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  1. 1. AdVAnce pRAise FoR Attitude ReconstRuction “Jude Bijou shows us how we can transform feelings of sadness, anger, and fear into joy, love, and peace. Attitude Reconstruction really works.” —John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and many other bestselling books “Jude Bijou has given the most practical direction to deal with our emotions in her book, Attitude Reconstruction. Her teaching beautifully integrates eastern Vedic thoughts and the western approaches in order to heal the emotions in our daily life. Jude Bijou gives direct, applied ways to transform emotions into right understanding and love, in order to bring self-healing.” —Dr. Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc., Ayurvedic physician, scholar, founder and director of the Ayurvedic Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and author of Ayurveda: The Sci- ence of Self Healing and Textbook of Ayurveda “Jude Bijou’s wonderful book is a beautifully written guide to trans- forming your life from the inside out. Her playful spirit makes the journey exciting, thought provoking, and, most of all, highly useful and effective.” —Robert Maurer, Ph.D., faculty, UCLA School of Medicine, and author of One Small Step Can Change Your Life
  2. 2. “To all parents who find themselves repeating the same dysfunctional, emotional tirades over and over again: read this book. Attitude Reconstruc- tion is a guidebook to getting out of the swamp of toxic emotions. Jude Bijou offers readers a way to interact clearly and effectively, and respond to daily challenges with a calm and happy heart.” —Dr. Sharon Maxwell, clinical psychologist, and author of What Your Kids Need to Hear from You about Sex “Attitude Reconstruction is a practical book filled with powerful methods that can help you through any problem or emotional upset. Jude is a rare psychotherapist who is both highly caring and clear in presenting what really works and why. I have found her guidance helpful in my therapy practice as well as with handling issues in my own life.” —Jonathan Robinson, M.F.T., author of several bestsellers, including Communication Miracles for Couples and The Com- plete Idiot’s Guide to Awakening Your Spirituality “This work should be required reading for everyone, whether profes- sional or personal. If we all knew how to manage ourselves using Attitude Reconstruction, we would live in a peaceful world free from judgment. Both medicine and psychology would be greatly enhanced by taking another look at what people really want, which is not to be labeled, but guided toward self-help and insight, resulting in a life with more meaning and wholeness. Therein is the contribution which Jude Bijou has made with the stroke of her pen and twenty years of inquiry.” —Linda W. Peterson, Ph.D., professor emerita, University of Nevada Medical School, marriage and family therapist, dip- lomat in forensic counseling “Applying Jude Bijou’s proven techniques, we can all reconstruct our attitudes so that we consistently behave as the people we most desire to be—joyful, peaceful, and full of love. This is the guidebook for ensuring a happy life.” —Jan C. Hill, international leadership and teamwork consul- tant to Fortune 500 companies, certified coach, and coauthor with Vanessa Weaver of Smart Women, Smart Moves
  3. 3. ATTITUDE RECONSTRUCTION A Blueprint for Building a Better Life Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
  4. 4. Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life Published by Synergy Books P.O. Box 30071 Austin, Texas 78755 For more information about our books, please write us, e-mail us at info@synergybooks .net, or visit our web site at www.synergybooks.net. Printed and bound in the United States of America. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the copyright holder, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in review. Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication (Provided by Quality Books, Inc.) Bijou, Jude. Attitude reconstruction : a blueprint for building a better life / Jude Bijou. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. LCCN 2010923451 ISBN-13: 978-0-9843879-0-8 ISBN-10: 0-9843879-0-0 1. Change (Psychology) 2. Attitude (Psychology) I. Title. BF637.C4B55 2010 158.1 QBI10-600044 Copyright© 2010 by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T. Attitude Reconstruction® and Hey, Jude!® are registered trademarks belonging to the author. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  5. 5. I gave it my best shot and now I offer this book to you.
  6. 6. contents Introduction XI Part I: An Overview 1. Emotions are the Keys to Understanding 1 2. How to Replace Sadness, Anger, and Fear with Joy, Love, and Peace 33 Part II: Your Five Tools 3. Emotions: The Heart of the Matter 53 4. Thoughts: Rewire Your Thinking 83 5. Thoughts: High-Voltage Rewiring 105 6. Intuition: The Direct Line to the Self 129 7. Speech: The Four Rules of Communication 149 8. Speech: Dealing with Differences 175 9. Action: Make and Take Small Steps 199 10. Action: Waging the Battle Against Old Habits 229 Part III: Living It 11. From Sadness to Joy 265 12. From Anger to Love 297 13. From Fear to Peace 321 Conclusion 345 Acknowledgments 347 Appendix One 349 Bibliography and Further Reading 351 Vii
  7. 7. I
  8. 8. intRoduction We all want more joy, love, and peace for ourselves and our families. Instead, we experience isolation, strife, and paralyzing fear. We lash out at those we love the most. We don’t fully enjoy the good times because we’re worrying about what’s next. We let opportunities pass us due to indecisiveness. We berate ourselves mercilessly for making mistakes. Nearly thirty years of practice as a psychotherapist and teacher have made it clear to me that emotions color virtually everything we feel, think, say, and do. And I am utterly convinced that most of the problems in our lives and our relationships are caused by unexpressed and unac- knowledged sadness, anger, and fear. Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life not only illuminates the pivotal role emotions play in our lives, but also reveals the influence they have over all our thoughts, words, and actions. In addition to information that just plain makes sense, you will find work- sheets and practical tips, along with abundant examples of how clients i
  9. 9. Attitude ReconstRuction and students have used Attitude Reconstruction to bring about signifi- cant change. The result is that you will be able to create more joy, love, and peace in your life. In this book, you’ll learn that every feeling you experience throughout your life derives from six primary emotions, just like every shade in the rainbow can be made from the primary colors red, yellow, and blue. Nega- tive feelings like frustration, anxiety, and guilt, as well as positive feelings like compassion, contentment, and delight—all of these stem from six emotions: sadness, anger, and fear; and their counters, joy, love, and peace. Moving from Sadness, Anger, and Fear to Joy, Love, and Peace Attitude Reconstruction is both a holistic theory of human behavior and a practical guide to understanding our emotions. It integrates emo- tions, thoughts, intuition, communication, and actions into one unified system and reveals the ultimate attitudes that govern them all. In keeping with the wisdom of ancient religious traditions and philosophies worldwide, I believe that joy, love, and peace are funda- mental aspects of our spiritual nature. But sadness, anger, and fear are also part of the human condition, and in the process of denying these “negative” emotions, trying to get around them, and attempting to sup- press them, we become our own worst enemies. The fallout corrupts our bodies, minds, spirits, behaviors, and overall sense of well-being. The physical consequences show up as stress-related diseases, such as high blood pressure, digestive distress, eating disorders, or reliance on phar- maceuticals. Unreleased emotions are the culprits behind much of what we read and hear in the news: suicide, domestic violence, gang warfare, road rage, juvenile delinquency, addictions, and on and on. Beyond that, stifling our emotions compromises our personal relationships, our com- munities, and our planet. Along with bathing and brushing our teeth, releasing our emotions needs to become part of our daily routines. Just like physical hygiene, “emotional hygiene” is crucial to our health and must become an integral part of our lives.
