Emotional Intelligence Sets us Apart From Technology

When fresh information is presented to us that contradicts previously held beliefs, it can be hard to accept. This is why people experience “closed-mindedness” that can stand in the way of our personal and collective evolution. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility and ultimately character. We may need to learn to laugh at ourselves a little and delve into our emotions to make room for possibilities beyond our our currently held beliefs. Here’s some research that will inspire you to embrace emotional intelligence for your own well-being, and success!

Research in multiple fields of study show that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. According to Multiple Intelligences Theory, what we know might not be as important as understanding the ways that we learn. Emotional Intelligence Theory reminds us that possessing lots of knowledge may not lead to success if an individual does not have good interpersonal and social skills. Knowing how to lighten up and not take ourselves too seriously is a prerequisite.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

A Lust for Learning

Emotions motivate or suppress our behaviors. The emotion of depression may make us stay in bed all day and not give a crap about anything, whereas curiosity may cause us to read ten books. By cultivating the needed emotional state for learning through exercise, good diet, meditation, or yoga you will increase your creative muscle. The ability to perceive, use, and manage emotions isn’t at the top of the academic list of priorities but these skills are crucial to working in groups towards problem-solving, collaboration, and other forms of success.

We are not Meant to Work Like Machines…
We are Meant to Live like Humans.

Our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us, but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Mechanized inventions can do manual work for us which gives us an unprecedented opportunity to do other kinds of internal “work” and discovery. Our ancestors had very little time to explore what being human meant beyond survival. This is the invisible hand that not only shapes our thoughts and our culture, it is what gives us character.

Let’s build character!

Tiffany Shlain and Let it Ripple have a series of films that articulate this ongoing inquiry for Character Day which is an international campaign to tackle the human component of intelligence. Let It Ripple uses interactive films, discussion materials, as well as live and virtual events to engage people in conversations around complicated subjects like this. Crowd-sourcing ideas to make films (cloud-filmmaking) on topics that we can all relate to is a beautiful expression of inclusivity and collaboration. The Global Q & A utilizes Google where you can go and watch any number of experts explore what skills are needed to flourish in the 21st century.

(above) The Adaptable Mind by the Moxie Institute

Emotional Self-Awareness

Having an honest relationship, even a friendship with your full emotional spectrum is very important. Though we have social norms that require us to not show certain forms of anger, sorrow, jealousy and other shadow-emotions, it is still very important for us to express these in constructive ways. The ability to tune in to what another person is feeling and reflect that back to them with compassion is a very powerful and deep way to create connection. This can help you at work, and at home with your family.

Our emotional realms are complex and beautiful if we are willing to explore them in a safe space. We have the ability to create that safe space for ourselves and others by listening from the heart, not judging, and allowing stories to be told. This expression can also come in the form of art, music, poetry, it is a way to bring unconscious wounds out into the open. The end result is empowerment, healing, clarity, as well as increased creativity, compassion, and productivity.

What we know is always in flux, as we are constantly being re-informed and evolving. Personal resilience along with humor, compassion and humility will prove to be invaluable moving forward. Dig deep into your own character, embrace the emotional rainbow that is unique to your human condition and loosen up a little! Having an adaptable brain may be more important than having one that is full of knowledge…

Happiness is Letting Go of Outcomes

All of us have had to reconcile when things didn’t go our way, and sometimes that is more important than getting what we originally wanted. Somewhere in our past as children we learned that crying or pouting might just get us that candy bar in the store from Mom. The memory is still there and the urge to try this strategy as adults almost never seems to go away, but it does become less effective as we grow older. Let’s face it… more things seem to not go the way we want them to than actually the other way around, so maybe we can make this aspect of Murphy’s Law work in our favor.

If anything can go wrong, it will… – Murphy’s Law

It’s okay to poke fun at ourselves about it, and maybe occasionally we all need to sneak off and have a private temper tantrum but one of the most respectable things is to see someone handle misfortune gracefully. Grace isn’t about suppressing heart-ache or failure so much as it is about being present and honest about these things while holding your dignity. That’s why we always love stories about the underdog becoming triumphant and how we can empathize when they are not.

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Choosing to Love Louder

Many years ago my dear friend, Al was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor told him to enroll hospice care because he only had 6 months to live. He decided to ask the woman he loved to marry him, and began planning the wedding instead. After the honeymoon he went in to see his doctor and the cancer was in full remission, he couldn’t believe it, he was actually hoping to get a wrong diagnosis compensation but this wasn’t the case. He told me the story about 10 years later when his cancer had returned to claim his life. He had refused chemotherapy because he didn’t want to have a war going on in his body, he was open to what the cancer had come back to teach him.

