Mastering Emotional Awareness
Emotional awareness can be a tricky one. Getting all the richness and beauty that comes from a full vibrant emotional life, and staying on a calm even keel so life unfolds smoothly? It’s a life journey of mastery, for sure. And one that reaps so many rewards, I can’t emphasise enough how beautiful it is to have strong, balanced emotions running deeply through life.
Here are the two stages in mastering emotional awareness in your life, and how to approach each.
Why is emotional awareness important?
There are lots of benefits to having strong, clear emotional energy and awareness, besides its inherent pleasure and vibrancy – big ones include:
- Emotional energy is an important part of your body’s energy systems, which work to maintain your health and vitality. Keeping your emotions running clear and unimpeded is important to staying healthy and vibrant.
- Your emotions feed you crucial information about the world and how you need to relate to it to keep yourself healthy, and how to stay on track with your life’s purpose.
- In mind-body medicine, repairing the body from any illness involves an emotional component, so building your emotional awareness gives you strong skills to heal if you find yourself in illness.
- Strong emotional skills are incredibly helpful in moving yourself through significant life changes – there’s a lot of upheaval at these times, and knowing your emotional landscape well offsets what can be overwhelming.
- Strong emotional awareness gives you strong relationship skills – by building emotional awareness you’re also creating stronger and more healthy relationships around you.
So how to move through this important journey?
Stage 1: Intimacy
To master your emotions, you’ve first gotta befriend them. Make them your intimate companions. Get to know them, let them flow – welcome them into your life.
What are they telling you?
Let the feelings run, and start tuning in to their messages – why are you feeling this now, what is it prompting in you? There’ll often be a message there telling you how you can bring your life to greater health, happiness and alignment. You’re shifting away from reflexative “make the bad feeling stop” action, towards a conscious emotional experience that brings you in control of your life.
The Big Four
There are many subtle nuances of emotion to explore – these are usually shades of four basic emotions. Much has been written on what our emotions are telling us – tune in, watch and listen for your own shades. At their core, you may find the following:
- Anger – something’s not right in your world and it needs to change – you’ve got a journey to explore how to change it, and the anger provides fuel.
- Grief – something is ending, and you’re mourning its loss as you let go. Your sadness clears your connection to it – grieving paves the way to move on.
- Fear – you’ve learned something will hurt you, and you’re trying to avoid pain – you’ve probably got a journey to ask for support and move through it, so it’s no longer a threat.
- Joy – you’ve found something important to your soul. Recognise it and let it sink in, so you can learn to generate it for yourself, because it vitalises you so beautifully.
These are incredibly “in-a-nutshell” summaries, and offer a soul level perspective. The embodied variations in daily life are infinite! Play with them, watch them, get to know your unique configuration of them.
Seek out support
As with any new journey, ask for support as you build your emotional awareness. Seek out others who know this terrain, who will understand and affirm what you’re exploring. They can be powerful things, these emotions, and can run strong – having someone grounded to talk with about how you’re feeling helps you experience them without losing perspective. Plus, it’s such a rich and wonderful experience, it’s worth sharing!
Know also that no matter how you’re feeling, it will pass – your life will change and you’ll move on. You’re learning to live fully in the richness and vibrancy of your humanity, without either the ups or the downs rocking your life.
Practices for emotional awareness
How did you feel today? This is about depth of experience in your current life, to build emotional intimacy and open the way.
- Nourishing mindfulness practice: Curl up on the couch or in bed with a cuppa and ask yourself “How did I feel when that thing happened today?”, whatever your day contained. Your focus is identifying and watching your emotions, not resolving or acting on them. Just feel, watch, accept and let go. Nourish yourself and celebrate how rich all the things you’ve felt are.
- Reflective writing: Buy a luscious journal and honour your emotions by naming them. Get creative – bounce off a list of emotional states (this one by author Byron Katie), and play with the poetry of emotion. You’re gifting yourself all the nuance and richness of a full, vibrant emotional life. Write about metaphors and tactile qualities of your emotions, like I felt a bit scared & hesitant, like a dog working up courage to jump into the water, it felt all shaky & feathery in my belly.
- Share: talk with your support peeps, find soul-tribe who’ll hear your growing emotional capacity and nourish it.
Play with it, and follow your growing intuition into other practices.
Stage 2: Choice
Start choosing your response, and the power that your emotions have in your life. Learn to detach gradually, so you still feel everything, but it’s more subtle, you don’t get dragged from pillar-to-post.
This is actually the easy bit, and you’ll transition into it naturally – you’re using the mindfulness skills you’ve developed to gain a precise, refined control over your life. Your emotional states become a rich and beautiful tapestry that adds immese colour and vibrancy to your life, but without making you dance around like a puppet on a string.
Your emotions become beautiful information, that both enhances your life, and gives you a wealth of data about yourself and your life. To be in mastery of your emotions is to be fully and richly living, with precise nuanced control over how to respond to your environment.
Where does your emotional awareness mastery take you?
Your emotions will prompt you to ongoing development of your life skills, to respond to your world increasingly gracefully and with poise and peace. The drama and struggle will gradually disappear from your life, and there will simply remain a beautiful emotive experience and gentle ongoing guidance towards your next rich learning experience in life. Your wisdom unfolds!
Enjoy your ever-unfolding emotional awareness, and as you gain clarity and emotional fluency, share your mastery with others to spread the joy!
Are you on a journey with mastering your boundaries? Get in touch to discuss what support will work best for you, with options available in person at the Bulimba wellness centre or via phone/Skype/distance.
Complimentary 15-minute Initial Consultation: available to discuss your journey and what holistic support will be most helpful for you.
About Elle Reynolds
Elle Reynolds is an Energy Therapist, Transpersonal Life Coach and Holistic Counsellor, specialising in life change and the deeper embodied experience of our energy systems. Her work merges cognitive learning and awareness with the felt sense of embodied inner knowing.
Elle works in private practice with personal appointments and workshops to support others in this journey. She lives in Brisbane, practicing in Bulimba and with phone-based appointments around Australia.
Contact Elle – she loves to connect.