  10. 10. intRoduction i We deny, ignore, or suppress our emotions because we’ve been con- ditioned to believe that expressing them is a sign of weakness, or because we’re afraid we will be swept away by them. As one client said to me, “I’m afraid that if I let myself cry, I’ll never be able to stop.” Or we imag- ine that acknowledging our emotions might lead us to extreme actions we’ll regret: “If I allow myself to really feel my rage at my parents, I won’t be able to maintain any sort of relationship with them.” This book will give you the tools to deal with your sadness, anger, and fear constructively. Although you can use what you learn in this book to help you resolve past emotionally laden issues, the emphasis is not on dissecting your history, but on forming a new understanding of yourself that will change the way you experience the rest of your life. You have everything you need within you already. This handbook will show you the way to the emotions of joy, love, and peace. In these pages, you will learn: – How to express the pure energy of sadness, anger, and fear physically and constructively, liberating you from their destruc- tive influence – How to replace habitual negative thinking with thoughts that make your mind your friend rather than your foe – How to access and follow your natural intuition (yes, we all have it!) in ways that honor yourself and respect others – How to use the Four Rules of Communication with confidence to talk effectively about difficult topics, listen empathetically, and resolve differences smoothly and amicably – How to take constructive action to handle seemingly “stuck” situations, achieve any goal, and banish the unhealthy attitudes and addictions that keep you mired in sadness, anger, and fear About This Book Personally, I’m a browser and don’t tend to read books in order. For that reason I’ve organized Attitude Reconstruction to be accessible to any
  11. 11. ii Attitude ReconstRuction kind of reader. Read it from cover to cover, or begin with whatever reso- nates most strongly with you. In part I, you will find an overview, including an explanation of the entire theory of emotions, the Attitude Reconstruction Blueprint, and the cut-to-the-chase version of how to turn sadness into joy, anger into love, and fear into peace. In part II, you will learn about your five tools—emotions, thoughts, intuition, words, and actions—and the uni- fying laws that govern them. Understanding what brings sadness, anger, and fear and what brings joy, love, and peace will allow you to make conscious choices so you can create the life you desire. Part III of this book allows you to isolate a specific destructive attitude and select tools to dismantle it. It shows how to work with issues like insecurity, frus- tration, worry, and guilt. After you understand the underlying dynamic behind a given attitude, you can find practical ways to turn it into its constructive opposite. To apply the information found in these pages, you must focus on yourself. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that focusing on ourselves is selfish or egotistical. However, with the exceptions of the very young, old, or disabled, we are each responsible for our own selves. As every commercial airline flight reminds us, we need to affix our own oxygen masks before offering assistance to others. Likewise, giving our- selves the gift of living in joy, love, and peace provides the necessary foundation to truly contribute to our families, friends, and planet. Why I Had to Write This Book I have always had a deep yearning to be happy and a passion for understanding human behavior. Why do we suffer so much when life can be so good? My father, Sidney W. Bijou, had a tremendous influence on my pro- fessional journey. As a pioneer in the field of behavioral child psychology and applied behavior analysis, he imparted to me the value of direct observation, being specific, and praising the positive. After earning a master’s degree in psychology, I began teaching introductory psychology
  12. 12. intRoduction iii courses at a university and continued to explore different approaches that would help me understand myself and my world. While much of what I learned felt like pieces of the truth, I never found a system or philosophy that explained how to be truly happy and live in harmony with others. In the early 1970s, I discovered Transcendental Meditation, an East- ern approach to living brought to the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of India. In my heart, I sensed that it was the key to what I had been searching for. I plunged into years of study of meditation and philoso- phy. After a decade, I met Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, with whom I practiced Siddha Yoga meditation. During that time, I learned about Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient science of health and self-healing. The Eastern schools of thought provided many profound insights about life, spirituality, and the mind, but something was still missing. Underneath my highs and lows, I still felt flat, uninspired. I was trudg- ing through my day-to-day life academically, personally, and relationally. I was stuck, and nothing I did brought any sustained relief from my own unhappiness. But when I decided to further my clinical training and become a licensed marriage and family therapist, something amazing began to happen. As I participated in diverse classes, therapies, work- shops, and trainings, I started to see patterns I hadn’t seen before, all revolving around emotions. After being in private practice and teaching classes for several years, Attitude Reconstruction began to come into focus. I realized that regard- less of why clients came to see me, all their difficulties lay in the three emotions of sadness, anger, and fear. They were either trying to suppress these emotions completely or expressing them in ways that were self- destructive or detrimental to others. It became clear that most people spend a great deal of effort distracting themselves from what they feel in their bodies, rather than expressing their emotions as pure physical energy. This book offers the results of my quest to reliably experience joy, love, and peace. These emotions are not merely holiday platitudes, but
  13. 13. iV Attitude ReconstRuction precious gifts that are available to each of us when we learn to deal with our sadness, anger, and fear. The Icing on the Cake Just as physical exercise gets your body into shape, putting the Atti- tude Reconstruction principles into practice will make you emotionally fit and able to deal with whatever is thrown your way. Reading this book won’t “fix” you in the same way that a course of antibiotics gets rid of an infection, but if you integrate the suggestions into your life, you can improve your personal relationships and find the courage to fulfill your most cherished dreams. The wonderful result of toning your emotional body is the ability to be in the world without losing your balance. You will engage with the world in ways that naturally promote your own happiness, create goodwill with others, and actualize your true poten- tial. Another powerful benefit of practicing Attitude Reconstruction is the occurrence of “divine shifts.” Have you ever experienced a moment when your awareness suddenly expanded like a light bulb flicking on, and you knew that something was undeniably true? During such “aha!” moments, you connect with your truest self and know irrefutably that you are doing something right. A divine shift usually occurs when you stop calling yourself names, cease feeling intimidated, ease into relax- ing, or start actualizing your dreams. This transformation happens on a fundamental level, as if your neural pathways are cleared and vital energy flows freely. Each time you choose to take constructive action, you will find yourself “in the flow,” and the effects are cumulative. Whether you call it nature, God’s plan, the tao, or something else, you will know that you are safe, whole, and connected. May this book be a trustworthy companion and an unfailing guide.
