The stress in our world has clearly demonstrated the need for greater emotional intelligence and mastery. There are many ways to develop these areas but sometimes a simple question is what we need to set us on a path of positive results. We cannot do anything about people who are wildly out of control but we can cultivate our inner landscape to be able to maintain our equilibrium no matter how chaotic the external world becomes.
A gentle open approach to emotional intelligence
Recently in my yoga class the teacher asked what our relationship to patience was. My quick answer was –conflicted! More thought brought the awareness that that was not a complete answer. There are places where I have infinite patience and then others where it is in moderate supply and then those where there is NONE AT ALL! So maybe conflicted did in a way describe that concoction.
But even more important I realized what a wonderful question that is “What is your relationship to______.” We can fill in the blank with words like: surrender, acceptance, compassion, self- compassion, spirit, emotion, physical body, self- image, self- worth, self- esteem, and on and on.
Emotional intelligence can develop without self judgement
This is such a wonderful question as it softly invites greater self- inquiry in a way that allows for self compassion even as we search for greater truth, deeper wisdom and self acceptance.
If I just think about those words and whether I have them, or need them then there is a tendency toward self- judgment, or a sense of inner struggle as I think about how I am failing, lacking or what I need to do to rectify the situation.
When I think about my relationship to those kinds of qualities, a door opens in my mind and I am free to explore without judgment or become tied up in the knots of conflict, or bad feelings that only serve to stymie any forward movement, self- knowledge or growth along the lines of my personal freedom.
As I understand things as they tend to affect energy, it occurs to me that this type of open inquiry opens the field and so allows for more information to emerge thus facilitating positive change and growth rather than a shutting down in response to judgment, struggle or negative feelings..