Whatever you do, do it totally.
I don’t remember when exactly these words dropped in, but since they have they are a constant reminder to myself of allowing. Allowing myself to experience each emotion, every connection, challenge, every moment in totality.
This can be especially tricky with unpleasant or painful experiences. Taking it from sensing sadness in my body to allowing myself to dive deep into my grief and for a moment, allowing it to be total. Total sadness. The moment of surrendering into totality, of giving up control, of giving in to what is happening this very moment. Totality can transform experience into meditation, if I let it.
Totality is the opposite of perfection, it has no goal, it doesn’t aspire to be anything, to become anything. Whenever something is done or allowed in totally, it will be the experience that makes it satisfying, simply because you allowed yourself to let go of a goal and to surrender into the process, being fully present.
Totality is also very efficient. Emotions that are allowed and experienced totally usually don’t linger, no need to spend energy suppressing, no energy spent on avoiding. Like children, totally angry one minute and totally happy the next. Extreme emotions, expressed in totality. No clinging, nothing remains, no identification with being angry or being happy. Just taking them as they come, experiencing totally and moving with whatever is, flowing in constant change and evolution.
Unfortunately, suppression of emotions is one of our major conditionings and people that are good at suppressing are considered to be especially kind, generous, spiritual and peaceful. Not bothering anyone, not disturbing, not confronting. Always in control.
We are driven by emotions all day, whether we experience them consciously or not.
Suppressed emotions cost so much energy and cause so much confusion. In order for us to know what we want or need, we must first allow ourselves to feel. Inquiring deeply and curiously rather than giving into reaction and our trained behavior. Often we act contradictory to how we feel and this is often the root of confusion, conflict and distrust.
If we are total, we are present, alert, curious, open and we feel. Allowing ourselves to feel find the space for this experience of totality. There is so much fear around emotions, sadness can feel endless and lead to depression, joy can feel ungrounded and lead to a state of extasy and mindless bliss.
Totality is essentially letting go of the mind and it is exhilarating. It is also terrifying as you quite literally ‘lose your mind’ and who´s to know if you ever return?
How often have you been to the edge of pain and sadness, how close have you gone into the ocean of grief before you turned to make sure you will make it safely to the shore?
How high have you allowed yourself to fly, how far behind have you left your ground of knowledge and properness? Have you felt, have you allowed extasy?
It is up to each one of us to know how far we can go in order to make sure we come back again, if this is what we want. How deeply do you want to feel, how much truth can you believe and how intense is your longing to live your authentic self? How much of a risk are you willing to take?
It can be good to practice totality in a safe place, a ceremony, a group, a yoga class, a dance, somewhere you feel protected and guided.
Charu Eliza Hermsdorf
Co-Founder of DIMA Mallorca, A Centre for Conscious Living
Mediator and Conflict counselor at MediateBerlin