#emotionalintelligence

Emotional Intelligence: Practicing the Art of Compassion

“Let our hearts be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It is not always easy to love, to forgive, and to find compassion for our families and loved ones.  And it is even harder to love, to forgive, and to find compassion for our enemies.

Our enemies, it seems a harsh word. The dictionary defines an enemy as someone who is actively opposed or hostile towards us, someone we have verified as adverse or threatening, a challenger, a competitor, a rival, or our nemesis.  How often have you used these words to describe a friend with whom you had a falling out, an ex-partner or spouse, a family member you are no longer speaking to, a colleague who you avoid in the hallway, or who beat you to a promotion?  We often make these individuals our enemies. We spin scenarios in our brains of what we would like to say to them; if they would just apologize or understand why what they did was wrong, then we could get along again.  We avoid, we spin, we stay angry, we blame, we play the victim – and in all of these cases we fail to grow, we get into a rut, we hold onto an anchor that keeps us rooted in one place, we waste time, and we create internal pain and darkness.

Can We LEARN Compassion?

Yes. We can integrate practices into our lives that cultivate love, forgiveness, and compassion and teach us to be more aware of delivering these qualities under challenging situations.

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Are You Ready to Put Your Baggage Down?

Most of us have accumulated some emotional baggage. It may appear in the form of anger, shame, guilt, judgement or a variety of other “dark” emotions that weigh us down, prevent us from moving forward or cultivating a sense of well-being.  The weight of past trauma, choices made we later regret, words never said to a loved one who has passed, the secrets of our childhood that still cause us pain, addiction, abuse, a relationship we never healed – these are heavy burdens.

The Weight

Carrying this heavy emotional baggage around can create a barrier to making healthy lifestyle choices, can interfere with our significant relationships, keep us stuck in old habit patterns and interfere with achieving our professional goals and personal desires.  Holding on to this emotional burden has a direct and lasting impact on our well-being and how we show up in our jobs, in our relationships and with our families.

We may try to shove these “dark” and heavy emotional memories and wounds to the back of the closet believing that when they are buried and out of sight they are no longer impacting our lives.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

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Emotional Intelligence: The Intersection of Heart and Mind

It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence
is not the opposite of intelligence,
it is not the triumph of heart over head –
it is the unique intersection of both.
-David Caruso

Anger, fear, guilt, shame, jealousy, frustration, hurt – these are all some pretty intense emotions and all of us have experienced them at one time or another.  And, what is so powerful about these emotions, is that they can come at us so hard and fast, and take hold with such a vice grip, that they become an unconscious controller of our thoughts, our actions and our words. We may think we are thinking something through and responding in the best way possible – when in actuality these unspoken, pushed aside, deep emotions are sitting at the control panel pushing all the buttons.

There is this great quote that I love, “What we resists, persists.”  It takes a while to wrap your head around these words but I found them to be so very true in my own life. (more…)