Season 2 Episode 5: The Wisdom of the 5 Core Emotions
Welcome back to Allowed, the conscious leadership and personal growth podcast. I am Dr. Caneel Joyce. And when I’m not coaching you here on this podcast, I actually am an executive leadership coach for many CEOs, founders, and leaders of very quickly growing companies. I love helping guide others into their journeys of self-discovery, the release of self-judgment, self-actualization, spiritual growth, and finding lasting authentic success and fulfillment in their lives and their work in the world as they build really kick-ass companies.
And one of the reasons I love this is because there’s almost no journey like trying to build something way bigger than yourself to present you with every challenge your soul may ever encounter here on the planet earth. And to be able to move through those quickly is the key to being able to stay the CEO of your own company. So this has really been a great boot camp for me and my clients and has given me a lot of tools that I am now sharing with you here on this podcast for you as the CEO and leader of your own life.
I create each episode of this podcast as your own personal on-demand coaching session to change your experience of leading your own life. And if you are willing to change your life from the inside out so that you can really create the impact and legacy that you really want to here on the planet earth.
It is incredible the number of people that are connecting with me about how certain episodes and concepts are really making a huge difference in how they live their lives. You’ve shared with me how much more open you feel being vulnerable, how much more self-acceptance you feel in being powerful in the world, how much more you’re understanding yourself, and why you’re facing the struggles and experiencing them in the way that you are. And how much you’ve grown and been more effective in the work that you want to do, whether that’s at home or in your personal life or in the nonprofit world or in your business.
Last week, you learned here how to create clear agreements and find whole body yes commitments with yourself on a daily basis. And that has the potential to monumentally change your health both mentally and physically. Since then, you’ve been sending me your questions about what integrity actually really feels like in your body and what a whole body yes really entails as a tangible experience that you can actually feel in real-time.
If you’ve listened to season one of this podcast, then you’ll remember learning a pretty sophisticated concept that sounds super simple, and it’s called fact versus story. Fact versus story at its most basic level is really a fundamental shift in how we think, see, experience life, and communicate with ourselves and others. Now, as I was responding to all of you and reading through your thoughtful questions, it crossed my mind the importance of weaning yourself off of story emotion words. This is a term I coined, I found it super useful– story emotions.
Today I will explain to you what a story emotion is, and I’ll help you to master a simpler, more powerful vocabulary of familiar basic emotion words of which there are only five. This is so important to ground yourself, especially when you’re feeling charged so that you can be conscious of where you are.
Are you above the line in a place of ease and flow and presence or are you going below the line into a drama triangle and blaming, condemning, victimizing, villainizing yourself, and generally navigating life from a hampered experience of being in threat?
One of the ways that you can easily stay more conscious of this is by using the language of facts rather than the habitual, culturally reinforced, drama-based language of stories. I’ll illustrate the difference between fact-based and story-based language with an example here.
So a fact might be, that I did not set my alarm last night. I woke up 20 minutes after I planned to, and I feel sad when I think about how this may have changed my morning. A story about the same set of facts might be, I’m so frustrated that I’m late, I can’t believe I forgot to set my alarm again. I’m so stupid, I always do this. Now my day is ruined.
So the first example is simply a statement of facts, it’s taking 100% responsibility for choices that led to it but doing so in such a lightweight easy way without blame or self-flagellation. It actually is focusing on the very few elements here that were under one’s control, which is basically just I didn’t set it. Not even I forgot to, not even I’m late, just it’s 20 minutes after I had planned. I’m not blaming or chastising here. Do you feel how it feels different?
This fact-based explanation of what happened allows space to both feel your basic, authentic feelings, in this case, sadness, and to get curious about learning and finding potential future solutions that you may have a whole body yes for. So we can actually narrow our focus on the few things we can control and stop putting extra emotion and energy and drag that ultimately leaves us drained. Even by the end of 10 minutes of thinking that thought I’d feel pretty drained so that we can move through our lives in a productive, creative, learning-oriented way that actually is tending to be filled with more joy, ease, and flow.
