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Coronavirus Isolation A Great Opportunity For Partners To Heal Their Grievances

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The mandated isolation due to the Coronavirus has left many couples spending much more time together than they are used to.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you open to see this lockdown as a potential blessing in disguise that could bring you and your partner closer together and rekindle intimacy and joy?

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.

There is no question about it. The Coronavirus and the isolation measures it has spawned have virtually forced many couples to be in each others’ company more than they are used to. For some, this has no doubt led to an increase in frustration, intolerance, despair, and, unfortunately, domestic violence. My heart and prayers go out to those who are having difficulties coping with the situation.

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A lot of the frustration is founded on those recurring habits and behaviors of our partner that we cannot accept, which I call grievances. Under normal circumstances there are many ways to manage and moderate the frustration and annoyance brought forth by our grievances against our partner. The fact that we could always go somewhere, meet up with other people, play sports or attend sporting events, go out for a drink, and shift our mood, usually meant that we could avoid a major confrontation by just walking out or biding our time until our next scheduled event came up. Going to work regularly also helped by shifting our minds to other priorities on a daily basis.

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But this strategy does not make those things we hold against our partner as ‘wrong’ ever go away; these judgments, and the negative feelings that go with them, stay with us in the form of suppressed emotions that tend to exacerbate our frustration each time our partner’s undesired habits or behaviors present themselves. For those who are now isolated at home with their partner and nowhere to go, and further have to fulfill their need for in-person social interaction mainly with their partner, this could be a recipe for disaster.

Or an unparalleled opportunity.

If you are open to using the current Coronavirus situation to finally deal with those suppressed emotions in order to bring back greater intimacy, vitality and connectedness in your relationship, here’s a little crash course to work on during the lockdown.  While it would certainly be great if your partner is willing to work with you, you will see that it is not essential to make a difference and have a better experience in your relationship. It’s important to understand that all the power you need is within you.

Self-Responsibility

The first key tenet here is accepting the notion that you are 100% responsible for your experience in your relationship. That can be a very difficult concept for people to accept, since one of the reasons many are in a relationship is to be with someone who will ‘make them happy.’ Yet, paradoxically, if you are truly going to be happy in a relationship, especially one that you hope will last, you need to stop believing that the other person has a responsibility to do things that will make you happy. Not only does this assumption cause you to give your power away, but it sets you up to be able to blame your partner if they are not doing the things you ‘need’ them to do to make you happy. And herein lie your grievances. And a lot of your unhappiness.

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Grievances

A grievance is not just something we don’t like about what our partner says or does; it’s something we hold in our minds as ‘wrong’, often subconsciously. When our partner does something that we don’t like, we may just bite our lip and try to ignore it. However, it is important that we don’t just bury our feelings about it–we need to admit to those feelings and then we need to forgive them for having done that thing.

But here’s where it gets subtle. Even if you forgive your partner in one particular instance, if you still hold what they did as bad and wrong, you will continue to hold a grievance about that kind of behavior. If your forgiveness is predicated on the belief that your partner should never do it again, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment, blame, even rage. Beyond your decision to forgive any particular action or behavior on the part of your partner, you have to be willing to let go of your judgment that said behavior is wrong.

True Acceptance

If you want to free yourself from the misery of blame and judgment, and in the process free your relationship from suppressed anger from the past, then you will endeavor to get over your pride and truly accept your partner as they are, and accept the things they do. True acceptance means that your underlying belief is that their behavior is not wrong–it just ‘is’, like a rainy day or the color blue. And there is no need to get them to change that behavior.

Now–stay with me here–this is not to say that you need to condone behavior that you feel is clearly harmful to you. What you consider ‘harmful’ is really up to you, but verbal and certainly physical abuse falls into this category. What is imperative in this case, if you do not condone certain behavior, is to be fully willing to leave the relationship if that behavior continues. So don’t condone what is not acceptable to you, and fully accept the rest.

