The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel.
How do you interpret your emotions? If you get angry with someone, do you hear yourself say in your head, “I’m furious right now…I can’t believe he/she said that about me…what a jerk, etc.” As I’ve mentioned before, everything is energy. Words and thoughts manifest things. The comments above and associated emotions are quite negative. So, what are you “putting out there?”
It’s essential to be the observer of our emotions—to be consciously aware of how we feel. Are you able to catch yourself before feeling negative emotion and transmute it? This is the stuff of awareness. Instead of saying, “I am angry,” how about, “I’m experiencing the feeling of anger.” Or, “I’m anxious and nervous, I’m going to bomb this exam.” How about, “I’m experiencing the feelings of anxiety and nervousness.”
If you follow up this “catch” with some self-care phrases, all the better. My rule of thumb is to ask, “What is it I need?” Then, I reinforce and take care of myself with kind and compassionate phrases or words such as, “I’m safe.” “There’s no such thing as failure, only learning.” “Things are always working out for me.” “I am so loved and appreciated.” “I am not alone with these feelings.” “I am not the only person who has felt this way,” etc.
It may seem a bit cheesy to do this but believe me, it works. With practice, you become even better and better with self-care. We so often neglect ourselves in this manner. By acknowledging your feelings and emotions (especially if they’re negative) and transmuting them head on, you’ll find that your life will flow much better. You will resurrect gentleness in your soul, and most importantly, you’ll be able to share this healing with others. Let your emotions be your teachers.
I remember Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote in terms of recognizing our fears as our teachers. When an emotion arises, he said to receive and acknowledge it (as though a friend), “Fear, what have you to teach me?” or, “Anxiety, what are you trying to tell me?” Something to that effect. I like to cut to the chase and immediately transmute the emotion or thought. I feel that awareness exercise brings us closer to the authentic self. That self inside of us that is timeless and all-knowing. It’s the soul-self that we have forgotten about, but that brings forth the possibilities of universal peace. It starts with awareness and consciousness. It begins with changes at the fundamental level of self-care.
If you find it too challenging to transmute your words and thoughts, then go outside and take a walk in nature. Be receptive to all the sights and sounds. Calm your heart rate, breathe deeply. When you are calmer, face your emotions with gentle kindness and love. Allow this love to enter your heart.