2012年3月7日 星期三

Spirited Intelligent Emotions

Many years ago, I had the privilege of facilitating a special workshop focused on changing the corporate culture within a large Canadian national corporation. I had been a member of the Information Technology management team at Head Office for many years, witnessing many labor disruptions before this initiative became reality. Since that time, there been no labor disputes. A major component of this culture change was removing the "us vs. them" mentality. This called forth basic human values, the diversity we each embody and the trust, respect, and problem solving that made teams so effective.

After having experienced such a powerful shift, impacting others lives and careers, my management position tasted stale. My thirst for making a difference and impacting lives became an unquenchable thirst. I continued facilitating workshops within the organization and as it wrapped up, with more head office downsizing on the horizon, I took a leave of absence and arrived in Vancouver. I was unprepared, totally unprepared.

I had done little to research the job-market, little to understand the business community, or establish key connections that might assist my transition. I moved in with family who I hadn't seen since leaving home 13 years earlier. The stress of those first years was unbearably difficult. Family dynamics saw a 30-something become a 17 year old again. Trying to understand and clean up the emotional debris within the family became a focal point. There's no need to point out that it wasn't my responsibility, it's amazing what we buy into as the first born surviving child. Dealing with the emotional fallout from the suicide of a sister, nearly a decade earlier, I became a go-between for divorced parents. I discovered hatred, bitterness, victimization, bankruptcy, and overall emotional devastation for both parents. Their negative experiences began to affect my outlook, my confidence and esteem, and my health.

It was also during this time that I tried finding work related to the training and facilitating that I had conducted back in Ottawa. It was then that someone mentioned the term Emotional Intelligence. I did find a not-so-busy private college that was teaching the material and of course, their interest in me was to become a student. Everything about the conversations confused what I understood Emotional Intelligence to be. In much the same way, IQ tests are being challenged today for their relevancy given the different expectations of careers, people and diversity. There was also the fact that the emphasis was on creating exclusive criteria before people could be considered emotionally intelligent. There was no barometer to identify the emotional downfall that occurs during tragic times of life. It is during these times that inclusiveness is needed, that's what heals the traumatized person.

In preparation for a talk on emotional intelligence, I've spent portions of my time reading relevant material. It's been interesting to say the least. When I studied Sociology, I was dumbfounded by the study of what is wrong with us in society and then, little is done about what is wrong. There are many new pills and therapies hitting the market place treating the disorder without really getting to the roots of the problems. As I read more about Emotional Intelligence, I found more of the same. The books made suggestions that could counter childhood experiences and improve emotional development and yet little is done. As well, there is a brief encounter with the concept of spirituality in the field of emotional intelligence; as with most things that cannot be measured and verified clinically or scientifically, little else is done with it to help pull the pieces together.

Granted, these ideas I represent are my own drawn from many sources. My perspective is one of studied observation of people, events in my own life, and much reading and reflection. As with most things, questions in our own minds are likely similar or the same as questions in another's mind; often, when a question is upon one's lips, a few others in the same room will be glad that question is asked. I see the same thing with spirituality, and yet, we can only experience first-hand that which cannot be seen. It is in the experience that reality is experienced and influenced by the perspective we hold to be true. This is a difficult statement for many to hear.

In a real sense, our two realities can be so vastly different simply by the way we choose to look at things. Knowing this, during periods of depression, or intense questioning and doubt, we wonder what has happened to us. Having seen and experienced a brighter past, the attitude and joy that was experienced, I wonder how I might get that back? Is it just emotional intelligence? Or is there more; spiritual intelligence? Emotional Intelligence topics and books also mention spirituality. Another mention is made of the different levels of awareness related to consciousness.

This is where the experiencer and observer distinction is made. Observations of how we are relating to each other, of how we are raised and raise our young, and of how we become emotionally hijacked and are often unaware of sabotaging emotions. The inter-connectedness of the mind-body-emotions is intricately linked. This is where I see something missing from the equation, even though it is mentioned; the entity known as soul or spirit. I personally make distinctions between the two but have observed throughout my history where the two are seen as essentially the same thing. That truth is yet to be seen.

Truth, there's a word that causes backs to rise. How can there be one truth? Who are you to tell me what to believe? I'm not, I'm here to share what I've experienced and observations I have made. You are free to choose. One truth is that we are all free to choose. We are free to choose how we will look at the world, at people, at circumstance, at our role in life, and so much more. We are free to experience the truths that we hold. We are free to suffer the consequences of our actions. We are free to choose to be the victim. It is freedom of choice.

