Tag Archives: Anger

From Intent.com: Cultivating Peace

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I found myself sitting at a business lunch highly frustrated without knowing how I got that way. Had someone said something to make me mad? Was I mad at someone? Was I mad about the service? Or maybe something that had happened en route to lunch?
It sounds like a lot of questions about a simple feeling but recently I’ve started taking a moment to inventory a situation when I’m frustrated. Continue reading

From Intent.com: I Intend to Speak Life

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We wait all year for those Coca Cola bears.
We want all our friends and family to come over and sit on the couch to drink hot chocolate and watch Elf.
We don’t even have to put on real clothes.
We can just wear footie pajamas all day long.
Everyone is happy and sings songs like the Whos at the end of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

That is what Christmas looks like in my head.
Instead I’m thinking about how much work I need to finish before I catch a plane home on Wednesday.
I’m thinking about how many Christmas presents I still haven’t purchased and how much money is left in my bank account.
Who is dropping me off at the airport? Who is picking me up at the airport?
I GOT YOU A $100 TARGET GIFT CARD AND YOU GOT ME A BACK SCRATCHER?!

The most wonderful time of the year quickly becomes the most stressful time of the year. The time we meant to spend making memories that will last the whole year through are being replaced by little arguments about stupid things, staying up late trying to get all the loose ends at work tied up, trying to get this Pinterest project to look how it did in the picture!

This week, my intent is to speak life.

When I’m frustrated, when I am afraid of failing, I want to choose to lift up the people around me versus tear them down. I don’t want to let words I don’t mean leave a lasting impression on the people I love.

They may not know what do with the reindeer wreath DIY gift I gave them that crashed and burned, but I hope they think of that last. First, I hope they have memories of me telling them that they are loved and important. I hope they have copious stories to tell of me reminding them that they are beautiful and rare, talented and a gift in my life. I hope they know that because I have wasted not a single moment making them feel special. Because THAT is what the holidays are about. Sacrifice and a willingness to give for the sake of love. Taking my mind off myself for a single freaking second to focus on the people I so easily take for granted: friends, acquaintances or strangers.

So how do you participate?
Speak life.
When you get the opportunity to gripe or yell or cry, choose to speak life.
Uplift. Encourage. Love.

Make It Through Thanksgiving and Black Friday With These Meditations

The holiday season is a great time to spend with family and relax – but all of those people can get you kind of tense. Anxiety can also rise if you are planning to battle the behemoth crowds fighting for the best deals come Friday morning (Or is it Thursday night now? Thanksgiving is being attacked by consumerism). In times like these it is best to keep calm (and carry on!). We at Intent want you to enjoy this holiday and to help you not sweat the small stuff. So start your day off right with a guided meditation to help you start off centered and prepared for whatever comes your way.

This one is lead by Mallika Chopra:

Or maybe Deepak is more your style:

Note: There’s still time to join the Deepak & Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation for November. It’s completely free to sign up and could definitely come in handy over the long weekend! And if you want more “The Meditator” videos you can check them out on YouTube here.

If you find yourself getting worked up in the moment and don’t have five minutes to calm yourself with a mediation video or today’s challenge guided meditation, try this tip from Gabby Bernstein. Press your thumbs on both hands to the pads of each of your other fingers as you repeat, “Peace begins with me.” Remember to breathe. Say it as many times as you need until you find yourself centered again.

As a last resort just remember that soon there are going to be so many left overs, and pie. Pie makes everything better. Happy holidays!

7 Steps to Dealing with Extreme Emotions

Do you ever feel like your emotions are so intense, you’d just rather not experience them?

These may be toxic emotions, like anger, jealousy, or guilt. But they may be neutral or even positive, but the intensity of the feeling is almost too much to bear.

While fielding questions in the heart of NYC’s Union Square for The Chopra Well series, SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS, Deepak was approached by Kersten with the predicament: “How do I deal with extreme emotions?” In the past, Kersten said, she has tried to avoid her emotions. Now when she experiences them, they “come in great force.”

This seems to be a conundrum in our culture. Americans especially love getting emotional over their favorite football teams and the latest controversies of political campaigns. But in our personal lives, who wants to be the one laughing the loudest at the movie theater or saying “I love you” first to a sweetheart? Balance is a virtue; moderation is key.

In response to Kersten’s dilemma, Deepak shares a 7-step process to release emotional toxins. It may come as surprise to many, though, that the process focuses on experiencing emotions fully and then releasing those that get in the way. The steps originally featured in Deepak’s book, The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, and follow as such:

1.     Take responsibility for your present emotion.
2.     Feel it in your body.
3.     Label your feeling.
4.     Express what you feel.
5.     Share what you feel with someone you trust.
6.     Release the toxic feeling through a ritual.
7.     Celebrate the release and move on.

