Monday, July 10, 2006

Exercise: To Feel Loved Is to BE Love

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This exercise is from John Welwood's Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships.

Before beginning this exercise, or any other, he recommends getting comfortable and taking several deep breaths to relax and get centered in the body. This exercise may be done as a journal entry or as a meditation that you later record some notes on.

To Feel Loved Is to BE Love

This exercise will help you explore how being loved allows the window of the heart to open, so that you can experience love as something within you, rather than something that someone hands over to you.

1. Think of someone in your life who loves you – a lover, spouse, friend, or family member. Let yourself feel this person's love and caring for you.

2. Notice how you associate this good feeling with the other person, and how you tend to see the other person as the cause or source of it.

3. Now let go of thinking about the other person and pay attention to what happens in your body when you feel loved. Pay particular attention to the heart center, the area at the center of your chest. See if you can recognize the warmth or fullness in your heart as your own experience, as something that arises from within you, as something that is yours.

4. How does it feel to recognize that?
I'd love for anyone who does this exercise to share their experiences in the comments section. Welwood doesn't talk about integral relationships, although he has appeared on Integral Naked, but I think that the ability to feel love as something sourced in ourselves might be a criteria for being integral in relationships.

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