The Wanted Feeling

by | Oct 5, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

“I want to be a ballerina.” I challenged my teacher.  

I was participating in a kind of self help year long workshop called “untangling” where the attendees devote several hours per week to work on some kind of psychological “tangle” in their lives, unwinding a kind of emotional blockage inside that keeps them back from living the life they’ve always wanted.  A life where the seemingly impossible becomes possible. 

To my pop culture cynical anti establishment sensibilities the enthusiastic marketing that the workshop leaders were proffering seemed overly optimistic.  Still, completing the course was part of my certification in Inner Relationship Focusing and if I wanted that piece of paper I had to do the work. 

The first module had us sensing into and identifying a personal tangle to work on.  Mine was loosely defined as “money”. Money is definitely a tangle for me.  Both my Father and Mother took a vow of poverty during the 1960’s with a radical Catholic sect called The Catholic Worker and my deeply held bodily belief was that neither my Father nor God would love me if I was rolling in dough so to speak. 

Even though my tangle was about money I couldn’t help my naughty side from challenging my teacher, suggesting my tangle was something any reasonable person would know was beyond my reach. Something in me hoped that I wouldn’t have to untangle an impossible dream of change and I could just give up and go home. My favorite movie line by a homeless character called Mack (Cannery Row with Debra Winger) rang in my head.           

   “Why don’t you just give up?” it said.

   “I want to be a ballerina”, I said.

My teacher was not perturbed. Taking my statement seriously she said “What do you want from being a ballerina? What’s the wanted feeling?”

I was stunned. First that she took me seriously and second that there was such a thing as “a wanted feeling”. 

What was my wanted feeling? And how could I experience it?

Was there a wanted feeling in my “silly” idea of being a ballerina?

Did I want to feel light on my feet? Did I want to feel beautiful? Did I want to feel super sexy? Did I want to be treated with respect for my artistry and cared for/supported by my community for my contribution?

These were all fine explorations into the ballerina question. What was the wanted feeling?

Admiration and Respect.

If my untangling teacher took me seriously, perhaps I ought to as well.

The ballerina on stage is admired.  And respected for her Art. How would I feel if I were genuinely admired? How could I make that happen in my stage of life, with the qualifications and talents that I have? 

I got some of the wanted feeling of admiration and respect by leading a group in a new Focusing exercise I developed called Anchors and swimmers. I experienced a zoom roomful of people saying my name respectfully,  saying where they met me, unprompted, and those same people playing a game I invented, finding it useful and coming back to play it again.  I felt like I was a star, I felt wanted, admired, respected. I felt seen and heard. I felt the joy of playing a game of skill. I felt liked. 

Beauty in Artistry.

The ballerina is beautiful. I wanted the feeling of relishing beauty in Art. In something I made happen. 

I had a dream of making something beautiful like a fine painting or a new amazing perfume. I wanted to feel buoyed and joyful in beholding something I made myself, something I had a hand in creating.

Could I get this wanted feeling without years of Art school and painting practice? And making perfumes is a pricy hobby with many of the ingredients being more costly than gold.

My attention was drawn to a pretty matchbox eco clothing designer Deborah Lindquist sends along with her lovely clothing orders. She decorates the matchboxes with appliqué leather, sequins and colored fabrics and paper. These pleasing little displays of beauty were exactly what I was looking for.  Here was something I could make relatively easily with skills I already had.  The materials were  inexpensive.This little matchbox I had would catch my eye as beautiful, and bring that wanted feeling of delight over and over and over again. 

I ordered some matchboxes and crafts materials for my mini thrills. It worked! Also my new friends in my village have indicated that they would love to make crafts together. Which brings me to….

Community Support and Friends

In my fantasy the ballerina is paid well for her contribution. What is the wanted feeling I might get from community support?

I got a really good dose of that warm, delighted feeling when I recently participated in an herbalist gathering at our local Sebastopol Farmer’s Market. I had decided to concentrate on introducing my new Green Goddess Rising Balm, a product made with California native herbs that had been “speaking” to me about healing and trauma. The particular plants used all have an affinity with the nervous system and their potential botanical benefits may include clarity of mind (sagebrush), support for feeling and healing grief (black sage) lucid dreaming without nightmares (mugwort), and the qualities plants develop as they grow in community, sending nutrients and water to each other as needed (redwoods). 

I was amazed at how well my creation was received by young and old alike. My wanted feeling of community support resonated somehow and I was able to provide some wanted feelings in return.  

Feeling super sexy. 

Ballerinas are pretty, and also sexy! The wanted feeling from being a ballerina included feeling super sexy. How could I get that? 

I knew I wanted to feel sexy in a delicious way but how would I get my wanted feeling? Was it too late in life? Had I “lost it”? 

Happily my answer came in a 6 week online workshop I took with Kai Sunrise called Divine Play. In Kai’s improv classes she gently and shyly leads participants to dance, move and enjoy feeling playful. Kai coaxed us to move in waves and spirals. She gave us permission to use our voices in new and playful ways. In her simple yet profound exercises I experienced a new kind of sexy feeling, a feeling of acceptance, joy and liberation. 

How much is too much?

How much is too much of the wanted feelings? I realize that my nervous system can only handle so much. It’s great to lead workshops but I prefer only a few participants in a more intimate safe setting. I love to create Art but I don’t need to spend thousands on perfume materials in order to get the wanted feeling. I’m loving the new friendships that are blossoming in my village but I don’t need to overwhelm my system with every day adventures and dinners. I love feeling sexy but I do not want to relive my wild and unsafe youth!

I suppose wanted feelings can be had in a balanced moderate way, like moderately drinking one glass of good wine. More and more becomes unbalanced and unwanted. 

I think about my wanted feelings and how others must have something similar if not the same. Can we get more of our wanted feelings yet not hunger so much as to cause harm in the wanting? 

What suggestions would you have for yourself to get some of your wanted feelings met in a balanced way? How can you see yourself potentially providing some wanted feelings for others in your community? Green Goddess Rising Balm Green Queen Clothing