As you work through the steps, imagine that you are metabolizing the emotion. Your body, mind, and soul need to process feelings, just as you process food or toxins, so that they don’t make you ill. Don’t shy away from the experience, as raw as it might get.

First, take responsibility for what your body and mind are experiencing. Feelings occur within you, though they may be triggered by external stimuli. There are always alternate ways of responding. Deepak emphasizes that we have the power to feel and respond exactly as we wish.

Feel the emotion in your body. Close your eyes and meditate on the feeling. You may experience sensations in certain parts of your body – tension, tingling, aching. Notice the feeling without any attachment to it.

Label the feeling; identify it. The Boogie Man isn’t so scary if you learn his name is Albert. Give the feeling a name. Irritation? Fear? Anticipation? Once you label it, you already have the upper hand.

Express what you feel by saying it out loud and writing it down on a piece of paper. It can help to frame from first person, second person, and third person. This may help you understand it from a slightly new perspective.

Share the feeling with someone you trust – a loved one or friend. This will help you verbalize the progress you are making in dealing with the emotion.

Release the toxic feeling by performing a ritual. Deepak tells Kersten that this may entail burning the piece of paper on which you wrote your feelings, throwing it to the wind, singing, dancing, or doing yoga. This symbolically releases you from the experience.

Celebrate the process and get on with your life. Allow yourself to be free of the emotion and recognize the hard work you did to overcome it. Then go have some fun! You deserved it.

Do you have a problem you’d like Deepak’s help with? Submit your questions in the video’s comments section!
Subscribe to The Chopra Well for weekly SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS and more.

Further resources:

For an even more in-depth outline of the seven steps, check out this article by Deepak Chopra.

What Are The Seven Principles of Manifesting Your Desires? Ask Deepak!

How Does Forgiveness Heal? Ask Deepak?

Memories and Emotions: All in the Mind or the Brain?

Participate in the 5-day Emotional Freedom experience at the Chopra Center.

Seven Ways to Release Anger Out of Your Body

Originally published July 2012

How to Choose Real and Lasting Happiness

shutterstock_93400051Have you ever wondered why lasting happiness seems to elude so many of us? At times it can seem like we’re trying to find a brass ring in a field of hay. We try so very hard at being the best we can and still it seems to be so elusive. What’s missing here? I think that it’s safe to say that it won’t be found in materialism, at least not the enduring type of happiness we’re in search of. And according to divorce rates it isn’t to be found in someone else.

Where does that leave us folks? Yup, you got it. Happiness begins with us. Each and every one of us is the source for our emotions. Happiness is truly a responsibility and only we can ultimately be held accountable for our own.

So how can we begin to create lasting happiness? Well let’s start by talking about what takes it away. Are you ready for this? Here’s the culprit: attachment. And what is attachment? It’s a belief or idea that we hold in our minds about how things should be, and we base these ideas on past experiences. The great news though is that we can change any belief by making a conscious decision. It’s the most empowering thing you can do for yourself! Let’s look at an example.

How many times have we gone to a department store or mall only to encounter a surly employee? Now most of us go into these places expecting a certain level of service. But guess what? Not every person you encounter is going to be able to uphold your standard of expectation. So when our expectations aren’t met, we react. Reaction is the thief that attempts to steal away our happiness! You can decide to release expectation in any circumstance. Now that’s empowerment! Because the moment you do that, you now have relinquished the authority from anyone else to take it (happiness) away from you.

The other thing about happiness is this: it’s a choice. We don’t have to wait until some future event to happen or to get the dream car to be happy. It can be chosen moment by moment. It begins with a thought. You can choose happiness. When you begin to choose it for yourself, you’ll discover that life will start sending you more and more reasons to be happy. It has a domino effect. Like attracts like. Just some food for thought. Be happy.

Here is a video from Deepak Chopra on the key to lasting happiness:

 

Originally published May 2011

An Open Love Letter to All the Judgmental, Racist, Sexist, Homophobes Out There

UntitledBy Chris Grosso

Hate, negativity, close-mindedness—none of this is new. Being heavily tattooed with big holes in my earlobes, a skateboarder and a fan of punk/hardcore music since my teenage years has left me all too familiar with judgmental people, especially growing up in a small town before these things started to become somewhat socially acceptable.