  14. 14. pARt i An Overview
  15. 15. 1 Emotions are the Keys to Understanding Sadness Joy Anger Love Fear Peace Attitude Reconstruction proposes that unhappiness, suffering, and misery are rooted in unexpressed sadness, anger, and fear. It also says that we can systematically create their counterparts (joy, love, and peace, respectively) and find the happiness we seek. “But wait,” you’re probably saying, “how can all these complicated feelings be reduced to three pairs of emotions?” If you’re willing to stay open to the possibility, this seem- ingly radical idea will soon resonate with your own personal experience as it has with my own, and with that of my many clients. 1
  16. 16. 2 An oVeRView The Six Emotions Sadness Joy Anger Love Fear Peace Each Emotion Feels and Looks Different Across all cultures, human beings share the same emotions. They’ve been the same throughout the history of Homo sapiens. Cave people experienced fear, anger, and sadness as well as joy, love, and peace. The old, the young, and everyone in between are capable of feeling them all. Emotions come and go, continually shifting like the weather. They are spontaneous physical reactions to what we experience throughout the day. We feel them as pure sensations in our bodies. They have no words. Just look at the word “emotion,” and you can see “e-motion,” or “energy in motion.” Each emotion manifests as a different sensation in our bodies. Bodily Sensations Associated with Each Emotion Sadness Joy Anger Love Fear Peace heavy heart blissful hot warm cold relaxed constricted expansive flushed open tense tranquil chest muscles weak sparkling tight full shivering content muscles low energy carefree aggressive soft trembling quiet tight throat active cold stare smiling stomach perceptive knots slow exuberant striking embracing elevated alert out pulse lethargic light explosive connected agitated calm When we feel sadness, we feel cold and slow, and we find it hard to speak without crying. With joy, we feel exuberant and bouncy. Anger makes
  17. 17. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 3 us feel hot, tight, and ready to strike out and explode. With love, we feel open and warm. When we feel fear, we get cold, shiver all over, and feel our innards constrict. With peace, we feel tranquil and relaxed, yet alert. The way energy moves in our bodies is different for each emotion too. Sadness weighs us down. Joy’s energy moves upward, causing us to feel elated. When we feel angry, the energy pushes outward, and we lash out and push people away. With love, the energy pulls inward, and we draw others near. When we experience fear, the energy is erratic, and we feel jumpy and wired, or frozen and immobilized. When we experience peace, we feel calm, still, and collected. Each emotion is also reflected differently in our faces, posture, move- ments, tone, and demeanor. Even without hearing any words, it’s fairly easy to tell the difference between someone who is bouncing around just having been accepted to the university of his choice, and someone who is running late and can’t find some important papers she needs for her meeting. The physical expressions of each emotion are distinctive and easily recognizable. Another way to understand the distinction between the emotions is to think about how each is expressed physically. Each Emotion’s Physical Expression Sadness Joy Anger Love Fear Peace crying smiling aggressive open agitated relaxed sobbing bubbling pushing soft shivering silent weeping sparkling pounding smiling shuddering still wailing exuberant stomping sweet trembling alert laughter laughter frowning exhilarated biting embracing nervous aware yells laughter crying yelling undefended quivering smiling caustic reaching jiggly legs laughter out
  18. 18. 4 An oVeRView Emotions and Feelings We affix many different names to the same emotions. Emptiness, helplessness, arrogance, confusion, impatience, jealousy—these are just different labels we attach to the same wordless physical sensation, depending on our history and circumstances. The same is true for bliss, contentment, delight, and ecstasy. Feelings are mental. Emotions are physical. An example will bring this concept into focus. Say you’ve been under the weather but dread going to the doctor. Your stomach is in knots, and your hands are freezing. You start projecting into the future. “What if I have cancer? I won’t be able to work. What will happen to the children?” You might call what you’re feeling anxiety or nervousness, but what you are experiencing on a physical level is the emotion of fear. It’s just pure energy. It doesn’t matter whether the source of your fear is a potential diagnosis, meeting your future in-laws for the first time, or giving a pre- sentation in class. And it doesn’t matter whether you call what you’re feeling anxiety, stress, agitation, or panic—you’re dealing with fear. Examples of Some Feelings Associated with Each Emotion Sadness Joy Anger Love Fear Peace unlovable lovable jealous open worried relaxed lonely confident dissatisfied satisfied nervous calm needy secure intolerant tolerant stressed productive guilty self- resentful kind indecisive stable accepting small strong disgusted grateful confused committed incapable powerful conceited humble impatient patient glum delighted stingy generous rigid flexible It’s easier to deal with what we’re feeling if we identify the underly- ing emotions. Is it sadness, anger, fear? Joy, love, peace?
  19. 19. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 5 Emotions Are Triggered by Specific Events Everyone experiences all six emotions. They are normal reactions to specific events. As we go through life, big and little things happen that naturally evoke these different sensations in our bodies. Whether it’s a scene in a movie, gossip about a friend, or an upheaval at work, our emo- tions are continually triggered by the events in our lives. The following table shows you the types of situations that generate each emotion. Emotional Triggers Emotions Specific Events Sadness losses and hurts Joy achievements, good news, creative express, beauty Anger injustices and violations Love kindness, caring, generosity, understanding Fear threats to our survival Peace safety, comfort, security, serenity We often experience more than one emotion at a time, and some- times one emotion masks another. For example, imagine that someone you admire calls you “careless.” That feels like a violation and naturally provokes anger. But it also hurts to be called names, so buried under- neath your anger is probably sadness. If, while blasting you, the person expresses hostility, you probably feel threatened and experience fear as well. Why We Resist Our Emotions As babies, we took delight in the world around us and marveled at being alive. We dealt with upsets by unabashedly expressing our emo- tions, then swiftly returned to our trusting, playful selves. How simple and great life was. As adults, most of us don’t resist laughing at some-
  20. 20. An oVeRView thing funny, hugging our children, or experiencing a moment of peace while hiking in nature. However, we very much want to avoid crying, expressing anger, and showing fear. Expressing these emotions feels for- eign because we’ve “forgotten” that they are an integral part of being human. As we grew up, our families, peers, schools, religious institutions—in short, our entire culture—shaped us to fit into societal norms. Constraints on time and place, as well as other people’s own unexpressed emotions, prevented us from directly showing what we were feeling inside. Some- times we were shamed out of vocalizing what we were feeling. We modeled ourselves on those around us. Instead of expressing our emotions, we developed defenses against them and counterproductive ways of compensating. While it may not be appropriate for a grown woman to throw a loud tantrum when the grocery store is out of her favorite kind of cookie, the campaign against showing emotions has been taken much too far. There are precious few situations in our society where it is okay to cry, stomp, or physically show that we are afraid by shivering. We’ve all gotten the messages: “Tears equal weakness,” “Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve,” “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about,” or even “Die before cry.” I’ve witnessed a truly caring wife in my office attempt to comfort her husband, who was finally expressing his grief, by saying, “Honey, don’t cry.” Part of being alive is experiencing countless emotionally charged events every day. Usually, it doesn’t even cross our minds that we could express the emotions we’re feeling. If crying is taboo, expressing healthy anger is also forbidden. We were discouraged from showing anger by being told, “Put a lid on it,” “Girls aren’t pretty when they’re angry,” “We don’t yell in this family,” “You’re upsetting me,” or “You’re acting crazy again.” In a similar fashion, expressing fear was summarily squashed with messages such as “Don’t be a scaredy-cat,” “You chicken,” “There’s nothing to be afraid of,” or “Snap out of it!” And we don’t stifle only the emotions that we regard as negative or unpleasant. To a lesser degree, we learned to downplay the emotions of joy, love, and peace. As children, our unbridled laughter was often
  21. 21. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding disruptive to the busy routines of adults. When we squealed in sheer delight, our parents’ reaction was often a firm command to tone it down. And when we felt peaceful and content to just stare at the clouds, we may have received messages such as “Don’t just sit there” or “Can’t you find something better to do?” Good moments immediately turned flat. Recently, I saw a youngster’s utter joy at being served a huge plate of pancakes extinguished by swift reprimands to “behave” from both par- ents. Overt messages like these, plus observations of those around us, taught us to fit in by camouflaging rather than expressing our emotions naturally and physically. What We Do Instead of Expressing Our Emotions Because we don’t allow ourselves to express our sadness, anger, or fear physically and constructively, the emotional energy gets stuck inside of us, along with the specific event that triggered it. Our unexpressed emotions act like a wad of gunk, jamming up our ability to process the experience. Some people have described this to me as feeling numb or being on autopilot. When we don’t process our emotions in a healthy way, our minds resort to well-worn destructive attitudes that are reflected in how we feel, think, speak, and act. The ways we mask and divert our emotions are all too familiar. For instance, maybe your father came home after holding his anger in all day long, mumbled something about the “idiots” he had to take orders from, and then, after a drink or two, lashed out at his family members, the people he felt safest with. Maybe he numbed his pain by staring mindlessly at the television for hours each night. The fact that he was suffering from high blood pressure and other medical conditions related to stifling his emotions did nothing to improve his state of mind. When we don’t express our emotions physically and constructively, we compen- sate in predictable, destructive ways.
  22. 22. An oVeRView Your Emotional Constitution Some babies are born mellow, some fussy, and some highly reac- tive. We each come into this world with an emotional predisposition, a temperament that colors how we interpret our experience. Sadness is dominant in some of us, others of us have a tendency to lead with anger, and others are ruled by fear. Imagine that your emotional constitution is comprised of three buckets. One bucket holds sadness, another anger, and a third fear. Some people’s fear bucket is overflowing, while their other buckets are nearly empty; for others, two may be overflowing; for still others, all three buckets are relatively full. When you look at yourself and others from this perspective, it’s easier to understand why people behave the way they do. You can think of your emotional constitution as being like eye color. If you look at the color of a mother’s and father’s eyes, you can usually make an educated guess about what color their child’s eyes will be. In the same way, your parents’ emotional constitutions have an impact on which emotions are strongest for you. If both of your parents tend to be passive (i.e., have more sadness than anger or fear), there’s a good chance you’ll be passive and experience a lot of sadness too. If one parent has an angry constitution and the other a fearful one, you could have either parent’s constitution or a combination of the two. Though everybody is capable of feeling all six emotions at any moment, each of us has a propensity to feel some emotions more than others. Take my mom. Her usual reaction to any event was fear; she constantly worried about my dad, my brother, me, and almost anything, bless her heart. Whenever my father was late getting home from work and my mother heard on the radio that there had been an accident on the bridge near our house, she immediately envisioned that something horrible had happened to my dad. She was what I call a “fear gal.” Imagine a shy college student who is turned down by a dozen sorori- ties. It’s a hurt or loss, so of course she feels sadness. If she doesn’t allow herself to acknowledge her pain and cry constructively, she focuses on feel- ing rejected and begins to view herself harshly. Her unexpressed sadness
  23. 23. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding manifests in feeling unworthy, which shows up in her thoughts, words, and actions. If she doesn’t handle her sadness in a healthy way, her low self-esteem can become a chronic condition that colors her every move. Some of us will recognize ourselves in my description of my mother; others will identify with the college student, and still others will see themselves reflected in the angry father. The idea of an emotional con- stitution has its parallel in Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient system of self-health and healing from India. Ayurveda proposes that all aspects of nature can be viewed in terms of three elements—Kapha, Pitta, and Vata—which correlate with the emotions of sadness, anger, and fear. This quiz will give you a picture of the levels of dominance of sadness, anger, and fear in your emotional constitution. If you are going through a particularly stressful time, your results might be slightly skewed, but in general, they will reflect your basic emotional constitution. Be as honest with yourself as possible in taking the quiz.
  24. 24. 10 An oVeRView The Quick Questionnaire: What’s My Emotional Constitution Using the scale below, rate yourself from 1 to 5 on each item. 1 = almost never 2 = occasionally 3 = about half the time 4 = often 5 = almost always Score Set Total Set A 1. I feel unworthy. ____ 2. I depend on others for approval. ____ 3. I make negative self-judgments. ____ 4. I am passive. ____ ____ Set B 1. I focus on the outside world. ____ 2. I don’t accept people and situations as they are. ____ 3. I make negative judgments of what is. ____ 4. I am selfish. ____ ____ Set C 1. I focus on the future or past. ____ 2. I overgeneralize. ____ 3. I lose sight of what is true or real. ____ 4. I attempt to control. ____ ____ Using the same scale, rate how often you feel: Sadness____ Anger____ Fear____ Joy____ Love____ Peace____
  25. 25. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 11 Interpreting Your Results Add up your numbers for each set of questions. The actual numerical total for each set is not as significant as the way the three totals compare to one another. If your highest total is for the first four questions (Set A), your predominant emotion is sadness. If your highest score is for the sec- ond four questions (Set B), your strongest emotion is anger. If your highest total is for the last four questions (Set C), your ruling emotion is fear. If your scores are equally high for two sets of questions, you have two dominant emotions. My friend Sally is a perfect example of a person with a fear-sadness constitution. I’ve rarely ever seen her angry; she’s too busy getting things done, brooding, and putting an inordinate amount of pressure on herself. Some folks have a constitution equally proportioned among the three emotions. They have a sadness-anger-fear constitution and at any moment may lead with any of these three emotions. Look at how you rated yourself on sadness, anger, and fear at the bot- tom of the page. Do these scores correlate with the three totals above? And how about your scores for joy, love, and peace? If your rating for joy is high, your score for its opposite, sadness, will probably be low. Like- wise, if your rating for love is high, your score for its opposite, anger, will probably be low. And if your rating for peace is high, your score for its opposite, fear, is usually low. Your answers reflect the emotions you feel as you deal with life’s twists and turns. When you hear that your partner got in another fender bender, do you feel blue (sadness)? Do you tend to lash out at him about what a reckless driver he is (anger)? Or do you freak out and fret that she’ll lose her license (fear)? Emotions Drive the Mind Each emotion steers the mind in a certain predictable direction. That is to say, our emotions determine where we focus our attention.
