The Feeling

A few days ago I was on Skype with Mark Downey recording an episode for the podcast we’re working on. Both of us were feeling spaced out and weird. The conversation was slow and meh.

One thing we’ve discovered that made us realize how compatible we are as podcast co-hosts is this:

Being in conversational flow is not something you can do. You have to feel it.

The feeling—the state of being—brings the spark. Then the conversation starts flowing. Then we’re both leaning in. Then the ideas are flooding in and we’re lit up and finishing each other’s sentences and discovering things neither of us knew we knew.

This is true for… everything. This is the law of attraction. In Gandhi’s words,

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi was being specific. To be something is to feel it. To feel it is to attract it into existence. Einstein made the same point:

“Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help but get that reality.” — Albert Einstein

You know how they say “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? In order to get what you want, you need to energetically match it. You need to be it. That’s the most efficient [and indeed, the only] way to bring about the change you want.

This reminds me of something I learned in the Landmark Forum a couple years ago (I recommend the Forum big time if you want to get reoriented in a meaningful way). One thing (of many) that stuck with me was this point:

Most of us have this mindset:

Have » Do » Be.

First we need to HAVE the money, the recognition, the success, the relationship, etc. » Then we can DO the things we want like travel, paint, work our dream job, etc. » Then we’ll BE happy, successful, fulfilled, and validated.

Which is exactly wrong. The way life works, mechanically speaking, is the opposite:

Be » Do » Have:

First, regardless of our physical circumstances, we must practice BEING happy, successful, fulfilled, and validated. » Then we’ll be drawn to DO what matches that state of being. Like traveling, painting, working your dream job, etc. » That’s when we’ll actually HAVE the money, the recognition, the success, the relationship, etc. that we want.


Kenza Kadmiry (Brilliant woman. I feel like I’m just starting to scratch the surface of her insight) has been telling me about Dr. Joe Dispenza. (My genius friend, Wendy Van Nooten, is awe-struck by this guy too so my curiosity is sparked.) Here’s a quote by him that Kenza tossed into one of her comments on Facebook:

“Very little new information can enter into your nervous system that is not equal to the emotion you are experiencing.” — Dr. Joe Dispenza

Far Mark and me, our goal for the podcast is to regularly, reliably talk about relevant, energizing stuff that gets us both lit up. Our objective is to reach conversational flow every episode. Instead of meticulously planning what we’re going to say and how we’re going to make it interesting to others, the trick is to EXPERIENCE the way flow state feels before flow state happens. Then once we feel it (we call it “The Feeling”), the podcast takes care of it self. Paradox af.


So how do experience something before it happens?

Here’s what we’ve learned so far about The Feeling:

  1. It’s not as hard as you’d think to feel something that’s inconsistent with your circumstances. It’s like daydreaming. Or listening to an energizing podcast in the middle of a drowsy office space. Or laughing. Do you notice how when you’re laughing hard you can’t simultaneously think about the person who just broke up with you or the job you just lost? Don’t be protective of your current emotional state if something comes along and threatens to lighten the mood. Invite these interruptions in.
  2. The way you feel RIGHT NOW is your access point. It’s your launchpad. Don’t suppress it or avoid it (what you resist persists). Recognize your current state of being for what it is: a gateway into the feeling. A few posts ago I wrote my way through this shift. I started by going in circles and wound up flowing. The trick I used was failure (I called the post “When You’re Stuck, Fail”). By setting out to write a bad essay, and allowing my stuckness to be there, I ended up writing a pretty good essay.
  3. The Feeling is always available. It’s our natural state. Kids are feeling it all the time. Open, in awe, creative, expressive, alive, genuine, active… this is our original, most organic state of being. Everything else, all our fear and blockages and biases and stories and attachments, are things we’ve accumulated along the way.
  4. Usually, what’s keeping The Feeling away is attachment to how things should be. The Buddha said, “The root of suffering is attachment.” When we see our seemingly shitty circumstances as opportunities for growth and discovery, we invite The Feeling in.
  5. Honesty is a shortcut. It can be ugly, but Mark and I have learned that being open, transparent, and real with each other keeps the bar high. During this low-energy Skype call, I started off on a riff for like 5 minutes and he stopped me and said “honestly I don’t care about any of this right now. I’m having trouble paying attention.” It made me laugh and I became curious about his experience. His honesty; his ability to be transparent about what was going on for him is what shifted the tone and subject of our conversation and eventually brought about The Feeling. If he would have censored himself and tried to stay in the conversation to be polite, we would have likely continued along our forgettable trajectory.
  6. Don’t play by the rules of the lower states. Before we feel The Feeling, when we’re still feeling grouchy or anxious or annoyed or insecure, we might feel inclined to talk about what’s wrong; to explore the problem; to try to come up with solutions, to compensate with overconfidence, to withdraw… that’s all usually wasted effort. Get still. Let there be some silence. Breathe for a sec. Ok what’s true now?
  7. There are no rules. I asked Mark what else he would add to this list and he reminded me of this point. Guidance to The Feeling is intrinsic: it comes from within. It feels like resonance—like a quiet, intuitive voice saying “come this way! I know it may contradict what other people have suggested, but trust me on this.” In Mark’s words:

    “Any time we’re trying to follow a ‘should,’ ‘ought to,’ or ‘have to,’ — even any time we listen to the fear of ‘what will happen if I don’t do X’— we are agreeing to follow rules outside of ourselves. That’s why these feelings of obligation can hurt so much. They are not ours. If instead we learn to appreciate the value beneath some of those obligations, as deep down as ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ even, and make those values our own, what we have then is not an obligation to do good but a real call from within ourselves. The Feeling is accessible because it is our own.”

What would you add to this list? This is something I’m committed to so mastering so I’m serious with that question.

2 thoughts on “The Feeling

  1. I think your second point sums it up perfectly: “The way you feel RIGHT NOW is your access point. It’s your launchpad.” A few months ago I started the practice of talking out loud to my phone’s voice recorder about what was true for me in the moment and the feelings that were immediately present. I discovered that giving yourself space to be you, whatever that is right now, effortlessly allows your core knowing, dreams, ideas, and insights to rise up to the surface and become perceivable and catalytic. Hacking the creative flow state became simply being present to the me that’s here now and expressing it in the way that feels most resonant and readily available (voice recording, writing, video, etc.) Really enjoyed your point of view on getting present with what’s real and letting it be your pathway to “The Feeling.” Definitely resonate with this!

    Liked by 1 person

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