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Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 17: The Kitchen)

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

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From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

-->Watch a free sneak peek of our new course: Our latest course focuses on how to improve your critical thinking and become more aware of bias. Click here to check it out!

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

17. The Kitchen

The dinnertime rush at the village restaurant on the island of Allandon was generally hectic for the staff, and this evening was no exception. The cook was moving back and forth across a sizzling grill and the busser was washing and stacking a mountain of dirty plates like clockwork when the waiter banged open the swinging door with empty plates running up both arms. He dumped them down on the counter near the busser, causing one of the plates to slide off onto the ground and break into pieces.

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The waiter paused for a second, as the busser immediately set down to pick up the pieces. “Well don’t blame me,” the waiter said. “Isn’t it your job to pick up the empty dishes from the tables?”

“It is,” said the busser.

“Well get on it, man! People are waiting to sit down!”

The busser did not jump, but instead finished picking up the remaining bits of the broken dish carefully with a broom. “Are they getting restless out there?”

“Damn right,” said the waiter, tapping his finger on the grill counter as he waited for his next food order.

“Any customers take it out on you?” asked the busser.

“It seems like they all are tonight.”

“Well if anybody can handle it, you can,” said the busser, resuming his dishwashing. “You just have this cool way of calming them down.”

A slight grin came over the waiter’s face. “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” he said as he lined up the plates of food along his arms in perfect balance. He glided over to the swinging door and, backing his way out, added, “I’ve always said, ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’ “

“I’ll remember that,” said the busser, smiling to himself as he continued working through the pile of dishes.

The new conversation hinges on our ability to create a space—a space founded on acceptance, a space that builds trust, a space that encourages choice. You don’t need to be highly informed in all matters of great import to humanity to participate. If you bring an openness of mind and spirit, an authentic curiosity about views divergent from your own, and a desire to serve others on their path as you would be served on yours, then you will be doing your part. And if enough of us do our part, the world cannot help but be transformed.

The notion that there is a new conversation today in our society crystallized for me a few years ago during my training at the Adler School of Professional Coaching in Toronto. It was as though the seeds of thought that had long been swirling inside me had suddenly found the soil in which to germinate. While there was a curriculum for the course, the underlying agenda was for the facilitators and the students to co-create each session as much as was practical. The content of the course was fully embodied in its form—a spacious and free-flowing conversation. As a participant I was made to feel comfortable with who I was and where I was at. I could be myself, and there was nothing else needed or expected. Rather than being motivated by external forces based in evaluation and judgment, I was able to get connected with my own inherent desire to learn and to grow. From there I was able to step into the opportunity to be courageous in my participation.

A memorable example of this came during a creative exercise in which we were all asked to draw a picture that represented our inner selves. When it came time for each person to show and explain their drawings, my mind naturally gravitated to which ones were good and not-so-good, and how they compared (unfavorably) to mine. It seemed a little insincere to me how some people could praise and acknowledge each and every drawing, regardless of the clarity of expression or artistic merit. I assumed everyone saw what I saw, and were encouraging one another out of politeness and tact as I had learned to do.

But somewhere during the exercise, as I noticed how heart-felt one acknowledgment after the next seemed to be, an uncomfortable thought suddenly crept up on me: Was my assumption wrong? Was I the only one preoccupied with judgment and comparison? Was I the insincere one? It was a disturbing revelation, and though I could have ignored the thought and tried to ride out the discomfort, I felt I might be missing out on something important. It was only because of the non-judgmental space that had been created in the classroom that I felt just safe enough to risk the embarrassment and share with everyone what I had realized.

My admission—that I was internally judgmental about people’s creative expression and sometimes patronizing in my acknowledgments—made quite an impact on the group. A few seemed shocked by it, and tried to gently express how sincere they were being in their own acknowledgments. Another confessed that she had some feelings similar to mine. More significantly, the conversation as a whole seemed to move to an even deeper level of authenticity from that point on. People expressed gratitude for my honesty. I was grateful too, because of the rare opportunity for me to be in a space where I was able to be real. I believe it was the space that enabled me to hold the awareness long enough to make a courageous choice. Expressing myself went a long way to helping me let go of this habit of thought. In turn this helped me to experience something new from that moment on: a more profoundly satisfying appreciation of other people’s uniqueness and creative expression.