  26. 26. 12 An oVeRView The Focus Associated with Each Emotion Emotions Focus Sadness Joy Yourself Anger Love Other people and situations Fear Peace Time Each pair of emotions automatically directs your attention toward yourself, other people and situations, or time. Whether you view the focus destructively or constructively depends on the emotion you’re experiencing. The first pair of emotions—sadness and joy—turns our attention inward onto ourselves. When we experience sadness in our bodies but don’t express it physically, our minds immediately and automatically start to entertain less than positive thoughts about ourselves. We might regard ourselves as stupid, inadequate, and unlovable. Reciprocally, when we experience joy, we naturally feel good about ourselves. In moments of joy, we know in every cell of our bodies that we’re living life to its full potential. Remember how truly ecstatic you felt when you finished run- ning your first marathon (or another goal you prepared for)? What did you know about yourself then? You probably felt fabulous about your own abilities and knew you could handle whatever would arise. The focus of the emotions of anger and love is outward. They move our attention to other people and situations. We direct our unprocessed anger externally by finger-pointing and making negative judgments. Unexpressed anger makes us feel self-righteous, behaving as if our way is the only way. Conversely, when feeling love, we focus outward as well, but we respect and appreciate people and situations, and feel expansive, receptive, and open. We’re attuned to what is helpful, compassionate, and kind—and we do those things. Fear and peace turn our focus to time. Unexpressed fear propels us out of the present moment and into a dreaded future or dwelled-upon
  27. 27. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 13 past. If not dealt with, fear distorts our perspective on reality so that we exaggerate dangers and minimize the potential for safety. We over- generalize, using such words as “always,” “never,” “everybody,” and “no one.” In contrast, when we feel peace, our attention fully resides in the present moment. We think in terms of specifics and when we don’t need to think, our minds are still. We feel safe, knowing we’ll be all right no matter what. Mental Tendencies Each emotion’s focus carries with it four mental tendencies or core beliefs. How did I come up with these? I observed the entire range of people’s behaviors as they experienced each emotion. I found that all the ways they felt, thought, spoke, and acted fell into a few categories. I concluded that all of our destructive attitudes boil down to twelve men- tal tendencies. The four associated with sadness are about ourselves, the four associated with anger are about other people and situations, and the four associated with fear are about time. Similarly, all our constructive attitudes can be reduced to twelve opposing mental tendencies. There are four about ourselves associated with joy; four about other people and situations associated with love; and four about time associated with peace. These mental tendencies, constructive and destructive, are the default settings that define our per- sonalities, actions, and reactions.
  28. 28. 14 An oVeRView The Twelve Pairs of Mental Tendencies Focus: Yourself Sadness Joy Unworthy Worthy Dependent on others for approval Self-reliant Judge self negatively Appreciate and respect self Passive Speak up and take action Focus: People and Situations Anger Love Focus on the outside world Open-hearted Don’t accept people and situations Accept people and situations Make negative judgments of what is Appreciate and respect what is Selfish Selfless giving Focus: Time Fear Peace Live in the future or past Reside in the present Overgeneralize Stay specific Lose sight of what is true or real Keep sight of what is true or real Attempt to control Observe, enjoy, allow, and participate I’ve already explained that fear and peace bring our mental focus onto time, but how we view the present, past, or future when feeling these two emotions is very different. When we feel fear and don’t express the emotional energy physically, we lose sight of reality—what we knew
  29. 29. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 15 very clearly at an earlier time and place. For example, you might lose sight of the fact that the fancy dessert you’re about to eat has at least six hundred calories and is counter to your goal of losing ten pounds. Or you might forget that if you stay up until two in the morning playing on the computer, you won’t feel sharp for your early-morning staff meeting. Conversely, when you feel peace, your mental focus is still on time, but you remember reality. You don’t impulsively give into the temptation to eat the fancy dessert. You remember that you need at least seven hours of sleep to feel your best, so you are in bed by eleven. Our mental tendencies manifest in how we think, speak, and act. They perpetuate our emotions, both constructive and destructive. For example, if you think well of every person you meet and volunteer read- ily to help others, you will feel love. Reciprocally, if you primarily dwell on the half-empty and feel justified in rebelling against the law, you will perpetuate your anger. The Mental Tendencies Associated with Sadness, Anger, and Fear In the next pages, you’ll find sections of the blueprint showing the mental tendencies, feelings, words, and actions associated with sadness, anger, and fear. First is the part for sadness.