Disapproving looks, comments under the breath, or, in some cases, blatantly to my face, have been commonplace throughout my life, and it’s something that has led me time and again to seriously contemplate why people are the way they are. Particularly, why do people feel the need, or, that they have the right to cast judgments and write someone off based solely on outer appearances or personal lifestyle choices?

There’s really no simple answer. Each person is a unique individual with a unique set of circumstances that has led them to become the person they are today. One thing I’ve learned about myself, however, and my own judgments (because yes, I too am human and have no shortage of them), is that it’s rooted in fear.

For me, I’ve learned that being a counterculturist from a very early age, or, raging against the machine (though truth be told, I often wasn’t quite sure exactly what machine I was raging against) has often left me judgmental towards those in the mainstream media—from spiritual teachers to musicians, actors and so forth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly grateful for my punk/hardcore roots as they dismantled a lot of the naivety in my otherwise culturally conditioned mind, but I am definitely seeing some of the after effects playing out years later in my adult life (though adult or not, I still listen to plenty of punk/hardcore).

The fear of seeing myself as a “conformist” for nothing more than liking a popular band, or reading one of Oprah’s official book selections, or maybe, just maybe even admitting that someone like Justin Timberlake actually has some talent stems from fear. I mean really, why else do I feel the need to completely write these people off simply because they don’t look, talk or act like me? Isn’t that on a comparable level to what the close-minded individuals I’m writing about in this article are doing? Sure, they may be coming from a more hateful place, but at the end of the day, a close-minded judgment is a close-minded judgment.

I’m not here to make excuses for anyone, because hateful rhetoric of any kind turns my stomach. Every time I see the Westboro Church protestors and their “God Hates Fag” signs I feel my entire body begin to tense up, however, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t also make me feel a deep sadness and compassion for them.

I’ve been to some very dark places in my life. I lived for many years as a hardcore addict, and there were countless nights I would lay in a dark room wishing for death to take me. I was filled with fear, self-hatred and disdain for God, or whatever “it” was out there that created this whole insane goddamn world (how I felt then, not now). I lost so many years of my life to those experiences that now, years later having come out of the other side of them, I can’t help but contemplate what it’s like for others as they go to bed each night, or in this particular case, hate-filled people.

I put myself in their shoes and imagine what it must be like to lay their head down each night, filled with so much anger, hatred and fear. I’m sure the majority of it for these people is on a subconscious level, but still, it’s there. So whether they realize it or not, it’s making their lives what I could only imagine to be a complete living hell.

When I sincerely put myself in their shoes, it becomes virtually impossible for me to muster any judgments to cast back on them, no matter how much I disagree because honestly, all I’m left with is the desire to hug every single one of them. To really hold them in my arms and let them know that it’s going to be okay. To let them know they are loved and that whatever pain they are holding inside can be healed. To look them in the eyes with the compassionate understanding and again, tell them it’s going to be okay— that we’ve all suffered, and in varying degrees we all still hurt and suffer. I want them to know it’s all part of the human experience, and that since they are a fellow brother or sister in this journey, that I honor and love what they are beneath the thoughts and beliefs that are temporarily lodged in their minds.

Maybe some of you believe I’m naïve for thinking like this, and who knows, maybe I am, but this is what’s in my heart. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my travels, it’s that when I lay myself aside and allow my heart to do the driving, it never, ever, steers me in the wrong direction. I just don’t want to add to any more hatred to this world, and in this very moment, that’s the ultimate truth of what’s in my heart.

* * *

-1Chris Grosso is an independent culturist, freelance writer, spiritual aspirant, recovering addict, and musician. He serves as spiritual director of the interfaith center The Sanctuary at Shepardfields and is a correspondent for the Where Is My Guru radio show. He created the popular hub for all things alternative, independent, and spiritual with TheIndieSpiritualist.com and continues the exploration with his debut book titled Indie Spiritualist (Beyond Words/Atria Books, February 2014). A self-taught musician, Chris has been writing, recording, and touring since the mid-1990s. 
 
Connect with Chris online at The Indie Spiritualist, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

5 Steps to Break Negative Thought Patterns

Road RageBy Dr. Kulkarni

Here is a simple, five step process to recognizing and breaking negative thought patterns:

1. Catch yourself in the act.

Most people don’t even recognize when they are having a negative thought, because it is so ingrained they don’t even perceive it as “negative”. They see it as Truth. As reality. Most people also erroneously assume that other people would have the same thought/reaction if faced with a similar stimuli or circumstance. For example, take the thought, “This traffic is so terrible. I am wasting so much time. I can’t believe I have to deal with this.”

