A few days ago I was cooking rice in the kitchen. After tasting it, I saw some fall to the floor. As I leaned down to clean it up, I came back up so fast and not being mindful or connected, I banged my right shoulder on the granite countertop on my way up. Instead of taking 5 minutes to take a few deep breaths or meditate quickly, (like I would inspire my kids to do before they approach the kitchen) I just started dinner.
BIG MISTAKE. OUCH…I cried, everyone offered me ice. It was actually nice, I needed this brief cry to release this resistance. I did feel a tiny bit better emotionally, but now my shoulder was hurting. I couldn’t reach the spot that I hurt with the ice, so I skipped it until later and my daughter held an ice pack to it for a bit.I thought gosh there is going to be a huge bruise. This really really hurts. I slept on it that night and I couldn’t even lay on my right side it was so sore.
The next day, I asked my girls and my hubby to check my shoulder, and they said there a tiny tiny bruise. You could barely see it. Then it hit me. Great, now no one would really know how bad it hurt. It was pain underneath the surface. Not the kind that anyone would be aware of.
Everything I am working on with my life’s purpose and everything I write about and stand for and teach is about aligning our energy and being mindful of ourselves at home, out in the world and especially in parenting. My biggest mission is to understand, raise awareness about, prevent, &/or limit the amount of Pain We Can’t “See” With Our Eyes…Emotional Pain that we may consciously or unconsciously/intentionally or unintentionally inflict upon ourselves and others.
I am writing my first book about parenting and emotional intelligence and mindfulness and here was an exact example of what I have been working to put into words. At times, we all need “physical proof” of our pain. This often gives people permission to give compassion and help you and comfort you. But if they can’t SEE IT, most people don’t know it’s there, or they don’t know that you need extra love or they don’t believe you’re in pain.
I have seen some clips of Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show lately. I am not sure how he injured his finger, but he is all bandaged up on his hand. Everyone can SEE his injury and his pain. People can offer him help or send good vibes or carry things for him. Perhaps they are more mindful around him or offer to help since they can SEE his pain.
When we carry emotional pain in our bodies and in our hearts and souls, people often are not aware of our pain. In my forthcoming book, The Prana Boost Method of Parenting™, I mention that when I was little the big requirement for staying home from school or getting sent home from the school nurse was a FEVER! Boy, were you lucky if you could score a fever. Your heart could be breaking, you could be an emotional hot mess, but unless you had some sort of physical ailment, you had to go to school. Blood, crutches, bandages, etc. you could definitely receive more love, kindness, compassion & attention. It’s the same now, we as a society react differently to a sick child than an angry child, or a widowed man vs. a man who is divorced. Emotional pain or loss can sometimes take a back seat to physical injuries or ailments.
I believe we have to “up our game” and learn all we can about emotional intelligence and mental health so we can become more empathetic and compassionate. Words matter, energy matters, thoughts matter. How we treat others can have ripple affects throughout our families, our schools, and our workplaces. We do not know how someone is really feeling or what is really going on with him or her because often times, emotions are hidden beneath the surface. When we see another person, we cannot assume that we know what’s really going on for them on the inside.
Years ago, sometimes when we would take a trip and step onto the airplane, if I got a chance to see the pilots, I would ask them how they were. I would wonder if their energy was aligned. Did they have a fight with a loved one or forget to set their alarm and woke up late, or felt scared because of a weather report. I know, it’s crazy, but I have always been a bit of a detective and have wanted to go deeper to see how people really felt. Um, and THEY were driving our plane!
I have also been gifted with being clairsentient. I can “feel” what someone might be saying, with out them needing to say it. To some degree we all intuitively can do this. Have you ever asked someone how they are and they answered loudly, “FINE.” Clearly they were not fine, but this what they told you.
The truth is that when we see other people even friends and relatives, we do not always know what is going on for them. We do not truly understand if they are in any emotional pain or what they may be really experiencing. I’m FINE, may really be heard and/or translated as, READ THE FINE PRINT! If you hear this response, there is more going on here. You may decide to dig a little deeper. If you feel safe & connected to this person, search for clues. Let someone know you are there for them if they feel comfortable being vulnerable with you. If not, at least offer some extra loving kindness.
No one besides Alan and our girls knew that I had this “bruise” on my shoulder. I did not post it, I didn’t say anything. It did raise my awareness though as I remembered why I am so interested in focusing on Emotional Intelligence. I understand that everyone has some kind of “pain” beneath the surface either physical or emotional. Our society is so geared towards reacting or supporting others in their physical suffering, however, emotional or mental health seems to take a back seat.
One of the hardest things is to offer another what we cannot even offer to ourselves. So if we are not kind to ourselves in regards to our emotional pain, we often struggle to offer kindness, empathy and compassion to others when they show or share their emotional pain. This means we need to first find ways to honor our feelings and emotions, so we can offer this understanding to others.
In parenting, I believe that even though nothing is perfect and we will all make mistakes and we will sometimes “hurt” each other with our words, lack of words, responses, emotions, etc. If we can raise our awareness and evolve our emotional intelligence, we will be able to understand that what we say and how we interact with others really really matters. We might catch ourselves acting in a way we don’t find kind or loving. We can immediately shift our energy and “notice” what we are doing while we are doing it. Or acknowledge soon after that we were aware of our misaligned energy and make amends.
The more we focus on happiness, positive thinking and positive emotions, the more we will experience a positive life. The best way to do this is to raise our awareness & choose happiness. We can only choose this if we are acknowledging and experiencing our emotions properly.
This is AWARENESS. MINDFULNESS. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.
If we can inspire our children and guide them and educate them from a very young age to notice their own feelings and emotions and then to understand that everyone has feelings and emotions, I believe we can promote well-being rather than bullying. I believe we create a world where emotional health is equally important to physical health and is acknowledged as such. In order to do this we must make emotional intelligence a priority in our families, our homes, our schools, our communities and our work environments.
Sometimes it is easier to remember a cute word or Acronym and I dreamt of this Acronym to help us all remember & train our brains to build new neural pathways and habits.
5 Ways To Lovingly Respond To Emotions:
COMPASSION = Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.Example: “I am so sorry to hear that this happened. What can I do to help?” “I know you have been not been feeling well, can I help with dinner?”
ATTENTION = Attention is the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something.Example: “I am here, tell me more.” “I can sit here with you as long as you need.”
KINDNESS = Kindness is the act of going out of your way to be nice to someone or show a person you careExample: “Here, let me help you carry those groceries.” “I will get the door for you.”
EMPATHY = Empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions; it does not mean you feel this way or agreeExample: “I can hear how upset you are.” “I can understand why are so sad.”
SOLUTIONS = Solutions are a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situationExample: “Together maybe we can think of what to do next.” “You always have great ideas, I would love to help you think this through.” The most common ways that people react to emotions are often: anger, impatience, fear, lying, distraction, frustration, denial, annoyance, or confusion. The problem is that these are more fear based negative responses, that cannot help someone who is experiencing an EMOTIONAL EMERGENCY. This new response reminder may help everyone choose a healthier way to respond.
My intention is to help adults and children remember quickly what might feel best “in the heat of the moment.” Who doesn’t like love CAKES? One morning I woke up and remembered my dream…I visualized the following words as layers of of a rainbow Cake. Then, thought to create this image so it would be: A PEACE OF CAKE TO LEARN™
We all have many layers to us and our emotions. So this will be easy to understand. Remember, we ALWAYS have a choice in HOW we think, act, speak, and feel. We have to make a choice and decide how we will react in everyday life.