  30. 30. 1 An oVeRView Emotion DESTRUCTIVE MENTAL TENDENCIES Focus Expression FEELINGS WORDS ACTIONS UNWORTHY Unhappy • I’m lacking some- • Think poorly of Empty thing. yourself Inadequate • I’m not enough. • Don’t accept your- self Unlovable • I’m no good. • Create false • I’m undeserving. impressions • There’s something • Identify worth with wrong with me. action, roles, traits body • Feel disconnected from who you are DEPEND ON OTHERS FOR APPROVAL Lonely • I’ll do anything to • Please others at S Insecure keep you happy. own expense Incomplete • Tell me I’m okay. • Take things per- A Needy • Show me you sonally love me. • Cling to other D • No one cares about me. people • Seek validation and N • I’m lonely. compliments • Look to others for E self-definition YOURSELF JUDGE SELF NEGATIVELY S Self-loathing • I should have • Set unrealistic Stupid known better. expectations for yourself Guilty • I’m an idiot. S Ashamed • How could I have • Don’t accept what you do done that? • Put yourself down • I hate myself and beat self up when I make mis- takes. • Criticize yourself • I’m hopeless at • Demand perfection this. from yourself PASSIVE Weak • Poor me. • Feel sorry for Helpless yourself • I can’t do any- Incapable thing about this. • Play the submissive victim Unassertive • I don’t know how. • Fail to follow • I can’t face this. through with words • It’s bigger than and actions crying me. • Avoid confronta- sobbing tion wailing • Lack of self-con- trol/discipline frowning
  31. 31. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 1 The mental tendencies associated with sadness boil down to the four ways we don’t honor ourselves. People with sadness constitutions are intimately familiar with these mental tendencies. Mental tendency number one is to believe deep down that you are unworthy, incompetent, and empty. You feel bad about yourself regardless of what you have, look like, or achieve. In essence, this mental tendency robs us of the knowl- edge that we are whole and complete, no matter what. This is because we confuse our pure, inner selves—what remains constant—with our accomplishments, qualities, and characteristics. Second, because we don’t have a solid sense of our true worth, we look to others for validation and satisfaction. We sacrifice our own wants, needs, and beliefs to keep other people happy, usually because we don’t want them to have a negative emotional reaction. We need them to approve of us and not reject or abandon us. The third mental tendency we have when in the grip of sadness is to judge ourselves negatively and feel bad about what we have done, said, or thought. We’re mercilessly hard on ourselves, especially when we make a mistake. “I’m a loser.” “I’m dumb.” Our negative assessments are laced with unrealistic expectations and “shoulds,” such as, “I shouldn’t have done that” or, “What made me say that?” The fourth and last thing that happens when we stifle the physical expression of sadness is that we see ourselves as passive and act accord- ingly. We view ourselves as insignificant and find it hard to speak up and take action. For example, say you’ve been looking for a new apartment for several months. Several places you thought were perfect were given to other people. Increasingly, you feel like a helpless victim, at the mercy of the big, cruel world. Before you know it, you’ve quit exercising, started binging on comfort food, and stopped following up on housing leads. Anger works in similar ways. The mental tendencies and the feelings, thoughts, and actions associated with anger appear in the excerpt from the Attitude Reconstruction Blueprint on the following page.
  32. 32. 1 An oVeRView Emotion DESTRUCTIVE MENTAL TENDENCIES Focus Expression FEELINGS WORDS ACTIONS OUTWARD FOCUS Jealous • You make me so • Blame / defend / Blaming mad. accuse Competitive • You are the prob- • Make “you” state- lem. ments Alienated • It’s your fault. • Compare yourself to others • She said that. • Gossip • What do they have? say? think? • Tease / ridicule want? DON’T ACCEPT PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS Intolerant • You should be • Have unrealistic Annoyed different. expectations of Disappointed • He shouldn’t be others like that. A Frustrated • Deny reality • Why is this hap- • Complain / whine pening? N • This is not the way it’s supposed • Give unsolicited opinions and advice to be. • Reject others and G PEOPLE • I don’t believe withhold yourself what I see / hear. E AND MAKE NEGATIVE JUDGMENTS OF WHAT IS SITUATIONS Resentful • You are a loser. • Expect the worst R Critical • Right-Wrong Fair-Unfair • Label people and things negatively Self-righteous Good-Bad Disgusted • Think in black- • It’s not enough. and-white terms • I hate you. • Be sarcastic / criti- cal / cynical • She’s not okay. • Bear grudges SELFISH Conceited • It's mine, mine, • Put your own Stubborn mine. needs ahead of hot • My way or I others Rebellious aggressive won't play. • Unable to let go of Arrogant your opinions hitting • My needs / want / views are more • Consider yourself biting important. more important than others stomping • I'm special. • Be overly ambi- shouting • I want it all. tious, vain, greedy, laughing pushy, insensitive sarcastically • Don’t listen
  33. 33. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 1 When we feel anger but don’t deal with the energy constructively, our attention tends to go outward onto other people, things, and situa- tions in four predictable negative ways. The first thing the mind does is to look for something or someone “out there” to blame. When your car breaks down, it’s the mechanic’s fault. When you have a falling out with your cousin, it’s because she’s jealous that you have a boyfriend. The second mental tendency associated with anger is a refusal to accept people and situations as they are. When consumed by anger, we hang on to the notion that he, she, it, or they “should” be different. We’re full of unrealistic expectations that inflame our anger when unmet. We think, “They shouldn’t have said what they did” or, “It shouldn’t be this way.” The third mental tendency associated with unprocessed anger is that we negatively judge and label what we don’t accept because it doesn’t conform to our point of view. “It’s not okay,” we righteously rage, “it’s not fair.” We label what we don’t like as “bad,” “silly,” or “wrong.” Finally, the fourth belief we take on when in anger’s grip is the belief that we should get whatever we want and that we know better than anyone else. (Here is where our ego resides.) We’re the center of the universe, and we selfishly look out for our own interests at the expense of others. We think that we have the right to tell others how to run their lives. “I’m the smartest person,” we arrogantly tell ourselves. “If everyone just agreed with me, then everything would be fine.” We are often under the influence of several mental tendencies simultaneously. Let’s say you’ve just finished a frustrating telephone con- versation with your mother-in-law. You walk into the next room where your teenage daughter is sitting. Without even taking in what she’s doing, you start talking about how pathetic her grandmother is (the first mental tendency associated with anger: directing your energy outward against other people and situations). Your daughter, worried about her test tomorrow, doesn’t agree with you, and responds by whining about her homework. You tell her to knock that off (the second mental tendency associated with anger: don’t accept people and situations), then call her a “crybaby” (the third mental tendency: make negative judgments). When
  34. 34. 20 An oVeRView she protests, you reply that if she’d just listen to you, she’d be a better person (the fourth mental tendency: selfishness). All the mental tenden- cies associated with anger manifested in this one everyday interaction. Next is the part of the blueprint about fear and its mental tendencies.