From this place, we are also free to expand our awareness, to take responsibility for ourselves, to take responsibility for managing relationships with integrity and presence, and to learn to observe all relevant data. If we are so attached to the mind, body, and/or the emotions as the entity that is us, how do we ever gain mastery over the three of them? This is where I ask, "Why was the observer mentioned?" Another thought that crosses my mind is: "Why are the behaviors of infants able to demonstrate the kind of interactions we believe to be the correct loving response in relationships? My observation: As children we were a lot more closely connected to spirit than we are as adults.

Much of life, child-rearing, education, and media separate us from the connection we could have with spirit. Time each day to connect with your experience through the observers eyes. What more could you learn? We've all had occasional moments when we were able to objectively observe instances in our lives and clearly see our truth. Today, we've become so busy with our lives and so stressed out with our fears and worries that being present and in a state of love and joy becomes a memory that fades quickly. We catch ourselves after the fact, having responded poorly, full of regret and worry, knowing we would have enjoyed engaging in the relationship encounter in a more loving way. Most of the time, we know that the outcome would have been far superior and less damaging.

How many times have you experienced emotional damage? Today, with the pressures mounting at work and at home, mental-health disability claims have risen above physical disability claims across the country. With parents stressed and unable to nurture the child's experiences, more and more children are being prescribed drugs treating various behavioral, emotional, or mental labels. With proper care and attention, the majority of children will respond positively to the trials and tribulations life brings their way. Emotional intelligence suggests that there is more that can be done to avert disaster by what you give versus what you get.

In today's business world, so much emphasis is now upon emotional intelligence that pre-screening assessments are in place to keep out the damaged people in our society. How is that improving our economy, our community, or our social structure? Through what we give one another, we actually do more for ourselves, our community and fellow-man. Our interaction deepens our emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence. The other person is able to identify and own an event that has caused them to experience pain. This then enables them the opportunity to engage the spiritual learning (also mentioned in the Emotional Intelligence reading) and heal and grow stronger through the experience. It restores the emotional intelligence in that person. This is key. Our interaction with others will determine the overall health of any group, organization, or community's emotional intelligence.

People with children, or children in their lives, have the opportunity to gauge their lives more effectively. I use this reality to help them own their choices more clearly and purposefully. What are you teaching your children through your example? Remember this? You want a reason to cry, I'll give you a reason to cry! Not having time for another human being causes more emotional damage than people realize. The power of our subconscious mind is very much under-estimated. We catch ourselves doing things we sometimes don't understand. This is far more common than uncommon according to the research supporting the Emotional Intelligence book.

This also speaks to the difference between men and women and how they respond in certain emotionally charged situations. It isn't that one sex is weaker than the other. More importantly, it demonstrates the power of our social conditioning upon our behaviors and making up our strengths and weaknesses. Were there more emphasis on our spiritual nature, allowing more integration of the feminine and masculine aspects of our nature, the way we relate and perform in our society would be vastly different.

A lot of the social stereotypes would vanish, diversity (being different) would be appreciated and encouraged, and so much more would be experienced than I can even choose as I write. Think about it: What else would be different for you today if you could really let your truest heartfelt-self be expressed? Notice the insights about the consequence for your actions, they're there. Notice the feelings present as you consider the potential outcomes. Which do you choose to focus your attention and intention? Why? There are values you wish to express. This is your higher self.

Loving your family, loving your colleagues, loving your customers, loving yourself; sit in this perspective for a few minutes. Think about it more intently. Loving. (Pause) Yourself, (pause) your neighbor, (pause) your colleague and customers, (pause) and your family (pause). Notice the feelings it stirs inside; the warmth, the excitement, the butterflies. If you're experiencing anything else negatively, ask why? What is the positive disguised in that negative? Bring the negative towards the positive. The experiencer lives in many places and the number grows as do our experiences. If we choose to let that judge be our chooser, you begin to see the world from that perspective.

You bought a new car. Before you bought the new car, you never saw them on the road anywhere you went. Now that you own one, you're seeing them all the time. It's the same thing as you allowing your experience to dictate what you see in the future. Why does the negative outcome potential have more prominence in humanity than the positive outcome? Is it natural or is it socially conditioned? If you recall a peak experience, I'm certain you could also recall how you felt during that experience. You could recall the thoughts that were on your mind and the confidence you felt. This energy has the ability to attract more of the same.

Becoming more connected to the observer part of you, you identify more readily from a place that I call spiritual. You are no longer just your mind, or body, or emotions; you are above them and in control of all three. They no longer choose for you. You are no longer a victim. You now have access to data from three areas; the mind, the body, and the emotions. You improve upon your ability to synthesize information from these multiple sources and learn more deeply about yourself. This includes your values, your sense of purpose, and where your passion lives.

