The 4 Basic Emotions

Emotions are valuable. They are a map of the heart. They allow intuitive messages to be heard and understood.

Can you identify your emotions? Can you hold space to feel your emotions without numbing or avoiding them? I’ve found that many of my clients and workshop attendees have difficulty with this.

Emotional literacy is a topic close to my heart. It is a skill I only learned more recently how to practice. Being able to identify, understand, and process emotions is highly valuable. It provides emotional freedom.

Take a moment to pause what you’re doing in this moment and check in with your body. Are you feeling happy, sad, afraid, or angry?

These are the 4 basic emotions. Most experienced emotions are a shade or combination of these.

During your day, check in with yourself. Take a centering breath and ask yourself what you’re feeling without judgement. Notice what this gives you.

Creating Empowering Beliefs

Stories are thoughts and beliefs we hold. Stories are lenses to perceive the world. Coaching and journaling are tools to help become aware of stories which might limit or cause us undue suffering. Unexamined stories can be fraught with assumptions or cognitive distortions.

Creating empowering stories is a powerful skill. It can cause a shift from feeling powerless to feeling uplifted.

Consider this belief: “Life happens to me.”
Thoughts might include: Because life happens to me, it doesn’t matter what actions I take. The outcome is out of my control and I cannot change it. I don’t think I deserve what happened to me.

Consider these beliefs: “Life happens for me.” “I choose how I respond.” “I create what I desire.”
What thoughts do these beliefs support?

Which beliefs feel better?

Examining disempowering beliefs is a wonderful journaling practice. Becoming conscious of the beliefs and values we hold can shed light on why we react the way we do.

What are the 3 A’s of Mindfulness Writing?

Awareness is the experience of becoming conscious about reality. This can use the 5 senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting). It can also involve emotions and thoughts.

Acknowledgement is the act of recognizing awareness. Writing is a powerful tool for acknowledgement because we’re forced to bring names to things and acknowledge them as we write.

Acceptance is a state of mind which acknowledges reality. It is the opposite of denial, judgement, analysis, desiring something different, and trying to change reality. Read more about acceptance here.

Example of how the 3 A’s are used in mindfulness meditation:
Event: My mind has wandered during meditation.
I become aware that my mind has wandered.
I acknowledge that my mind has wandered. (Oh – my mind has wandered. I’m now thinking about dinner.)
I accept that my mind has wandered.
Having come into acceptance, I can decide a course of action. (Ex: I can choose to calmly bring my mind back to the present.)

“Acceptance” in Mindfulness Writing

Acceptance is not the same as approval.

Acceptance does not mean consenting to suffering.

Just because something is “real,” I don’t have to like it, approve it, or leave it as it is. Acceptance is a valuable experience. It allows me to understand what is true right now. With this, I can then formulate a course of action if necessary.

Acceptance is:

  • The opposite of denial.
  • Nonjudgement.
  • Not actively fighting reality.
  • Validating the way I feel.
  • Recognizing the way I feel as a passing experience.
  • Being aware of what is real and factual. (And separating this from thoughts and feelings about it.)
  • Knowing whatever is true right now is okay because it ALREADY IS. (It is fruitless to try to change reality.)

Why Mindfulness? (Stillness vs Action)

There is much noise in today’s world. Many voices compete to tell us what to do, how to do it, and why we NEED to do it this way.

When I’m still, I believe I “should” be moving. When I’m moving, I question if the action I’m taking is the “right” or “best” one.

Action is great. However, the value of pause and introspection can be overlooked.

Mindfulness is an opportunity to bring focused awareness to the present. To accept what reality is without needing to take immediate action to “fix” or change.

Tuning into the sensations in my body, emotions, and thoughts with nonattachment and equanimity allow me freedom from uncomfortable feelings which arise from my belief that I need to “take action” and “figure everything out.”

Being aware of, acknowledging, and accepting the present moment gifts me with space. In the space, I can experience the joy, peace, and beauty of life in the now.

Gratitude Writing at AUM San Mateo

Join me for Gratitude Writing at The Arts Unity Movement Center in San Mateo!

Gratitude is a powerful tool to cultivate joy.

Experience gratitude, self-compassion, and connection through introspective writing exercises.

Share, connect, and explore how gratitude can contribute to everyday life.

Take home a practice and tools to tap into your intrinsic joy.

*Please bring your favorite journal and pen.

$20-30 Sliding Scale


Join Me at The Dancing Cat

I’m excited to be offering my Gratitude and Catitude Writing Workshop again at The Dancing Cat, a wonderful cat adoption lounge in San Jose. It will be held on May 11, 2019 from 10:00AM-11:45AM.

Come spend time reflecting and exploring your connection to joy through gratitude with me and some friendly furry felines!

To register and for more information, click here.

Inklings Book Contest

This is the third year I’ve been involved with the Inklings Book Contest through the Society of Young Inklings. I’m proud to be a part of this contest. It is an exciting opportunity for serious young writers.

Today I had the honor of providing some writing coaching to one of the winners of the contest whose story is ultimately going to be published in the 2019 Inklings Book.

You might want to meet these amazing young authors when they sign copies of the book in August at the book launch party. Stay connected for updates and more information.