The Link from Emotional Intelligence to Supercharging Your Intuition and Creativity
Understanding and Managing Emotions
I’m placing a disclaimer on this blog because I mention depression. My experience was not chemical depression. If that is your experience and you have not sought medical advice, please consider it. There is help available and I urge you to let yourself experience relief, any way you can.
I grew up hearing that moods, were something that came from God. I’m not sure how my Dad came to that conclusion, but he did. Something, somewhere along the line got interpreted into the idea that a heavy or dark mood was a gift you needed to experience to become a godlier person. His lie became my lie.
Turns out, it was simply an excuse for bad behavior.
I was in my mid-twenties before I figured that out.
I was going through one of those times where I felt completely ill-equipped to deal with whatever was going on in my life. I had felt depressed only a few times in the past but when it descended, I felt no other desire than to lock myself away from everyone and everything. This time would be no different – I escaped into my home - I shut the drapes and unplugged the phone. I just allowed myself to disappear for a while. I didn’t want people to see me this way. I slept a lot. Thought a lot. And did a fair bit of feeling sorry for myself.
At one point, I looked out of my window at a blizzard that was moving in and felt the words, you’re choosing this, you can choose something else. The words seemed somewhat ludicrous when I considered what I had accepted as the truth until now. Moods were given, not chosen. They weren’t things I had control over. But I couldn’t shake the phrase. It just kept going around and around in my head. You’re choosing this, you can choose something else.
So, I did the only thing I could think of doing – I ran away. And I did so by putting on a warm layer of clothing, went outside, grabbed a shovel out of the breezeway and set out on a “distracting” mission.
By this time the blizzard had definitely left its mark on the city – but the sky was clearing and there was a foot of snow everywhere I looked – and the snow was no longer falling too heavily and I began shoveling sidewalks.
I cleared up the public pathways and the neighbors’ walkways. I shovelled for blocks and blocks and blocks.
Big - heavy - wet - snow.
As the snow continued to come - I continued to shovel. Hours later, when I finally felt compelled to stop out of exhaustion, I noticed I felt a titch of hope.
I had distracted myself from the voice in my head and interrupted the familiar pattern long enough to find myself with a different emotion.
I look back at that moment, almost thirty years ago now, and I recognize the gift my Divine Intuition was giving me when I heard, you’re choosing this, you can choose something else. For the first time, I realized I had a choice.
I had a choice in how I wanted to think about what was going on in my life, at any given moment. I wasn’t making a choice when I went to shovel – that was me trying to escape the voice – but the distraction inevitably got me off the topic and a new emotion was able to sneak in – and there I was moving out of my depression into the faint feeling of hope.
A world of possibilities was now standing in front of me.
We don’t always get to choose what happens in our life, but we can always choose how we’re going to feel about it and how we’re going to react to it. When we get good at choosing better thoughts, feelings and reactions, we can create an energy shift that will dramatically increases the level of joy in our lives.
When we shift our thoughts, we get a glimmer of relief and once we get relief - we can begin a journey toward moods or emotions that feel better throughout our whole body. I know this seems like a simple idea, and for some of you there might be a bit of pushback - but all I can say is that this concept can greatly improve the quality of your life and by extension, the life of anyone around you.
Sh!t happens! Sometimes things don’t go as we plan. Whatever it is, we always have a choice about HOW we’re going to think about it and HOW we’re going to react to it. This is emotional intelligence – and if all we did was stop here – in this awareness our lives would improve dramatically. But emotional intelligence can lead to so much more.
So, something happens to knock you off centre – look at it - is it a curse or blessing? A problem or an opportunity? Ask yourself, what’s the upside here? Is there a downside and can I manage it? What is this situation giving me more clarity about? Is it a clue that tells me what I really want?
Try this the next time a situation makes you sad, angry, depressed or overwhelmed: allow yourself to feel it. Don’t just shove it down and pretend it doesn’t exist, just feel it and then make a deliberate attempt to shift your thoughts to feel something a little bit better. Even putting a smile on your face can make a remarkable difference.
