Tag Archives: Emotional intelligence

HOW TO ANSWER THE “WHY ME” QUESTION – DAY TWENTY-FIVE 101 COURSE

When bad things happen, often our first response is “Why me?”  The answer we grab  directs our lives, lead to love or hate, fear or courage.

Some ideas about why

Which answer comforts you the most now?  Which reflects your philosophy of life and helps you move forward?  Does the answer ease hatred and anger? Fill you with despair? Push you to do good?

Remember the idea discussed earlier that there are only two negative feelings – hurt and fear of hurt. Let me add another thought or two other primary feelings – pleasure and nothingness.  These two are the goal of all humans. Pleasure first as previously discussed, but numbness most often trumps pain.

Numbness, however, can feel like pain which is why some pursue pain, as one woman whose arms are laced with cutting scars put it,  “I need to know I’m real.”

Complicated. So is the world and so are those of us living here now.  Staying strong is hardest when trouble visits. To do so you must think through your answers of why,  You need to develop a philosophy that lets you and others live safely and able to enjoy what is good in our world as well as to move past the horrors.

Such a philosophy takes you to radical acceptance as described by Marsha Linehan the founder of Dialectal Behavior Therapy.  This is the acceptance sought in the Serenity prayers and by the Buddhists.  It is key to surviving all the bad that life throws at you.

In terms of finding healthy answers to the Why Question, I have always loved the story of Ruby Bridges as told by Robert Coles, a developmental psychiatrist. Coles was observing the impact of desegregation on the children of New Orleans and was asked to help Ruby and her family survive the hatred of the whites opposing desegregation.

Ruby was the only one of  six black children picked to go to a formerly all white elementary school to do so.  She was the little girl in the white dress immortalized by the American Artist Norman Rockwell.

The hatred thrown at her during her walk to her new school was intense, she was threatened with poison,   death threats to her family and all supporters as well as the  hateful comments  of the crowds lining her path to her new school.

Coles reported that one day he saw Ruby pause in the midst of being escorted to her classroom. She turned and said something to the crowd. Coles later asked her what she had said.

“I asked God to forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Her parents sent her out each day with that prayer.  It was what Jesus is reported as having said as he hung on the cross.  Ruby had a belief that protected her from returning hate with hate.

Your path to the good life and the world’s path to peace must hold to such a belief, whether religious or not. If you have not worked out beliefs that keep you from hatred, now is a good time to spend some time thinking about how you to answer the whys of life.  My book Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals shows the way to the healthiest life paths.

PARENTING TIPS

Tip one: Again, age and stage matter.  The preschool child and school age child need you to tell them why bad things happen.

My personal favorite remains “To teach us something. What do you think you can learn from this?”

Note, I do not believe life sends us personally designed lessons. But I do think there are lessons to be learned from all that happens.

Tip two:  Own your personal explanation. If you haven’t put your answer to the why question into your brain and heart, do so now.  Your children will benefit.

Tip three:  Examine your explanations for  hurtful messages.  Many people see bad things as either a punishment.  The punishment explanation does more harm in the long run as it promotes the idea some people are saved and others damned which is divisive, drives some to concluding they are bad and often frees them from trying to be good. Drives others to twist their thinking to believe their desire to hurt and harm is justified.

Tip four: Surround your child with people who share your beliefs and live them.  To me this means being active in a religious group.  Young children need that. AND yes, I know all religions need to be examined for hateful theology and that needs to challenged and changed.

However, that does not erase the fact that children raised early on in a group that holds with healthy religious values fare better in life.  That is most true if the adults live the good of their religion as well as discuss and deny bad and divisive theology.

Tip five:  Use the changing thoughts of adolescence to help your child solidify the ability to think clearly about the good and bad of all belief systems.   Children need to investigate the beliefs learned in childhood and make them their own.   Adults who are open to the idea that truth and twisted truth lies can be found in all religions fare better and are on a better path to peace than those who believe on their beliefs are the true beliefs.

This is a good topic for a formal family meeting.

Tip six: Say “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” in one way or another. Doing so also promotes critical thinking and protects the child from feeling betrayed when earlier beliefs do not hold up to life’s meanderings.

DAILY PROMPT   and relatedness to this post. Envelope Pushers - When was the last time you took a risk (big or small), and pushed your own boundaries — socially, professionally, or otherwise? Were you satisfied with the outcome?

Deciding to offer this free course was a way to push the envelope in my efforts to move EFTI into the profitable realm. That hasn’t worked yet, but doing the course is proving helpful to me and I hope to a few others.

