Category: inner sensations

What Do Your Feelings Look Like?

What feelings does this picture speak to you about?

Have you ever felt like you had to insulate yourself from difficult situations? Were you trying to create positive change in your life but still had to deal with difficult situations in your family or old home? How would YOU express those feelings in pictures?

This picture is how I did that about 18 years ago. It’s taken from the visual journal I kept at the time. The astronaut suit describes the situation well, but notice the bright green colours behind me. I was feeling positive about the changes in my life but long time relationships and memories were still very challenging for me. Taking time to think of images that honoured my feelings and pouring my energy into using colour and form to express my non verbal feelings was a powerful way for me to become more conscious of my processes, to work out my emotional connections – to harmonize my consciousness.

How does the word ‘insulated’ describe my actual experience? How do I know I feel I have to protect myself? How does my stomach feel, my throat, my heart, my eyeballs? Thinking, rationalizing and explaining using words, keep us at a distance from our emotions. Non verbal forms of communication ride on the senses, are are direct and transformative experiences.

A visual journal stimulates cellular transformation of our inner structures by introducing NOVEL experience to our senses. We get stuck in using the same words and phrases. They trigger the same responses in us and we run on with that. Creating images bypasses our language processing centres. A visual journal provides a means to track and reflect on experience over time in a more responsive, wordless way. It increases and harmonizes our consciousness.

Healing is a biological process which involves our cells, tissues, blood, mucous, muscles, bones and so on. Our very biology lives and breathes imagery for our brain mapping processes, so when we contact inner imagery directly, we are on our same page.

A portion of the above is an excerpt from my book “Harmonizing Consciousness.”

Why Visual Journals Are Better Than Written Journals

Why are visual journals more transformative than written journals? Some people will disagree with this idea, but let me explain. This picture below is some of my past subjective experience, and it became part of my healing process because I made effort to express feelings that are impossible to put into words.

Here follows an excerpt on this topic from my book “Harmonizing Consciousness- How the Acquired Faculty of Language Wreaks Havoc with Human Consciousness, and What We Can Do About It.” 

“The Value of Written and Visual Journals”

Written journals have limited value in harmonizing consciousness.

“That’s untrue! Writing in my journal helps me understand how I feel and gives me insight into my process!”

I know this will be the response from some readers! A lot of people, women in particular, use written journals to cope with life. Sometimes our written journals feel like the only safe place to express our feelings. This becomes an important comfort to us. If written journals feel like a vital support to us, we must keep them! In this case, consider keeping both written and sensory journals. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. At the same time, lift one eye to the far horizon and remember what Albert Einstein said; “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

To harmonize consciousness, we want to find ways to connect with our experience before we attach words to it. Recall that words have become wired to our neurobiological processes, so our objective will be to bypass this artificial lens and connect directly with the source of our inner knowledge. This will be impossible to do while using the acquired faculty of language.

We will want to collect manifestations of our experience so we can study them later. Sensory journals can achieve this because language and words are not the focus. Images, movement, touch, temperature, sound, odour, and taste transcend language. They can communicate things we don’t even have words for yet—but we know what they mean anyway. We will benefit greatly by learning how to trust our silent information process again. We have successfully relied on this faculty for millions of years.

Written journals keep us mired in old patterns because our code is not only “limited, it is inadequate. Even if our language skills are advanced, the same response is elicited by our cells and body processes each time we use a certain word. We tend to use the same words from our word bank because words become hardwired into our systems. We become ensconced in words or phrases that resonate in a way that is familiar to us—and not necessarily in a liberating way.”


A final word on visual images. We can purchase paintings that resonate with us and ponder those, however it is even more transformative to create a journal of our own, even if the images in them are stick-figures in pencil or abstract swirls of colour. When they come from us and through us, they more truly represent an important piece of us.

The act of noticing our own processes is itself transformative.

(A description of how to keep a visual journal can be found in “Harmonizing Consciousness” by Sylvie Rosewood.)

If Inner Sensations Are Calm, Meditation Is Easy… But …

Who knows this meditation experience? This image is my subjective experience that I painted into my visual journal 15 years ago. I was on a three month meditation retreat alone in the wilderness. I was trying to be peaceful and silent and a whole bunch of birds decided to squawk and make a ruckus all around me. The nerve.

If my inner sensations are calm, my meditation is calm. How to get there…

A first for the world!!! Introducting the Interoception Classification Project

I am super excited to announce that a project called “Interoception Classification Project” was launched at the University of Luxembourg last year. There is a lot of confusion about how to classify our inner sensations (aka subjective experience) so this is very good news!  Here is a link to their blog: 

I will be following their insights with great interest. The first course to be launched in GorillaFriend’s “Subjective Experience University” will be a mini course on how to know our organic intelligence – also know as our inner sensations, perceptions of the body within, or interoception.

This is a picture from my visual journal, which is a great place to record our experience of inner sensations. This picture is called “Agitation.” Keep watch for the online course about how to keep and interpret a visual journal.