discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional
information to guide thinking and behavior.
EI is like IQ with emotions. How do you know what you are feeling (noticing body sensation)? How do you communicate that with others (verbal, non verbal)? Do you share with words or with actions (telling someone vs giving them a cold shoulder)? Can you label accurately what you are feeling (anger vs sadness)? Is there space between stimulus and your response (do you react immediately, take a breath and determine the next course of action)?
This isn’t something that is typically taught. In fact many of us are taught not to listen to ourselves. For example, “You just ate, you can’t be hungry again,” You just went to the bathroom, you can wait,” “Don’t cry, it’s ok, it’s not that bad.”
Homework: There are a ton of tests and quizzes for you to determine your EI. Take one and determine where you are, what do you want to change, what are your strengths?
Layers upon layers. I think this is such a beautiful image of layers.
Yes it is a tree and we have the same layers. Some may be thoughts or what we have heard that we then turn into beliefs. Some are negative thoughts. Some are positive thoughts to negate the others. Perhaps events that have hurt us, that we haven’t gotten over, that we hold onto.
Yet in order to grow, we need to shed those layers. Some happens naturally. By growing new layers the old peels away. Some people may think they can do it on their own and some may need or want some help. And it is okay to ask for help. I think most of us do not live in a vacuum. Help can give guidance to how to peel away the layers, determining what layers you want peeled away vs what you want to keep and is supportive of your growth, and even having witness to the peeling can be quite powerful.
The end of the year is a great time to look at what you want to shed. What supports you in your growth and what hinders you? Take a look.
Last week was Thanksgiving. It is a day to appreciate and share in the bounty of food and company.
What about the other 364 days of the year? I challenge you to give thanks every day at least once. To give to yourself, to someone else, to a stranger on the street, to an acquaintance, to a coworker, to a spouse or partner, to a close friend. To find something that you are thankful for, that you are grateful for, that you appreciate in your life, that is a blessing. The wonderful thing about giving thanks is that it can come in many forms- verbal and nonverbal- in song, with a look, sending love, by the phone, in person. Be creative in ways to give thanks to those in your life. Even if you just acknowledge to yourself the ways that they have touched you and changed your life.
I am a very visual person and enjoy the different colors that people wear or put together. I am great at sharing with those close to me and giving them appreciations. I have recently in the last several month started sharing with people that I don’t even know. People that I pass on the street. I have found it quite freeing, instead of just thinking it, I openly share. And often times I am met with the other person expressing gratitude that I shared and even if they give me a dirty look or snarl at me in some way, I feel better having shared.
Challenge yourself to give freely. I have found that it feeds my soul as well as the other person. There is not a shortage that I am aware of, so have fun with it.
Appreciation for use of this photo.
I want to share with people that I am now in the office on Sat for both coaching and therapy. So if the week is hard to schedule, feel free to schedule on the weekend. People often like having more time before or after, feel relaxed, and enjoy the Sat appointments. Call me at 503-961-3141 for more information or to set up an appointment.
I am reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I am about 1/2 way through. One thing that struck me was the idea of admitting mistakes. I may reframe that, to admitting and owning what I have done. I am not advocating for blaming either self or others for their actions. Owning has a different feel than blame. If you can take responsibility for your actions, letting go of judgement, room is created for change.
And with therapy and coaching, that is the usually the goal. Changing something that isn’t working. We can get caught up in blame. I just uncovered an enlightened bully. She has been mean. She judged. She was rude. She beat me up. She repressed. Yet that cycle only has so many pathways, the conversation is the same circular, roundabout, never ending spiral. Can I admit that she has been around, loving her as she has been, knowing that she was there, realizing how this has affected relationships. And moving forward, noticing, being aware, shifting, sharing. By admitting to my friend, Deb Katz, that I had not shared my feelings with her, we were able to connect on a deeper level.
