Putting the Emotional Brakes On.

Have you have ever had an experience where someone says something mean to you or something negative happens to you and then something in you gets stressed and emotionally you get worked up? The Tibetans call this feeling shenpa. While it is literally translated as the word “attachment,” that does not capture essence of this feeling of the effect that it has on us. Shenpa is this area deep inside us that gets triggered and irritated by the words and actions of others. When someone says or does something that touches your shenpa, it hooks you, draws you in, and starts this emotional spiral. Before we know it, we can find ourselves blaming ourselves, blaming them, getting angry with them or putting ourselves down.
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No more whips!

One of my readers emailed me last week to let me know how last weeks blog (No More Poison!) had caused him to think about things differently. He jokingly (I think) asked me what I was going to challenge him to give up this week. As I was thinking about this and listening to some people around me this week, I realized that one of the other things we need to get rid of in our lives are our whips. If I asked most people if they enjoyed being whipped, most people would say no. If I asked them if they would voluntarily whip themselves, most people would still say no. Yet why is it that we are good at whipping ourselves.
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“Word” and “word”

The first agreement in Miguel don Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, is to be impeccable with your words. It took me a few reads of his book, to notice this, but he uses both the word “word” and “Word.” For me, there is a real difference between being impeccable with my Word and being impeccable with my words. My words are what I say. They are the things that come out of mouth when I am speaking to others or myself. They can be also be words that I write, or probably more accurately these days, type. They come together to form sentences, paragraphs, and pages. They are what I use to express my opinion, to comment on a situation, to express what is going on in my mind, and to communicate to my students what it is that I want them to accomplish in a course. Sometimes, I use my words to come together in writing of poetry. I make up words such as sistahpastahhomegurl, which worked well in a poem I wrote for a friend and colleague of mine a few years ago.
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