You don’t have to be blue!

Today is International Autism Awareness Day, but I have to say, if you’re not aware of autism yet, friend, where have you been? My friends in the autism community find this day pretty excruciating, because the message about autism is so bleak and panicky — on this day, people mistake a disorder for a disease and a community of real, live human beings for an epidemic. … Read More

Understanding multiple emotions

 The Wonderful World of Multiple Emotions! There are four ideas about emotions that are widely shared and accepted — yet are absolutely problematic. These four commonly accepted ideas actually prevent you from being able to approach your emotions — or anyone else’s — intelligently. They are: The problem with valencing (imagining that there are positive or negative emotions, or pro-social or anti-social emotions) The problem with … Read More

Bringing nuance to your emotional life

The Wonderful World of Emotional Nuance! As we study emotions empathically, I’m starting out by focusing on four ideas that are widely shared, completely accepted — and absolutely problematic. These four commonly accepted ideas actually prevent you from being able to approach your emotions — or anyone else’s — intelligently. They are: The problem with valencing (imagining that there are positive or negative emotions, or pro-social … Read More

A new option for working with your emotions!

The Wonderful World of Emotional Choice! As we enter into an empathic study of emotions, I’m starting out by focusing on four ideas that are widely shared, completely accepted — and absolutely problematic. These four commonly accepted ideas actually prevent you from being able to approach your emotions — or anyone else’s — intelligently. They are: The problem with valencing (imagining that there are positive or … Read More

Four ideas that lead directly to emotional confusion

The Wonderful World of Emotions! As we study emotions empathically, we’ll look at each emotion in terms of what it does, what gifts it brings you, and how you can work with it — but before we look at emotions individually, I’d like to focus on four ideas that are widely shared, completely accepted — and absolutely problematic. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s ground-breaking reframing of emotions as … Read More

Is Love an Emotion?

Every emotion has a purpose Emotions are essential aspects of your awareness, your intelligence, your social skills, and your ability to communicate — and each one has a specific purpose. Every emotion has a specific function and a specific action for you to complete so that it can move on and make room for your next emotion, your next thought, and your next idea. As we … Read More

Emotions are Action-Requiring Neurological Programs

When I wrote The Language of Emotions, I had not yet found a concise definition of emotions anywhere, so I sort of tap-danced around the issue and dove into my own empathic view of emotions as unique messengers that carry specific gifts. But I read a wonderful book last year that presented the perfect definition: emotions are action-requiring neurological programs — and I relied upon this … Read More

Love, Power, and Justice

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. “What happened is that some of our philosophers got off base. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites – polar opposites – so that love is identified … Read More

How accurate is your empathy?

How good are your Emotion-Recognition skills? Last week, we looked at a vital part of the first aspect of empathy (Emotion Contagion), which is your capacity to feel your way into the emotions of others. And with the support of the concept of Einfühlung, we also opened up our idea of empathy to include your capacity to feel into and alongside nonhuman actors like animals and … Read More

Einfühlung and Empathy: What do they mean?

Previously, we looked at the first of my six aspects of empathy, Emotion Contagion. We also talked about the importance of art for people whose Emotion Contagion skills are very strong (hyperempaths), and also for people whose skills are currently less developed. The good news is that the six essential aspects of empathy are changeable, malleable, and manageable throughout your life span; therefore, you can make changes … Read More

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