Feel At A 10.
"You have a lot of positive energy in you. You are free."
These were the words uttered to me by my partner in my movement class today. I cried. Let me set up the context:
Today in class we played with the notion of 'evaluations', which in acting, is sort of like the stakes. How badly you want something. The level at which you will do something to obtain what you want. We scale these evaluations by numbers. So when we are told to go after what we want at a 2, it looks very different than going at it with a 10. Ten is the highest level and it is at 10 that we are usually encouraged to go after. This makes sense, why would you go any lower? Why would you half ass your stakes?
So here's the exercise: We had to tell our partners something in our lives that we have a 10 evaluation for, something we really go after with our full beings. Mine was difficult to explain at first. I started to describe my passion surrounding being a good friend, but I knew this wasn't the essence of my intent. So I dug deeper. For me, it's about nurturing others. It's about being unconditionally available in heart and spirit to the ones I love.
My highest evaluation is spreading love. We were then asked to sit in front of our partners with eyes closed, and feel on our bodies where this level of passion resides. For me, it was in the area between the chest and neck. The next step was to slowly start moving our bodies in a way that expressed our evaluations and the stories behind them. With my eyes closed and my hand on my neck, I decided to fully invest and share my story. Now, picture this: I am flailing my arms, bowing down to the ground, wrapping myself in fetus position, sticking my neck out, looking to the sky, and my eyes are closed. I can only imagine what I look like. But what I felt... wow. I felt freedom. I felt my story. I felt the pain that is behind my story. I felt the story of being told I didn't know what I was talking about for so long, the pain of fighting against naysayers, the pain of giving and giving and giving and rarely receiving, the body language of exposing myself then having to recoil. There was so much behind my evaluation that even I didn't fully realize. But the triumph in my movements when I fought my way back to standing, when I broke free from the chains of doubt and insecurity...these moments in my expression were the moments I felt I was at a 10.
So after I finished, my partner was up. Same procedure. However, his evaluation was that he wants to change the world. He wants to expose oppression and fight for the cause of humanity. His movements held an intensity and a weight that brought me to tears. I could feel his pain. I could feel his experience. I could feel him. Just like he could feel me. With our eyes closed, we were able to let go of our self awareness and just fully express the thing that fuels us most. And it was beautiful. At the end of the exercise, we were asked to discuss the experience and to share what we had observed in the other. I told my partner that I saw his intensity, his passion, and the weight of the world that he carries on his shoulders. He told me that besides seeing beauty and a fluidity to my movements, that he observed pain. He told me it wasn't obvious, but there was pain behind my evaluation. That behind the gregarious and positive exterior, the struggle was real. And then he told me that from the minute he met me, he knew there was something different about me. When I asked him what he meant, he replied:
"You have so much going on in you. You have so much energy. So much positive energy. It's infectious. And there's so much pain. When someone hurts you, I bet you really feel it. But besides this, you don't care what people really think. You are free. You are utterly free."
Try hearing that one and keeping your shit together. Now, I sound like a cocky nugget when I say this, but this isn't the first time I have heard something like that, so even though I was shocked and touched at his words, there was a faint feeling of familiarity to this statement. I had felt this before. Because it's true. Everything he said is true. Sure, I care what people think (I am human, I promise.) But I am utterly free. I always have been. I have always felt things at a 10. Which is why when the rest of the class somehow seemed a little surprised at their own level of emotions, I felt like a feeling veteran. I have always been this free. Not fully and not always in the way I want, but that whole free spirit thing? Yah, it's no joke. That shit is real. Sometimes its a burden; not to be tethered to a grounded force. I've worked hard to be grounded. But my gift is my freedom of self. I know who I am and I can't help but be that anymore. So I don't. I say fuck it. I show up and I let myself be everything it wants, because I know how good that feels. I've said it before and I will stick by it to the grave: I live my life based off feelings. So when I see other people struggle with their own emotions or they don't know how to take their evaluations to a 10...it boggles my mind because I don't really know how to take mine below a 10! Don't get me wrong, I'm not blowing smoke up my ass here because, of course there are days where my feelings jilt me just like everyone else. But the awareness of the 10 is the point.
I expressed to my partner that I understood his story. The weight on his shoulders is the same weight on mine. Because in that moment, I realized, that I too want to change the world. I give myself unconditionally to the people I love because I want love to win. I know I won't always win, but I want love to win. We don't live in a world quite yet where love always wins. But I fight for that cause. I fight for love. This then reminded me of a moment I shared with my reiki healer yesterday. He pointed out to me that my posture had changed. My shoulders and my chest had become more open. There was a time (it's a habit, habits are hard to break am I right?!) where my shoulders were hunched over quite a bit. I would hold all my tension in my neck and shoulders like Quasi-fuckin-modo. My reiki healer reminded me that I have been doing the work to stabilize myself, and that for the first time since I could remember, I wasn't carrying the weight of the world anymore. I was only carrying my load. Which for me, is huge. I tend to take on other people's experiences and that does nothing but weigh me down. So I've lightened my load, thus allowing myself to be even more free.
If you often find yourself hunching over, lighten your load!
So my partner and I hugged, my tears wiped away. We gathered with the rest of the class and our teacher asked us all what we felt. And we all agreed: we felt each other. The only way to do this is to feel your own feelings at a 10. Then you receive feeling at a 10. Pain is pain. Joy is joy. It doesn't matter whose story is behind it. We are all human and we all feel the same things, just at different levels. You don't have to take on every person's feelings by vibrating at a feeling frequency of 10 all the time, but it is at this level that you evoke the most rewarding and authentic level of humanity. My final thoughts on the experience related to something my partner had just told me. So I shared:
When you are feeling at a 10, it shows. It stands out. It doesn't blend in.
This is what he told me (and for all my "What a Girl Wants" Amanda Bynes fans out there) you will get this:
"You were born to stand out."
And that is because I live at 10.
So quit trying to fit in, because we were all born to stand out. Even if you have to close your eyes. Your feelings deserve a perfect 10.