Transcript: Processing Emotion: On the Other Side of Pain
Okay, let's do this episode. Let's do this episode here in June of 2020, when we've got a lot going on. All right, let's do this. Let's go through our emotions. Let's talk about this. Let's start processing them so that we can take the next best actions. Okay. So if you have noticed there's been some stuff going down recently. Yeah. Okay. So whether it is COVID, which we've been working through the last couple months or the murder of George Floyd and, you know, kind of the bubbling up of things that have been in our, you know, atmosphere, this racism in our atmosphere, that's been here for hundreds of years. I mean, there's, there's some stuff that we're dealing with here and it brings up a lot of emotions. And I was originally going to do a podcast on unproductive emotions. And instead I wanted to call it processing emotions because that's really what we're doing here.
And what is there on the other side of pain? What is there when we process our emotions and start working from our highest best selves. So I've really just tweaked this episode that I intended on doing to reflect what is going on in the world and maybe speak to a few things that might be impacting you right now. I don't know. We're all impacted in very different ways. So I want you to know that whether or not you're listening to this, you know, on June 4th, when it comes out, or if you're listening to this, you know, a hundred years from now, this podcast is relevant. This podcast is relevant. If you want to create something in the world, if, if you have a vision of what you want to create in this world, our relationship with ourself extends to the relationships with the rest of humanity.
If we do not work on ourselves, if we do not work on processing our emotions and understanding where they come from and what they create in the world, we cannot make the impact that we want to create. So often we react to those around us and take on the emotions of those around us. The thoughts of those around us, instead of consciously how we want to feel feelings are important because they fuel our actions. It's so easy to get swept away and how those around us feel when we don't have a grounded sense of what we need to create the best possible result in our lives. And when we create the best possible result in our lives, we then impact those around us. So what is a feeling? A feeling is a chemical reaction in our body. That's sparked by a thought. And for me, there have been a few tools that have helped me get grounded in my own beliefs center, myself, to see those chemical reactions in my brain so that I can choose the best actions moving forward.
And I didn't realize how this was working until I got the model, this thought cycle that I've shared with you in other episodes, you know, we have circumstances in the world, they spark thoughts in our brain. Those thoughts create feelings, the feelings fuel our, our actions. And then those actions create the results that we have in our lives. And the tools that I have used over the years that all have guided me in the same direction are yoga, breath, work, meditation and coaching. All right. That is why I am so much a proponent of all of these works and specifically coaching, because I believe that it is an easier gateway to those other things, yoga, breath, work, and meditation that you might not be open to, right? Like coaching is just so purely brain-based and lawyers are so purely brain-based it seems that coaching is such a great way to start understanding your world and how things work.
All of these are healing tools and all of them lead to the same answer of the best possible emotion to have to take action. And those best possible actions all come from love, compassion, connection, commitment, certainty, feeling centered and confidence. It's never anger, frustration, confusion, shame, overwhelm, anxiety, guilt, fear, or any other number of emotions that we label as negative. But I want you to know that all of these emotions must be felt. They are all essential to our human experience. We have to have these feelings and our life is going to be 50, 50 half the time we're going to be in all of these, you know, amazing feelings where we're, we feel love and compassion and all of that. And the other half it's going to suck and that's okay. That's part of the human experience. If we don't have those emotions, we don't have anything to contrast them with.
We don't have anything to signal that there's something else out there for us. And I don't like to differentiate these, these feelings as positive or negative. These are all emotions that are either helpful or not helpful. What's important to know about feelings is that they are our choice that they are under our control. It doesn't mean we have to feel great all the time. There is a huge difference, right? Like when you, when you decide that feeling sad or angry is what you want to feel. And you, you know, instead of believing that your feelings are out of your control. I mean, there's so much to be learned there, right? When you start understanding that you can decide what you're feeling, then you don't feel out of control and you don't take actions that are reactions instead of responses. You know, my coach says that if you feel like your anxiety or your pain is caused by the external world, and you're unable to really control the external world, right?
We can't control other people. We can't control what's going on in the world. When we feel that way, then we're going to be tempted to escape. And we're going to be tempted to escape, avoiding our feelings. And we usually do that by some unhealthy action, whether it's over drinking or yelling, or, you know, like we want that sense of power and control or I'm over overeating or being on social media and the news all day. And just feeding that stuff into our brain that is not going to be helpful now, emotions, right? Like these feelings, they, the ones that don't feel good, they can be incredibly helpful. It can be helpful to move towards courage, which is uncomfortable, but moving towards the discomfort allows for growth. So let me give you an example of this, right? We're going to get more in depth with this.
