You have been learning mostly about bodily feeling clues. Time to learn about the next most important feelings clue – your self-talk.

C'mom on inner peace, I don't have all day.

Her mouth suggests serenity has not yet arrived.  How? The corners are turned down. Her self-talk is the bigger clue, however.

Take this thought to heart: Guessing is all one can do when it comes to knowing another person’s feelings.  Feeling awareness is complicated enough applied to yourself. Thinking you know what another is feelings is more than complicated, it is dangerous. Even if the person  proclaims a feeling from the top of Mt. Everest,  you still cannot know exactly what s/he is feeling.  S/he may not know’ moreover, if trying to be nice, seeking to sell you something,  or wanting to avoid conflict s/he may not be truthful.

That does not mean, you cannot apply what you are learning about feeling awareness to others, it just means to be a bit of a Doubting Thomasina or Thinking Thomas.  Finally, the more tools you have when it comes to understanding your feelings and those of others, the closer you get to what might be the feeling of the moment.

As Alfred Korzybski pointed out,  “The map is not the territory.

From this comes the idea that the more views of the terrain, the more accurate the map “Might be.” “Might be”  remains the key phrase. Which is why the you need to be a Feeling Detective and know as many feeling clues as possible.


Whether you put pen to paper, hopefully at least you picked a feeling to work on and so thought a bit about about that feeling.  Those of you looking for certification of either the course completion or as an Emotional Fitness Trainer, one of the questions will ask you for the paragraph describing the feeling you  intend to work on as the court progresses.


The things we say to ourselves reveal our feelings. Remember what you told yourself the last time something good happened to you:  “I deserve this.”   “Life is good. ” “I’m great.”   “Fantastic.”  “Thumbs up.”  “Fod loves me.”

Now remember  the last time something bad happened.  What did you tell yourself then? “Why me?”   “Life sucks.”  “There is no God.”    “Failed again. ”  “Not fair.”  ” Stupid.”  “Can’t take this.” Someone’s out to get me.”

All self talk both starts in a bodily arousal and is a feeling clue. Often the feeling clue determines the name that eventually gets attached to the arousal. 

Do another  feeling review and look for your self talk. Use this feeling review chart as an a guide after noting the feeling add what you said to yourself about what was happening.

101 feeling  review ho

Remember to take a few minutes to debrief and think about what the exercise meant to you. If you have been a bit diligent about the course, your feeling awareness should be improving.

Next up. A few more feeling clues and a handout that summarizes the information about feeling clues. 

As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.




Twenty-Five Seven Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

My answer?  Nothing different. I bit more time to do as I want.  I am content with how I spend my days.  Are you?  If not you definitely need my course.


Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.


Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong.



Do you know when tension starts visiting you? How about anger?  Fear? Your body knows, the more you listen to your body, the more you control feelings.

101 body scan

First visit to the 101 course? Go here to start at the beginning.


Proper practice requires full awareness. Full awareness is achieved by taking a Calming Breath, breathing normally while focusing on the exercise and when the exercise is over,  taking another Calming Breath and thinking for a few moments about what you have learned.  You take a Calming Breath by:

  1. Breathing in slowly to a count of five
  2. Holding your breath for another count of five
  3. Breathing out slowly to a final count of five
  4. Smiling softy as if you are looking at a sleeping baby or into the eyes of a loved one returning your love
  5. Whispering” Thank you.”

Frequent practice is a must.  All super stars, no matter what their field, practice hours and hours, day after day. You don’t need to spend hours, because once learned most  EFT’s exercises can be practiced in a minute or less.

Exercises such as the one above  take a bit of time to learn.  The first step is to learn it when you are relatively relaxed.  At first you will feel awkward or need to chick the cirections. When you can take a Calming Breath  and Body Scan without checking the exercises, build some confidence and then start speeding things up and doing a Mini Body Scan.  How?

Taking a breath and while holding it,  quickly scanning your body, naming only obvious feeling clues. What might they be: wrinkled forehead and pulled together eyebrows, narrowed eyes, teary eyes, tight jaw, tense shoulders, clenched fists, stomach pain, tight buttocks, shaky legs, even curled toes.