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

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 work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SURVIVING THE LOSS OF A DREAM – DAY TWENTY-FIVE OF EMOTIONAL FITNESS 101

When a dream dies, the heart aches.  The bigger the dream, the greater the pain; the greater the pain, the harder moving ahead becomes, the greater the dangers.

A better quote: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.
A WISER QUOTE: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit.
There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.    W.C. Fields

 A wise psychiatrist Charles Brenner listed what he called the Four Calamities of Childhood.  He used Freudian names which turned me off.  So I transformed them into the following.

  1. Loss of an object – think of Linus sitting by the drying waiting to have his precious blanket returned to him.
  2. Loss of power – think of Linus again having to give up his blanket to a stronger power.
  3. Loss of self-respect – follows naturally from a loss of power.
  4. Loss of love – love for the person taking away your blanket, your power, and your self-respect; loss of self-love because you feel less loved  when power and self-respect are weakened.

REALITY CHECK  These losses are Calamities of Adulthood and invade all the days of our lives.

SECOND REALITY CHECK  The Calamities of Adulthood join with past Calamities of  Childhood and both are strengthened and become more and more capable of locking us into despair or anger.

WHAT TO DO

Losses must be mourned. The pain felt and the feelings endured until life goes on, differently, but hopefully you emerge from a loss stronger and have learned some important lessons.

It helps to know what to expect and to let yourself mourn.   Any loss starts the mourning process.  That process as applied to loss dreams:

  1. Denial – Continuing to pursuing dreams that have zero chance of coming true. Told never to sing outside of the shower, not allowed to sing in a church choir, but still showing up for American Idle auditions? Big denial.
  2. Breakdown of denial – Truth dawns, usually slowly, but sometimes with the power of tornado, the erupting force of a exploding volcano,  or the ripping apart of an earthquake.  And sometimes you just stand “dead in the water of regret.”
  3. Stage of strong feelings – Shame, despair, anger are the big three. You rage, you moan, you weep, you blame others, you blame yourself.  Regret and fear join in.
  4. Resolution - Accepting what is without the drama of the strong feeling stage and going on. The pain and strong feelings are remembered, but not felt in their original form.  Nor do they keep you from being immobilized. Hopefully, this leads to finding a new dream more realistic dream.

The process is not straight forward, but a back and forth affair. You face reality, then deny again; you hurt then suck it up; you are angry, then shamed; you stand dead in the water; you march forward head high.

Trouble brews when letting go of a loss gets stuck before resolution is reached.

Examples: The loss of the dream of finding a perfect love keeps you from loving again. Fear of hurt taking over. The loss of being a big star keeps you from doing all you can with all you have been given.  Anger holding off the possibility of making it to a new and more realistic dream.

The Mourning Loss Game plan: As with every emotional fitness game plan: Being aware of what you are feeling; naming the feeling of the moment accurately; measuring the strength of the feeling of the moment so you can keep it from bossing you;  self-soothing so you express what you feel wisely; then in time, going on by letting go of the pain, forgiving life, others, yourself,  and honoring your strength.  Not  an easy process, which is why this is a lengthy course.

PARENT TIPS

You cannot keep your child from dreaming big and then falling hard.  I know, I tried my hardest when my youngest son dreamed of being the next Keith Hernandez – the Mets first  baseman when Dan was in Little League. Keith  won eleven consecutive Gold Gloves at first base, the most by … times with the New York Yankees for the second-highest total among first basemen at the time.  Dan had no baseball talent. He spent the most time of any of his team mates on the bench.  We tried to discourage him; we even considered not letting him play Little League, but could not bear to do so as he loved Little League and as with most children he believed with all his heart the dream would come true if only he kept trying.

Reality set in when puberty set it.  That often happens and announces a major step forward in the ability to think more deeply about things.  One year, Daniel announced, he was still going to pursue his dream, but he was realizing it was going to be very hard and mean lots of sacrifice.  He practiced more for awhile. Then came spring and he announced he was not going to try out for Little League.

“There are only 750 major league ball players and millions of kids like me. I’m not going to make it to the majors.”

Denial breakdown and lead to anger at us, “Why did you encourage me, when you knew I wasn’t good enough?”

A parent’s lot.

Sadder was that for a time he refused to even watch baseball games on televison, a previously happy pursuit.  He moved onto other things, and now enjoys baseball watching once again, but it took years for him to reach that stage.

Ironically, Keith Hernandez was never allowed into the Baseball’s Hall of Fame, probably a lost dream of his. He should have been but those in charge of the doorway there barred him for reasons of their own.

First Tip: Encourage dreams, but label each as a hopeful future plan. 

