Welcoming the gifts of sadness

SADNESS: The Water Bearer ACTION REQUIRED: Sadness arises when it’s time to let go of something that isn’t working anyway. If you can truly let go, relaxation and rejuvenation will follow. GIFTS: Release ~ Fluidity ~ Grounding ~ Relaxation ~ Rejuvenation THE INTERNAL QUESTIONS: What must be released? What must be rejuvenated? Sadness is a wonderful emotion that arises when something needs to be released. This … 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

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

The Gifts of Sadness

Here’s a simple exercise to help relieve tension and stress. Breathe in deeply until you feel a bit of tension in your chest and ribcage, and hold your breath for a count of three. (Don’t create too much tension. If you’re uncomfortable, let some air out before you hold your breath.) As you breathe out, let your body go limp, relax your chest and shoulders, and … Read More

How to talk to sad, jealous, anxious kids

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