The more that you can connect to yourself at this level, the more profound your life experience will become. People, relationships, business, work, everything will be experienced from an entirely new perspective. You will bring forth more of the magic and mystery that is in you. The more you give others, the more you will be giving yourself. Good things will come your way more frequently, but even these will not compare with what you give yourself every time you give something valuable to someone else. What is valuable? Love.

A tricky word for most people, love is laden with judgments, conditions, expectations, and whatever other baggage you've accepted with the word and your experiences. What would you teach someone about love? I teach that love is a perspective and a choice. To love is to give, to engage, and to care. This isn't a fairy tale. This is being present. It is being the observer too. Why are we less comfortable talking to people in the doldrums, who are ill, going through a divorce, or dealing with death? How tenuous is your grip on your life? It's scary to see yourself in another person's situation. It's hard to empathize in painful circumstances.

Emotional Intelligence also recognizes that being present, taking the time, expressing loving acceptance and empathy, does wonders for the healing of emotional wounds. Our response that excludes being there deepens the wounds and reinforces the experience. This then perpetuates the cycle and spreads the impact to others. Abused children abuse children; as children and as adults. This isn't just about being a good parent. This also says abuse can happen outside the home. It happens as children and as adults. It happens in our social lives and in our professional lives. Emotional intelligence is not about being perfect. It's about understanding the emotions and having understanding for ourselves and others.

One evening, I had a conversation with a man who was referred to me. He was down on his luck and felt his world collapsing around him. I've been there twice and I knew what it felt like. I remembered what was missing. Sitting down we began to talk, casually at first then, deeply. He opened up about the events of the past couple of years: His wife leaving for her home country to visit and care for her dying father; Of him struggling in a work environment that demoralized and devalued him as a person; Of his wife coming back and wanting a divorce; Of him losing his job along with many of his colleagues. He was at his wits end. Then he learns that his father is also diagnosed with cancer. When will it end?

I listened, empathized, and shared my painful memories too. I showed him what I was up to now, the promise and hope for a good future. His mood had lifted somewhat and we talked about his dreams, the ones he forgot along the way to becoming a "responsible" adult. He lit up even more and showed me an award he had received for some of his creative work; part of the dream ignored. I asked why he shelved those plans and took a regular job. Typical answer: Because I was a father and had to be responsible.

So much of what we choose is because we've been conditioned to choose according to societal values, family values, and cultural values. What about your own values? Who are you here to be? What are your passions, interests? If you had kids, or have kids, do you want to teach them to pursue their dreams, or do you want to teach them to pursue the illusion of security? Do you want them to be self-sufficient, or do you want them to rely on others? Do you want to equip them with hope and optimism, or do you want to cripple them with fear and uncertainty? Who do you want to be?

It's in-spirit, inspiration, inspired. This is the seat of your power. Be the observer, the higher self, the spirit connected to spirit, in observation and control of your mind, your body, and your emotions. By utilizing the data from all sources, learning and deepening the relationship with your spirit and inspiration, living more in alignment with who you are here to be and enjoying better mental, emotional, and physical health along the way. Feed your creativity, open yourself to possibility, and observe.

After three hours of conversation, he left a changed man and I have rarely heard from him since. He left and pursued his dreams, started his own business, and I can only hope he is living the life of his dreams. I don't always hear back from people. Those I have are moving well in the direction that brings them greatest joy.

What he and other clients get from the exchange is a new way of looking at themselves, their reactions, and a new trust in other sensory information. Too often people are consumed by emotions and thoughts, both of which have the ability of perpetually feeding a voracious appetite for negativity. Identifying the observer self, the spirit, they then begin to entertain possibilities with the experience of exercising spirituality. Observing the mind, the body, and the emotions, they gain a capacity to synthesize information and choose more objectively and accurately. Emotional intelligence sure, but Spiritual Intelligence is where it's at.

Choose and choose well. Your very happiness depends upon it.

Lee Down is a Professional Coach, Trainer/Facilitator, Speaker, & Writer of One Man Can Human Capital Development that focuses on relationships, the key foundation to success in business and life. With more than 15 years professional experience and a thirst for truth and understanding, he focuses on the human spirit and human capacity.

Working with clients, he facilitates the breaking down of beliefs, barriers or obstacles that bring clients forward on their journey of discovery with spirit, energy, abundance, passion and purpose, integrating the mind and body experience. Working with business, he brings visionary leadership and relationship skills to the forefront that witnesses an empowered culture evolve and develop directly impacting the improvement to the bottom-line.

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