Second Tip: Encourage doing things for the satisfaction of doing, not rewards.

Third tip:  When the teen years are approaching have a family meeting to talk about dreams, hopes, trying your best, and reality. My book How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting will help with implementing this tip.

DAILY PROMPT   and relatedness to this post.   Cue the Violins: If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album?

I would want Marching tunes most of the time as they invigorate, but when one of my dreamz dies, I would want some moody blues to help me weep my way toward a new dream.

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

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 work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

 

HOLDING ON OR LETTING GO OF A DREAM – DAY TWENTY- FOUR

Here’s a hard fact of life: Nothing works all the time, for all people, in all situations. Harder truth: Trying harder won’t make some dreams come true.

Questions to ask about reaching for a dream

” Why is it called Rush Hour when nothing is moving? ” Robin Williams

Added suggestions. If you have not put some  SMART goals under your dreams, you need to do so now. If you don’t want to do that, see that as wanting to enjoy the dream, but not being motivated enough to work at it. And that is fine, dreams are fun, just be realistic about yours.  Here is the SMART goal poster if you missed it.

How to set SMART Goals

parenting tips

Every child can be a STAR if not an academy award or most valuable player type. STARs are those who learn as they grow to Stop, Think, Act wisely, Reap rewards.  Children start off as FAT Heads; creatures who Feel, Act, and Think in that order.  FAT heads do things that get them into trouble,  create regrets or make others unhappy. Parents slowly but surely must help children learn to stop, see reality, think about what matters sot they can act wisely  Not easy and takes years.   The following tips help:

Tip one: Understand age and stage so your expectations of your child. Too many parents and care givers treat children like miniature adults, particularly about how children think. .

Tip two: Discipline matters. See this Parenting post for the ABCs of Discipline

Tip three: When your child dreams, put fun first.

Tip four: When your child is moving into puberty, teach SMART goal setting. Do so at a family business meeting?  Don’t have family business meetings? These are best started when your child enters school, but if you didn’t start then, start now.  Learn how. Get an in print copy of my  How To Hold a Successful Family Meeting from Create Space.  It costs less than a movie and will do more than entertain you for an hour or more. It is also available on Kindle.

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They work to improve  critical thinking - the heart of emotional intelligence. You can think about the prompts  as stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. If I put on my thinking cap the prompts can be related to Emotional Fitness. Here’s how I did that for this post.

DAILY PROMPT  –  Sparkling or Still: What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time.

I like variation, so want still time and sparkling time.  Sharing knowledge and having people like what I say are the sparkles of my life.  Makes writing and blogging fun if not lucrative.

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

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 work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

SESSION TWENTY-TWO

Asking another to change is asking to win the lottery. Here are some ways to increase the odds in your favor. 

#feelingmanagement #parenting tips #emotionalintelligence

Think this is a long and complicated process?  It is.  How easily do you change a habit or the way you do things.  Change is difficult for most people. This might be a good time to learn and remember the revised Serenity Prayer.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.

When you are asking another for change and it becomes clear that person either cannot or will not change (often different sides of the same coin), you then need to think about your choices in terms of the relationship.  Change may not be possible, can you live with things the way they are?

parenting tips

Because children’s survival depends on pleasing parents a child often changes as parents want.  Not always, however as the terrible twos and terrifying threes show.   Still parents are charged with civilizing children: four rules matters and cover most things.

  1. Keeping everyone safe.
  2. Respecting others – manners matter.
  3. Respecting property.
  4. Respecting reasonable laws.

The first needs enforcing when the child starts crawling and walk. The second and third are best taught from three to six.  Reasonable laws are best taught along with safety. “The law says stop when the light is red, that keeps everyone safe.”

When the teens are entered,  the time has arrived to discuss what is a reasonable law and reasonable ways to go about seeking change.   And here is another revised Serenity Prayer, for parents of some teens.

God, grant me the serenity to accept that the only difference between teens and psychopaths is that most teens eventually change. The courage to smile around gritted teeth and ground the offender. And the wisdom not to smother anyone in their sleep no matter how tempting.

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They work to improve  critical thinking - the heart of emotional intelligence. You can think about the prompts  as stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. If I put on my thinking cap the prompts can be related to Emotional Fitness. Here’s how I did that for this post.

DAILY PROMPT - Golden Key: You’ve been given a key that can open one building, room, locker, or box to which you don’t normally have access. How do you use it, and why?

An endless money box.  Not because I put money above everything else. But because for the most part I have everything else.  Does not related to today’s post.   Live goes on.

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

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 work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine