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What does emotional mastery look like?

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  • #102936
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    “Congratulations for starting a very successful thread, lots of participation!

    i like your answer of recognizing emotional mastery in a person over time, in different situations and even then, over time your “interest will be piqued. I will probably talk with them to understand from where their calmness arises.”- I like that: you wouldn’t announce/ declare/ put your whole confidence in a person as one who mastered his emotions, and instead, your interest will be piqued and you will want to learn more.”

    I enjoy continuing dialogue with you Anita. None of my writing comes from a place of presumption or false authority. I am here to learn and grow along with everyone else.

    I trust that if ever something comes across as offensive, participants are able to not take it personally but address it with me in an open and honest way. I am always ready to correct and adjust myself. Emotional mastery is to me more than calmness in stressful situations, that would be equanimity. Mastery is passionately intimate self-awareness of the slightest triggers and reactions in one’s sphere, and taking full responsibility for the reactions as they occur. It is cleaning up old stored emotions and having *some* standard to live by. One salesperson said of his company, ‘we’re no worse than the rest,’ and if that is one’s standard it will reflect in a person’s life.

    Thanks again for participating and your kind comments.

    #102941
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    shaleejynnsade (may I address you as Shay?),

    {{I think what you are talking about reflects the concept of centeredness…When we may be experiencing trouble and trauma in the physical sense but not inwardly.}}

    Centeredness is exactly the word. I also refer to the state of the inner landscape when writing about the whole human.

    {{When circumstances arise that would normally generate fear or even panic, and we respond with acknowledgment, not blocking or denying that fear. Not attempting to control emotion, circumstances, or other people. Then moving toward peace as we process the emotion and circumstance. That inner tranquility acknowledges that being ok on the physical level is much more than a setting of physical things.}}

    Beautifully expressed. This is the cream of having started the discussion. I also refer to shifting from being driven by emotions to being powered by higher feelings. But to communicate my meaning requires more depth of writing than I can put into it in this moment.

    {{Likewise when relationships disturb us, we move from acknowledgment, processing, to the reality that no matter what happens we are still where we should be, learning what there is to learn, growing because of the “disturbance” and being thankful for it.}}

    Again, you are right on with my way of seeing.

    {{Gratitude in crisis is what I would call emotional mastery. As we experience and process the emotions, we may not “Look” or “feel” very mastered. Emotions will move. But the process moves us to a place more peaceful and we grow in wisdom.}}

    You have graced me with an expansion of my own awareness and understanding. Gratitude is now a more aware part of my practice.

    {{Just knowing that as we experience this is emotional mastery and inner peace. It will come out “right” in the end.

    {{I might also add that emotional mastery fulfils the recognition and expression at least inwardly of the said emotion. That expression should not purposely harm self or others. The motive is very important I think. Being based in gratitude really moves us from a destructive cycle.}}

    Yes, it is not just the words or the actions, but the motives and energy behind them that matter.

    Thank you.

    Gary

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Gary R. Smith. Reason: correct typo and add clarity
    #102945
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Shay,

    Regarding centeredness, are you familiar with the Plutchik Wheel of Emotions?

    A search brings up several versions. On my page about triggers and reactions, I chose the one by Suzanne Zeedyk though it has mis-spellings of the emotions, because I like her large white center circle she calls neutral.

    Neutrality is also one of what I call the eternal qualities (e-qualities) which are universal characteristics in nature and I theorize are in-born but un-developed in humans.

    Have you found an effective means of staying in or returning to center, or neutrality?

    Gary

    http://www.wholehuman.emanatepresence.com/trigger-happy.html

    #102981
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Gary:

    It’s becoming a pleasure getting to know you! You have a fighting spirit within you. I like it!

    anita

    #102988
    Annagramma
    Participant

    Dear emanatepresence,

    I have always found the concept of “emotional mastery” fascinating; however, I have never fully grasped what it truly means. Therefore, I thought your thread would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about it. If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you and all the other contributors a few questions, hoping that the ensuing discussion would advance my understanding. Disclaimer: since this is the Internet – I do not intend to come across as patronising or pedantic. My questions are genuine and come from a place of curiosity and desire to learn.

    1. How do you define the term “emotion”? I know what it means to me, in my worldview, but I would like to know what does emotion mean to you in the context of “emotional mastery”.

    2. Do you separate or distinguish between emotions and feelings?

    3. Could you please explain or comment a bit on why is emotional mastery desirable?

    4. Would a mastery of feelings also be desirable? If not – why not?

    5. Do you think that emotional mastery involves or requires a certain level of intellectual prowess?

    I would like to start with these five questions and maybe ask some more as the discussion evolves. I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

    Best wishes,
    Annagramma

    #103020
    Matt
    Participant

    ep,

    Now you’re talkin! Namaste and hugs are tangential to the topic, but fit well enough perhaps.

