Monday, March 21, 2016


This past weekend I took the time to view a short video clip about emotional intelligence (EI).  This is something that I truly believe in and every time that I hear about it, I learn and understand more about not only the subject, but myself and those around me.  It is most definitely a positive behavior and one that so many people, including myself, need to constantly be aware of and work on improving for our own health and well-being (not to mention those around us).

Just to put a summary out there for anyone who is not familiar with the topic, you must know that it has nothing to do with your IQ.  Your EQ is what will take you where you want to go.  Those people who are "over-achievers" and the successful movers and shakers of today may have the smarts, however they will never keep the success going if their Emotional Intelligence is not being tended to and nurtured. We need to have cognitive empathy, which is knowing what you are feeling, social empathy, which is being able to give your full attention to what is being said to you, as well as what is happening around you, and a willingness and a need to be there to help with a deep empathetic concern.  People who have these three characteristics will have better interactions and relationships and will be the better leaders.

Everyone must have a time to reflect on their own self-awareness.  This does not need to take a long time, just a daily brief quiet time for self-reflection, sort of a meditation, if you will.  Every person is different as for when they need their time......... I will be the first to admit that there are days that I need more than one time a day!  And that is ok!

Mindfulness is noticing what you are doing.  It is giving full attention to what is going on around you and being aware of yourself in how you are reacting or responding with empathetic concern.  The more positive of the two words is to how you will respond.  Reacting is giving, by definition in the dictionary, a more negative behavior to something that has happened.

The example that was brought to my mind instantly is why can I not watch news on the TV?  When I do, I become drained and very discouraged.  To use an expression that my mother used to say, "We are all going to hell in a hand basket."  That is what the news sells to us.  Why?  Because that is what sells.  Negativity.  What scares us fascinates us because we have to think about it.  It is like a train wreck that you can't stop looking at no matter how hard you try. This is how I reacted to TV news.

So, you say to me then how do you get your news?  I have become mindful of my reaction to TV news and I choose to respond by allowing me to be in control.  I am in total control when I am scrolling on the Internet for news or reading a newspaper/magazine.  I can touch on what I want to know about and stop when I wish.  I am aware of when I have had enough when I am reading rather than being talked to. This is when I am in control.   Mindfulness!

There will always be gory news, hateful events and things going on in the world that we wish were not happening.  It is just that now I am in control of how much my mind can take at a time by being mindful of what I am doing.   Yet I know that there will be news that I must read to be able to carry on intelligent conversations and be 'somewhat' worldly.

We just need to remember that there is a lot of good news out there.  The bad news is disproportionately telling us that the world is spinning out of control  (and I won't even get into American politics at the moment).  Stories need to be hopeful and compassion begins with getting yourself in shape with what is really going on all around us.  To say yes to life you have to say yes to life experiences.

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