  35. 35. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 21 Emotion DESTRUCTIVE MENTAL TENDENCIES Focus Expression FEELINGS WORDS ACTIONS LIVE IN THE FUTURE OR PAST Worried • What if… •Avoid expressing emotions Anxious • I don't want to feel Distracted this feeling. • Rush / speed / hurry Nervous • I've got to get out • Talk, think, act fast of here. • Be impulsive / reck- • This will never end. less / careless • Oh no. • Escape reality through addictions OVERGENERALIZE Dramatic • It's always like that. • Go on tangents Overwhelmed • It's never going to • Exaggerate / mini- Stressed work. mize issues F Scattered • Everything's ruined. • Jump to conclusions • People are inconsid- • Talk in vague terms erate. E • This is a disaster. • Act dramatically A TIME R Indecisive LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT IS TRUE OR REAL • Maybe this, maybe • Forget your purpose, that. goals and reality Confused Surprised • I don't know. I don't • Doubt excessively care. Conflicted • Procrastinate / fail to • I'll handle it tomor- take action row. • Act without regard • It doesn't matter. It's to consequences no big deal. • Dwell on the past ATTEMPT TO CONTROL Impatient • If I don't do it, it • Assume responsibil- won't get done. ity unnecessarily Desperate cold Rigid • Things are out of • Behave obsessively / agitated control. compulsively shivering Panicked • I've got to be in • Insist on the status shuddering charge. quo trembling • Hurry up. • Dominate or manip- laughing ulate • I know what you nervously need. • Plan excessively breathing irregularly
  36. 36. 22 An oVeRView What happens when we don’t rid our bodies of the physical energy of fear? Well, our minds don’t turn it against us as they do with sadness, or target other people and situations as they do with anger. With fear, our minds catapult helter-skelter through time, jettisoning out of the present. We ruminate about the past or attempt to outguess the future. The agitation we experience throughout our bodies is reflected in our actions, speech, and thoughts. We act rashly. We can’t stop talking, or we freeze into confused silence. Our thoughts run at hyperspeed or blank out from overload. We jump to future what ifs and if onlys, which result in doubts, worries, and unrealistic fantasies. Or we go wading into the murky waters of the past by rehashing and analyzing, regretting what was. Second, unexpressed fear leads our minds to overgeneralize and deal in global abstractions such as always, never, and everyone. We assume all experiences will be like this one or that a particular feeling will last forever. We become masters at what I call “lumping,” dragging other topics into a current situation and drawing sweeping conclusions, such as “everything’s always difficult.” We resort to abstractions when we’re arguing. By the end of the conversation, we’ve brought in dozens of top- ics and handled none. Third, when in fear’s clutches, we have a tendency to lose sight of what is true or real. We fail to remember that our current situation will pass. For example, if you have a spat with your spouse, you can get con- sumed with how distant you feel, forgetting that you do love him or her. Instead of working to resolve the conflict, you might spend your time fantasizing about having an affair. The last tactic our minds take when we have unexpressed fear is to try to control. When things seem out of control, we feel driven to do whatever we can to minimize that uncomfortable, scary, free-falling feeling that stems from realizing that some force bigger than us is ulti- mately running the show. We may gain an illusion of control by having a spotless desk, or we may feel as if we have to have complete power over every aspect of a project or every bite we eat.
  37. 37. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 23 The Mental Tendencies Associated with Joy, Love, and Peace Just as there are twelve predictable mental tendencies associated with sadness, anger, and fear, there are twelve mental tendencies linked to joy, love, and peace. In the section of the blueprint on the next page, you will find the four mental tendencies associated with joy, the opposite of sadness.
  38. 38. 24 An oVeRView Emotion Focus CONSTRUCTIVE MENTAL TENDENCIES Expression FEELINGS WORDS ACTIONS WORTHY Happy • I am whole and • Embrace your wonder- complete. fulness Full Blissful • I am okay no matter • Identify with your what. centered self Lovable • I am fine the way I am. • Think well of yourself • I know who I am. • Know you are not your actions, roles, traits, and • There is nothing wrong body with me. • Act with certainty SELF-RELIANT Independent • My job is to take care of • Able to fulfill own myself. needs and desires Secure Complete • What I am seeking is • Find support from within me. within Confident • Only if I take care of • Speak and act aligned myself can I care for with your intuition you. J • I am alone and I am • Nurture yourself • Enjoy independent connected. O activities • I know what I want and YOURSELF need. Y Self-accepting APPRECIATE AND RESPECT SELF • I love myself. I accept • Appreciate yourself myself. Self-forgiving • Celebrate accomplish- Self- respect • Life is for learning. We ments all make mistakes. Delighted • Learn from mistakes • I did the best I could. • Evaluate yourself • If I knew then what I realistically know now, I would have • Be gentle with yourself done things different. SPEAK UP AND TAKE ACTION Strong • My viewpoints and • Make decisive choices needs are as important based on your intuition Powerful as yours. Enthusiastic • Speak up about what's • I can do this. I can true for you Assertive handle this. • Accomplish your goals • I have choices. • Set and enforce reason- smiling • I know there is a way. able boundaries bubbling sparkling • I’m responsible for what • Show self-control laughing I think, say, and feel. exuberantly tears
  39. 39. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 25 Joy’s mental tendencies are about truly honoring ourselves. The first, the most fundamental tendency, is feeling worthy, meaning that we know we are fine, okay, perfect deep down, no matter what. In spite of chang- ing circumstances, actions, or economic conditions, we stay grounded in the knowledge that we’re whole and complete. We possess unshakably high self-esteem. The second mental tendency associated with joy is being self-reliant and independent, following our inner wisdom regardless of others’ opin- ions. Rather than operating from a need for validation, which puts us at the mercy of real and imagined external pressures, we’re guided by what we know in our hearts when we aren’t under the spell of sadness. We live our lives committed to honesty and personal integrity. The third mental tendency associated with joy is that when some- thing sad happens or we do something we regret, we continue to accept, respect, and appreciate ourselves. Even when we slip or fail, we choose to show infinite compassion for ourselves and remain our own best allies. The fourth mental tendency is a willingness to take personal respon- sibility. We courageously speak up and take action in line with what we know within is highest and noblest, rather than what is easy or familiar. Moving on to the next emotion, the blueprint excerpt on the follow- ing page shows the mental tendencies and the feelings, thoughts, and actions associated with love.
  40. 40. 2 An oVeRView Emotion Focus CONSTRUCTIVE MENTAL TENDENCIES Expression FEELINGS WORDS ACTIONS OPEN HEARTED Open • My focus is myself. • Make “I” statements Honest My domain is me. • Align with your Centered • It's not personal. intuition and follow through Genuine • I'm doing this for me. • Live your own life • What does my intu- ition say? This is what's • Speak honestly about true for me. yourself • Act with integrity ACCEPT PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS Pleased • People and things are • Have realistic expecta- Satisfied the way they are, not tions of others the way I want them Tolerant • Attend to similarities to be. Forgiving • She is the way she is. • Embrace what is • Give opinions only L • This is what is. • We are all on our own with permission • Encourage others O paths. V PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS APPRECIATE AND RESPECT WHAT IS E Kind • You are great. • Be gentle and kind to others and things Compassionate • You did your best. Empathic • Attend to the positive • We are the same. We Grateful are all connected. • Honor differences • I like you. I love you. • Offer praise • Thank you. • Show gratitude GIVE SELFLESSLY Humble • Your viewpoints and • Listen lovingly Devoted needs are as important • Help / serve / support as mine. Caring others • I wish you well. Generous • Share without hidden warm • What is the high road? motive open • How can I help? What • Cooperate soft tone can I do? happy eyes • Show friendliness and smiling • Helping you is help- affection speaking ing me. affection- ately
  41. 41. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 2 The mental tendencies associated with love have to do with feeling wholeheartedly connected to other people, things, and situations. When we feel love, we operate from an open heart. We use what is true within as a compass instead of making decisions based on what external pres- sures dictate or what we think others want or need. The second mental tendency is that we accept people and things as they are—even someone’s insensitivities, shady political maneuvers, or blatant disregard for another’s well-being. Acceptance does not mean you have to agree with another person, but it does mean you have to fully understand their point of view. A stance of true acceptance provides the foundation to find and then take the kind of action that will increase love in any situation. The third mental tendency associated with love is that we value everyone and everything that exists as we do ourselves. Because we believe that all people are fundamentally the same, we treat others as equals, focus on similarities, feel our interconnection, and look for the good in our world. The last mental tendency of love is to give selflessly, seek win-win solutions, and share without any ulterior motive besides generating and feeling more love. Remember that earlier scene, where you and your daughter had an unpleasant interaction over her homework? Here’s the same scene when you’re feeling love rather than anger. Although your mother-in-law was a little testy on the phone, you feel empathy, recognizing that she has not been feeling very well (first mental tendency associated with love: open- heartedness). When your daughter whines, you quickly realize and accept that she is feeling anxious (the second mental tendency associated with love: accept people and situations) and choose to view her wrestling with her homework with compassion (the third mental tendency: appreciate and respect other people and situations). You offer her genuine under- standing, and decide that it’s more important to spend a few minutes encouraging and helping her to conquer what seems difficult than to start on your dinner preparations (the fourth mental tendency: selfless giving). Finally, the last blueprint shows you the mental tendencies and the feelings, thoughts, and actions associated with peace, the opposite of fear.