    Namaste, the Buddha in me bowing to the Buddha in you. Consider looking past the skeptical goop you’ve thrown up, and notice there is no gavel in my hand. Namaste, the bow, is holding the recognition that buddha-nature is arising in ourselves and those we bow to. Somewhere behind whatever masks and personalities people offer and put forward, there is an awake, powerful force waiting to bloom, and inside us is the same force, an aspect of nature singing through us. When we let it, aren’t distracted, aren’t self-grasping, and sing what comes to heart and mind with courage and vulnerability, miracles can happen, grace.

    The *hugs*, or the vulnerability of a brother embracing his brother, is genuine and heartfelt. It’s the willingness to answer the cry for help, dismantle the burp, and see connection restored. This ties directly into emotional mastery, because unconditional love is more than just a feeling, its a promise, uncompromising. You aren’t pixels on a screen, you’re my brother, brother. See the twinkle? You asked a question about a topic, I sung notions that came to heart, and you responded as you did. Breathing in your new response, I sung notions that came to heart. And again.

    Consider also the reference to taste bud mastery. If we eat an orange, are familiar with oranges, we know exactly the kind of tree it came from. Never an apple tree. Never a grape vine. Nature is harmonious in that way. When we give up our self-obsession, and give up our desire to be seen favorably by anyone, it really becomes quite simple. Ahhhh, an orange! So, what’s up with the orange tree?

    With warmth,
    Matt
    http://www.compassreadings.net

    #103033
    Shay
    Participant

    You may definitely call me Shay, and thank you for your respectful reply.

    I had not been exposed to this particular model of Plutchnik wheel of emotions by Suzanne Zeedyk, but I do appreciate your input and intend to give it time and study.

    I have worked on centeredness consciously because I saw my father’s excellent example as a child and admired this quality.
    Aside from being thankful for the “crisis” at hand, which I prefer to think of as a precious gift in ugly wrappings, I find that my personal relationship with Jesus Christ brings me back to centeredness as I seek Him immediately in a moment of “turmoil” and remember that He, as my Savior, calms the sea, stills the tempest and has the whole world in his hands. I remeber a passage of scripture which uplifts my mind and heart, Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
    I visualize giving him any situation or problem that frightens, any grief or burden, any pressure…remembering He will unconditionally love and accept me as I am because He is my perfection. I know He also will provide my needs, speak love and peace to my soul, and give me the best gifts…even those in ugly wrappings out of His good-will. All this still is wrapped in gratitude and a peace that prevails myself, others, and circumstances.

    I find meditation and prayer is essential to centeredness, and the best thing for me is being alone in nature, sitting or lying on the ground, being aware of myself first on a physical plane, then an intellectual plane, then on an emotional plane. I discuss with myself and the Lord my observances. I take my puzzles to Him and wait quietly for answers or sometimes simply name the blessings which continually abound around me.
    In the midst of extreme stress I find that I usually focus on the gratitude and then revisit later all the emotions on the canvas. Staying with each until it is processed, and being patient as I move from one to another.
    I usually can identify what causes my fear and grief fairly quickly so as to avoid the secondary emotion of anger, but there is a backlash in that when anger is not expressed openly it can be hard to express and own the root emotions. I have to work hard at giving myself the proper amount of time and the permission to really explore and express each emotion deeply. To cry, to pray, to grieve actively, and to be fearless and unashamed of the human vulnerabilities called emotions.
    I don’t know if this is what you were looking for, but it is a bit of my life.

    Self expression is my another go to, and I find that any art, writing, music or active play absolutely necessary. I very much get bogged down in depression or irritable when I don’t work into my life these things.

    Lastly I look for ways to bring life and sunshine for others. Planting flowers where others can see them, or simply smiling at strangers. Giving freely the love and grace we receive keeps those channels open and centers me more and more. This is my last resource, being dependent at times upon the first. However, when the others do not bring me relief from grief, which can be a real beast to process and be thankful for, this particular practice is a life saver. Making sure however that “giving” is truly giving is crucial. This cannot be a to do list. It cannot be fueled by fear, obligation, or guilt. It must be fueled by gratitude. And there we are again. Gratitude attitude.
    Thank you for prompting me to put this into words. I do not believe I have truly explored this subject thoroughly.
    Many thanks and blessings on you.

    #103038
    Spehar
    Participant

    Another sign of emotional mastery in my opinion is to be able take in negative emotions from others, filter them within yourself, and put out only clean, positive, forward moving emotions and responses.