In time you will become more and more aware of the clues your body sends you and how those clues related to feelings.


Yes, taking a course means you be asked to do a bit of homework. Not often, but this assignment focuses you  a specific feeling. Doing so makes  all your are learning more immediately helpful.

Maybe shyness keep you from speaking up in class or at a meeting. Anger might have you speaking when it might be best to be quiet. Sadness might find you low on energy so you don’t do what you need to do.

Using that feeling throughout the course will intensify your ability to gain control. No you don’t have to do this. But it is recommended.

When you have picked a feeling to work on, think about and jot down, the facts about the last time that feeling bossed you and you did something you regret.

What were you feeling before the troublesome feeling came to visit? How did rhe feeling first announce it’s presence?  What happened that created the feeling? What did you say to yourself as the feeling grew in strength? Who was with you? What did you do that you regret? What made the feeling depart?  What troubled you about what you did?

Try to spend at least twenty minutes on the above.  Doing so will serve you well during the rest of the course.  Every question leads to more feeling awareness and uncovers more clues.


Self talk as a feeling clue.

Remember:  All of the posters and handouts used in this course can be downloaded free from the EFTI store.

As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.




SESSION TWO: Feelings  can hide, strengthen quietly,  then jump out of hiding to become your boss. You need to know when a feeling first visits to stay its boss.

How feeling come and go.

First visit to the 101 course? Go here to start at the beginning.

WHY FEELING AWARENESS MATTERS  As has been  said, “Keep your friends close; your enemies closer.”  Knowledge is power.  The more you know about feelings, the more you control.  That knowledge starts with understanding The Life Cycle of a Feeling.

You will also be helped by this tact: Neurobiologists say the Life Cycle of a Feeling lasts less than a minute;

“Not true” you are probably saying to yourself, “I can be angry for hours or sad for days.”

Feels true, but feelings only seem to go on and on. Why? Because something keeps triggering the feeling  again  and again. Without a re-triggering event all feeling die quick deaths.

Think of the prick that comes when blood is drawn from your finger. Prick hurts, but the pain is gone in  a few seconds.

Emotional pricks should vanish as quickly.  Someone gives you the finger because you are driving slower than s/he likes? Do you  fall victim to road rage or  shrug your shoulders and be  happy the impatient driver is ahead of you?

Being able to shrug your shoulders  starts knowing as soon as possible when troublesome feelings first come calling, naming them accurately, so you can stop triggering them.

FEELING AWARENESS EXERCISE: Think about your day for a few minutes.  Make a  list of the feelings that have visited you since you first opened your eyes.  Jotting down the name of each feeling  best; writing focuses thoughts and improves recall. Moreover, it makes it easier to count the different feelings and basically what this exercise is looking for is the number of feelings, nothing more. However you decide to  go spend four or five minutes making a list.

How many feelings did you come up with?  Hopeful, at least  seven or eight of the mighty ten.  The mighty ten are the most common feelings across the world. Those ten? Better (as in “I feel better” or “I am feeling better now”), bad, good, guilty, sorry, sick, well, comfortable, great, happy.

Others think confusion, interest, sadness, anger,  shame, despair and fear should be on that list. One theorist says there are almost as many feelings as there are people.

However, here is a kicker: two groups of experts, Freudians and Behaviorists,  think all feelings boil down to pleasure or pain.  Those two groups disagree about almost everything else, but both insist pleasure are pain are at the bottom of all other feelings. More about that later.

For now, spend a  few moments adding any feelings to your list that the above has brought to mind.

What does it all mean? First, the more feelings, the more skilled you are at naming feelings and the stronger your feeling awareness. The fewer feelings the more you need to become more attuned to your feelings.

Some note only positive feelings and that  is a bit worrisome.  Even the Dalai Lama, despite being trained all his life in the art of serenity, knows anger, upset, and sadness .  The main concern here, is that you are stuffing feelings and in time they will not stay stuffed,  but join together and burst forth to make trouble.

Another worry is getting stuck most of the time in a negative feeling.  Getting stuck in one feeling means that feeling is bossing you.