Even the simple act of naming your emotions, sadness, fear, anger, and desire. And the facts around our stories and brainstorming potential future solutions can quickly and dramatically bring you out of a state of threat and drama and into a state of presence and trust.
That’s right, naming your emotions can be a good thing. If you think stopping suffering and feeling ease and flow and learning and solving problems permanently if you think those are good things. And this is often a huge revelation to people, whoa, I thought I was supposed to try to be objective and not get emotional. I’ve got news for you, you are emotional. Welcome to the planet earth, you’re a human being. Let’s get on board and learn how to work with that.
So when we’re grounded in the facts of the here and now moment, we have power and presence and a place to start from to begin to take creative action as the leaders of our own lives. The thoughts and actions that come out of a state of presence are going to tend to be productive, easeful, sometimes comforting, and creative. Easeful and maybe effortful but not hard, not suffering.
And even better, when we come from a state of presence, we are helping to stabilize our moods heal and repair our nervous system, and bring us back into a place of clarity where we can be our most creative, our most calm and open, and to do our best work.
Now, in order to get yourself really conscious about your language and the way that you speak, it is important to practice intentional speaking by using words that are grounded in facts when you’re expressing something as complicated and personal as an emotion. And I emphasize intentional speaking here because this can sound deceptively simple. But when you apply it, especially from a state of threat, drama, or being triggered, you may find that it’s actually really difficult to break out of story and maybe even out of thoughts and to focus just on the simple question of what do you feel right now from a very, very basic place.
So I want you to listen to this with your head, but also I want you to practice it and try it on so that you can begin to do the work of growing and changing the way that you actually navigate those highly emotional moments. You will find breakthroughs there.
Now, this is where the core emotions can become really key in helping you in the tricky but unbelievably rewarding practice of communicating with yourself and others in a language of facts. And yes, the fact that you have an emotion is a fact. Today you’ll be digging deeper into the core emotions and the role that they play in your body, your mind, and in successfully mastering fact versus story as a leadership skill.
You are allowed to have feelings without justifying them or explaining them. You’re allowed to feel your feelings all the way through to completion. And you are allowed to simply name your feelings and to listen and learn from them in a productive and meaningful way.
Before we get started, if you go to allowedpodcast.com and sign up to be an Allowed insider, then you will have instant access to the exclusive free bonus content that is released with each episode. This week, I’m giving you a simple audio walkthrough of this whole process that we’re covering today. You’ll be guided through a specific situation in your life, whatever situation is relevant for you right now. And you’ll be guided in easily dissecting it into the core emotions of that experience.
This is a very safe and supportive exercise that can help you to gain awareness and become empowered to understand your reactions and your feelings in a clear, simple, and actually objective way, a prerequisite for eventually permanently fixing the causes of your emotions should you choose to. In the few future, it will be useful for you to do some creative problem solving, some learning, dismantling your stories, breaking out of drama cycles if you want to. But we don’t and we can’t skip ahead here because the first step just as it is with my CEO coaching clients is learning to feel your authentic basic feelings. Please go download that now. It’s only a couple minutes long, and it can really benefit you and everything that you touch sign up at allowedpodcast.com.
What does it mean to be unarguable? The Fact vs. Story Framework
Now, let’s talk about fact versus story and what it means to be unarguable. What is a fact? Let’s start there. This is a word we use a lot. However, I think a lot of us think that whatever our opinion is is a fact, and that’s just the normal human way of doing things. We’re going to change that. We’re going to get really, really specific and precise here today about what a fact is because this is going to be so pivotal for you, and it’s really worth trying this on. I’m going to propose that a fact is simply an objective report of the objective reality that you are observing. And you can observe this through your body senses and also your mind. We have observations that are both in the outside world as well as our own inside internal world.