By admitting mistakes you admit that you are human. You bring closeness to the one you are sharing, you are being vulnerable by opening. This seems to be a big one in intimate relationships. I think because it turns into blame. How to talk about something that happened as fact. The same way I would say and accept, “Today is .” Own it and whatever feelings that come up and to look at possibilities.
Exploration for this week: in what areas are you blaming yourself. Can you take responsibility and own what you have done. Share it with the other person.
Photos by Gratisography
I was talking with some people recently about strengths and being a visionary and an artist. I started thinking about art: life as art, the art of living, being art. Which is where the idea for this blog came in.
I was thinking about what to name it. There is already an Art of Living Foundation. I settled into Living as Art. What if we are a masterpiece in the creation? We are the art. We are the focus which looks different in different light, in different settings. We are not stagnant. We are not finished. We are evolving and changing.
Painters can start, paint over, cover up, change what they are working on. Aren’t we doing that all the time? I have
the intention to continue looking inward at the exploration which is my life, of my patterns, of what I create in my life or not. I adjust myself, I shift from stuck to possibilities, I express.
Exploration for this week is to check out what looks like an amazing example of this called Exhibit: Growth. It is interactive. Art is created from your responses. How awesome is that?
Photos from Free Digital Photos
I was watching a documentary on time called “Time Limits.” It discussed our perception of time and how it changes depending on what is going on internally and externally. It talked about how watching a game that is 1-0 time slows for the winning team, the end can’t come soon enough. For the losing team it is going way to fast. Meditation is one way to slow down time, often Buddhist monks will meditate and time moves slower as they focus on the present moment. It also showed how some things take so long to unfold (flowers, the seasons) while others are fast (the frogs tongue, a fly).
My exploration since watching this movie as well as related to the last post, how do I speed up my time or slow it down. How am I viewing the world? Is it speeding around me or going way to slow. I picture an adult walking with a toddler. The toddler tends to find everything of interest and wanting to stop and explore anything and everything and the adult wanting to move faster. Or thinking of the morning routine before work, getting certain things done before leaving and the idea of not having enough time. Or the lay out of a vacation, early on it seems like there is sooooo much time, then pass the middle and it seems like it is almost over.
How do you speed up or slow down?
I was late for something and missed my turn twice. I wasn’t breathing. I was thinking of being late and getting there fast. I overrode my first impulse to turn. Then got a ticket on my way back and missed the second turn. Then my GPS on my phone went wonky. I then took a breath. A deep breath and slowed down.
I got to thinking, what is going on right now that I am rushing. In the past if I am late, I usually just let the person know and continue on focusing what is in my control, knowing I will get there when I get there. Yet this time was different.
I think of the Simon & Garfunkel song, with the lyrics: “slow down you move too fast, gotta make the moment last.”
What if it is a moment I don’t like for whatever reason, do I try to move faster? When do I allow myself to move slower? What determines my speed? What do I allow to determine my anxiety? When do I override my wants and impulses to adjust to what I think “should” be?
I noticed after my deep breath bringing myself back to me vs thinking of where I need to be or the next thing on the list. I also let go of the judgement around being late. And I allowed myself to move at my pace even in the midst of being late.
Take a moment to take a breath. Where and when do you rush? How do you override your impulses? Do you have “shoulds” in your life or ideas of what is and isn’t “appropriate?”
Sex is often an issue that people don’t really want to talk about and really want to talk about. There can be shame, negative stories, fear of judgement fear of rejection around it, taboo.
I was talking with a colleague yesterday, Jane Guyn. One thing we talked about was the idea of how environment affects our inner mood. And this holds true for sex, sensualness, intimacy, connection, eroticism. Does your room illicit that kind of feeling that you want? And the great thing about this is that it is totally personal. What creates that energy within you will be different than someone else. And if you are with someone, to talk about it. They may have no idea about your wants.
If you want an experiential exercise…Look at the two photos of bedrooms. What thoughts, images, ideas, stories, meanings, body sensations come to mind when you look at one then the other. No need to judge, simply notice.