    I dealt with severe anger issues due to ptsd associated with adolescent trauma for many years. As I started to normalize in my late 20s and early 30s the first thing I did was almost completely give up anger, I figured I spent 15+ years of my life angry all the time, why not spend the rest of my life free of it.

    I like to try to be what I call a negative energy buffer, I take in the bad, absorb it, clean it, and only let out good. If others can’t let it go and have to spill it out fine, but I will not hang onto it for them, the anger leaves once it passes through me.

    #103050
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Brooke,

    {{Another sign of emotional mastery in my opinion is to be able take in negative emotions from others, filter them within yourself, and put out only clean, positive, forward moving emotions and responses.}}

    I excel at taking in negative emotions from others but not so at putting out clean, positive responses. How do you do it? I am still looking for the button to push.

    {{I dealt with severe anger issues due to ptsd associated with adolescent trauma for many years. As I started to normalize in my late 20s and early 30s the first thing I did was almost completely give up anger, I figured I spent 15+ years of my life angry all the time, why not spend the rest of my life free of it.}}

    Anger has been my lifelong issue as well. I figured to be free of it too. Tell me how!

    {{I like to try to be what I call a negative energy buffer, I take in the bad, absorb it, clean it, and only let out good. If others can’t let it go and have to spill it out fine, but I will not hang onto it for them, the anger leaves once it passes through me.}}

    Passing through reminds me of the Litany Against Fear from the book and movie, Dune. Do you know of the Litany?

    Litany Against Fear

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

    – Frank Herbert, Dune

    “Paul Atreides, the son of Duke Leto Atreides I, used the Litany when the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam compelled him to put his right hand in a device that causes pain as a test of his intellect. The litany helped him to withstand the excruciating agony. NB. This was not actually a test of his “intellect”, it was a test of his humanity in a qualitative sense. A person whose nature is still primarily bestial recoils from pain and seeks to flee it to preserve itself, a person of higher nature goes through it and out the other side in order to remove the threat permanently.”

    – dune.wikia.com

    #103055
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Dear Annagramma.

    Your questions are exquisite. I recently wrote a Whole Human blog post to address the same, and copy it below. I am most interested to read what emotional mastery ‘means to you, in your worldview.’ My own worldview is constantly evolving. When I just now read my writings on the Whole Human site that are a few weeks old, to find a quote for response, I did not relate to them. A blog keeps up better with the evolution! And catching up the practice to the theory is the key to making it alive and real.

    1. How do you define the term “emotion”? I know what it means to me, in my worldview, but I would like to know what does emotion mean to you in the context of “emotional mastery”.

    2. Do you separate or distinguish between emotions and feelings?

    3. Could you please explain or comment a bit on why is emotional mastery desirable?

    4. Would a mastery of feelings also be desirable? If not – why not?

    WHAT ARE EMOTIONS, FEELINGS AND E-QUALITIES?

    A reader asked, “What do you mean by emotions, feelings and the greater flame?”

    She understood that “Lower Feeling” is fear and “Higher Feeling” is love and “Eternal Flame” is Everything which is unified by Consciousness.

    To clarify, since the words ’emotions’ and ‘feelings’ are commonly used inter-changeably, I distinguish them by ‘lower’ and ‘higher.’ They are not lower and higher in value, quality or morality, but in frequency. I don’t refer to emotions as negative and positive, as that does not feel accurate. Emotions are energies in motion which serve the purpose of bridging to the higher feelings. Left unattended, emotions can stagnate and solidify in the body/mind. When having a dialogue with people who agree, I simply write emotions, feelings and eternal qualities.

    As I use the terms, some but not all emotions are fear-based. All emotions have local origins within an individual, the mass consciousness or astral planes surrounding the earth. All are unstable and stormy energies in motion. All are experienced as automatic reactions triggered by stimuli, and are fast changeable. A person may experience awe in one moment and disgust in the next, expectation is followed by disappointment, exultation by despondency. Emotions seeks gratification from the outside and are greatly influenced by swings of circumstances.

    None of the higher feelings are triggered reactions. They may be experienced as a response, such as compassion for an under-nurtured child or as an action in the flow, such as giving nurture to the child. Or they may fill the space in a person that was blocked, when judgment is dropped. A person tightened by resistance who lets it go may fill with the warmth of presence. Feelings emerge from the well-spring within. They do not seek external gratification.

    Rules have exceptions. For example, a person happy to be handed a piece of birthday cake on a plate, and sad when it slips off and splats on the floor, is under the influence of emotion. However, a person who is happy for no reason through adverse circumstances of the day, is in a state of higher feeling. Humor can be from emotion or higher feeling, and so on.