Our observations of the outside world we experience through our senses. It’s what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we taste, what we touch. Our observations of the outside world also tend to be mediated by our mind, which gives these observations labels. So if I look across the room, I may see something like, for example, this room I’m seeing a long orange thing. I’m calling it long. I see an orange thing almost up to where I can stop seeing. And my mind says, that’s a curtain, it’s an orange curtain. I’m calling it long, that’s pretty subjective, but there is a curtain over there. And that color is called orange. So that would be a fact, that’s a factual observation. As you can see, it connects my senses and my mind’s labeling.
The second category of facts includes my inner experience, and there are three subcategories here. So it’s my thoughts, my emotions, and my body sensations. Let’s start from the body because that’s the one that we are born with first. It’s the most simple and basic. And often through our adulthood, we separate more and more from our body. I can’t tell you how many 50-year-old plus CEOs I’ve spoken with who can’t figure out what they feel in their own body. It’s a familiar and pretty normal experience of living in our really heady brainy world. And I’m going to invite you to just dip back in and try this on.
So right now to find your body sensation, just notice what part of your body are you currently most aware of? Is it your toes? Is it your right shoulder, your fingers? Is it you feel like it’s in your guts? Are you most aware of something in your head or your face, your heart? So just find that place and just name it. Most aware of my right toes, okay.
Now, what is the nature of the sensation that you’re aware of there? And sometimes this will end in ING such as tingling, squeezing, relaxing, opening, swirling. You might feel cold or warm, you might feel burning. What is the actual objective nature of that physical sensation? I’ve noticed here a lot of executives like to then give me an explanation of why they feel that way. Well, I went to the gym and I’m pretty sore from this workout or, oh, my back is just always tight. So it’s almost like I don’t want to even notice that I’m having this feeling because I’ve kind of accepted it as just how it always is. No. Today, what is in this now moment? What is the body part you’re most aware of? What is the nature of the physical sensation you feel? It just takes two words. Toes, cold, done. It’s not that hard, right? You’d be surprised.
The 5 Core Emotions
All right, let’s go to the emotion section. So my emotions, I’m going to give you five options. And this should make it easier, although you may notice that your ego begins to resist and fight back and make it more complicated than it needs to be. So just pick from these five, joy, sadness, fear, anger, and desire or creative feelings or we can also call these sexual feelings.
And that whole cluster of feelings contains things like creativity, inspiration, ambition, drive, desire, whatever word you feel most comfortable with there. So joy, fear, sadness, anger, desire. Which of those is most present in this now moment? Resist the habitual urge to explain or justify or understand the feeling or where you think it may come from.
Studies have shown we actually have very little understanding of where our own emotions come from. So don’t even worry about it, there’s no judgment here, just whatever the feeling is. Now step three and naming our inner experience, checking in with ourselves. This is where we go into probably the most complicated of these categories, which is our thoughts. Most people I work with tend to be very, very much up in their heads. I think also culturally we reinforce this idea that the only thing worth talking about are our thoughts.
You may experience yourself as a jumble of thoughts. Thoughts can include opinions, beliefs, stories, judgments, criticisms, things we need to do, thoughts about the present, the past, the future, how things are, how they should be. Next thought that you notice right now, boom, what’s the thought?
My thought is I’m noticing the words that are on the camera that I’m looking at here in my studio. So I’m noticing the word ZEISS and I’m noticing the word Sony. So it’s, oh, my camera says ZEISS, that’s my thought. Doesn’t matter what it is, that’s my thought. So now I’m aware of the three categories of my inner experience, right? My body sensation, my emotion, and my next thought. I have just checked in with myself factually, all of those things are facts.
Now, can somebody come in and objectively validate that that’s my experience? No. My internal experience is something that I am the only person that knows if it’s objectively true, which is partly why it’s so important for you to enter this with acceptance and allowance of whatever it is that you do find so that you can reflect an objective factual truth for yourself. And why this is important will become more obvious the more you practice this.