He stayed at home during his last months, surrounded by friends until his final breath. I sat up with him once as the whole community took turns doing the hospice work with him. His body withered but he kept his spirit high. One night I jokingly asked him if he could play the part of a dying man for just a minute and he said that was the best joke he heard all day. He said to me:

10 years ago when cancer threatened me, I chose to love louder and it scared the cancer away. If it is coming to take me this time I will have had the last laugh because look at this wonderful party and all my friends coming every day to be with me.

He passed later that month but he must still be smiling because his wisdom continues to inspire everyone who knew him and now maybe you too. He was such a great example of grace in hard times. We’ve heard, “It is the journey not the destination” or “it’s not about winning or losing it’s about how you played the game” and so many other sayings. They have become so cliche’ that we often forget to embody them.

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Changing the World by Choosing Love over Fear

Right now our global community is waking up to the reality that there are potentially catastrophic changes coming to all of us due to climate disruption. With a massive story of unfavorable outcomes on the horizon we are being called more than ever to embody the spiritual wisdom that invites us to remain present, to love fearlessly, and cultivate compassion. This collective evolution in consciousness may reveal a blessing in disguise.

…it is possible to be at peace if you pierce through our false reality, which is based on the idea of life and death, to touch the ultimate dimension in Buddhist thinking, in which energy cannot be created or destroyed. By recognising the inter-connectedness of all life, we can move beyond the idea that we are separate selves and expand our compassion and love in such a way that we take action to protect the Earth. – Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh

Naomi Klein has been showing us that this crisis may be a great opportunity to take a look at things that are not working and change our course in history. Pioneers like Bruce Lipton have illuminated how important it is for our creativity and health to choose love instead of fear as a lens through which we see the world. In my previous post, Will Humanity Choose Love or Fear I write about the science behind this revelation that also includes a profound native prophecy.

To the work you own the right, but not to the results thereof. – First Tenant of Karma Yoga, Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 47

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Happiness is Letting Go of Outcomes

Stress is almost always the result of fear, or worrying about outcomes. Peace almost always arises when we can be fully present in the moment. If we make now the destination then we will find that we are already here and outcomes in the future will mean a whole lot less. Right action is its’ own reward, we don’t need to chase dangling carrots.

We might not have this world as we know it forever, but right now the sun is still rising every morning. We have so much that we overlook as we gaze into the future. The solutions we seek may just present themselves effortlessly if we can become fully present and receptive in the moment. If the world ends tomorrow what will it matter if we didn’t take the time to enjoy it today?

*This article originally appeared on Uplift*

The World Needs Aloha

Beautiful beaches, rainbows, tropical fruits and epic hiking make Hawaii one of the worlds most popular tourist destinations. Simultaneously this small island chain represents a microcosm of global issues and a cultural tradition rich with solutions that can benefit communities around the planet. The word aloha is commonly understood to represent “I love you”, “hello”, and “goodbye” but it is much more than that. Aloha is a way of living that embraces the larger interconnected web of relationships surrounding us in nature along with our responsibility to be respectful custodians within this web of life. Currently this way of life is being threatened on the islands and all over the world so Hawaiians have embraced creative ways to re-awaken us all to the beauty that is possible.

Using Hawaiian language grammatical rules, we will translate this (aloha) literally as “The joyful sharing of life energy in the present” or simply “Joyfully sharing life”. The Deeper meaning of Aloha

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The finite ecosystem of an island can teach us a whole lot as we begin to recognize the finite resources on our whole planet. Ancient Hawaiians were masters at regenerative agriculture, working with nature to increase abundance of food, fresh water, and fertile soil. The year-round growing season has made Hawaii a great place for experiments in permaculture. It has also attracted biotech industries like Monsanto and Syngenta.

A recent film Aina, That Which Feeds Us takes a deeper look at the ways that the biotech industry runs contrary to the cultural heritage of the islands. AINA means “that which feeds us” in the Hawaiian language. This 23 minute film highlights a way to address some of the most pressing environmental and health crises facing the island of Kauaʻi, and of island Earth. You can watch the full film for free on their website as well as get involved locally to promote more sustainable and regenerative farming practices through the films inspiring educational message.

Permaculture is the practice of producing food, energy, etc, using ways that do not deplete the earth’s natural resources. It is a system of perennial agriculture emphasizing the use of renewable natural resources and the enrichment of local ecosystems.