  42. 42. 2 An oVeRView Emotion CONSTRUCTIVE MENTAL TENDENCIES Focus Expression FEELINGS WORDS ACTIONS RESIDE IN THE PRESENT Calm • Everything is all • Deal with your emo- right. Everything tions constructively Relaxed will be okay. Content • Calmly handle what- • Be here now. Here ever happens Alert I am. • Slow down • This feeling is tem- • Experience the porary. This situation moment will pass. • Pause to hear your • It's okay to feel this intuition emotion. • Stop. Breathe. Slow down. STAY SPECIFIC Clear • One thing at a time. • Attend to one thing at a time Focused • I'll handle the future Efficient in the future. • Be observant, objec- tive, and realistic P Productive • What's the specific? • That was then, this • Speak in concrete terms E is now. This is not forever. • Make precise requests and define A • This says nothing about the future. clear consequences • Make and take small C TIME doable steps KEEP SIGHT OF WHAT IS TRUE OR REAL E Stable • This is what's true • Keep your perspec- for me. tive Committed Directed • I care. • Stay motivated to accomplish goals Energetic • The goal is more important that the • Take on challenges moment. • Be steady and • I am responsible for dynamic my experience. • Act with conviction / • My actions have passion consequences. OBSERVE, ALLOW, PARTICIPATE, ENJOY Patient • I let go. • Participate fully in the moment Trusting • I am part of a greater calm whole. • Be a witness to the Flexible silent now Serene • Everything’s unfold- still ing in its own time. • Feel centered and alert safe no matter what • This is out of my happens aware control. • Flow with the pres- smiling • There is enough ent with humor, time. breathing levity, creativity fully • Show faith and trust
  43. 43. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 2 The emotion of peace is related to living fully in the moment and seeing life in terms of specifics. When we feel peace, our minds slow down and reside wholly in the present—peace’s first mental tendency. Slowing down and pausing allow us to meet the stillness, fullness, and the miraculousness of right now. The second mental tendency associated with peace is to refrain from making global assumptions, fretting about possible implications, or talking in abstractions. Instead, we stay specific. By remaining concrete and breaking things down into a series of small doable units, we can keep things manageable and accomplish almost anything. By remain- ing specific, we can navigate any topic of conversation, no matter how emotionally charged. The third mental tendency of peace is that we stay anchored in real- ity and don’t lose perspective when we feel overcome with emotions. We remember that we need to finish a class, even if we find it boring and its assignments unreasonable. We hold fast to our goal of getting in good physical shape, even when we’d prefer to lounge around at home rather than go to the gym. The last mental tendency of peace is spontaneous participation in our precious lives and the natural flow with a sense of both playful- ness and responsibility. With equanimity, humor, and passion, we make something meaningful out of whatever we are dealt. The Ultimate Attitudes The four mental tendencies associated with each emotion can be reduced to a single statement. When we are mired in sadness, we don’t honor ourselves. When we are possessed by anger, we lose our focus on ourselves and don’t accept people and situations. When fear overtakes us, we jump into the past or future and resort to generalities. These three destructive ultimate attitudes keep us from being in touch with our- selves; perpetuate sadness, anger, and fear; and keep us from feeling joy, love, and peace.
  44. 44. 30 An oVeRView The Three Ultimate Attitudes Associated with Sadness, Anger, and Fear Emotion Ultimate Attitudes Sadness Don’t honor yourself Anger Refuse to accept people and situations Fear Live in the past or future and overgeneralize The mental tendencies associated with joy, love, and peace can also be summed up in three constructive ultimate attitudes. These attitudes are universally held values that show up in virtually every culture and spiritual tradition as the goals to which human beings aspire. They might sound like airy-fairy notions, pie-in-the-sky clichés, or New Age jargon, but the constructive ultimate attitudes are well within our reach. We can use them to guide our every choice. The Three Ultimate Attitudes Associated with Joy, Love, and Peace Emotions Ultimate Attitudes Joy Honor yourself Love Accept people and situations Peace Stay present and specific When you feel joy, you feel pretty darn good about yourself. This is how we begin life. Think about an innocent child. She knows that she is wonderful. She doesn’t disagree when you tell her how beautiful she is. She naturally thinks well of herself, speaks up for her own interests, and follows her own inner beat. Likewise, when you’re feeling love for someone, you naturally accept the person as he or she is, relish what you share in common, and generously share with others. And finally, when you are sitting on the beach with a good book and not a care in the world—no deadlines, no conflicts, no pressures—what is your attitude?
  45. 45. emotions ARe the Keys to undeRstAnding 31 You are present. You relish the moment. How do you feel? Calm and relaxed. Right here, right now. Peace! We can make huge strides just by becoming aware of our destructive ultimate attitudes and replacing them with their constructive counter- parts. For instance, if you have a sadness constitution or notice that you are not being kind to yourself, you can remind yourself, “Oops. There I am putting myself down. I’ll feel better if I say something nice to myself right now.” If you have an anger constitution and you’re being argumen- tative and not listening to what someone else is saying, you could say to yourself, “There I am arguing rather than accepting. It’s time to be quiet and understand her position, because I want to feel more connected.” Or if you have a fear constitution and realize you’re worrying about some- thing in the future, you could remind yourself, “I’m worrying. I’ll enjoy myself more if I focus on what I can do right now.”

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