I want to talk to you about like five or six emotions that really come up a lot when I'm coaching. And I'm also going to talk to you about how to process these emotions. But I want you to understand the, the quote, unquote, negative emotions that we're feeling can be in some ways useful, but only to the extent that they are signaling that there is something, what we need to move towards. We need to move towards our negative emotions, right? And I'm saying negative and you know, in a colloquial kind of way, but I really do want you to see these as just things they're just feelings, right? They are just feelings. Happiness is a feeling. Sadness is a feeling. Fear is a feeling. Courage is a feeling. It doesn't necessarily mean that you want to stay in one place or the other. We have to experience everything.
Otherwise we're not having a true human experience. So I want you to know that the circumstances in our world, they really help us think thoughts. They spark thoughts that can help us be curious about how we think, right. We can, we can ask ourselves, wow. Why, why am I feeling this way and ask ourselves, Oh, because I'm having this interpretation of the world, I am having a thought about the world. And this can also be a catalyst for understanding our emotions, what thoughts we're choosing to think that create those emotions and understand that the reason we choose to either react or respond to the world around us, comes down to how we feel and respond connotates some more control about ourselves. Like more understanding of why other people are doing what they're doing in the world and having empathy. It kind of wraps it all up in a nice little bow where you are saying, okay, I am choosing to process my emotions.
And instead of reacting to the world, I am going to choose a different emotion. One that's more productive. One that includes more of those feelings that we might label as positive. I want to remind you our feelings fuel our actions. And when we understand this, then we can choose whether we want to have a helpful or unhelpful emotion. And those emotions are going to fuel what we want to create in this world, the vision of the world that we have, and then we can choose everything intentionally. So it's important to know that you have a choice, right? You can keep the thoughts and feelings that you have. You can choose to be angry. You can choose to feel frustrated, fearful, overwhelmed, guilty, shame. I mean, you can stay there. I mean, if you want to stay there, you're welcome to it, but know that you will never take your best actions from that place.
And you may also be causing yourself, suffering, ask yourself why you would choose suffering. If that's where you want to stay. If you like your decision, then you can keep on suffering. That suffering will never be your best creative force. It's the same, no matter what's happening in the world, right? It's never going to be your best creative force, whether it's your thoughts and feelings about the amount of work you have in your practice, the amount of time that you have the amount of money that you have, any relationship that you're in, about how other people behave in a pandemic about how other people behave in a protest or in any situation about whether there is justice or injustice in the world. We always have a choice of how we feel. So there are five really. I mean, there's six that I'm going to talk about today.
I kind of overlapped five and six. They're unproductive emotions. I want to focus on them because they're the ones I see pop up the most when I'm coaching clients and having awareness is the key to making any kind of change that we want. This is not an all inclusive list. There are, you know, there are so many emotions that we can learn from that we can gather information that we can get curious about and understand that they are not our most productive emotions. And they usually fall into that. You know, negative emotion you'll know them because you'll feel closed down. And that is the awareness that I'm talking about is understanding like how to feel. And then recognizing you have a choice. You're also going to learn three steps to counteract these emotions, that the unproductive ones and create emotions consciously, you know, that not only makes you take the next best action, but they also help you become more productive and feel better.
I'm focusing on the unproductive thoughts that don't help us create the result that we want. We begin looking at external things to fix rather than looking inwards and changing our thoughts, which is always the real reason that we're suffering and not creating what we want in the world. And, you know, there's, these are such great tools to help us create change. Now I'm going to link to some resources in the show notes, Dina, cataldo.com forward slash one Oh seven. I sent them to my subscribers and they seem to be helpful. They seem to be a nice place to start. I think this podcast is a great start to process your emotions. But if you want to learn more about meditation or you want to learn more about processing your emotions in these difficult times, then I want to encourage you to go to Dina, cataldo.com forward slash one Oh seven and pick up some of these resources.
I mean, this is the work, right? Like it doesn't always feel good. There's always going to be an emotion that we have. That's not going to feel good. And if you are in any kind of pain, then I encourage you to begin processing it. That is the work. Okay. And I have Jim Forton. He's been on the podcast before. I'll link to his podcast in the show notes too. He says this thing, and I don't know that I'm going to say it quite right, but it's, it's so true every time I see it and read it. So in order for us to change the world, we have to change ourselves in order for us to change ourselves, we have to stop our world. That means not taking in negative influences, not taking in all of the news and social media and all of that, that being purely grounded in ourselves and connected to ourselves.
