The Myth of Negative Emotions

posted in: Emotions | 26

The Myth of Negative Emotions is of course related to The Myth of Positive Emotions In my work with emotions, I focus on the intelligence, gifts, and skills that every emotion brings to you. I don’t leave any emotions out, and I don’t treat any emotion as better or worse than any other. This unified and ecological approach to emotions treats all emotions as vital, irreplaceable … Read More

Welcoming the gifts of anxiety

posted in: Emotions | 8

There are gifts in anxiety? Yes! People are often very surprised to learn that anxiety contains specific gifts, because anxiety is usually described only in terms of disorder or disease. However, at its most subtle level, anxiety (which is related to fear) helps you plan for the future and complete important tasks. Really! When I look at the problem of nuance, I see that so many … Read More

Bringing nuance to your emotional life

posted in: Emotions | 0

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

How the world didn’t end — again

Hello time travelers! Last year, I made a prophecy about the Mayan 2012 prophecy, which is being promoted by some as either the end of the world or the beginning of a new dawn in human spiritual development. Since I grew up in a spiritual group that believed in an earlier version of this exact same prophecy, I took an empathic, historic look at prophecies that … Read More

A new practice for anxiety

posted in: Empathic Skills | 24

Since I posted on anxiety last week, I’ve been talking to people about how they manage their own anxiety. Interestingly, my sister-in-law Janelle, who hadn’t read the post, told me about an anxiety practice she created out of some of the tools in the book. Cool! Janelle is an in-home health practitioner who works with elderly and disabled clients, and she often feels worried about them (as … Read More

Befriending anxiety in 2011. Huzzah!

posted in: Empathic Skills | 32

Happy New Year! In these first days of 2011, I wish you health, strong relationships, emotional awareness, peace, empathy, compassion, humor, meaningful work, and excellent rest! So many of us went through upheavals in 2010 that I think we could all use a rest and a break. Here’s a strange idea: Let’s befriend anxiety! I’ve been thinking a lot about fear and anxiety this month, and … Read More

Decisions are made by your emotions? Then you’d better learn their language!

posted in: Empathic Skills | 4

Yesterday, the CBS Sunday Morning show ran a good story on how we make decisions” It May Not Sound Rational, But Experts Say Emotions and Gut Feelings Are More Important Than Intellect in Making Choices The old wives’ tale is that we make decisions by ignoring our emotions and using our rational faculties. Wrong! The truth is that our rational brains can’t hold enough conflicting information … Read More

How to talk to sad, jealous, anxious kids

posted in: Empathic Skills | 13

Okay, so my husband Tino and I are living in what I call “unintentional community,” or a condo complex. It’s a nice place near his new job, it’s month-to-month so we can look for a home, and it’s got trees and lovely plantings everywhere, so I’m not complaining. However, we’re right on top of people, so we hear the goings on, especially with a neighbor family … Read More

What is Emotional Hygiene?

posted in: Emotions | 8

Emotional hygiene is an idea I developed about seven years ago (the phrase is not original to me, though) when I was dealing with depression and one of my best friends was dealing with anxiety. As it turns out, the two states aren’t very compatible! My friend and I had been very close and emotionally in sync for many years, and we were very used to … Read More