Monday, May 19, 2014

Getting Emotional - the 5 principles of Emotional Intelligence

Emotions are like waves, we can't stop them coming but we can learn how to surf.  

The process of feeling emotions is natural, our bodies are wired to feel and our behaviour is driven by them.  However, most of the time we operate from a superficial level of emotion expressing annoyance, anger, cheerfulness.  The deeper levels of emotion: betrayal, heartbreak, joy, compassion, usually stay very buried until triggered by big events.  

We felt these big emotions all the time as children, until life's experiences taught us to shut them down.  Even though they make up our very life force, we have cut ourselves off from experiencing deep and powerful emotions, yet they still run in our emotional body at full throttle, driving our behaviour and the decisions we make.

Feelings and emotions are a powerful and precious resource and learning to rebuild a conscious and skillful access to them enables us to engage in life wholeheartedly.


·      Emotions have a beginning and an end, none are too big to experience and, with courage and willingness, even very powerful emotions can be experienced and processed skillfully.  By allowing emotions to come into our awareness without resistance or denial, they can then move through our emotional body with greater ease and will ultimately take us to a state of happy relief and gratitude.

·      It is safe to feel feelings.  No-one ever died from feeling their feelings but if we refuse to open up, we die inside. Denying and defending against feeling creates stress in our bodies and, rather than allowing them to help us to make sense of our world, we let them drive our behaviour instead.  We start to act them out through tantrum, withdrawal, blame, ill-health, denial etc.  We don’t have to express feelings in order to feel them (although it helps) - they can be felt inside by consciously focusing on them. 

·      The level to which negative feelings are suppressed or denied is the level to which access to positive feelings is limited.  If we don’t allow ourselves to feel the bad stuff, we can’t enjoy the good stuff.  The mind does not discern whether a feeling is good or bad – it just gets the message that a lot of energy is running and it is time to shut down, this leads to a feeling of deadness. By opening up to feelings our life experiences become richer. 

·      Experiencing negative feelings allows them to lift, release and reveal other feelings underneath.  While negative feelings feel very real at the time, they often originate from past experiences, misunderstandings and limiting beliefs.  The purpose of opening up to them is to heal them and find the truth, ease and happiness beyond.

·      Every feeling is important.  Feelings come from experiences and beliefs and hold unrefined wisdom. There is a greater Intelligence and a Creative Force in our feeling realm that cannot be accessed through just thinking.  Healing old hurts and wounds transforms the negative energy into positive qualities that support our personal growth and emotional evolution.  

Learning to access and process vulnerable feelings takes courage, our Family@Heart course is a friendly and fun way to get the support and tools you need to unblock the flow of courage, compassion and wonder in your life.

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