Wednesday, July 21, 2010



"Pain! We're all in pain. Living in this world, the mess it's in, being human, the mess we are, all the trauma we've all experienced. Pain is part of the human emotional palette. It is one of the colors of our emotional rainbow. We're meant to feel it. It deepens us. And it actually increases our capacity for joy.

But we're taught from the start not to feel pain. Stop crying. Take this pill. Parents can't handle their own pain, so they certainly can't handle ours. We have to allow our children to feel their pain to be fully alive.

How do you deal with pain? I eat. My pain is all in my gut, where it doesn't belong, instead of in my heart, where it does belong.

Can we open our hearts to the pain? Can we embrace the beauty of our pain? Can we just allow ourselves to FEEL it? To "Be" with it? I think that's all we have to do, to deal with it, is to just be with it for a while. Not wallow in it. But let it tell us its messages, listen to it, and then more easily let it go."

- From the 28 Day Well-Being Program, a Part of the 28 Day Transition Program and the 21 Day Cleanse

The 28 Day Transition to Raw Program starts in 6 more days! See details at

In Joy!

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by Edel Jarboe, CREATING COMMUNITY magazine, All rights reserved

Almost all self help books tell you to get in touch with your emotions. Why is this so important? Because our emotions enable us to experience life. Our emotions are the most powerful factors in determining how we act, make decisions, set personal boundaries, and communicate with others. Therefore, it is reasoned that if we understand and control our emotions, we can improve the quality of our lives.

Enter emotional intelligence. This new buzzword was coined by Yale psychologists Peter Salovey and the University of New Hampshire's John Mayer to describe qualities like understanding one's own emotions, empathy for the feelings of others, and managing one's emotions. In addition to grade point average, IQ, and other standized testing, emotional intelligence (EQ) is being described as a new and better way of measuring an individual's chance of success in life. The higher your EQ, the greater your ability to manage your feelings and deal effectively with others, the greater your chances are for a happier life.

"Emotional Awareness Self Awareness" means knowing which emotions you are feeling and why. It is the ability to see and understand the connection between what you are feeling and how you act on those feelings. Self-awareness also involves a degree of self honesty: knowing what is both petty and noble about what you feel and how you act, while maintaining confidence in your self worth and capabilities. Moreover, emotional awareness allows you to speak up for yourself because you have comfort communicating your feelings.

"Emotional Sensitivity Empathy" is the ability to feel compassion for other people's feelings and to understand their viewpoint. People who are emotionally sensitive pay attention to non verbal cues and listen well, which enables them to communicate well with others. They respect other people's feelings and do not invalidate others. Those with emotional intelligence also have a well developed social conscience. When pursuing their goals they are concerned not only with their personal consequences but the consequences for others as well. Thus, emotional sensitivity enables them to be both inner and outer directed.

"Emotion Management" is the ability to take resonsiblity for and manage one's own emotions and personal happiness, and is an important cornerstone of emotional intelligence. People with EQ are consequently highly self directed. Not only do they prioritize and set realistic and challenging goals, but they are also able to balance emotion and intellect when making decisions. In short, they are able to exercise self control.

Scientists have proven that we are wired to feel before we think. This is our survival instinct. However, once you are aware of what you are feeling, the odds of successfully dealing with your emotions are greatly improved. The ability to step back and recognize what you are feeling, allows you to exercise self control and to employ coping skills; taking a slow, relaxing bath when feeling stressed or going for a walk or a run when we are feelings blue, for example.

An essential emotion management strategy is optimism, the ability to look for the positive in the negative. In other words, knowing how to deal constructively with anger, negativity, and failure is emotional management at it's best. The ability to persist despite obstacles, and to change course, if necessary, is a by product of emotional management and the reason why people with EQ are most likely to succeed.

How Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

1) Take responsibility for your emotions and your happiness

2) Examine your own feelings rather than the actions or motives of other people.

3) Develop constuctive coping skills for specific moods. Learn to relax when your emotions are running high and to get up and move when you are feeling down.

4) Make hunting for the silver lining a game. Look for the humor or life lesson in a negative situation.

5) Be honest with yourself. Acknowledge your negative feelings, look for their source, and come up with a way to solve the underlying problem.

6) Show respect by respecting other people's feelings.

7) Avoid people who invalidate you or don't respect your feelings.

8) Listen twice as much as you speak.

9) Pay attention to non verbal communication. We cmmunicate with our whole selves. Watch faces, listen to tone of voice, take note of body language.

10) Realize that improving your emotional intelligence will take time and patience.

True emotional intelligence is not about manipulating people. Emotional intelligene means knowing what you and others are feeling and acting ethically, with a social conscience. In other words, book smarts and people smarts may be of equal value but emotional intelligence is what makes certain people stand out. These people seem to be or have "it" together, they are a graceful balance of intellect and emotion. They inspire, lead, and make others feel good about themselves while maintaining their own integrity and sense of personal worth. No one is diminished by being in his or her presence. On the contrary, we all wish we could be more like them.

People with emotional intelligence have an unshakable confidence in themselves, which comes from self knowledge and self honesty. They know that their personal happiness is up to them and no one else. Instead of labeling other people and their actions, they check their emotions first. People with emotional intelligence look out for their well being as well as that of others. They understand that life is not just about them, it's about balance.

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I thought this was a nice article and i related and learned a lot from it on many levels.

How's your EQ?

More another time.

xoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Joie Seldon said...

As an Emotion Educator, I'm thrilled to see that you are not only advocating for people to feel their pain, but that feeling it actually increases your capacity for joy! I am writing a chapter on Joy now for a workbook on feeling our emotions productively. Joy is more than a good feeling, it is the emotion of connection. When we feel our pain, we are actually connected to our self in a profound way, and moving through that pain and the message it holds frees us. It is a way of valuing yourself. Without emotional pain, anyone could do anything to us and it would have no meaning.

The avoidance of pain only causes more pain. Bless you for your message.
Joie Seldon,