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The Connoisseur of Feelings
by Stewart Blackburn

So what's your favorite feeling? Perhaps orgasm, being in love, or success come to mind. How about freedom, great speed, or simple tenderness? How about awe, profound emptiness, or giddiness? Really understanding what feelings you particularly like and which are just okay may be more important than you think.

Very often we look at our possibilities from the perspective of what we think will benefit us the most. That's certainly very reasonable. However, being reasonable may well overlook the inner promptings we have that call us to new, un-thought of possibilities. We can only become aware of those inner promptings by feeling them. They reveal themselves in the unspoken language of subtle feelings and symbols. Knowing what to look for and being aware of the subtleties brings much greater clarity to those promptings. This is the work of a connoisseur.

One way of looking at feelings is that they are our experience of energy. Energy is movement, by definition. But, it doesn't always move smoothly and evenly. In these human bodies of ours, we can block the free flow of energy with our muscles, and especially our fascia. We often do this to prevent the difficult feelings we may have from showing themselves in ways that we don't know how to deal with yet.

We tighten specific muscles to resist specific feelings. That's why it seems that memories are stored in the muscles. When we relax those muscles, the memory comes back. Another way of looking at this, and a way I find more useful, is that when we see that certain muscles tighten, then we can prepare ourselves to feel certain kinds of feelings when we relax them. Massage is wonderful and it helps us to relax in general, but trying to relax specific muscles without being prepared to deal with those particular feelings, means that we will tighten those same muscles again until we're ready to fully feel those feelings.

So, we do have to allow ourselves to feel those uncomfortable and sometimes scary feelings, but we don't have to hang out in those feelings. Generally we just feel them fully and they evaporate. But, another important aspect to becoming a connoisseur of feelings is to remember that the feelings we are experiencing are primarily a function of the stories we are telling ourselves currently. If I am telling myself a story of how difficult life is, then I will be feeling tired and down. If I decide to tell myself a story about the very same circumstances that depicts me as such a strong person that I can easily overcome these challenges, then I will feel very differently.

We then pay attention to the way we are framing our story so that we can create the best feeling possible. Being a connoisseur of feelings gives us the knowledge of what feelings we might want to move in to and thus how to retell our story. This works as First Aid when we are experiencing some difficult feeling. We immediately look to see if that feeling is the result of telling a story that doesn't really work for us. Changing a "victim" story to a "hero" story, for example, generally relieves us of those difficult feelings.

I've often said that if you want to feel good, practice feeling good. Well, that's all good, but what kind of good do we want? If you put more attention on feeling good you get to become really good at discerning which feelings feel better.

This is useful not only for optimizing how good you feel, but also for raising your vibration to levels that support your manifestations. The higher your vibration, the greater the energy you are putting out and the faster you manifest. Remember, the desire for one or more specific feelings lies beneath every desire we have. When we tap into the feelings we want to have when we manifest what we want, then it is much easier to bring this process to fruition.

By getting to know our feelings, we become more comfortable with them, allow for more intensity in our feelings, and learn to relax enough to let them come and go through our system.

The more sensitive you are to your feelings the faster you can process them and return to a flow state. This becomes a very effective spiritual path. Rather than being somewhat spiritually arrogant in saying that certain feeling states are inherently "better" than others, we simply say that if we keep going for the best feeling that appeals to us, we will naturally be drawn in the long run to the incredibly delicious feelings of the higher spiritual states. But, that will happen in its own time and is a result of finding previously enjoyed pleasures not quite good enough. The search for the increasingly better feelings cuts through all the conceptual jungle that can easily entangle us on our journey. It is feelings, after all, that motivate us to seek the higher spiritual realms in the first place.

You don't get any cosmic points for being like someone else. The best you can hope for is to be happy, and that you get by being yourself. Understanding your authentic feelings and being okay with all of them is how you allow your happiness to arise in you. And by paying attention to what feelings you like the most and savoring those wonderful feelings, you vibrate at a level that brings forth more of those great feelings.

Copyright 2015 Stewart Blackburn

Stewart Blackburn is the author of The Skills of Pleasure: Crafting the Life You Want. His website is:; email:

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