Later in the course, the acknowledgments I received for my own creative expression were all the more moving for me. In a homework assignment I wrote a parable about creativity based on an earlier conversation with one of the participants who insisted she was not creative (see Chapter 30, The Waiter). The praise and encouragement I received to seriously pursue the creative work of writing parables, which I loved to do, helped to inspire me to embark upon a new project I had been contemplating. In front of all my new friends on the final day of the course in October of 2003, I stood up and made the commitment that I was going to write a book that I would call Parables for the New Conversation.

Needless to say, being part of a course that focused on learning the technology of a powerful kind of interpersonal conversation—the coaching conversation—had a big impact on the subject matter of my book. I believe it would be very helpful at this point to explain what coaching actually is, and describe its influence on my vision of the new conversation.

The coaching I am referring to is broadly distinguished as life coaching. It is different from the traditional notion of a ‘coach’ who guides and manages an athlete or sports team and is supposed to be the wise authority on the game. In life coaching the game is life itself, and since the flow of life is change, the mandate of a coach involves helping the client deal with life changes or supporting them in making the changes that will take them where they want to go. Whereas the goal in any sport is clear—to win—in life coaching the goal itself is determined by the client. Together the coach and client identify obstacles along the path of change, brings clarity to real goals, and help clients move towards realizing them.

Coaching is different from therapy, psychiatry or social work, as it does not seek to resolve trauma or fix what is wrong with a client. It works from the standpoint that the client is already creative, resourceful, and whole—capable of being responsible for their own desired transformation.[1] And unlike consultants, advisors, or mentors, a coach does not need to be an expert in any particular area—except in the art and science of the conversation itself. The coach keeps the conversation in a rhythm of penetrating and stepping back, challenging and allowing, inquiring and stating what is.

The coaching conversation tends to move through three phases, represented by the acronym ICA. The first phase deals with the issue that the client brings to coaching, and helps to find greater insight into the issue so that the client can become clearer on what their intention is for the coaching relationship. The second phase taps into the client’s creativity to uncover the broad range of choices available, in order for the client to find the one they will make a commitment to move forward on. The final phase determines the actions that will fulfill the commitment, and sets up the measurable conditions by which the client can be accountable. The learning and growth resulting from their actions gives the client a new awareness, which could lead to a new coaching cycle.[2]

The coach is responsible for creating an environment within which the client can explore their greatest desires, and for providing guidance and encouragement as the client walks through and over the obstacles along their path. While on the one hand the coach is fully committed to the client’s development and has a pointed devotion to their client’s well-being, on the other hand the coach is completely detached from the results of the client’s actions, and so is never in any way judgmental in the way clients go about the business of their lives. In this way, the client is provided with the best environment to embrace choice, their natural birthright, without the influence of coercion, ridicule, pressure, or a sense of obligation, debt, or a desire not to disappoint. There is no doubt that the creation of a safe and supportive environment greatly facilitates a client’s capacity to step into choice and move forward authentically.

One important thing to note is that a true coach looks at themselves not as an authority or expert teacher. The coach models the attitude and behavior of a learner who learns right alongside with the client. It is this equality and reciprocity in the growth process that distinguishes the coaching modality from some of its predecessors. When the benefits are reciprocal, and the energy flows back and forth, then the circle is complete.

Thought not usually as formal as the coaching conversation, the new conversation employs many of the same principles. They are both founded in trust, openness and non-judgment. They both work with the ebb and flow of duality, of speaking and listening, of action informing reflection and reflection informing action, of our tendency to advance into the Dao Self and then retreat back into the Ego Self. These two conversations share a common purpose: to create a space designed to help us step into our highest vision of who we are. However, while the coaching conversation focuses on the specific goals of individuals or small teams of individuals, the new conversation is more expansive: it also holds the space for a unified vision for all of humanity, a collective ambition that plays out in synchrony with the pursuit of our individual purpose and aspirations.