    All higher feelings as I mean them are love-based and stable. Some have human origins. The eternal qualities are certain feelings which are also universal, non-local characteristics of Nature. I theorize the e-qualities emanate from the creative source and are ‘picked up’ by humans when they are in the flow.

    These delineations are useful for practice, but ultimately un-needed. There is one consciousness — one being — and life is a mystery unfolding. All that is needed is to listen deeply and act in the flow.

    :

    5. Do you think that emotional mastery involves or requires a certain level of intellectual prowess?

    Your last question is intriguing. My initial feeling is that emotional mastery does not require intellectual prowess. Intellectual prowess can be a hindrance to emotional mastery and makes a greater challenge for the individual. However, I sense also that used in a certain way, an intellectual mind can be a powerful tool towards emotional and self mastery. I don’t yet know the way.

    #103064
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Dear Shay,

    {{I have worked on centeredness consciously because I saw my father’s excellent example as a child and admired this quality.}}

    Having role models, and being role models just by being true to ourselves, is the way of authenticity.

    {{ I find that my personal relationship with Jesus Christ brings me back to centeredness as I seek Him immediately in a moment of “turmoil” and remember that He, as my Savior, calms the sea, stills the tempest and has the whole world in his hands.}}

    Shay, I was a Christian for 14 years. Your words bring back welcomed feelings of devotion and dedication from that era in my life. I relate well to the feeling of the Savior calming the sea.

    [[“I remember a passage of scripture which uplifts my mind and heart, Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.'”]]

    As a Christian, I carried my Bible with me everywhere and read through it twice, from Revelations to Genesis. I quoted 8:28 often. Now, though I no longer call myself Christian, my inner light responds to passages of scripture.

    {{I visualize giving him any situation or problem that frightens, any grief or burden, any pressure…remembering He will unconditionally love and accept me as I am because He is my perfection. I know He also will provide my needs, speak love and peace to my soul, and give me the best gifts…even those in ugly wrappings out of His good-will. All this still is wrapped in gratitude and a peace that prevails myself, others, and circumstances.}}

    Beautiful.

    {{I find meditation and prayer is essential to centeredness, and the best thing for me is being alone in nature, sitting or lying on the ground, being aware of myself first on a physical plane, then an intellectual plane, then on an emotional plane. I discuss with myself and the Lord my observances. I take my puzzles to Him and wait quietly for answers or sometimes simply name the blessings which continually abound around me.}}

    Nature emanates the presence of the Lord. I just use other words to express it now.

    {{In the midst of extreme stress I find that I usually focus on the gratitude and then revisit later all the emotions on the canvas. Staying with each until it is processed, and being patient as I move from one to another.}}

    An excellent practice, Shay.

    {{I usually can identify what causes my fear and grief fairly quickly so as to avoid the secondary emotion of anger, but there is a backlash in that when anger is not expressed openly it can be hard to express and own the root emotions. I have to work hard at giving myself the proper amount of time and the permission to really explore and express each emotion deeply. To cry, to pray, to grieve actively, and to be fearless and unashamed of the human vulnerabilities called emotions.}}

    Yes, fearless and unashamed, exploring and expressing. I copied from my blog post into a response to another reader, in which I give my view of emotions, feelings and the greater flame. My views are malleable and I respect yours, and what works for you.

    {{I don’t know if this is what you were looking for, but it is a bit of my life.}}

    Just before reading your response, I posted a new discussion in Emotional Mastery, “Why Fear Religion?” I am still finding a middle ground.

    {{Self expression is my another go to, and I find that any art, writing, music or active play absolutely necessary. I very much get bogged down in depression or irritable when I don’t work into my life these things.}}

    Sometimes the day is so filled with the ‘have to dos’ that what is essential gets list. I play on steel tongue drums when I can, but there is a lot more room for using self expression and creativity in my life.

    {{Lastly I look for ways to bring life and sunshine for others. Planting flowers where others can see them, or simply smiling at strangers. Giving freely the love and grace we receive keeps those channels open and centers me more and more. This is my last resource, being dependent at times upon the first. However, when the others do not bring me relief from grief, which can be a real beast to process and be thankful for, this particular practice is a life saver. Making sure however that “giving” is truly giving is crucial. This cannot be a to do list. It cannot be fueled by fear, obligation, or guilt. It must be fueled by gratitude. And there we are again. Gratitude attitude.}}

    Shay, I will re-read this. It is a gem.

    {{Thank you for prompting me to put this into words. I do not believe I have truly explored this subject thoroughly.}}

    It is all in service. Blessings to you.

    Gary

    #103631
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Annagramma,

    May I quote you with your user name in a new post I am writing, “What Hinders and What Supports Emotional Maturity?”

    Gary

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