Now – if that seems too simple to you – try it – right now. Be aware of how you’re feeling in this moment and then make a big smiling face until your cheeks lift. Big smile – so you can feel it in your eyes. Now stick with it for a few seconds. Can you feel the lift? Can you feel even the smallest change in your energy and demeanor. This may not be universal – but it has such a dramatic affect on me – I hope you’re getting a taste of the same thing. This one small action has saved me from days of stewing in emotions that give me no pleasure – and move much closer to the life I came to live.
Do you ever feel emotions that don’t feel good? What do you do? Do you let them pass of their own accord – or do you deliberately shift them.
If you don’t have a tool to do it deliberately and you want one – here’s some questions that have worked for me.
What’s really going on here? Is there room for another perspective? Do I need more information? Could I have misunderstood something or overreacted? Am I giving someone else power to make me feel something I don’t want to feel? If all of this fails, then distract yourself with an entirely different activity. Go for a walk, play with a pet, count the good stuff in your life, enjoy a good daydream or go shovel snow.
Learning to see situations from new angles is a life transforming skill. It interrupts old patterns and creates new neural pathways. The old frame of reference can be discarded, and a new more accurate frame of reference can be filed. This is us moving from the Old Familiar to the New Familiar.
If you’ve been following my work for a while you already know if you keep repeating the new idea often enough it will eventually become the go-to response. We’re smart but our mind sometimes takes a little time to clue in. It’s okay. The brain will learn.
To me, there’s nothing more potent than the knowledge that I can control my thoughts, emotions and reactions. So can you! You can choose to feel better. It’s rarely an instantaneous change but change at any pace is still change. With practice, we get quicker results. Practice is the operative word.
The truth is nothing is either good or bad – it is our judgement that makes it so.
We are the THINKER of our thoughts – which means – we are always in choice – even if we choose not to accept that.
WE decide what we feel. Every time.
So many people walk through life giving other people and situations that right to dictate how they feel.
If there’s one place you really do have ALL of the power, it is here – so why would any of us give away that power?
That’s it – unless of course you were under the same impression that my dad was under – that you have no choice. Well, I popped that bubble didn’t I – yep – it’s just a habit. And if you love it – keep it.
But if you’re here to learn to increase the volume of your intuition and get more in tune with the woman you’ve come to be – this level of emotional intelligence will serve you well.
On top of that – the power that comes from not having to rely on others for your happiness, contentment, or sense of self-worth – is so enormous that it can propel quickly into recognizing just how many choices you have each and every day – to either choose power or disconnection.
Is this resonating – or perhaps you’re hearing this because you have a good friend who would benefit from hearing these words?
Here’s some other things that will act as tools to increase your intuitive power – and personal awareness:
Are there people or places that trigger negative stuff for you? Are you willing to look at the situation differently? What could be your version of shoveling through a snow blizzard?
Are you willing to assume responsibility for how you feel and quit allowing others to dictate that for you?
If something happens that is less than ideal, take time to reframe it. There’s an old saying that has a lot of wisdom in it – and that is this – you either get what you want – or you get what you need to learn.
Give yourself this amazing gift. Learn to see the light in everything and everyone. Choose how you’re going to feel and react. We all have moments in our past where we wished we had thought before we spoke. So, go for a walk or play some music that lifts you up. Bask in the pleasure of a favorite friend or think about places that make you feel good. Find something that gets you off whatever is triggering that unhappy feeling. And if you can think of nothing else – close your eyes and smile.
Once you are feeling more balanced, ask yourself: Is there another way to see this situation? Do I really believe that this person intended for me to react this way? If so, why am I giving them so much power? Am I reacting in this way in this moment because I’ve always responded in this way? Then, it’s just a habit, pure and simple. Is their response about me or is it about their own stuff? What does their behavior or the situation teach me about what I want? Can I come up with a way to see this situation in a lighter frame of mind?
These are just a few questions that can help you get to a better place? Can you think of any others? Establish a variety of go-to questions that can help you diffuse unsettling feelings. When you catch hold of a hidden inherited belief you now know what to do to transform it into an intentionally chosen one.
I hope you’re feeling really powerful right about now. You’re learning to tell yourself the truth. What you do from now on will determine how far you let this energy take you. You are more powerful than you have been believing – this tool opened me up to so very much and I am glad I heard that line so many years ago now – You’re choosing this – you can choose something else. Brilliant! No?
By Layne Smith-Brown
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