It is in the intersection of our personal and collective journeys that human consciousness evolves. And so, in the new conversation, every single aspect of the human experience forms a part of the story: our politics and our culture, our technology and our art, our day-to-day concerns and the entire span of our history, our bodies and our souls, our greatest triumphs and our most horrifying atrocities. All things big and small, light and dark must have their place at the table if a vision of humanity as One is to finally be revealed.

I believe this revelation is well on its way to being realized, and more and more people want to be an important part of the process. I am noticing that speaking to people today, friends and strangers alike, is so different from how it was even twenty years ago. Today there seems to be a much greater interest in why we are here, where we are headed, what we can do. There is a growing hunger for authentic conversations that encourage us to be real, and hold us accountable for who we are being and what we are doing. Spontaneous discussions are breaking out everywhere, with birds of different feathers increasingly flocking together. We are forming conversation groups like never before to share emerging ideas and information about how to improve our lives, our communities, and the planet as a whole. In the spaces we create we are exploring rather than preaching, observing rather than judging, and opening up to having our deepest beliefs challenged. And the more we do, the greater our conviction becomes that working from such spaces will bring about the fulfillment of our personal and collective destiny.

[1] This means that not everyone is a candidate to be a coaching client, and the coach has an obligation to evaluate early on whether the client is self-responsible enough to bring about their own desired transformation. In a typical one-on-one relationship, a coach will meet with a client for an initial intake session where the coach will come to know many facets of the client in greater detail, including their values, strengths, challenges, and long-term goals. Subsequent regular meetings over the course of three months or longer are held with an awareness of the big picture, the long-term goals the client has entered coaching to achieve.
[2] This cycle is not cast in stone, and is subordinated to the uniqueness of the individual client and their situation. The client is fully involved in a co-creation of the form of the conversation that will serve them best.

Move on to Chapter 18…

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Consciousness

New Moon In Aries: Taking Bold Action

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Aries during the later hours of April 11th in the Americas and on the 12th everywhere else in the world. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26th/27th.

Aries season began at the Equinox (on March 20th globally this year) as it always does, as per the framework of the Tropical Zodiac. Being the first of twelve signs, and initiator of a transitional season, it begins the Astrological New Year. However with this New Moon actually occurring in Aries as well, it will crank up the energies of this sign even more so in comparison to the previous weeks that were part of a lunar cycle initiated by a New Moon in Pisces.

Aries is the domain of self, independence, and individual needs. As a Cardinal Fire sign ruled by Mars, it is assertive, courageous, direct, pioneering, and leading. It is initiating, quick, bold, energetic, and warrior-like. Negatively, this energy can be inconsiderate, selfish,  hot tempered, combative, restless, impatient, aggressive, and overly competitive. Aries lacks thoroughness due to its quick forward energy.

New Moon Conjunct Mercury & Venus In Aries

This New Moon is close to both Mercury and Venus. This can reflect a period in which our social interactions and engagement with others can be more lively. Both Mercury and Aries have a busy moving type of energy and we may feel more active, physically and/or mentally, as a result.

The conjunction of both of these planets with this New Moon also means it is tied into cycles that each of those planets have with the Sun. Venus recently joined the Sun in the last week of March and it is now travelling ahead of it in zodiacal position.

In recent weeks this has been a time in which we experienced shifts, developments, endings, beginnings, or more clarity around Venus areas of friends, love, social dynamics, values, worth, or financial matters in some cases. This New Moon and the weeks following can continue this process, especially when it comes to beginnings or newer ways of expressing ourselves in these areas.

Mercury is now approaching the Sun as they will make their conjunction on April 18th/19th. At that time we may experience developments, which may be significant, connected to what has transpired during its previous retrograde in February and how things have unfolded since then. From there, these things may develop further with a better perception, or circumstances may indicate lack of sufficiency, not what was anticipated, or that something needs to change.

Planets In Aries Square Pluto & Sextile Mars Trine Jupiter

This New Moon, along with Venus and Mercury, are in a square with Pluto and sextile with Mars and Jupiter. Pluto combined with Aries and Mars energy can reflect a period of intensity. However, it can also play out as issues around power, control, manipulation, jealousy, insubordination, or subversion.  It can also be revealing, psychological, compulsive, transforming, and purging.

The sextile with Mars in Gemini adds to the lively, assertive, instinctual, and energetic expressions of Aries. The Aries’ planets sextile to Jupiter, which is also trine Mars, can be good for applying ourselves in a way that is expansive, optimistic, educational, philosophical, explorative, freedom seeking, or centered around beliefs. New doors may open up and it can even be lucky for some people.

Uranus square Saturn (mentioned here in a previous article) is still in the backdrop as it will be throughout the year. Although it’s not in one of its strong periods, themes of ‘freedom/rebellion/revolution being at odds restrictions/limitations/traditions are still playing out. This may get activated in different ways by this new lunar cycle and the Aries energy that has already been present over the previous weeks following the Astrological New Year.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

How would you like to grow and expand and what do you need to change to get there? In what areas do you need to be more bold or courageous? What have your relationships shown you in recent weeks? What is important for your individuality? What are your personal needs? What do you stand for and should you be fighting for it? Do you need to be a leader in any aspects of your life? Are there any new things that you want to explore?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 2:31am Universal Time on April 12th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Consciousness

A Symbiosis of Humans & Technology – Changing The Conversation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Have you ever noticed that discussions about transhumanism tend to focus on technology more than humanism? The journey to reaching our highest potential as a species is usually focused externally on the technology rather than internally on our conscious evolution. This is probably because people assume that conscious evolution is more about spirituality whereas technology is more having to do with the things humans create. The two paths are interdependent so we need more conversations between experts in each of these fields. It will only be through a recognition of the symbiotic nature between humans, their technology, and the environment that we will avert self-destruction.

trans·hu·man·ism (n.) 1. A belief that humans should strive to transcend the physical limitations of the mind and body by technological means. 2. A movement of people who espouse such a belief.

Standing at a Crossroads: The influence that technology has on society and culture is called, technodeterminism. Most of us carry mini supercomputers in our pockets called smartphones. These devices act as external brains which seamlessly integrate into most aspects of our life. Most of us are completely dependent on them for travel, work, communication, entertainment, and beyond. Take a moment to consider the future implications of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine-learning, mass surveillance, automation, genome editing, nanotechnology, and their potential influences on society, culture, and our environment.

When I think about these things, I can’t help but ask:

Why aren’t people like the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Andrew Weil conversing more with people like Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, and Steve Mann?

Ancient Futures: It will become increasingly imperative for our most advanced technologies to be informed by the natural ethos of indigenous people blended with the emotional-intelligence of our enlightened spiritual masters. We must remember that the first humans who captured fire to light their cave, stay warm on a cold night, or cook their food were using technology. Anthropologists proudly call us humans “tool-makers” as one of the attributes that make us distinct from most species.

Paradigm Shift: Conscious evolution will require a concerted effort to communicate across silos and disciplines. Cooperation and collaboration towards collective goals will need to take the place of competition for personal gain. What are we hoping to accomplish, and at what cost? We are a risk-taking species and that drives us to exceed all our limitations. Let’s make these be calculated risks because with our technology also comes a great responsibility.

Start Within: Even our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

Research in multiple fields of study shows that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility, humility, and ultimately character. It is through our ability to feel and process our emotions that our higher intelligence flourishes.

SuperHumans: Any sports fan knows that there are individuals who possess superhuman gifts. Think of popular sports stars like Michael Jordan, or any of the various extreme sports heroes who somehow manage the seemingly impossible. We also have the various musical or art prodigies who express the skills of a master before the age of 10. We have seen humans walk on red-hot coals with bare feet, walk a tightrope between skyscrapers, and exhibit mind-boggling feats of mental-focus, and will-power. Did you know that Wim Hof ran a half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds? Humans are capable of amazing things when they channel discipline, practice, creative brilliance, fearlessness and focus. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible!

Global Meditation: This simple practice of quieting the mind, and bringing presence to one’s breathing has a long list of documented benefits that include enhanced neural connections, deep feelings of connection and well-being, as well as a strengthened immune system. When we compound this focused intention to include tens of thousands of people all over the world, we begin to literally shift planetary magnetic resonance. The science does not lie, we are potent electrical beings with the ability to focus consciousness and create beyond our wildest imaginations.

Everything technology offers is a reflection of the technology that we, as humans are. Learning to laugh at ourselves a little while delving into our emotions and to make room for possibilities beyond our currently held beliefs is essential for this journey. In order for us to create technology that is aligned with all of life and our planet, we must first become aligned with ourselves and each other. Global meditation is where we practice together!

We can no longer claim that a technology is advanced if it is destroying our skies and rivers or perpetuating harmful practices like war and domination. These are examples of misguided technologies. Our DNA has been informed by countless generations of evolution. It is time that we focus our consciousness towards the natural wisdom kept by indigenous people, while embracing the presence of enlightened spiritual masters. This will allow us to infuse our science and highest technological advancements with ecological and emotional intelligence for the benefit of all life.

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If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Consciousness

A Proven Technique To Neutralize Draining Emotional Reactions

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We'll explore a simple scientifically proven technique to help neutralize emotional reactions that often drain our energy and reduce our ability to think clearly and make effective decisions.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you check in to how you're are feeling? Do you feel you are able to self regulate your emotions easily?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Do you notice that you sometimes feel tired or fatigued but are not sure why? Maybe you can have a restful sleep and still wake up having a sense that your energy is not quite there? Maybe you notice yourself being reactive, having a short fuse and feeling unclear about what decisions to make? Maybe you say things to friends, family or people online that you later regret or didn’t truly mean. Much of this can have a lot to do with how we’re feeling emotionally on a regular basis. Emotions that are happening just a touch outside our conscious awareness.

Let’s just do a very quick check in to see what I mean. If you stop a take a moment right now to ask “how am I feeling?” What do you notice? Are you feeling good? Energized? Do you have a background tension? Are you a bit stressed? Annoyed? Are you relaxed and calm? Are you perhaps relaxed yet feeling blah? When we do these check ins we bring awareness to how we might be feeling. This is something we typically don’t do that often and thus are simply not consciously aware of how we feel. If we were a bit more consciously aware of how we felt, we’d have a greater understanding of what we could do to feel better as we know where we’re at.

Energy Loss

This is important because one of the greatest unrecognized sources of prolonged stress, fatigue and physical wear and tear on our bodies comes from living our day to day lives in a state where we consciously or subconsciously experience what we might call ‘draining emotions.’ These are emotions like worry, fear, anger, resentment, or sadness etc.

For each of us, we’re likely going to experience these emotions at some point in life, and this is normal. Typically when we experience these emotions, we’re getting an insight into ourselves. Since what triggers these emotions can often be subjective, we can learn something about our current self by paying attention to these emotions. For example, someone might cut us off while we’re driving on the freeway. On one hand, one person might react aggressively and become very angry, while another might simply see it as a mistake on the part of the other driver and move on with their day.

Why some of us react and others don’t typically comes down the the story we’re telling ourselves about why that person cut you off. Perhaps they take it personally, perhaps they see it as an attack in some way – who knows? You. Only you know, and you can get closer to knowing what that is so you don’t harbour that draining emotion for the rest of the day, and even remove the trigger to begin with so you don’t necessarily have to go down that angry road every time something small like this happens.

I want to be clear here, we’re not looking to avoid emotions or never experience them, we’re looking to gain awareness around why they come, and ultimately have the choice over what gets us bothered and what might be better to simply let go. There is a difference between momentarily feeling an emotion like this, and letting it become a ‘background state’ of being that slowly begins to shape our attitude towards unhealthy and draining tendencies.

We can likely go on all day about where we should ‘honor’ some emotions in some situations or stand up for ourselves in others – I’ll let you decide that within yourself for each situation, but what the focus here in this piece is to simply look at how we can neutralize an emotional experience so we can stop it from draining all our energy and gain greater clarity on why it might be happening.

