Welcoming the gifts of sadness

posted in: Emotions | 5

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

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

Emotions are Action-Requiring Neurological Programs, revisited

posted in: Emotions | 18

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

Critical thinking skills for your emotions

posted in: Emotions | 34

When I go out to speak about The Language of Emotions, I often have the audience call out the things they’ve learned about emotions. I start off by saying “Big girls don’t cry, There’s nothing to be afraid of, You should be ashamed of yourself …” and then the audience adds their own versions of the messages we all get as other people attempt to manage … Read More

The emotion lists!

posted in: Emotions | 18

Hey!  Thanks for all your help!  We’ve got some excellent and articulated emotion lists to help us become fluent in the language of emotions. Let’s take a look at our updated emotion lists now that we’ve discussed them and organized the categories. In this post, I’ll give you the vocabulary lists without any of the explanations or caveats we had in the original posts (post 1, … Read More

Creating our emotional vocabulary

posted in: Emotions | 39

The more I talk to people about emotions, the more I realize how paltry our emotional vocabulary tends to be.  This is a problem, because descriptive words help us understand ourselves and the world around us. If we don’t have enough names for our emotions, it’s hard to get a handle on what we’re feeling when an emotion arises. I’ve been looking at the work of … Read More

The Gifts of Sadness

posted in: Emotions | 18

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

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