Flexing Your Emotional Muscles

By BijaB

Whenever you exercise your body and mind, do it to expand yourself rather than to "fix" something. Nothing about you is faulty.

Don't make practicing a punishment. Have a goal and a vision. Tell yourself that you want to be in the best possible emotional and physical shape right now.  Then discover and envision what that shape is. Let your emotional experiences become a vehicle for discovery. Let them motivate you, help you to set goals and take risks.

Motive and emotion have the same root in the Latin word motere, which means "to move."  Emotions move you to pursue your goals. They are powerful motivators, internally shaping how you act. The links between your feelings and what you think, say, and do are real and sustaining.

Feelings affect your achievements. Those internal meters and subtle signals telling you what you are feeling are ongoig guides to let you know how you are doing.

Use this exercise to let your emotions guide what you want, value, and wish to accomplish. Ask yourself: which would I most like to do, create, or achieve? Do my actions match my  desires? Your achievements are your desires in action. Be clear about what you desire, then choose your steps with the intention of realizing those desires.

Stretching Your Emotional Muscles

Take time to align yourself each day to what you value most. You may sit for a moment in the morning at home, at your desk before work, or in the evening prior to bed. Write down your answers and reflect on them. Honor yourself. Be honest and spontaneous as you complete the following phrases:

     — What I want is.....

     — What I want and I am allowing is.....

     — What I want and I am not allowing is.....

     — What I do not want is.....

     — What I do not want, and I am allowing is.....

     — What I do not want, and I am not allowing is.....

The use of true will and power gives you the intention and energy to act on what you want. It develops character, integrity, and the ability to be true to your conscience, rather than follow the impulses of others or be dominated by external conditions.

This requires focus of attention, which is a form of physical and emotional self-discipline.

When your mind is aligned and cooperating with your deeper intelligence and purpose, you are practicing "emotional yoga." You are flexing your emotional muscles.


For more emotional strengthening exercises, read, Emotional Yoga: How the Body Can Heal the Mind (Simon and Schuster, 2002)

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