The first principle to Awakening to Wholeness is JUST FEEL IT! Feel it all, as fully and as deeply as you are able.

WHAT? Does this sound off to you, counter-intuitive, maybe even a little scary? In the past, it most certainly would have seemed so to me. My strategy was more like "If it's uncomfortable, deny it, stuff it, shake it off or reframe it but I'm certainly not going to subject myself to the discomfort of feeling it, NO WAY!" Sound like anyone you know?

Today I know that unfelt feelings do not go away. They become buried in the unconscious and are the largest cause of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual disease.

Our emotions come from the part of us made of vulnerability, the innocent childlike part of us that is very close to our Essence. You are both vulnerable and closest to your Essence in moments when you are consumed with an honest laugh or cry. You are in a state of vulnerability in a moment of shock, scare, surprise, wonder, awe or extreme pleasure.

If we overprotect ourselves from experiencing the flow of so called "negative emotions" such as anger, fear, sadness and grief, we unwittingly block ourselves from fully experiencing Life's "expanded states " which I've named the 5P's; peace, passion, purpose, power and presence.

I suggest being kind of strong, compassionate and present "Parent" to our vulnerable feelings just as they would have most wanted from their own parents when they were children. You don't need to wallow in your “E-motions”(energy in motion) or have them overwhelm you in any way. You simply need to be present to them as they actually are in your body and sensations, without story, judgment strategizing or avoiding.

I will give you a simple formula for this at the end of the article. For now, please read on. The next paragraph talks about the characteristics of the Cancer Personality.

The Cancer Personality

From a physical perspective, blocking emotions stop the flow of life energy from naturally moving through the body and releasing (or technically speaking, integrating) therefore becoming stuck in the bodies' tissue. This creates physical stress and muscular tension before metastasizing to the organs. We have an affectionate name for the extreme cases. You can spot them just by watching them walk across the room. We call them "Anal Retentive."

In addition, did you know that the source of most all chronic back problems is repressed emotions? That's right; when we attempt to put our problems behind us without first processing them, we do so in a very physical way, resulting in chronic back pain.

A medical label also exists for a person who demonstrates the emotional characteristics of cutting themselves off from experiencing and expressing their emotions. When this occurs it results in the repressed energy moving deeper into the organs and becoming physical disease. The medical name given to this is "The C personality," aka, "Cancer Personality." This name originated in a study conducted back in 1998.

"The characteristics associated with the Type C personality all represent emotional repression, a pushing down of necessary emotions. In contrast, self-assertion is important to having our needs met. Avoiding conflict and wanting to be liked lead to the denial of these needs. Click here & here to read more of the research on the “C Personality.”

From an emotional perspective, the cost of repressing or suppressing our emotions is even more obvious. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who in many ways fit your ideal picture, had many of the great qualities that you dreamed of in a partner yet couldn't fully open to you emotionally? Have you been that someone? I could have at one time been the poster boy for that someone.

Today I consciously choose to experience my contracting emotions as fully and deeply as I am able. I want to feel, taste, wrestle with if necessary and embrace all the anger, sadness, fear, grief that come across my path. My spiritual practice is to simply (not always easy) say YES to Life, to do my best to meet life as it is, on its own terms. It's choosing to meet each moment of Life as a fully thinking, feeling and sensual being, choosing to experience life fully, not as a concept, not through the filters of someone else's belief system and not through protecting myself from my own ego's insecurities.

In choosing to live this way, I'm happy to humbly to report that today I'm experiencing the expanded states of peace, passion, purpose, power and presence most of the time.

When we allow ourselves to fully experience the honest loss from our defeats, the anger of injustice, the sadness of innocent suffering and the honest fear that we may be powerlessness to do anything about it, we grow deeper. We become more human and paradoxically have more authentic power to change things.

Next we will look at the mental and spiritual consequences of denying, avoiding, suppressing, and otherwise attempting to omit the important emotional "winter seasons "of life. By the way, did you know that trees do most of their root growing during the winter? Nature is wise enough to turn its attention inward to do its "inner work" -"root work "during the fall and winter months so that it will have the depth and foundation to handle the growth and expansion of Spirit expressing all its beauty and splendor as it is now during our new summer. Until then, JUST FEEL IT!


1. What is happening with me right now? Where do I most feel this in my body?

2. Can I "be with" this 100% right now?

3. If an E-motion remains in a contracted state for more than 3 minutes, give the E-motion permission to fully express itself in any it wishes that is safe.

