How Feelings Help us Evolve

How Feelings Help us Evolve May 23, 2021

Consider this wisdom from Eugene Gendlin

“What is split off, not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes. Most people don’t know this! They think that by not permitting the feeling of their negative ways they make themselves good. On the contrary, that keeps these negatives static, the same from year to year. A few moments of feeling it in your body allows it to change. If there is in you something bad or sick or unsound, let it inwardly be and breathe. That’s the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs.”

Eugene Gendlin, Let your body interpret your dreams 1986 

This quote is significant to me.  I still can’t pronounce his name correctly, but I believe this quote about as much as anything that I believe.  For years, I tried to suppress what I was feeling, hoping it would go away.  But the trauma we encounter and the things we suppress don’t evaporate when we keep them hidden, they just seek new ways to express themselves when we are triggered.

What I found in my being journey was that by being present with the things my body was trying to tell me, they would shift and change how they express in my daily life.  The most significant is that I am more prone to respond instead of react.  I feel much more in control and in touch with my emotions and feelings.  It’s a much better way to live.

We don’t really need much to embark on the being journey, except possibly a companion and/or a guide.

Did you know Being: A Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity has a companion guide?

It was released on May 11th, but I wanted to wait a while to make a big deal about it. I really hope people will read the book first, then go experience the 30-day journey with the companion guide.

Being Journey Cover.png

So why a companion guide?

I have always found that writing helps me know what I think. It causes me to go deeper, just like when I wrote the second part of the book. The companion guide will literally be a companion to you as you embark on the 30-day journey to go deeper and begin healing.

Should I also have an actual companion?

Short answer “Yes.” I recommend in the guide several time to have someone help you. Ideally, this person would be someone who understands shadow and focusing. Many Spiritual Directors around the country have been versed in these things. A Jungian analyst would understand shadow and focusing.

Can I do the journey alone?

Yes, it is designed so that you can lead yourself (just like I did initially) toward going deeper and healing. But, I would always suggest following up with someone that can be a companion to you. It helps if you can find a companion that is a few steps ahead of you on the journey that can show you the way.

Does my body know the way?

Yes. If you pay attention to how you feel and where you feel and stay in presence with your body, it will give you clues to find deeper healing. The things you find will not always be pleasant thoughts — they may be trauma — but the only way to shift those areas is to feel them. If we avoid feeling them, they stay the same and cause problems later.

Is 30 days the right pace for everyone?

I think it is a good pace for the material. You know best how fast you need to process the information. Take your time — whatever that means to you. Be patient with the process. Like my friend Mark Karris told me, focus on going deeper. Like someone else said, stay on the journey.


I wish you well on your journey.  It will be important to be present with what you feel — the guide may be the help you need to move forward.

If you need my help, please contact me at

Order Being: A Journey Toward Presence and Authentic

Karl Forehand is a former pastor, podcaster, and award-winning author. His books include Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father’s Heart and The Tea Shop. He is the creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast. He is married to his wife Laura of 32 years and has one dog named Winston. His three children are grown and are beginning to multiply!

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