While it may seem logical and true, this thought creates a stress response in the body. The basis of this thought is, “I have been put into an unpleasant circumstance that I cannot control. I will attempt to fight back by reacting negatively and with resistance.” Feel the emotional space of helplessness and anger that this thought places you in. If you hold this negative emotion strongly enough, and for long enough, you will find yourself in many, many other circumstances where you feel helpless and out of control, because Law of Attraction naturally continues to draw to you what you are most dominantly feeling. That’s why it is so important to catch yourself in a chronic, negative underlying thought pattern.

2. Recognize that you are thinking the thought; the thought is not thinking you.

This gives you some immediate relief as you realize that you are thinker of this thought – it did not just think you (although sometimes it seems as if our thoughts are thinking us). This also almost instantly diffuses the negative energy associated with thought because as you shine a spotlight on it, it loses its power. As you begin to observe your thoughts, you gain a more objective, detached perspective that helps you assess the situation more rationally.

In the example above, you may say to yourself, “I may not be able to control the traffic, but I can control how I feel. I recognize that this thought is not serving me, and I choose to not allow it to overwhelm me.”

3. Consciously release the negative energy or emotion associated with the thought.

As you release the negative emotion and tension associated with the negative thought, it has less of a negative influence on your vibrational frequency. This is an extremely important step. Remember, this is not some intellectual exercise of seeing the glass half full. You are trying to consciously change your thoughts and emotions to change your vibrational frequency and energy pattern. Releasing negative emotion at its core releases resistance so that you begin to attract more positive energy automatically.

What are the underlying emotions of being irritated in traffic, for example? Lack of control, helplessness, anger, frustration – to name a few. Are there other aspects of your life in which you feel this way? Chances are, one of these emotions might be a chronic negative emotional pattern for you. This is when you begin to see that it has nothing to do with the traffic. It never did. The traffic is just a consequence, a mirror, to what you are already feeling and vibrating. This is a powerful realization.

4. Replace the negative thought, with a more positive (but believable) one.

For this concrete example, you might say to yourself, “Well the traffic is bad, and I would rather not be here, but maybe I can use this time to take in some deep breaths and relax. Maybe I can listen to a nice song or program on the radio.” Anything can be a meditative experience, if you will let it be. Releasing resistance and negative energy is all about accepting the moment as it is, rather than fighting it. The key here is to begin to soothe yourself by telling yourself things that you can actually sort of believe – otherwise the exercise will seem disingenuous and forced.

5. Feel the positive energy or emotion associated with the new thought and then place conscious focus and attention on it for as long as possible.

This is the last and most important step. Focusing on the positive emotion and feelings of the new thought is what allows a new energy pattern to replace the old one. Your new thought might have made you feel more relaxed, less stressed, less anxious. You are now in a completely different emotional and vibrational place than you were a few minutes ago.

* * *

smallprofilepicDr. Kulkarni is a New York City based physician, spiritual author, and personal coach.  Find her @Dr_Kulkarni or visit www.leveragingthought.com to learn more.

7 Tools to Resolve Any and Every Conflict That Arises

Cat VS. DogMany of us dread conflict. We wish we could just get along.

Life, however, has other ideas for us. Everyone is here to be there true selves, have their own opinions, likes, dislikes etc. How boring things would be if we all agreed on everything all the time. Where would our creativity be needed?

The exciting thing about conflict is that it forces us to expand into a greater creative expression of ourselves. Every time I have found the courage to call someone to task and have a discussion about our conflicting opinions, good things have happened. It doesn’t mean I always get my way, but I do put myself in a position to express my opinion, speak my truth, and listen to their side. Then I have a CHOICE: find an agreement, or walk away from the relationship/situation. And, importantly, I feel good about myself, that I have made every effort to find a resolution.

If we don’t speak up, we are sitting on an energy of resentment, fear, or frustration which can lead, later on, to unconscious expressions of that same energy which will probably not have good outcomes. Conflict is not inevitable. Conflicts are created by people and people can choose to end them. This cannot happen if the parties are set on victory instead of compromise or while they prioritize self-centered interest over the highest good of everyone concerned.

When the willingness to be available for discussion exists, there is no conflict that cannot be resolved.

If conflict is rooted in an ‘us’ and ‘them’, or ‘me’ and ‘you’, approach, then peace-building is precisely the opposite. We have to get past the adversarial mind-set and involve everyone concerned in addressing the common challenges, listening to other points of view, and seeing where we can meet, with an emphasis on what we DO agree on, and not on what we don’t agree on. When the focus is on what we all want, and not on what we don’t want, there is a higher possibility of success.