4. See the E-motion outside yourself and hold it in your awareness with compassion.

5. Re-label the E-motion as ENERGY that wants to be in motion, to flow though you and you have set it free. All that is required is your presence and non-judgmental attention to it, which is LOVE.

6. Acknowledge yourself for being a good "energy steward."

From a mental perspective, the biggest cost of repressing or suppressing our emotions is the reduction of Emotional Intelligence,” which as you may know, author Danial Goldman states is more important to overall success and happiness than IQ.

When we stuff down our feelings, we progressively lose the ability to see clearly, particularly the subtle, intuitive nuances within relationships. It's like wearing shades to block the intensity of the sun, and oops, forget to take them off even after the sun goes down. We get used to this less intense way of seeing and are unaware that what we are seeing is in any way skewed. When s/he says, “You just don't see/get me” s/he is probably correct.

Want a quiet mind? Do you have an “inner critic” or “itty bitty shitty committee” inside your head instead? Bad news is-they are mostly the voices of your repressed and suppressed emotions, sorry! Good news is-by processing these emotions you can have a quiet and clear mind with clear seeing. And, processing them is easier than you might think.

From a spiritual perspective, the biggest cost of repressing or suppressing our emotions is separation, living life without the experience of having an immediate and embodied connection with the present moment, and the preciousness of all Life (God or Spirit).

The good news is that regardless of what church that we do or don't attend and regardless of what our spiritual beliefs are or aren't, if we can muster the courage to surrender enough to say YES to each moment of Life we are on our way to liberation.

How do we do this? We do this by:

(Physically) Noticing our bodies and observing what is happening in there,'

(Emotionally) Giving ourselves full permission to feel the feelings that are there, without story, blaming, avoiding or strategizing, and to feel these feelings all the way (like a child would) until the feeling rests.

(Mentally) Then, use our amazing intellect to ponder and wrestle with the situation until the deeper Truth and new insight emerges that would not have been recognized without this situation,

(Spiritually) Be grateful for this deeper wisdom and greater connection with Life as a result of this experience.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Casteel is an expert in emotional healing and transformation. His practice, SOULutions is also a transpersonal practice. This means that we incorporate the spiritual self that each one of us has and use these beliefs and experiences in the therapy. In short, we deal in matters of the heart, soul and Spirit. We work with our clients to find a complete state of wholeness which is the integration of the mind, body and soul.

"In my role as Transformational Life Coach, I think of myself as a sculptor of sorts. You may have heard the famous line by Michael Angelo when asked how he created the magnificent statue of David out of a simple block of stone, he responded: "He was in there waiting. All I did was the excavating. I just chipped away all that did not belong." So, with my clients, I play the role of being a soul sculptor; partnering with them to delicately chip away all that does not belong.We do this by softening the edges of old wounds and chipping away the self- limiting lies blocking them from realizing and revealing the magnificence of who they already are, in their Essence."

Michael has 30-plus years of experience studying and working with transformational psychology and emotional healing practices. His highly original and creative approach to emotional healing and life transformation blends modern psychology with the ancient wisdom of religious practices. He brings considerable passion to his work helping people release their emotional pain and end the feeling of being stuck and disconnected.

As the innovator of safe and unique transformational processes, Michael has guided many people to authentic spiritual experiences providing a new level of peace and awareness in their daily lives. He has extensively studied and personally experienced the healing effects of every part of his programs, practices and techniques used by SOULutions.

Michael holds degrees and certifications in many healing modalities including psychology, life coaching, theology, advanced hypnotherapy, rebirthing, energy medicine, breath therapy meditations, yoga, emotional release practices, Enneagram studies and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. As designer of seminars like the FIRE of Wholeness Breakthrough Experience, Embrace Your Shadow and The Breath of Life, Michael has presented to thousands of people all over the country, including the 2006 Alliance for a New Humanity with Deepak Chopra.

Michael is on a mission to contribute to the conscious healing and evolution of our planet, one heart and soul at a time. He does this by helping people heal the emotional wound and self limiting lies preventing them from experiencing their authentic self. Traditional therapy spends years negotiating with the ego or false self. In Michael's work he moves people beyond their ego to meet their true self, what he calls their Essence. Once clients make this spiritual connection, they can release and heal the emotional wounds that block them from living their fullest life. Michael is a native of Atlanta and currently resides in a townhome overlooking the Chattahoochee River with his partner in love and life, Leslie.