And once we stop our world, then we can begin taking action and begin impacting people who are around us. It is like an exchange of energy, right? Like, it's that? Okay. When I get myself cleaned up, then I can go out and I can just be the change I want to be. That's adding in a little Gandhi for you. So that is what I mean by starting to process your emotions and using that to help you understand where you're coming from right now, and then begin changing up into these positive. I got, I don't like using those words into those more productive emotions. Okay. Because really all of these emotions are something we need to be feeling they're not negative or positive. They just are. The first feeling I want to talk about is overwhelm. It's one that lawyers and a lot of busy professionals get into.
And it's usually created when we have thoughts. Like I'm so busy. I have so much to do. I don't have enough time. If only my partner would behave differently than I would have more time. If only someone else in my life would behave differently, then I wouldn't have so much to do. That was my favorite. And the second is anxiety or feeling anxious. I found that this emotion is the opposite of feeling connected and grounded. It's often created when we think things like I don't have enough time. I don't know where to start. It's not good enough, which is also, I'm not good enough. It overlaps with shame here too. I don't know what I'm doing. Now. Notice a couple of things about these thoughts. First, the words I don't know, pop up in several of them. And when we think these things, we tend to look outward for guidance, rather than reconnecting with ourselves to find the answer pro tip, you always have the right answer inside.
You never have to look outside yourself for the answer. When we're connected and grounded with ourselves, we make better decisions and we're not searching for other people's approval. So often I hear coaching clients tell me that they're not taking action on building their practice because they think thoughts, like, I don't know where to start. And it creates a feeling of anxiety or overwhelm. Then they don't take any action at all or take passive action instead of massive action. And I talked more about that in episode one Oh five. I'll link to that in the show notes too. And that of course leads to the result of not building their business because in the thought cycle, our result is always a reflection of how we think the third unproductive emotion I want to bring your attention to is confusion. All of these thoughts usually start with, I don't know, I don't know where to start.
I don't know how to get organized. I should know more. And these thoughts create the feeling of confusion. It's not your practice or other circumstances in the world causing your confusion. It's always how you interpret the world. That creates confusion. It's always a thought in your head that creates it. It's easy to think. It's what's going on in the world. That's creating emotions like anger, fear, panic in our bodies, but it is never that the reason we know that is because other people in the world can have a different interpretation of the world, right? You ever have a disagreement with someone and you can't understand why they don't see the world. As you see it, you will see that everything that is in our brains is an interpretation of the world. Another person can tell themselves that they'll figure it out, or I know exactly where to start, or I will take action and learn as I go, these thoughts are going to create an emotion, more like determination, confidence, commitment, and that will then lead us to take more productive actions in the world that move us closer to our goal.
The fourth unproductive emotion that I want to talk about is anger. I coached a mom the other night and she has African American children and she was telling herself that she shouldn't have to tell her children how to behave, that she shouldn't have to tell them that other children are going to get into trouble, white children. And they can't follow those friends because they're going to get in more trouble just because of the color of their skin, that she shouldn't have to tell them that they're going to be treated differently because of the color of their skin. And these thoughts made her really angry. And then she told me when she thought these thoughts and she felt angry that she would watch the news all day and she'd be on social media all day. She would spend a lot of energy thinking about what she should and shouldn't have to do.
And of course this energy would normally be spent on her business. She had a plan, but she unconsciously deviated from it and watched the news all day, instead of following through on her commitment to herself. And then she would beat herself up for doing that. So she was suffering here. So as an aside, you're going to notice that just because a feeling is unproductive, does that mean it doesn't feel really good in the moment, right? Like that anger, that self righteous anger, right? It can feel really good because it feels so powerful. Anger even feels productive. It feels like we're doing something like we have some control over the world around us, but it's the illusion of control and anger is it used to be my go to emotion because I wanted things just so around me. And it was the GoTo to make me feel like I wanted to feel like I had some control.
And so I would act out of anger. So how often have you been yelled at and said to yourself, wow, what a great idea. I should totally change things about myself. I should totally implement that. What you just suggested by yelling at me in my face. Right? How often have you decided to change yourself? Because somebody is yelling at you. It doesn't feel good when somebody yells at you, right? Like you have a thought like, wow, did I do something wrong? Am I bad? Or you think something like, wow, what a jerk? What an asshole. Then you totally dismiss what they have to say. So just from those that anecdotal evidence that you have in your life, you know, that anger is never going to lead to the best results, the results that you want to achieve. I asked her if she wanted to feel angry, because it is a valid feeling, all of these valid, those feelings that we're talking about, they're all valid.
