The Radical Wholeness of Felt Relationship

Being in Banff,  surrounded by mountains, I felt myself in relationship with their majesty; inspired, lifted, illuminated within their presence. The mountains fill the sky. They soar above and all-round, piercing the cerulean ceiling with their sharp peaks and edges. There is no sense of separation from the mountains. You are in them, of them, part of their presence just as you are part of the rarefied air all around.

Here in the city, the mountains can be seen in the distance, their jagged ridges resembling a sleeping dragon lying along the horizon. There is a clear sense of the separation between ‘this side’, the depths of the valleys and peaks in the distance and the ‘other side’ we cannot see from here.

On my desk as I write, a candle burns. Viewed from the separateness of me sitting at my desk, I see the candle as lighting the darkness. Its light is separate from me, separated by the darkness between us.

In the Radical Wholeness workshop I just experienced with Philip Shepherd in Banff, there is no separation. When I stop seeing what I know of the mountains or candlelight and move instead into experiencing them from the core of my being, I enter into felt relationship with the world around me. In that space, there is no distance separating us, no darkness. We are one in felt relationship.

Diving into what it means to be in ‘felt relationship’ was what the workshop offered. There was no doing. It was all about being part of and with the experience of embodying the path from head brain thinking and doing, to belly brain being of and in the world where I experience a felt relationship with everything in my world.

A felt relationship with all things can only be experienced when I release myself from the knowing of who I tell myself I am in the concreteness of a separated world. Moving from head brain to belly brain I move deeper and deeper into a responsive presence where I become illuminated by the world.

It sounds weird, scary even. In fact, there were moments over the two days where my head brain wanted me to believe this was all just gobbly-gook. That there is no ‘belly brain’.

The science proves otherwise. It’s just we’ve spent millennia separating our head brains from our bodies to the point where we believe our intelligence lives only within our heads and the body is just the behicle that carries this wealth of knowledge and doing around.

The body knows better. It’s just, we’ve been taught that ‘listening to our bodies’ means putting our ear up against the wall dividing our head from the rest of our being and simply tuning into some ethereal voice telling us how our body is feeling.

In my experience of Radical Wholeness, there is no separation, no putting my ear up against a divisive line that makes my head brain the keeper of all wisdom and the knower of all and my body its subordinate.

In Radical Wholeness, the body is all of it. Head to toe, toe to head, fingertips, skin, skeleton, muscle, cells — and all the world around me. And within all of me, there lives an expansive capacity and essential sensitivity at my core to be in felt relationship with all of the world.

Relationship with all of life that defies my thinking minds need to reason its way into living through order and judgement, process and meaning-making. Radical Wholeness opens me up to experiencing deep, intimate relationship with all of life as I become fully alive with all of life.

As I sit at my desk and watch the mist rise from the river flowing by, I breathe deeply into my core and move into felt relationship with the river, the mist, the stillness of the trees, the golden leaves hanging in suspended motion from the branches, the sky soaring into infinity.

In the spaciousness of our felt relationship, there is no separation. There is only life.



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