So to review, facts include observations of the outside world that are objective like a camera could record them or our internal experience, our body sensation, our emotion, and our thoughts. Those are facts. Now, anything that is not included in that list is a story, anything. So a story can include I make up a story that this thing should be this different way than it is. I can make up a story that it’s too hot in this room. The fact would be I went out to the thermostat and I saw that it said it was 77 degrees in this room. That’s a fact, it’s an observation that I made with my eyes. My mind helped me encode it in words, and that’s a fact. The story would be the opinion I have about it, it’s too hot or even it’s hot. Not objectively true, not a fact.
How Story Emotions Both Come From and Lead To Drama
If you think about it, most of what we tend to talk about most of the time in our daily lives is story. Here’s potentially the bad news, just makes sense because we’re human beings is that stories usually come from drama and they often lead us and invite us and pull us and others into drama. Even the most asinine of stories, it’s too hot in this room. Can you hear there’s a little bit of judgment and blame in there? That’s coming from the villain position on the drama triangle.
Now, today of this whole fact versus story thing, the part I really want to zoom in on with you are core emotions. But I want to just reinforce here that the reason it’s so critical for us to strip out the story words in our language and to be mindful that all story words come from drama is because this is one of the most powerful and simple tools I know of to both help ourselves be aware of when we’re in drama, to get ourselves out of drama, to not spread drama.
And I found when I’m nervous going into any kind of a conversation with a person or people that this is one of the best tools in my toolkit I know of to be able to communicate about anything without feeling as nervous and without spreading any drama.
What if you could talk about anything without feeling like you’re entering a swirl of blame, judgment, and criticism? Maybe that’s just my thing. Do you relate to that? Today, we’re going to focus on core emotions, and this is why it’s so important to subscribe in your player. If you have not done so yet, please open it, whichever player you use, Pandora, Spotify, Google. Open it up, hit subscribe because we are going to go beat by beat through this whole entire skill of speaking unarguably over the course of this season.
Let’s focus again on core emotions and why they are different from the other emotions. So to review, core emotions are joy, sadness, fear, anger, and desire, creative feelings, sexual feelings.
Other emotions that we often will use in normal daily language to describe how we feel might be I feel anxious, I feel annoyed, frustrated, feeling guilty. I feel embarrassed, ashamed. I feel pressured, I feel rushed, I feel judged, I feel blamed. I feel proud, I feel bored. These feelings all are story feelings, so they imply a story. They usually imply a story of what caused the feeling, what caused the feelings. So therein lies the story.
Let’s break down one of these to see how this can create some drama and confusion. So let’s pick an example here, I feel blamed. So what might be the core emotion there? It could be that I feel blamed and therefore I feel sad or I might feel scared or I might feel angry. But if I just say I feel blamed, I’m not really feeling much and I’m not helping my own self-awareness about what I actually am feeling. And each of these core emotions has a really specific way that it shows up in our bodies and a specific wisdom that wants to be listened to. So if we just go to this story, we’re not getting that information.
The second thing though is it implies a cause. This feeling I have that I’m calling feeling blamed, I’m implying that somebody else is blaming me or maybe I’m blaming me, but there’s a blame happening to me. And if you go back to season one and you review what it means to be above the line and below the line, you’ll know that when things are happening to me, that by definition means I am below the line, which again is not a bad or wrong place to be. There’s no place you should or should not be. But the invitation and the challenge here that we work with on Allowed is to be aware of where you are coming from at any given time. Are you coming from above the line or below the line?
Below the line, things are happening to me and I am essentially powerless to create solutions that are permanent, lasting, and alive. And below the line, my issues keep recycling and I’m stuck. I hope you’re starting to see why this core emotions thing is so important. So when I just get sloppy and I lazily include story emotions in my description of how I’m feeling, I’m really missing out on a lot of the intelligence that this current moment has to offer me. And I’m buying into a drama-based cycle that is hard to break out of once I start thinking that it’s true. And this can also be super harmful and confusing when we communicate with others. If I just walk into the house and I say I feel blamed, I think people might begin to feel like are you accusing me of blaming you?
