Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Emotional Mastery (Page 1 of 13)

Release Yourself from The Tyranny of Thoughts & Emotions

I see vividly – in my own mind – how painful emotions are so often preceded by a thought*.

That thought – along with all the others – is just a story I create about my experience.  It doesn’t really exist.  Like a rainbow, a dream, or mirage, the thought appears and, sooner or later, it disappears.

Knowing this – truly knowing this – is an essential aspect of securing true freedom and putting an end to suffering.  Do you believe you can put an end to suffering?

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Heaven and Hell: A Zen Parable

If we truly understood how much damage negative emotions cause – for ourselves and others – we wouldn’t indulge in them for a moment.  This Zen parable perfectly illustrates the potential dangers that occur when we fall prey to negative emotions.

A belligerent samurai, an old Japanese tale goes, once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. But the monk replied with scorn, “You’re nothing but a lout—I can’t waste my time with the likes of you!”

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One Powerful Word 2012: A Simple Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

Note:  This is a revision of an article originally published on my blog last December. 

I love the simplicity, force, and focus of choosing a single word as a guiding light for each year.

One Powerful Word 2012

According to some surveys, almost 90% of resolutions end in failure.  So why not skip the exhaustive list of New Year’s Resolutions?

The truth is there’s a physiological limit to the amount of willpower we each have.  Hence, if you try to change too many things at once, you inevitably fail.  It’s a scientific reality.

Instead, consider the simplicity and elegance of selecting one powerful word.

But let’s not get hung up on the idea of “one” word.   You could choose one word or two.  Or a whole phrase.   You could work with your word for a full year, six months, or until its done.  You might decide to focus on a different facet of your word each month.

There are no rules!  It’s your life.  Experiment and find what works for you.

Finding Your Perfect Word

Is there is a single word or a phrase that captures what you would like to manifest in your self or your life in 2012?

A perfect word may immediately pop into your mind.  Or you might need to let the idea percolate for a while.  Then see what bubbles up.  There’s no rush.  It might be easier to see clearly once the chaos of the holidays have passed.  But you can let the idea simmer in the meantime.

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Three Potent Phrases for Transforming Challenging Emotional Patterns

“…no matter what emotions arise, taking emotion as the path requires skill because emotions are strongly experienced in the body’s chemistry, as well as the mind.” – Tsoknyi Rinpoche

According to the contemporary spiritual teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche, whatever you feel in any given moment is based on an earlier imprint in your being.
He explains that there are two types of imprints:

  • Learned patterns
  • Karmic residues

The number of imprints in our being is literally uncountable.  Typically, it’s these patterns that are running the show of your life.

I suspect these learned patterns are similar to the “deceptive brain messages” discussed in the book You Are Not Your Brain.   The reason deceptive brain messages are difficult – but not impossible – to change is because the very structure and function of the brain reinforces them.

Tsoknyi Rinpoche brings together the world of science with ancient wisdom to illustrate how we can change deeply held emotional habits.  He says, to bring awareness to our emotional patterns, we need a roadmap, which  has three elements:

  • Emotion, feeling, mood
  • Knowing, thinking, awareness
  • The reified “I” and sense of fixation

We need to work with all three elements to free ourselves from stubborn emotional patterns.

Once of the most important keys is to welcome emotions – even the difficult ones – rather than seeing them as the enemy.

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Eclipses: Coming Soon to a Sky Near You

Eclipse & Change

Eclipses indicate a point of change.  They represent beginnings (solar) and endings (lunar).  These two will appear soon:

  • November 25th –  Solar Eclipse in Saggitarius
  • December 10thFull Moon Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

Eclipses offer an opportunity to embrace – or scream, kick, and resist – change.   The events and changes that occur around an eclipse typically feel sudden, dramatic, out of your control, and irreversible.  Anything you think will never change, may indeed change.

But not for everyone. 

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The Power of Knowing Your Feelings and Needs

Peace Lily - Nonviolent Communication

“Violence in any form is a tragic expression of our unmet needs.”

– Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

Everyone who feels pain – that means all of us – needs empathy.

I’m learning Nonviolent Communication (NVC), where you aim to look beyond the storyline into the underlying emotions and needs.  This is the basis for giving and receiving empathy in the NVC frame.

I just finished my third class.  I’m stunned by how off-track so much of my communication has been!

I’ve discovered that some of the words I use to describe feelings are not feelings at all.  For example, “pressured” is not a feeling.  It implies that someone is doing something to you.  Same with “abandoned”.

Here’s a NVC list of feelings and needs.  The lists aren’t definitive, but they are an excellent starting point to help you tune into your true feelings and needs.

I’m waking up to the fact that it takes some practice to know what I myself am genuinely feeling.  And there’s a reason for tuning into your feelings.

Distressing Feelings:  A Cover Up for Unmet Needs

I like the way my trainer describes challenging emotions as guideposts to underlying needs.  Danger!  There’s a need that’s not being met.  That’s when suffering can begin.

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