Our personal histories are all, in one way or another, shaped by the legacies of conflict. But as profound and deep-rooted as our differences may be, it is in our power to redefine those legacies, and, in so doing, redefine ourselves. Wherever we live in the world, we must recognize that ‘peace’ is not something you can win; it is something that has to be built and shared.

Here are 7 suggestions for conflict resolution:

1. Start with the points you all agree on. This sets a positive foundation of agreement to build upon.

2. Can you all agree that the outcome you want is for the highest good of everyone concerned?

3. Are you willing, if necessary, to set aside your personal interests for the highest good of everyone concerned?

4. Can you allow yourself to admit you are wrong? And/or admit that you hadn’t seen the situation from the other person’s point of view?

5. Are you speaking from wisdom or from self-centered ego?

6. Do you want to be right, or be happy?

7. Before starting a conflict resolution do one of the following meditations, either alone or with the other people, to release tensions and emotional charge, and to help bring your wisest self to the table. The more you are at peace within yourself, the more likely you are to manifest a positive outcome.

Laughter Expressive Meditation – Two Minutes
Step One: Laugh for no reason (one minute)
Step Two: Sit in silence (one minute)
After releasing stress and tensions with laughter, you experience joy, oneness, and creativity.
You can do this for longer than two minutes; just be sure and do an equal amount of time for each step.

Gibberish Expressive Meditation – Two Minutes
Step One: Gibberish (one minute)
Step Two: Sit in Silence (one minute)
Express your frustrations, resentments and tensions in the gibberish. You then find it much easier and quicker to drop down into a state of inner peace, clarity, and wisdom.

Setting an Intention Meditation – Two Minutes
Set the intention that you want the outcome of your discussion to be for the highest good of everyone concerned. Sit silently, eyes closed, relaxing into acceptance of what is, with compassion for yourself and everyone involved.

I look forward to your comments below.

And Join my Laughing Buddhas Network – it’s FREE!

3 Ways to Overcome Anger’s Pervasive Nature

If you have a short fuse, there might be some scientific basis for it. Scientists have discovered a genetic variation in some people that makes them more prone to risk taking, aggression and violence. Dubbed “the warrior gene,” it makes some people more likely to be aggressive, angry and prone to violence.

This isn’t to say that people with this gene are going to turn green and grow 10 sizes bigger, but it’s proven to make them a little angrier than the rest of us.

Being angry because someone just cut you off on the freeway doesn’t suggest that you’re part of the one-third—it just means you’re human. Just because you get angry sometimes doesn’t mean you have “the mean gene.”shouting

That doesn’t mean, however, that we can leave this anger unchecked.

By submitting to these types of behaviors or feelings, we are disrupting the precarious balance within our relationships, and we’re also adversely impacting our bodies. Negative emotions, especially anger, disrupt our natural flow of energy, causing a physiological change that kicks us into “fight or flight.” These constant changes affect our heart, immune system, digestion and hormone production.

These stresses even damage our adrenal gland and immune system. For women, prolonged stress on the adrenal gland can even affect the reproductive organs (uterus, ovaries), potentially resulting in sterility. That’s why it is so important that we practice overall wellness.

Let’s talk about three ways we can interrupt negative behavioral patterns by staying positive.

  • Visualize what you want to gain from a situation and change your thoughts to match positive behaviors.
  • Alter the way you’re presenting yourself. If you’re angry, you’re not likely expressing yourself in a positive, well-formed way. Take a moment to reflect and “hear” what you are saying
  • Change your physical position. If you find yourself standing aggressively (too close, leaning forward, balled fists), your target audience has probably shut you out entirely. Take a seat and give them a sense of control — while you get time to gain composure.

So, while the “warrior gene” may sound cool, it’s one gene that we must rise against in order to protect the harmonious function of our bodies and minds, as well as keep healthy relationships with others.

No matter what our genes may tell us, they can’t choose how we act or who we want to become. If you’re a naturally angry person, like me, I challenge you to stop making excuses for negative behavior and start making the right choices for a positive life.

How do you make positive choices?

 

Photo courtesy of Krista Baltroka.

Deepak Chopra: Dealing with Anger and Irritability

We all struggle with feeling angry, frustrated or irritable at times, but how we react to these emotions is really what counts. In this episode of “Spiritual Solutions” on The Chopra Well Veronica admits that she often struggles with anger and irritability. How do we deal with anger, she asks? Deepak Chopra offers this response:

Deepak emphasizes that anger is “remembered pain.” He encourages her to get in touch with anger, see where it resides in her body, and write out her feelings in a journal. In the moment, take three deep breaths, observe the feeling, and let it go.

What do you do to deal with anger and irritability? Tell us your thoughts!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and read Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra!

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