The Work of Emotional Wisdom
Emotional Wisdom is the mental cultivation of heart and mind supporting us in becoming more conscious of how we impact ourselves and others. It’s an awareness practice that fosters presence, allowing us to reflect on our lives lovingly and develop our capacity to be more human and responsible in our interactions. One measure of Emotional Wisdom is in how consistently we manage ourselves when we are stressed. Stress is fed through unawareness and inattention, and is strengthened when we feel a strong sense of “I,” “us,” or “them.”
Our response to emotional distress is often rooted in a deep groove of social programing. When we find ourselves snagged in repeat patterns of conflict with others or within ourselves, we can’t always figure out the distress on our own, yet such discomfort can be a profound teacher. Why? Because it gets our attention. Our job then is to give emotional distress wise attention. Without wise attention, or mindfulness, we habitually - and temporarily - relieve our distress by impulsively acting out or shutting down because we can't bear what is happening. In such reactivity, we interfere with and interrupt our capacity to learn from the distress - to grow wise. Read More...
Given the need for discerning and stable role models and leadership, and the intense social environment of racism and racial distress, I offer three ways to cultivate emotional wisdom: Mindfulness Meditation, Mindful of Race Training, and Coaching.