Note that tolerance is not full acceptance. Tolerance plays out in behaviors that you often don’t bother to comment about, but inside you find them annoying, frustrating, and essentially wrong. If you ever find yourself saying ‘Why do you always–?’ then you are dealing with a grievance based on past behaviors that you haven’t truly accepted although you may have tolerated. The frustration behind your complaints about your partner’s habitual behavior will be a good clue about how deep your grievance is in that matter. And it’s important to recognize that it is your grievance, not your partner’s behavior, that is the true source of your frustration. This is the way of thinking of people who are self-responsible.

If you are truly willing to examine your grievances, with a clear intention of letting go of them, self-honesty and awareness are the key. If you happen to have a partner who is of the same mind, and you are ready to work together in bringing back freshness and intimacy to your relationship that has been stolen away by grievances, here is something you can do.

Working Together On Your Grievances

1) Make a list of ALL the things that bother you about your partner, all the things that you feel have caused you pain in the past, all the things that you put up with but you don’t like, are annoyed with, angry about, even things that seem minor to you. Take your time, even if it takes a few days, and make a serious, comprehensive list, scouring your mind for all signs of resentment, bitterness, and disappointment. And of course, have your partner do the same thing.

2) Set some significant time aside to sit privately with your partner, at least two hours, even if it doesn’t end up taking that long. Let your partner list all their grievances they have against you; allow them to explain in as much detail as they want, and allow them to experience any emotions associated with those grievances. Listen carefully and don’t interrupt. When the person is finished, tell them “I heard you.” Then switch roles.

3) Now you can have a discussion on it. But that discussion will only be fruitful if you and your partner both have the desire to let go of your grievances against each other. You must be prepared to forgive each other for each grievance you have against them, and furthermore, let go of the judgment that any particular habit or behavior is wrong. In other words, you have to demonstrate that you are willing to love what you don’t like about your partner.

In this type of conversation, you are likely to find yourself much more inclined to listen to your partner’s grievances against you rather than resisting them, and you may even feel the desire to commit to your partner that you plan to stop doing some of those things or at least be more aware of them. This can be a nice byproduct of the conversation, just remember not to go into the conversation with the intention of getting your partner to change the behaviors you have grievances about.

Working By Yourself On Your Grievances

Now, in many cases, you may not have a partner who is willing or ready to go through the exercise described above. No matter. In realizing that you are 100% responsible for your experience in your relationship, you realize that letting go of grievances is really an internal process, even when you work on it together. And you know that in letting go of your judgments about what’s ‘wrong’ with your partner, you will get out of the habit of complaining and blaming your partner, and liberate yourself from the anger and frustration attached to some of your partner’s habits.

You may work on it in a formal way, making a full list of your grievances, and then reading them over, one by one, making an effort first to forgive your partner’s past behaviors, understanding they are human like you, accepting that they were doing the best they could at the time. And then, remind yourself that there is nothing wrong about this behavior, it just ‘is’, and you will endeavor to meet it with compassion the next time it happens.

A less formal way to practice is to notice your grievances as they arise, and try to step back from the judgments behind them after you notice a buildup of anger or resentment towards your partner for habitual behaviors you may have already told them you don’t like. At first, this will often happen only after you have complained (i.e. ‘Why do you always leave the lights on?’), but reminding yourself that you no longer hold this behavior to be ‘wrong’ will help dissipate your negative feelings and move you back into harmony with your partner. Eventually, you will remember that you don’t believe these behaviors are wrong even before you utter a word of complaint, and will experience more flow and peace in your relationship in general.

Now it must be said, that even if you let go of all your grievances against your partner, you may find yourself feeling unhappy, unsatisfied, or unfulfilled in the relationship. In this case, it may become clear to you that it is time to end the relationship. Having let go of your grievances, you are able to make a clear choice, not based on a buildup of anger and frustration that has become intolerable, but based on a deeply grounded perception of your relationship that tells you whether or not you want this partner to continue to be a part of your journey.

The Takeaway

Having grievances about some of your partner’s habitual behaviors is ultimately a prison of your own mind, and can be detrimental to your personal happiness and damaging to your relationship. If you are able to take the big leap–and indeed your ego will resist this every step of the way–to fully let go of the perceived ‘wrongness’ of any and all of your partner’s habits and behaviors, you are paving the way to greater inner joy, as well as providing the relationship with its best opportunity not only to survive but to thrive.

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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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5 minute read

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.

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...

Coherent icon

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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