Your Morning Practice #3: Channel Your Emotions (Toward Your Passionate Purpose)
Channel Your Emotions Toward Passionate Purpose: part three in a four-part series about the power of a morning practice. A morning practice gives you your own personal development plan for achieving goals in your life at home and work.
In the first post I focused on Mindset, your Mind and how to direct your thoughts. Last week’s post covered Imagination, and your Spirit where it lives. We’ve looked at how both of these personal human systems are nourished by your morning practice. And I hope you’re beginning to taste the fruits of these elements we’ve covered so far in your daily practice.
This week’s post will focus on Passion, your Heart and the power of emotions to bring your vision to life… or to block you at every turn if you don’t know how to use them.
Coloring Outside the Lines
The heart can be a challenge for the best of us, especially in business. I have an indelible memory of a business retreat where the most successful of my coaches called me out in front of the room full of entrepreneurs, saying, “You’re so emotional!” My response was “Yes I am!” And I chuckle now because I knew he didn’t mean it as a compliment. Wink wink. Emotions cannot be front-and-center in business; but they are the color of life, and they have an important place at the table.
In his bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman describes why emotional intelligence is more important than IQ for success in every area of life. And, he suggests, it is a skill that can be learned and developed.
How to Train a Dragon!
Whatever your vision for your life and your business, thought and imagination are not enough. If your thoughts draw the outlines of your vision and your imagination adds the details, then your emotions fill them in with color. In order for any idea to make it all the way through the creative cycle into reality, you must include your heart in the process. Engage the passion you carry there.
You have to learn to contain your emotions – make them conscious and give them healthy boundaries – and then channel their powerful force to bring your vision to life. So this too is an important part of your morning practice.
We’ve already included five of the 10 elements: Mindfulness, writing down your Aha’s, Downloading and Pivoting your wrong-side-of-the-bed thinking, and just a hint of Wake-up/ Warm-up with the stretch at the end of your practice.
So this week we’ll add two new elements to the mix of your morning practice: Affirmations and Gratitude.
Affirmations are a tool you can use to build the bridge between where you are today and where you want to be. Affirmations alone are not enough, but they provide you with the structure of possibility to build on. I like to work with affirmations built around four questions:
- What do you want to be?
- What do you want to do?
- What do you want to have?
- What do you want to give?
Ask yourself these four questions and list as many things as come up for you. Write them in first person, positive, present tense; for example, “I give people a way to transform themselves, their lives and the world.” Make your lists and edit out any negatives (e.g. not) by turning them into positives. Then share them with a trusted friend who might be able to see the things you’re blind to. And expect your lists to evolve.
Gratitude is one of two elements you will save for the end of the day just before you go to bed. Open your journal each night and write the statement, “Tonight I am feeling so grateful for…” And then list five things that happened that day for which you are thankful. For example, “Tonight I’m feeling so grateful for all the progress I made putting together my video course.” This is balm for your heart at the end of every day, reframing whatever has happened through the day and shifting your heart into a state of appreciation as you fall asleep.
Actions to Take this Week
- Make and edit your four lists of affirmations. Ask a trusted friend for their feedback. Record them on your smart phone so it’s easy to benefit from them anytime you need a boost.
- Continue using Download/Pivot to shift negative feelings about what you’re stuck with to what you can create instead.
- Extend your Wake-up-Warm-up stretching time. Check out the many free yoga apps you can use for inspiration.
- Keep reading something inspirational and recording your insights.
- At the end of each day, take a few minutes to record the things that have most touched your heart during the day. Breathe and feel your gratitude.
Next week, in the final post in this series, we’ll turn our attention to the Body. How to keep moving toward your goals by grounding your actions in reality. And I’ll give you a complimentary personal development plan template that you can download and use for your morning practice every day.
But this week, take time to listen to the heart of the matter for you.