fight conflict

In every crisis bear in mind the examples of those who in similar circumstances lost control of themselves, were taken by surprise, or complained bitterly. Where did their actions get them? no where. Do you want to end up in the same place? Why not leave these emotional outbursts who are controlled or distracted by them. Concentrate instead on taking advantage of the crisis, using it as raw material with which to build something beautiful and good.

(Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161-180 AD)

oh dear. feelings.

it turns out feelings drive quite a lot of things. though ironically, the age of enlightenment put paid to emotions, they are in fact critical informants of our path, our transactions with others, and our forward motion.  energy is constantly moving and with it our true feelings and their connection to how we choose to behave.  Step 1: how are you actually feeling.  This is a skill that takes practice to master.  You can get started here:

if you are feeling:

adamant angry bitchy challenged combative competitive cruel deceitful destructive determined envious evil frustrated furious greedy grouchy hateful irritable infuriated lecherous mad mean obsessed opposed outraged parsimonious pissed quarrelsome rageful righteous sneaky spiteful stingy superior tempted tenacious behement violent whiney wicked

then you are feeling:


if you are feeling:

abandoned angry bitter burdened cheated condemned crushed defeated despair diminished discontented discouraged disturbed divided dominated empty exasperated foolish frantic hurt ignored imposed upon jumpy left out lonely longing melancholy miserable nutty odd pressured rejected sad screwed up suffering thwarted troubled ugly vulnerable weepy worried

then you are feeling:


if you are feeling:

ambivalent annoyed anxious apathetic bad betrayed  confused contrite culpable diffident distracted distraught dubious embarrassed fawning fearful flustered frightened guilty gullible helpless homesick hopeless horrible hysterical intimidated isolated jealous lazy low nervous overwhelmed pain panicked persecuted petrified pity precarious prim prissy relieved remorseful restless scared servile sheepish shocked shy skeptical solemn sorrowful startled strange stunned stupefied stupid tense tentative tenuous threatened tired trapped uneasy unsettled

then you are feeling:


if you are feeling:

adequate affectionate alert astounded awed beautiful blissful bold brave calm capable charmed cheerful childish clever contented delighted desirous eager ecstatic elated electrified enchanted energetic enervated excited fascinated flirtatious foolish free full gay glad good gratified groovy happy heavenly helpful high honoured impressed infatuated inspired hopeful joyous keen kind loving naughty nice nutty peaceful pleasant pleased pretty proud rapture refreshed relaxed relieved reverent rewarded safe sated satisfied secure settled sexy silly stuffed sure sympathetic talkative valued vital vivacious wanted wonderful

then you are feeling:


P.S. you may also be feeling hunger (eat); tired (sleep); thirsty (drink); dirty (wash); depressed (get help); cold (put a sweater on); hot (take off your clothes); or bored (aren’t we all? – find a good book)

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in any situation what emotions are at play and for which ones are you responsible?

emotion flows in waves.  its easy to get caught in things that aren’t yours. before you act on emotions the first step is to decide whether they are yours or something you picked up from someone else?  is your partner venting at you?  is your co-worker having a bad day? it’s possible to have compassion for others. offer comfort, or support without becoming these “other” feelings or falling prey to emotional manipulation.

meanwhile YOUR feelings are always yours and require you to attend to your behaviour. here’s a great trick if you aren’t sure:  emotions that aren’t yours always pass if you literally just wait and do nothing.  everything else is yours to address.

The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…

(Epictetus – really smart Greek philosopher and cool dude)











spot the emotion

we are looking for an actor with a camera to help us with these vignettes. 




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