AINA trailer

Hawaii was also recently in the news as negotiators around the world converged in Maui to finalize talks on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). This corporate trade deal will effect many pacific rim nations and also runs counter to the basic aloha principle of sharing resources while respecting the land and the people. Since TPP paves the way for corporate exploitation, local protestors used a traditional way to bring attention to this secret deal. The event drew international exposure as hundreds of people surrounded the building where negotiations were being held and blew conch shells.

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Because the islands sit in the vast ocean with mountainous peaks, it is one of the best places for star-gazing. The Polynesian People have a great history of navigating the oceans by observing the night sky. Recently, a thirty meter telescope (TMT) was proposed to be placed at the top of the watershed on Mauna Kea. Despite a love for astronomy and science, this telescope threatened the finite water source on the island. The issue also put an international spotlight on the colonial roots of science, and put Hawaiian culture center-stage in a global discussion. Is it okay to reach for the stars if we can’t take care of our own eco-system? This concept was explored in a recent blog, De-Colonialize Astronomy.

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Hawaii is a gem on our beautiful planet. It is a great place to visit and explore, but it’s greatest gift may be in the culture itself. The land has informed this rich culture for centuries and today we have an opportunity to embrace this universal wisdom and consider it in the context of contemporary global issues. How do we protest unsustainable and unjust policies while bringing positive change using respectful and creative practices? Hawaii has the answer… The world needs more Aloha!

A Moment Shared Around The World, The Collective Field

Amanda Sage Art

“…there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals.” -Carl Jung

Amanda SageIs there a psychic realm of thought, ideas, and imagination that is shared by all humans across space and time? Jung used the term “Collective Unconscious” which infers that there must also be a collective consciousness that individuals everywhere have the ability to tap in to. How might we learn to tune into this well-spring of creativity and personal power to bring healing to ourselves while also assisting our species in a much needed transformation to address the mounting issues of our time?

The Multiple Discovery concept describes the phenomena where, throughout history individuals around the world working independently and without knowledge of each other have made the same discovery at practically the same moment. For many years people thought it was impossible for a runner to break the 4-minute-mile. As soon as Roger Bannister did it, he gave dozens of other athletes ‘permission’ to do the same within the same year. What is apparent is that there is a collective field of thought/belief that dictates, to some degree, what is possible and these limits are continuously being expanded upon.  

Vladimir Vernadsky used the term “Noosphere” to describe the sphere of human thought as a distinct realm that shapes the physical world and thus the life-forms that inhabit it.

In the theory of Vernadsky, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere. -Wikipedia

With these ideas swirling through ones head in relation to the immense global problems we are facing, it is apparent that a “mind-shift” is in order. Individually and collectively we have the ability to bring about transformation and once again expand our notion of what is possible for humans and our planet. That, in essence, is core to the emerging “Unify Movement”.

Amanda Sage*Paintings Courtesy of Amanda Sage*

Unify invites individuals around the world to “drop-in” simultaneously in moments of meditation, prayer, dance, or ceremony to strengthen the collective field and open possibilities for a gentle resolve to global tensions. We all know what it is like to walk into a room full of tension and anxiety, as pressure builds we can feel the potential for violence to break out. Likewise we know what it feels like to walk into a room that is filled with safety and love. These vibrations or emotions can not be seen yet they are very contagious and contribute greatly to what is created within a given space. When people consciously focus their mindful energy together simultaneously towards increasing the vibration for positive outcomes globally, we can alter the course of history.

The Global Coherence Initiative is an international effort that seeks to help activate the heart of humanity and promote peace, harmony and a shift in global consciousness. GCI conducts groundbreaking research on the interconnection between humanity and Earth’s magnetic fields and energetic systems. –Global Coherence Initiative Mission

There are many scientific studies currently being conducted on this emerging phenomena. Recent discoveries have shown that humans can change the pH of water through focused intention. Though small this is one of the first empirical studies that shows that we can change physical properties with our thoughts. A leading group of well-respected scientists have come together and presented a Manifesto for Post-Materialistic Science as a solution to the limitations of classical physics. Princeton University is studying the Noosphere through the Global Consciousness Project and it appears that there is more than enough evidence to encourage us to consider the possibilities for collective global moments with focused intention.

The noosphere is global, we are all in the same “room”. The vibrations of fear and violence are powerful and mostly unconscious. The antidote is a conscious, mindful strengthening of the collective field of love, healing, and transformation. Unify is not merely ethereal or mystical, it is a practical response to the situation we find ourselves in right now on the planet. Some say that humanity is doomed to self-destruct and those same people also once said humans could not break the 4-minute-mile. Possibilities are endless, the wave of consciousness and transformation is contagious. Surf’s up, it’s time to BE the change. Join us!

Everyone, Everywhere, Together