What are you feeling right now?
Sometimes it’s impossible to know–or at least it can feel that way.
Joy. Fear. Love. Disgust. Sadness. Ecstasy. Confusion. Hope. Anxiety. Shame. Attraction. Grief. Restlessness.
Emotions are sneaky, inefficient, disruptive–they can pull us under or allow us to fly– and feelings are real. You have them, and so does every single other person around you.
Feelings are absolutely a part of life. So many of us have learned that emotions need to be denied or controlled–that emotions do not hold value or meaning.
But what if just the opposite were true? Showing up in our bodies–the tightness in your chest, the heat in your palms, the pain in your stomach–emotions are some of our closest teachers waiting (and sometimes demanding) to be acknowledged.
As religious liberals, we praise intellect and the gift of reason in the pursuit of truth– and threads of our very own Unitarian Universalist history lift up the human capacity to feel as a gateway to the sacred–a gateway to a life of purpose and connection. A life of aliveness.
What if what you feel–and what each of us feels–really does matter? What if emotions are an untapped source of knowledge in a moment when Love demands we bring all of our tools to the table?
This Sunday, we’re kicking off our new series, The Feels – exploring all these questions…the ways emotions drive us (whether we like it or not), we’ll probe their origins, grapple with their purpose, and celebrate the choice we have to respond when they show up.
We’ll remember the gifts of music and movement to move emotions through us, and we’ll remind each other of all the ways we have everything we need right now to fully engage this world carried inside us.
Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday at 8:30, 10, or 11:30.
Series Spiritual Practices
To explore the themes of this series more personally, we invite you to try out our series spiritual practice:
Somatic Awareness Practice
Our body responds constantly to all external and internal impulses even before our brains are aware of it. In this practice we’ll develop a more fine-tuned and accurate sense of felt experience by noticing sensations in the body. Somatics integrates the body as an essential place of learning and transformation. We will offer this practice throughout the series at the 11:30am service. Explore it on your own with the help of this podcast.
Series Featured Ministry
New for 2020, our series will each lift up one of Foothills’ ministries that provides an opportunity to embody and engage the series’ themes.
This month, our series featured ministry is Foothills’ Caring Network – a web of support available when life gets hard, when you want someone to celebrate with or when you just need a little extra love.
Parish Visitors – This trained team of Foothills members listen, connect, and care for other members in times of transition, loss, or illness, and help homebound church members stay connected to the community.
Meals Network – In times of illness or loss, we reach out with home-cooked meals.
Cards Ministry – On Sundays, we invite church members to send loving wishes of joy or sorrow.
Comfort Shawls – We provide a shawl knitted by a Foothills member to those experiencing treatment, illness, or after the arrival of a new baby.
Ministerial 1:1 – In addition to the support provided by our parish visitors, our ministers provide one-one-one pastoral support for members, especially after a significant shift in someone’s life – a new diagnosis, the final stages of life or in a loved one’s life, when a relationship is dissolving, or in times of discernment around other significant life decisions.
Ministers’ Discretionary Fund – An emergency fund available to Foothills members in times of crisis.
Share your need for prayer, connection or support at foothillsuu.org/caring.
If you are interested in joining our Caring Network, complete the form at foothillsuu.org/serve.
We always choose one song for each of our worship series that we sing or perform in every Sunday in the series. It’s usually something you’ll find yourself singing later in the day, without even realizing it. Because music connects in the deepest parts of our brains, the idea is that we’ll connect more fully with theme, and bring it into our everyday lives.
This month, we’ve selected the song Break the Shell from India.Arie. It’s a song that engages both our resistance to dealing with our deeper feelings, as well as the gifts available when we do. We look forward to learning and experiencing it with you all month.
Tools to Engage:
The Atlas of Emotions – an interactive map of emotions commissioned by the Dalai Llama and co-created by emotion scientist Dr. Paul Ekman and emotion researcher and trainer Eve Ekman.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows – a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.
Podcasts to Check Out:
NPR’s Invisibilia – Emotions
Healing Justice – Relational Somatics with Lucién Demaris of Relational Uprising
Articles and Books to Read:
“Connecting Emotions to a Felt Body Sense” by Daniel Leven
“My Feelings are Not My Enemy” by Miguel Clark Mallet
Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief edited by Cindy Milstein
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem