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Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 34: The Busser)

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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.

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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.”

34. The Busser

On a bright summer morning on the island of Allandon, the jeweler was sitting alone out on the patio of the village restaurant enjoying a cup of steaming coffee. The busser came out to clear a nearby table, noticed the salt shaker, and then took the nozzle off and began working meticulously to clean it. When he had been at it for over a minute, the jeweler couldn’t help but make a remark.

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“Do you have to clean out every grain of salt?” he asked playfully.

The busser turned and thought for a moment, and then answered: “I guess that depends on whether I think I’m cleaning a salt shaker or changing the world.”

The jeweler was intrigued by the busser’s comment. “What do you mean by that?”

“Well, imagine I knowingly put this salt shaker down with one nozzle hole plugged. Maybe a woman sitting at this table one day would be having a conversation, and a wisp of a thought enters her head just as she is sprinkling salt in her soup. The woman might faintly sense the stuck nozzle, and put in an extra dash. With her attention going to the slightly too-salty soup on her first spoonful, that wisp of thought might float off. This may have been an important thought, a building block to helping her friend heal her marriage. But if it went unexpressed, the marriage might not get healed and could continue to manifest in other areas. Perhaps it would contribute to her son growing up angry and choosing to act out violently when confronted with difficulties in his own relationships. The son might end up in jail, and the ripple effects…”

“Now wait. All this from unblocking a single salt shaker nozzle hole?”

“Not necessarily. It could be the way the cutlery is arranged or how fresh the coffee is. It could be how I interact with the customers or the way I listen to what the waiters or the cooks need. It’s all about providing a space for people to be at their best.”

“Is this part of the job description of being a busser?”

“I like to think it’s part of the job description of being human.”

The jeweler took a sip of his coffee. “I’m impressed,” he said. “You know, I could really use someone like you in my business. How would you like to work in my shop?”

“I already am,” replied the busser.

It is always fun for me to meet someone who feels they have found their mission, their calling, their purpose in life—whatever it may be. From my experience these people are happy, motivated, and able to deal with anything life throws their way. Best of all, they can bring everyone around them to life. They remind me that my life works best when I am aligned with a purpose that not only fulfills me but also serves others in some important way. I know it’s not always easy to come to know what our purpose in life is. But working to discover it can really be half the fun.

One good way to move closer to our purpose in life is to help someone else. We can help others discover their purpose by pointing out their skills and talents, by noticing what brings out their passion, what makes them feel alive. Sometimes people are so busy doing what they think they are supposed to do, they need us to notice where their energy really wants to take them.

If we think about our own lives, we are sure to remember moments when we needed others to tell us that our lives meant something, that we mattered. Sometimes we need to be acknowledged for exactly who we are. We need someone to point out our beauty and value when we don’t see it in ourselves, when we don’t think we measure up or have anything worthwhile to offer. And when someone ennobles what we perceive to be our greatest faults, it can change everything. Note this charming parable that I received in an email a few years ago:

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a whole two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Acknowledging people for who they are and recognizing the beauty and greatness of their unique selves is the currency of the new conversation, and a skill worth developing. I’m still working on it. I learned a great lesson on this from a girlfriend several years ago. Early in our relationship she asked me to meet her at a center for mentally challenged people where she worked. I pretended that I had no problems with it, but in fact was very uncomfortable about entering into that environment, especially if I had to interact with some of those people. I suppose the only reason I actually agreed to go in was because I wanted to impress her with my, ahem, open-mindedness. Instead, I was the one who got impressed, by the way she spoke with her clients as human beings, without a hint of condescension. She exuded confidence that she could communicate with them, and I could see that she was able to. Her authentic expression slowly drew me into the conversation, and as I started speaking with a few of her clients I felt an invisible wall that I had built up between me and those people coming down for the first time in my life. It was a wall founded in my own judgment and fear. And when the wall came down, I started to get an inkling of the connectedness we shared. All my life I had shunned those people, dehumanized them, and unconsciously believed that their life was an unfortunate mistake and had no purpose.

Like most humbling experiences, this one came with a gift. It got me closer to a deep awareness that everybody has a reason for being here, and each person’s life has purpose, no lesser or greater than anyone else’s. There are no ‘those people’ except within a judgmental mind. We are really all connected by our individual and collective purpose. When we see that, then we see every interaction as an opportunity to wake each other up to our destiny. That is why everyone is invited in to the new conversation. We are all in this together. As John Donne said, we are all ‘the same author of the same volume.’ And as we boldly seek to fulfill the true desires we hold individually, we contribute to the ongoing story of humanity.

We are at the precipice of a collective leap of consciousness. Our entire history has brought us to this point. And when we look at our own lives, we can see how our own history, our own experiences have brought us to this point, to reading this chapter in this book, to thinking about our own transformation. It is time for each of us to stop believing that we can’t make a difference, that we’re not part of this. Since we are all distinct individuals we each bring a unique spin on the universe that nobody else could provide. We have a role and we play a part. The world is waiting for us to use that unique spin to consciously create, a sport previously reserved for the gods of myth and lore. In the new conversation we are moving quickly towards a critical mass of people who are becoming aware of how we are creating our circumstances, our lives, our world. And as we continue to encourage each other to experiment, to remember who we are, and to live in possibility rather than dwell in inevitability, our lives become ever more intertwined.

Some time after I had begun writing this book I was looking through some old papers and came across a folder of my father’s writing which I had kept. There were only a few pages of scant notes and the beginnings of a few stories. Under the title The Game Called Life was written the following introductory statement:

I guess what this book is about is to make the following statement, and have it heard, miraculously, by myself and others: “I am god and you are god!” The ravings of a madman? I don’t think so!

Up to that point I had always resisted seeing a connection between my father’s life and my own. I considered my life a moving-away from my father and his influence and behavior. But in that moment, with my book now well underway, the evidence really became impossible to ignore. I was clearly following something that he had started. Our purposes seemed to be aligned, as though I was meant to continue what he had embarked upon. Indeed, it would not be inaccurate to say that in The Game Called Life my father wanted to expand on the idea that we take ourselves too seriously. It was through the trials of a difficult life filled with fear and uncertainty that he had moments where a clear and breathtaking vision of a life of peace and exhilaration were possible. He never finished the book, nor did he really fulfill this vision in the way he lived his life. But just seeing those hand-written pages again, I could not help but feel a greater connectedness to a larger whole, and see my life itself as part of a plan far vaster and more complex than I could imagine.

Much like my father, my own path has been fraught with fear, sadness and loneliness. As a child I was painfully shy, and growing up I was rather uncomfortable in social situations. As I became older I had a great desire to understand the mysteries of these social situations, so I made it a point to put myself in those situations, despite the discomfort, so that I could experience them and learn more about them. At least this way, if I got to know what other people were thinking and feeling, I wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable or stupid. Perhaps this was the original motive for my strong desire to ‘figure things out’ in life.

Today, my past no longer causes me shame or regret. I have come to see why I had to experience those things to fulfill a greater plan. If I have experienced the dark side of human life during this lifetime, then all the more precise will be my language in talking about the possibility of emerging out of it. Who better than the most serious of people to speak about the possibility of creating a life that is fun? As Shakespeare’s young Prince Henry the Fourth remarked,

Like bright metal on a sullen ground,

My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault,

Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes

Than that which hath no foil to set it off.

If we could help each other see the difficult experiences that we have had in our life so far in this way, as a foil against which our true nature can shine, as the darkness that brings out our light in greater relief, then perhaps it would become easier for us to believe that we have a very important contribution to make to the evolution of consciousness in the world, not in spite of our so-called ‘imperfections’, but because of them. Our active participation in life is what will help us heal, when we bring our darkness into our lives rather than shut it out of our lives. Our darkness, after all, defines our uniqueness. As Nietzsche reminds us, ‘Be careful when you cast out your demons that you don’t throw away the best of yourself.’

It is not important for us to push ourselves to be perfect, we need to simply encourage each other to be who we are. Who we are will naturally move us in the right direction, because at root who we are is love. My conversation with you has helped me to see that my purpose is fulfilled when I get out of my own way, that my mission to take life less seriously does not itself have to be so serious. In a way, just this thought makes me feel a bit lighter.

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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.

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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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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