Emotional Fusions (n.) - You don't feel one emotion at a time. You are usually feeling six or seven emotions at one time. And many of those emotions can fuse together to form something new.
Part of mindfulness is being able to label what you feel while you are feeling it. For many, this process can be initially difficult. The more someone gets used to the process of defining what they feel and they increase their emotional vocabulary, it does get easier but the knowledge that emotions can fuse together to create something new will begin to emerge.
The Wise Counsel meditation is one that works based on the idea of projection. Often many people have great advice for others but when it comes to giving themselves that same level of good counsel, it just isn't happening. The wise counsel meditation is a contemplative practice that allows you to speak in your mind with someone you respect and whose advice you would willingly follow. It allows you to imagine and respond to the words you know another would speak.
Now that you’ve been meditating for a while, it’s time to bring the awareness you have been using to label your thoughts and emotions to the speech you use when you aren’t sitting on the cushion. The assignment this week is to bring mindfulness into your spoken words. Specifically, you are doing this to see the speech that is helping or hindering you.
Select specific times to bring awareness to your speech this week. Use the same double-labeling process as with your thoughts and feelings. Observe the words you use and your way of relating to the people around you.
Today is full of sorrow. The largest mass shooting in modern history in our country has just happened and many of us are mourning. 50 LGBTQ people were killed and many more were injured at a night club in Orlando. The victims were predominantly Latinx because the night was Latin-themed. Many people are hurting, angry, and trying to mentally make sense of what has happened.
In the class I cover assertiveness in, I will sometimes play a game to test each members ability to not be passive. We have three ways of communicating when there is something we want: Passive, Assertive, and Aggressive.
The passive person relies on being nice and will often not directly state their needs. Instead, they rely on indirect communication and implied meanings to get what they want. They ask more than they tell. And, they often hope the other person will figure out what they need without them ever having to directly state it.
Often times, emotions are seen as reactions to the world around us and not as things that can be consciously chosen or selected. There are a few meditations I work with which are about being able to choose the emotion we want (or even need) to feel. The inner sanctuary meditation is among them.
This meditation is designed to create a sense of calm, safety, and emotional warmth. It uses a method acting technique to bring up a past setting where all of those emotions already exist. You are still working with reactions on a certain level but you are choosing to what and how you react. By strengthening your mental image of your inner sanctuary and working with this meditation over time, the positive emotions associated with it become more easily recalled.
When I introduce forgiveness as a practice, I emphasize that forgiveness is something we do for ourselves and not for other people. We live in a culture that likes to hold onto hurt. The difficulty with that is that holding onto past hurts can keep us stuck in the past. It can compound the damage of past negative events and experiences by adding additional suffering on top of the original pain.
The things that you do every day to make yourself happy or bring yourself joy are part of the ways you care for yourself. They also keep your stress levels lower so that when events hit or your emotional triggers are pushed, you can deal with things in a more manageable way.
Even a morning cup of tea or coffee with some quiet time can be an important daily ritual that keeps your stress levels reduced. We often create these daily routines for ourselves without realizing why we have added them into our schedules or why they are so important to us. It's when we miss or skip them that we can really feel the effects of having our routine disrupted.
Mirror Principle (n.) The idea that your life is a reflection of who you are and what you believe is called the Mirror Principle. Each decision, how you respond to conflict and difficult events, how you encode the world, what you think about yourself, and what you are willing to accept have all merged together to create the life you are currently living. The mirror principle is often talked about when discussing thoughts and ways of thinking that get in the way of living the life you want.
He smiled and said all the right things but he knew internally that it was going to be a long day. Each customer brought a new complaint and somehow knew just what to say to push his buttons. I mean where did some of these people’s opinions come from? And, worse, why did they think he must surely agree with them? And, what kind of vibe was he giving off to attract so many simply crazy people? But he smiled, rang them up, and sent them on their way – always smiling and always asking polite questions. You must always be nice after all. And, he really didn’t have a choice – his boss required it.
My Writing and Other Resources for Students
A growing collection of writing and other resources for students to use to continue their growth.