feeling our feelings

Published by Susan Gillis Chapman on

Communication is all about relationship and relationship is all about feelings.  Sure, we share ideas, inspirations, opinions, beliefs, uncertainties.  But underneath it all, like music behind the words, are the feelings:  love, fear, hurt, anxiety, disappointment, anger, frustration, jealousy.. so many more that have no names.  Feelings are like spectrum of color on a palette.  They go way beyond the words, they penetrate our hearts.   Sometimes they shut us down altogether and we go numb.  Other times they push us way beyond our comfort zone into new territory.  In Green Light Conversations we’re very interested in feelings.  How do we feel what we feel, know what we know?  What we call the ‘natural communication system’ is the inborn intelligence of our open body, heart and mind.  Tender ‘green light’ feelings tell us the truth, but so often we shut them down.  When we do that, they turn into secondary ‘red light’ emotions such as addictions, aggression, contempt or depression– toxic patterns that harm our relationships, including the relationship with ourselves.  The key is to tune into those vulnerable emotions that we normally want to hide– the ‘yellow light’ feelings of uncertainty, the background anxiety that whispers fear: “I’m afraid there is something wrong with me.  I’m afraid I’m unlovable, unforgivable, unworthy”.  If we’re brave enough to hear these whispers, then let’s go for it!  Explore them, find out what is true.  What we end up with is the tender sadness of finding ourselves face to face with our own humanity, and what a gift that is! Go ahead and find out what that means, gently, with kindness.


Susan Gillis Chapman

teaches part time for Green Zone Institute and for Karuna Training. Susan is a retired Marital and Family therapist who has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 35 years.  She is the author of the book The Five Keys To Mindful Communication and a contributor to The Mindful Revolution, edited by Barry Boyce. Her website is: http://www.susangillischapman.com. Read more about Susan here.