My Thoughts: I’m all for optimism and uplifting thoughts, but sometimes they don’t come easy, and sometimes simply choosing happy may not serve us well in the long run.
As we’ve seen with the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and so many other places in the world, frightening and unexpected events drop into people’s lives with no warning and dire consequences.
Those experiences fuel reactions and feelings that aren’t easily sidelined by substituting light and uplifting thoughts. Nor should we expect that to be the case.
A wise friend recently reminded me that sometimes we need to pause in the shadows to touch a fear that is all too real and oh so present. It matters that we take the time to be with those tougher emotions and not just speed through them or try to avoid them on our way to a lighter, brighter place.
A deeper understanding of what matters most to us springs from being present to both the dark and the light. (more…)
Reflection: Partner a fast pace with huge expectations and minimal down time, and you’ve got all the necessary ingredients for a big old vat of ‘sweet’n’sour stress soup’.
Like steam off a stockpot, emotions will run high – guaranteed! The challenge is to know how to deal with them without getting burned.
This is where EI – Emotional Intelligence – comes into play. If it’s been a while since you were introduced to EI, or are meeting the concept for the first time, here’s a short refresher.
EI is based on Awareness and Management of feelings – within ourselves and between ourselves and others.
On the inside, how aware of you of your own emotional states, and how skilled are you in controlling your responses and managing your own reactions to events?
On the outside, how attuned are you to the emotional states of others, and how skilled are you in managing those relationships with others when feelings run high?
At the core of EI in action is the ability to tune in and name the emotions and also consider what needs they might signal.
Action: I’ve been thinking about the whole business of interpretation and wondering how we might use emotions and our insights about them as a way to guide what we do next.
Here’s an attempt to interpret the underlying meaning of a few of the emotions likely to cross our paths and minds. (more…)