and has happened to me in the past. Actually till quite recently, so don’t feel ashamed, or bad about yourself. It’s normal that you tried to focus on the present moment, cause so many people are shouting and saying that you should be more present, yet lacking the understanding of actually being present.

You see, being present is very simple. You softly and gently place your awareness on all physical sensations around you. By doing this you don’t exclude any of them. Which is what you are doing when you are focusing on being present. When you focus on the sounds around you, you exclude all the other sensations of being present and alive.

You see, being present is very simple. You softly and gently place your awareness on all physical sensations around you.

If you subtly place your attention on what’s going on around you, you exclude nothing. You feel all the sensations, and doing this requires a great deal of energy, therefore you’ll automatically stop to think about the experience. You can not possibly pay attention to all that is going around you and think about it.

Placing your attention gently on the experience of the now, you will see that sounds become very vibrant, and in other moments, your touch, or smell, or sight will be vibrant. The senses take turns and together form the entirety of feeling alive.

This entirety brings about a deep sense of joy and bliss, cause you are now experiencing life fully. So let’s do this right now, at this very moment.

A Moment Right Here and Now

Let’s here and now take a moment to feel alive and experience life. Subtly place your attention on all the senses and experiences of being alive. Listen to the sounds, feel the textures around you, maybe you can smell something, see the objects around you, or taste the food that you are consuming.

Feel the phone or device in your hand. The texture of it, the way your hand grips it. Feel your eyes moving down the screen. Listen to the sounds that are around you at the same time. See the light hitting different objects in your room.

Experiencing all senses as a unity, and feeling them, brings about a tremendous feeling of being alive.

Don’t worry so much about understanding this, cause there is no understanding involved. There’s just feeling and experiencing.

Experiencing all senses as a unity, and feeling them, brings about a tremendous feeling of being alive. You’ll feel a deep-rooted sense of joy and bliss and can take enjoyment in all small experiences.

You are alive, and to experience that fully is a blissful experience. If you can realize this for yourself, you will not need anything different than to be here right now. To say Today I live. I am making the most of it.

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