When I was a child, my Uncle Roy had a funny little ornament of a man with a plaque on the bottom that said - "Be sure mouth is engaged before putting mouth in gear". Although I did not understand what that meant at the time, I have learned they are very wise words indeed. There was a time when I would just say what I thought. After all, that is part of being authentic right? I have since discovered that not everything I think has value for myself or those around me and some thoughts are better kept quiet. If someone asks for my advice I may give it but I no longer feel the need to speak out loud almost everything I think.
Until we learn to think about our thoughts rather than speak them all out loud, we are at the mercy of emotions. As we develop greater control of our thinking and our emotions, we also develop less need to 'help' others by offering up advice or opinions to them. This ability to perceive and manage both ours and others emotions is commonly called Emotional Intelligence.
According to Salovey and Mayer, who have been the leading researchers in emotional intelligence since the 1990's, there are four branches that make up emotional intelligence. These are:
Many people may have heard me speak of earth families, birth families and others. You may have heard others speak of people coming into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
While we all have a family of origin, they are not always the family that we turn to for support, fun, to share good news or bad news or choose to spend our social time with. Earth families are the support that we create around ourselves as we grow older. While birth families are important, they ensure we arrive on the planet, birth families allow us the space and the support to grow.
For some people, earth families and birth families are the same. For others birth families and earth families are quite different and they may have little to do with their birth families. I am part of the latter group. Not because I am not grateful for my birth family, I am, but because I have no history with them. I was estranged from them at a young age and so created a new support network.
The others I speak of are those people who are acquaintances. We may meet them through our job or in our daily lives. Never underestimate your power in that situation to make someone else's life better. Go through life with a smile and share your joy of living with the world. Be grateful for everyone that you meet. For some people that may be the only time they are acknowledged.
If you would like to read the newsletter that I wrote on earth families, click here . If you like our newsletter please subscribe and make sure you never miss another one.
To hear an interview I did on radio last year click here
Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.