How much emotion is too much?

When I talk about The Language of Emotions, one of the central ideas I share is that all emotions are useful. If you can approach them with care and ask them the right questions, there aren’t any “negative” emotions. Every emotion has a specific function, and all of them are important and instructive Some emotions (such as hatred and panic), need to be handled with care, … Read More

The third key to emotional genius

Each emotion arises at many different levels of intensity  Working with emotions empathically means learning how they work and how to work with them respectfully. One very important key to developing emotional skills is to learn how to identify emotions at many different levels.  This is especially important if you only become aware of your emotions when they’re very intense. Learning about their nuanced states can … Read More

The importance of being grounded and focused

Creating a solid ground for your emotions (and yourself) Many people have learned to avoid and repress their emotions, because some emotions can come on very strong. If we don’t have emotional skills, we can be carried away by our emotions (and the emotions of others). Because of this, I teach a number of practices that I call the Empathic Mindfulness practices. I created them specifically … Read More

What’s new in the Fear Family?

Many changes to an essential group of emotions! In the newly revised and updated Language of Emotions, the Fear Family has seen the largest number of changes. The emotions in this family are vital to your instincts, intuition, and capacity to keep yourself safe. They are: Fear, Anxiety, Confusion, Jealousy, Envy, and Panic. In this video, I explore the changes I made to better support the … Read More

A simple way to access your fear

A safe and easy exercise to help you access your fear For this exercise, you’ll need a quiet place where you can sit or stand comfortably. When you’ve found your quiet place, lean your body forward a little bit, and try to hear the quietest sound in your area. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears; good posture helps your hearing. You can also … Read More

Fear: Intuition, instincts, and awareness

Welcoming the gifts of fear! Many of us have been taught to see fear as a problem, but it’s actually an intuitive emotion that helps you orient yourself, connect with your instincts, and act and respond skillfully. Fear helps you orient you to change and novel situations, and it focuses on the present moment and your immediate surroundings. But if you think of the ways we … 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

Are you positive about emotions?

As tan bear clearly shows us, if there’s one thing many people know about emotions, it’s the idea that there are positive ones and negative ones. But it’s not just silly cartoon animals that share this idea: In emotion research, the categorization of emotions into the two simple categories of positivity and negativity is called valencing. Valencing theory tells us that there are two kinds of … Read More

What’s so funny ’bout “negative” emotions?

Last week, I spoke at two bookstores here in California. During one Q&A, someone asked me about the ideas a current spiritual teacher has about emotions. This teacher says that emotions are the body’s responses to thoughts. I blurted out “Oh, he’s full of sh!t.” Out loud. I experienced a complete failure of my internal monologue system. Oh shiiiite! You could hear a pin drop, and … Read More

Intuition is what?

People are very interested in increasing their intuition, and there’s a fascinatingly mistaken idea about intuition in many circles, which is that intuition has nothing to do with thoughts or emotions — that it comes from another place altogether. In point of fact, intuition isn’t otherworldly or extrasensory; it’s clearly an empathic skill that we all possess, and it comes directly from our emotions. In my … Read More

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