And blamed is a pretty straightforward one, but think about it. Even words like frustrated, what is frustrated? In my experience, it usually means angry, but it’s usually angry with a little bit of blame about what or who is frustrating me, is frustrating my effort to get something done, who or what is blocking me? And I’ve worked with a lot of executives on this frustration thing. And we often find that it’s an indicator that there’s less than 100% responsibility being taken for the influence one could have in removing those blockers or perhaps not taking responsibility for the role that you have in creating the blockers, to begin with.
Now, the only point I’m really trying to drive home here is that these story emotion words can bring with them in a tiny little package called a word a lot of drama-based stories. And the most powerful tool I know of is to just begin to use the simple, basic language that you learned when you were four sitting in your city library or listening to your parents talk or watching television. And it’s just the simple emotions of I’m sad, I’m happy, I’m joyful, I’m angry, I want something. Or I’m scared, I’m scared. And that’s the one I’ve noticed people are so reluctant to admit. I’m not scared, I’m just anxious. I’m not scared, I just want them to do it differently .
Okay, hold on a second, let’s just see what you actually feel. What do you actually feel in your body right now? What emotion is here if you only can pick from these five? And we often find that it is fear, and that’s fine.
The Wisdom of the 5 Core Emotions
There’s no right or wrong way to feel. And counter to popular belief, there’s actually no emotion that’s better or worse than any other emotion. This one is a game-changer guys. Every emotion is valuable and equally so, equally so. Every emotion is valuable. And each of them brings with it a specific form of value or wisdom, message the emotion. And if you think of the emotion as like almost a separate entity or energy that comes in and through you, it’s there to wake you up to something, to guide you. If you trust it, if you allow it. So I’ll quickly go through each of the wisdoms of each of these emotions. And try this on. So perhaps even notice what emotion is most present for you right now so you can see what is it trying to wake you up to?
So the wisdom of joy, is there something here to be appreciated and celebrated? I am happy. The wisdom of fear, is there something new that’s going to happen here? There’s something here I don’t know about yet, there’s something here for me to learn.
The wisdom of fear is the wisdom of being in the unknown space. And it’s actually the place where we learn new things. The wisdom of anger is there’s something here that does not serve. There’s something here that doesn’t serve me, my people, my commitments, the things to which I am most deeply committed.
The wisdom of sadness is something has been lost. There’s something that has been lost that is to be grieved. Going back to the example at the beginning of this episode, I talked about I forgot to set the alarm last night and I woke up 20 minutes later than I had planned, and I’m sad. I’m sad about how that changed my morning.
So the wisdom there is something’s been lost. Whatever I imagine could have happened in those 20 minutes has been lost, it’s gone. Those 20 minutes are gone, I can’t go back and get them back. But you notice also that there is a little story that drove that emotion. The story that whatever those 20 minutes was was more valuable than the sleep. We’ll get to that later. For now, I just want you to notice that every emotion here has a wisdom.
The last of the five core emotions is desire, creative feelings, sexual feelings, that whole cluster there. And the wisdom of that is there’s something here to be created, there’s something new that’s going to be born. Have you ever felt that feeling of inspiration like you go to a beautiful outdoor location or you go to a museum or you taste just heavenly food or watch a heartbreakingly beautiful movie or a hilarious comedy show? You listen to music that is divine and moves your soul. That feeling of inspiration, is there’s something that’s being created here that wants to be born.
And I want you to listen to that now as the wisdom is it doesn’t just get born from consuming the content, there’s something new that wants to come through you. Beauty and inspiration, they move us. And this is the one I find we most often clamp down on is because we don’t trust that creative impulse. And we don’t trust that sexual impulse to go and make something new. So I really invite you to start tuning into that one in particular. And we will be doing more work later in this season around creative resistance and how you can begin to find a way to work with creative resistance so that you can use inspiration to drive you. That’s in topic for another episode.