What to do? Keep on taking this course and even if you found lots and lots of feelings, learn and practice the Sad to Mad to Glad  Feeling Awareness Exercise detailed below. Why? Star athletes know it is not enough to learn a skill, it must be continually practiced to stay effective.

Sad to mad to glad

Next up.  A bit about how to properly practice an Emotional Fitness exercise.   Then another exercise to improve your feeling awareness.

As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.




One-Way Street  Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

I pick the future, it is always more full of hope, more in my power to control. At the same time, I would want to carry forward all the lessons of the past.


Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.


SESSION ONE: Anger, shame, guilt, fear, desire, pain, sadness, jealousy, or lust bossing you?  Take this EFTI course and boss the feelings trying to boss you.

EQ instagrom intro to efti

Emotional Fitness tRAINING’s 101 Course

I am offering this course  on my blog and Emotional Fitness Facebook Page. The course puts you in charge of the feelings that boss you and create problems.  Being in  charge of your feelings keeps you on the path to the good life.


Emotional fitness is about managing feelings. We can own our feelings or our feelings can own us.  Anger is a feeling that tries to own us: “I was angry; I couldn’t help myself.”  Sadness is another feeling that can own us. “I couldn’t do my work, I was so sad, I just sat there and cried.”  When we own our feelings, we are in control.

We are in charge of some feelings, not in charge of others. Sometimes we soar; sometimes we can’t get off the ground.  Everyone’s ability to manage one or another negative feeling can be improved.  Taking control of your feelings requires mastery of six skills

  1.  Feeling awareness: knowing when a feeling starts and how accurately name various feelings.
  2. Feeling measurement: knowing how to measure the growth of negative feelings so you can take action before the feeling controls you.
  3.  Self-soothing: calming the body so feelings do not take over.
  4.  Focusing the mind on what matters: knowing what is important—having a life affirming mission, setting positive goals
  5.  Feeling management: strategizing or thinking about how to act on what is important.
  6.  Acceptance and letting go: dealing with what cannot be changed.

EFTI  programs are based on the fitness model.  Even if born with a great athletic talent, you need practice and training to become a star.  So it is with emotional fitness;  emotional fitness levels and needs vary as widely as physical fitness levels and needs.  To star at managing feelings, you need training and practice.

 WHAt You need to know about the course

The course is based on courses I taught as a professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work, on my experiences as the director of New York City crisis teams before, during and after 9/11, on my years as a foster parent caring for teens in trouble with the law, and on the growing interest in Emotional Intelligence.

My unique experience as a foster parent, lead me to want to turn clinical knowledge into  practical tips and exercises. There are six skills, and twelve daily exercises to review or  learn, and then strengthen.

The course is also designed to take at several levels. You can just scan the posts and take what you want or need when you can.

You can obtain a certificate of accomplishment  for adding to your resume by taking the course as you would a college course. Doing so involves taking  several mastery based tests as you work through the course. The mastery approach involves a self-graded testing system. When you take the test, if you fail, you simply review the material and take the test again. Few fail as the course is specifically designed to answer the questions. When you complete the course this way, you need to pay a small fee for the processing of your tests and issuing the certificate.

If you need  a certificate of completion for anger management, please contact us at for more information.  Taking the course may be enough, but more might be needed if you are court referred mandated to take anger management.

Finally, those  with credentials as a therapist or coach can use the course as the springboard for licensing as an Emotional Fitness Trainer.  If that is your interest contact me at

To start you off, here are seven feelings facts you need to know and think about.

Seven Feeling factsOne of the questions on a test would be to state Feeling Fact Number Seven as that is the essentially Emotional Fitness Training’s Game Plan.

If you are a parent, taking this course, buffers you against the slings and arrows involved in raising children. Most importantly, however, the more emotionally fit you are, the more emotionally fit your children will be.

I hope you will share this information. As always, thank you for your support.




IN TRANSIT: Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

Life is always in transit and most of the magic comes from you and your willingness to connect kindly to others.  Emotion Fitness Training makes that more possible.


Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.