Once an understanding is reached about Emotional Intelligence, the next step in peeling the onion is moving from awareness and into action. If being emotionally intelligent means that we understand our emotions, then how do we go about doing that, literally?
When feeling happy, sad, angry, fearful or sexual sensations, what happens next?
This weekend I began to read a new book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership a new paradigm for sustainable success. I was reminded of the topic of feeling our feelings and I really love the way they broke it down.
What are you feeling right now?
Discerning between thoughts and feelings and locating the feelings in your body to best describe your experience.
"The core emotions show up in certain regions of the body. For example, fear often manifests as a sensation in the belly (like butterflies inhale stomach), whereas anger appears in the back, shoulders, neck and jaw, as well as down the arms to the hands. We typically experience sadness as a sensation in the heart area, the front of the throat and face, and in the eyes. Joy is often experienced as a rising, effervescent sensation in the core of the body or up the spine, and sexual feelings are typically experiences as tingling sensations in the erogenous zones... Learning these emotional zones of the body can be a shortcut to emotional maturity. When you feel a sensation in one of those areas, check to see if the corresponding emotion is present. Let the body lead your awareness." -The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership
The most genius fact about your feelings in connection to your body is that it is all connected. We feel feelings and think thoughts and our body shares with our minds how the feeling is showing up so that we can send our attention towards the sensation. Powerful stuff when you really think about it.
Here is an example from my own life. When I am not traveling I work from my computer a lot and I often notice that my shoulders and upper back can start to ache. When I recognize that sensation and check in with my thoughts, add breath and ask myself what am I feeling, typically something has me feeling angry. My upper back and neck do not just start independently aching, there is a reason I created that sensation. Not always is there a big "thing" to be undone, it could be as simple as too many notifications are dinging, creating irritability while focused. The point being, when I bring my sensitive awareness to what I am experiencing my energy is refreshed.
My invitation this week is when you find yourself feeling achy or feeling a feeling, check in and ask yourself; where is the feeling landing in your body?
There is so much to be discussed on this topic and I just barely skimmed the surface. Please check out The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership or Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks live workshops to learn more about your feelings and the body's intelligence.
Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o