How to Experience Your Emotions Consciously
Now that you know what the five basic emotions are and you understand that there’s a wisdom to each of them, my invitation for you is to live a life where you are committed to feeling your authentic feelings through to completion. What this does is it frees up your energy. It removes the friction of trying to control, manage, and clamp down on or explain away or avoid and escape your feelings. Again, feeling, its energy that’s coming in and through you and actually moves right through and out of you if you allow it. And if you can listen to the wisdom of the emotion as it’s passing through, you’ll begin to be guided to making choices, taking action in your life in ways that are insanely and divinely intelligent that is useful for you. So I want to invite you to try it to actually feel your feelings when they show up, as they show up, as big as they show up.
How this was explained to me is that emotions are shaped like waves. They begin to slowly rise, they go up. And then eventually they peak like a wave and they come back down, and then another emotion wave comes and replaces it. And when allowed to peak and to be expressed and felt at their fullest, emotions actually only last about 90 seconds at most. You may have experiences that feel quite different from that. Maybe you’re saying I’ve felt angry for the last two years about my divorce or I’ve been annoyed with this person for 17 weeks since they first got hired or I’m still sad about this thing. Emotions, they do come and go. But the way that we can keep emotions going for much longer than 90 seconds is we can feed them with our thoughts or our stories.
When we feed an emotion with our story about why we feel it, why it’s justified or why we shouldn’t feel it and it’s not allowed, when we try to explain it, understand it, find the cause, we tend to reinforce the feeling and we get stuck in what’s called a cognitive emotive loop. So that’s a loop between our mind and our emotion. And we keep feeding it and feeding it and feeding it and feeding it. And the more we try to avoid actually feeling the feeling and blocking the energy from moving back through and out of us, the more we are going to extend the life of that emotion in our body. And a clamped down on emotion gets stagnant and stuck within us. And we begin to feel it in physical sensation, often pain and tension and illness because we’re not allowing it to move through and out. And often we’ve got a story about why we won’t let it through and out. Maybe it’s too big, maybe it’s the wrong emotion. Maybe it doesn’t make sense and we’re busy trying to understand it.
Maybe we just feel really, really right about the cause and we don’t want to let it go yet. Whatever it is, there’s no wrong approach to this. So if you are feeling stuck in an emotion, the only medicine I know is compassion, compassion for yourself. There’s also a wisdom sometimes in I’m not ready to feel that emotion right now, I’m not ready yet, I am not willing. So I’d much rather that you tune in to your actual willingness to feel your feelings and then dare yourself to just stretch on the edge of what you are willing to do. Try it out. And I do want to assure you that it is safe. It is safe to feel your feelings. And you already know how to turn them off most likely or to get fixated with a different emotion. Maybe you like to dwell in one of these five. And you probably know how to do that.
Allow Yourself to Feel Your Emotions
So I just want to dare you whatever the feeling is here right now, just steer yourself to actually feel that one. And feel if you can notice how it is like riding on a wave and how it does go up and up and up and up. And the level of energy of that emotion rises and you’ll feel the body sensations more. And if it begins to feel like, oh yeah, I feel it a lot, it even might be feeling a little uncomfortable. Before you get to that point, you can begin to use sound and motion to match the emotion. You can make a sound that matches the emotion like a, whatever the feeling and the emotion is. And make it as loud as it is and make it as big as it is. And use your body to just allow that emotion to do its thing inside of you without needing to analyze or understand it.
