Here’s a great way to experience what I like to call “physiology tracking.”
The next time you go visit friends, and have some good times for a while, pay attention to your physiology. There is a chemical composition of “happiness” or “joy” happening inside you during that time.
But the time you might notice the effect the most is afterward, when you go through chemical withdrawal.
Some people will call this “sadness” or “feeling blue,” and it is…but it is also “happiness withdrawal.”
The symptoms will be the same as any kind of withdrawal. What will you feel? A lack, as if something is missing. Maybe you’ll notice how much/little of that feeling you had before. That, at least, can help to determine in part how powerful the withdrawal might be – a marker of how much you’ll crave that feeling.
You might notice, upon reflection, that the feeling of withdrawal means that you aren’t feeling that enough in your life…happiness. You might need to figure that out.
If that is the case, the withdrawal feeling points to something we’ve excluded from our lives. Why has it been blocked out?
In that way, withdrawal can help to point us in the direction we want to go (or don’t want to go!). It can serve as a homing beacon (come closer).
Perhaps a lighthouse is a better analogy…it signals both potential safety and potential danger – the shoreline is here, you are safe!… or…the shorelines is here, watch out! dangerous rocks!
In either case, this is the place where you can sublimate your withdrawal into wisdom and action.
The “internal alchemy” here is to follow the feeling of loss or lack…to stick with it, and to track it well. Find what it points to within you, and meet it face to face.
Most “indigenous” cultures have methods for doing this that often involve dancing, singing, playing, (and sometimes, drugs) that allow the tracker to pursue more deeply, free from inhibition.
I think you’ll get plenty deep without the drugs, so try it that way first…but it’s almost always fruitful at some point to take your feeling out into motion in the world. Run, feel your breathing, and use your feeling of withdrawal as your mantra, your training device/guide. Keep it right in front of you. Let it tell you where to go, how far/fast, how many repetitions, and keep pursuing it more and more deeply…listen…listen…