The exercise below is geared towards improving our self awareness around situations and how we feel, so we can learn to self-regulate emotions at anytime, as well as turn off triggers that might not really be the greatest to have to begin with.

Remember, we’re going to stick with a situation where we are cut off in traffic, but you can use these steps for anything. Maybe you realize you are fearful about a situation. Maybe you notice ongoing worry about something that’s happening or may happen – whatever it may be, the steps can be applied.

A Quick 3 Minute Exercise

We’ll go through the steps, this might seem long at first but it’s actually very short once you get the hang of it. This method is based on decades of scientific researching involving the heart and the benefits of creating coherence through good heart rate variability. You can learn more about that here under the section “Coherence & Optimal Function.”

1. The first step is becoming aware of the fact you’re having the emotional experience. What we’re doing here is by reading this we’re setting up a bit of an increased self awareness in our minds that can help us remember to check in when we next have an emotional reaction to something. Perhaps the car cuts us off while driving, and we react, but then shortly after we remember that we want to have a closer look at that emotional reaction and perhaps choose a different response instead of going down an energy draining rabbit hole. So the first thing we want to do is become aware that the experience is happening.

2. The next step is accepting the experience that’s happening. What this means is, if the person in front of us cuts us off while driving and we get angry and realize we’re angry, bring to your awareness that this is OK. We’re not looking to create a judgement about what happened or what we’re experiencing, instead we simply want to see it for what it is, an experience that happened and we’re now aware of and sitting as an observer of it. What this does is it empowers us to be able to look a little more closely at what we’re feeling and why. After we become aware, take note of the emotion you’re experiencing and name it. Is it anger? Is it worry? Is it fear?

As a small kicker to this, just imagine that the intention here is to turn down the intensity of the emotion so we can go in a take a look at what’s going on in the same way that a firefighter will spray water onto a burning house to stop the fire and cool it enough to go in and assess what the source of that fire was.

3. Next we’re going to take a moment and place our hand or a couple fingers over the areas of our chest, around where your heart is, and use the placement of your hand as something to focus on. With your eyes open, take some comfortable yet slightly deeper breaths. Feel your breath moving in and out of the area of your heart (where you hand is). To do this, don’t worry too much about how perfect the breathing is or whether it’s exactly going in and our of your heart area, just sit with a gentle focus that your breath is moving in and out of the area of your heart. Our goal here is to bring awareness to the physical heart and begin to influence its rhythms ever so slightly. Breath into your heart for about 30 seconds.

4. Next we want to continue our heart focused breathing while also imagining the feeling of calm or ease enter into our bodies. Spend the next 2 minutes or so breathing in the feeling of calm or ease into your heart with comfortable breaths. Notice the calm and ease come over your mind and body. What this stage does is it shows us that we have the ability to produce our own emotional regulation by creating a physiological state that is more synchronized and favorable for introspection and clarity.

After step 4 you should feel a lot more neutral in your feeling, but it may be possible you’re still annoyed or upset about the situation, this is great and in many ways the point of the exercise. Remember the firefighter analogy.

If it’s a really small situation, this awareness might already help us choose to simply let it go. If it’s a larger situation, this exercise helps us reduce the intensity so we can gain a bit more clarity about what’s going on and stop us from simply circling the experience over and over again in our minds, potentially increasing our anger and draining our energy.

Now as a final step, you can take a moment to just assess, what is the story you have been telling yourself about the situation? What might be a more effective way to approach or think about the situation? In the case of getting cut off in the car, was it really personal? If so, how do you know? If it was a mistake, is anger helping you or just providing an undesirable experience? If you had the freedom, would you choose anger at the other driver or to just let it go and maintain better health?

The point here is that with awareness we get clearer on who we are and how we function. This inevitably gives us a choice in how we choose to react.

For more information on this and to build a bit of a deeper practice, you can check out a short course I produced in our members area called CETV. The course is called Improving Daily Self Awareness, Presence & Connection. 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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