The learning is in the feeling. Actually, the body system is quite skillful in integrating that wisdom that’s there. So I just want to really, really encourage you to find out how safe it is. It is quite safe, it is quite, quite safe to feel your feelings. And it’s game-changing. In your heart of hearts when you ask yourself what you’re feeling, you may notice that it is just a story feeling that keeps coming up for you like I’m so frustrated, I’ve got such bad road rage right now, I am just in the red. So road rage is a relevant example because I live in Los Angeles, and I get to witness a lot of it. And I think it’s one that many of us can relate to, whether we’re driving a car or we’re stuck on this train that’s delayed or we’re battling the pedestrian traffic of New York City, wherever you are.
I think most of us can relate to this thing that it’s crowded, I’m trying to get through. People are behaving in ways I don’t want them to, I feel stuck. Now, road rage is a complex set of stories. And depending on our personality and our Enneagram type, we might tend to have different collections of stories that are associated with road rage. So I want to give you a couple of examples to see if you can fit this into your own experience. So road rage might feel like a lot of just pure anger like that person did it wrong, they cut me off. Notice how I’m coming from the villain position here. They cut me off, they shouldn’t do that. I’m stuck, and it’s their fault. People can’t think, and this guy’s stupid. So that would be a set of angry stories, subjective, angry stories that are not factual truths, but they are my opinions, they’re my thoughts.
Road rage also tends to have layers of fear underneath like I’m scared that if I keep getting cut off, I’m going to be late. And if I’m late, then my boss might say this or my spouse might say that or the kids won’t get picked up on time or I won’t be using my time in an optimal way, I won’t be as productive or my back will get tense. Those are also a set of stories. And they tend to be stories that are associated more with fear. And then there’s sadness. The sadness is I cannot control others, I wish I could. I am losing these minutes, I will not get there at the time I wanted to. And that means I’m going to miss out on this and this and this and this or I’m already missing out on it or it’s so sad that I just never make people drive the right way.
The Part You Play in Your Emotions
So depending on your distinct set of stories, you may notice there are different ways that you can actually trigger these core emotions of sadness, fear, and anger. That’s right, the stories are the triggers. And here is the conscious leadership game changer is the answer to this question, which I’d like you to ask yourself, who made up the stories? That’s right, you. Why? You’re a human, that’s what humans do, we make up stories. It’s okay, it’s okay. And recognizing yourself as not just a player in the play, but the writer helps you to recognize where you actually do have some control over your experience.
Let’s say that you don’t want to feel enraged. And you think that the only way to feel less enraged is to get everyone who you’ve never met before who’s also in a hurry driving down the 405 freeway at rush hour, trying to get them to drive the way you want by honking your horn and flicking them off. Does it work? Have you tried it? No. It generally does not work. Hard to teach a lesson that way. Not a lot of control over other people and how they choose to drive. This is how the issue keeps recycling as we bring that rage in, it tends to be met with more frustration, rage, and chaos around us. And it certainly does not resolve the issue permanently.
When we ask, what is the actual thing that you want to change? Is it how other people drive or is it how much you’re suffering right now? Does it objectively matter if somebody cuts you off? You’re safe, you’re driving, you’re going a little slower, you hit the brakes, you’re going to continue onto your destination. Could something different have happened? Yes. Did it? In this case, no. And you’re okay, they’re okay, you are just going to have a different experience of driving. I think the bigger pain point is the suffering of the person driving in that car with road rage. The wear and tear on your heart, it’s the mad racing thoughts, it’s the lack of presence and mindfulness that actually put you more in danger than that person who cut you off did.
That’s not a fun experience. When you get home from that road rage car drive, what kind of father, wife, business partner, friend, daughter are you going to be? How exhausted are you going to be? How much will you need to have a drink or find a way to unwind after an experience like that? Where does the suffering come from? The story, the story, the set of stories that led to the core emotion. In this example, these are stories that we can very, very clearly map it onto the drama triangle like I’m clearly in the villain position, I’m blaming, I’m the victim. I try to hero it by flicking people off and being captain justice. But the point here is that the stories almost always are coming from a place of drama. And so these story words when we use them, they don’t do justice to just the real human experience that you’re having and the option to get out of the suffering.
So the key here to emotions is, one, you have them, and you’re going to keep having them. Two, emotions are safe to feel. Three, emotions will pass quickly. And four, we create our own emotions with our thoughts. The tool that I’ve taught you about is how to feel your authentic feelings and listen in for the wisdom of them. I’ve given you also some off ramps for if you feel like I can’t just contain this emotion. In fact, I encourage you to use these tools of moving with the emotion and using your sounds to match the emotion so that you’re integrated and whole. And there’s actually alignment between your external expression and your internal sensations. And this really is very balancing for your nervous system and allows the emotion to move through you quickly so you don’t stay stuck with emotions and miss out on the opportunity to use them as creative fodder for your life leadership.
Are you very emotional and sensitive? You can use that emotional intelligence for your growth
As a person who has often been called really emotional, maybe even too emotional, a person who’s been called dramatic, highly sensitive, I really have found so much value in both the tool of breaking out of really indulgent emotional cycles that I was allowing to control me because I was feeding them with my thoughts so much but also in valuing the access that I do have as a highly sensitive, highly emotional person. I have this access to my emotional intelligence that gives me a great amount of ease in listening to the wisdom of my emotions. And wherever you fall on that spectrum of if you’re a strong feeler, and this actually is connected with different Enneagram types tend to have feelings that are longer and stronger than others but still tends not to be more than 90 seconds.
That just may be your makeup is that you are highly sensitive, highly emotional person. There is a wisdom, and all of us have now the tools to increase our emotional intelligence to be more aware of what am I feeling at any given time? And also the tools to be able to listen to the wisdom of the emotion and to work with it and to be guided by the parts of it that we feel are valuable to listen to as well as being able to maybe have more compassion and recognize emotions in others and listen for the wisdom there. Sometimes people don’t say exactly what they mean because they can’t figure it out. But if I can tell you seem like you’re feeling angry, I can begin to then ask myself, what is it that’s not of service for this person?
And perhaps there’s something that I can change about how I respond to them that helps us find greater ease in reaching a conclusion without judgment, reaching a creative solution. Maybe I can just give them what they need. Maybe we work together on it or maybe I recognize, I’m angry too, let’s debate. Any of these approaches is fine. If you are already an Allowed insider, then you can go deeper into this material right now with exclusive bonus content for this episode. Go to allowedpodcast.com to become an Allowed insider if you’re not one yet. And this week I’m giving you a simple walkthrough of this whole process that we covered today, but we’re going to apply it to a specific instance in your life. Something that matters to you right now where you notice you have some emotion.
And this will help you to gain self-awareness, to become empowered, to understand your reactions and your feelings in a clear and simple way so that you can choose to move forward intentionally and consciously lead your own life with the added with of these core emotions. Sign up to be an Allowed insider for free at allowedpodcast.com to get this bonus and future bonus exercises. Mostly, I’ll be guiding you through them audio. So you plug in your headphones, you get started right away. And it’s like a personal on demand coaching session right in your pocket.
Additional Conscious Leadership Resources
I also would love to point you to some additional resources. So I want to point you back to some episodes in season one that will be useful in connecting the dots for you. And if you’ve already listened to these, I encourage you to go back and review. And you’ll notice I think that now that you’ve practiced applying, you’ll understand these in a whole new way. Episode 58 was what is integrity? Episode 39, I covered one of my favorite topics, the whole body yes. Episode 46 was where we did a deep dive into fact versus story, which we covered in the beginning of today’s episode. In episode 63 called the best communication ninja skill, I talk about speaking unarguable. I teach you this skill of how to really communicate about anything to anyone in a way that is clean, clear, and drama free. And guess what, it’s all about using the language of facts, including the core emotions.
That’s it for today. Thank you for showing up for yourself and everyone that you influence. And I will see you next week. Become an Allowed insider at allowedpodcast.com. Please follow, like and share and leave us a review, let us know how you’re doing with this material.