But the next question is, if you want to keep an unproductive emotion, why do you want to keep it? What are you getting out of it? How does it serve you? And if you like your answer, then by all means, keep it. If you don't, if you're suffering, then know that you have a choice. Suffering is a choice, love, and compassion is always an amazing choice. It might take some time to get there, but that's what this is about. And we're going to talk about that soon processing these emotions to get there. So my client decided she wanted to choose a new thought after she processed her anger. And you can take it on if you like, and she chose the thought, there will be something better. On the other side of this, that thought not only helped her feel better, but it also helped her to see how she could do all of the things that she wanted to do for her children.
And also stay committed to her business and herself. The last unproductive emotion or emotions that we're gonna talk about today is worry. And I'm going to kind of overlap it with fear. They're not exactly the same, but they do have some similar components. So this is another one of the emotions that feels like we're doing something, right. Especially worry. It feels like, you know, it's going to lead us to take some action. If, if we're just thinking about the result that we want, right? And we create worry from thoughts, like I should be doing more. It should be better. They should be better. Something may happen to me, to someone I love. What if I fail? What if they fail? And then I'm going to mix in there. Like I I'm afraid of failing. I'm I don't want to fail. What will people think of me now?
All of these different, these thoughts that can kind of lead to the overlapping feelings of worry and fear. When we create worry, we don't really take any action. Instead, we spin in this. What if should be thoughts? And we beat ourselves up for not taking action and with fear. Well, we often lash out it's part of the fight or flight response. So we might yell at the people we love the most. We might take action that is going to hurt other people, whether physically or emotionally, but it is not the most helpful emotion, these two emotions. So what can we do to counteract these unproductive emotions? Okay. So the first part of this three part process I to talk to you about is processing your emotions before you act, it is hard. It is hard. You got to practice this. It is not like a one and done kind of thing.
And if you're new to this practice, it's going to be a little bit harder, right? Like, and, and you know what, even if you've been practicing this for years, okay, let me tell you this. I know yogis who have been practicing for 20 years and I see them lose their stuff on social media every so often. And I know their hearts, so I understand I'm like, okay, they're angry and they haven't processed their emotions. That's okay. And I have been one of those people too, right? So I'm not excluding myself by any stretch of the imagination, but I want you to know that it's natural. It's part of the human experience. This is just like, Hey, if you want to create better results in your life, this is how you do it. So remember that example of anger. Well, my client had to process that anger before she could get into a space of creating a new thought that would help her feel better.
And what that looks like is feeling anger. And then getting really curious about it. This stops you from reacting, right? Like before you take any action, if you can, I mean, you can do this work after you've taken action, but I encourage you to notice it in your body and get really uncomfortably comfortable with it. When you drop into your anger and you start asking yourselves questions about it. And if then I want you to know that there's some simple things you can do to start like really recognizing what's going on. Right. so this is what I like to tell people, start describing it. Just describe where it is in your body. Is it like you can't breathe? Like your breath is contracted. Is it like you are is it like you're closed down? Is it like you're on fire? Like where does, where are you feeling that in your body?
Like put words to it. You can write it down. If you want, whatever you do. Just like really sit with the focus on it. Your brain is going, gonna want to take you away. Your brain is going to want to start thinking thoughts while I shouldn't have to, or they should be doing something better. You know, you're going to start thinking that again and that's okay. But then refocus, refocus onto your feeling, where is it in your body? And then just breathe, right? Like, just breathe, know that this is a human experience and just sit with it. And it takes as long as it takes. Okay. I mean, that is something that, you know, we expect everything to be better and we want to, you know, switch thoughts. So we feel better. And honestly, the most productive thing you can do when you're in one of these unproductive emotions is just feel it right.
And then you just, you get really curious. You start, you know, kind of saying, well, I wonder why I feel that way. Like why? And your brain is going to tell you, your brain's going to say because of this and because of that, and you're going to recognize those are thoughts. Those are the thoughts that are creating those emotions. That's all it is. And it's not going to hurt you. It's not going to harm you or anything. But those are the thoughts. Those are the thoughts creating what's going on in your body. That's, what's creating the chemical reaction that is creating just these, these feelings in your body. So the second thing that I want to talk to you about is starting with the premise that we've got to understand. We cannot change other people. We can only change our thoughts and how we feel and behave in the world, ask yourself how your thoughts might change.
If you took 100% responsibility for the result you created in your life. I know, I know it's not easy, right? Like we don't want to say that any of this is what we've created, because it's always something, you know, especially when we're in these unproductive emotions, external to us, right? It's always something outside of us that is creating. This is what our thought is, but it's not. And I want you to understand your thoughts are a choice. I was coaching someone recently on a result, they were getting in their practice, right? And they were blaming it on how their employees are. Employees behaved inside of their practice. And when we coached through it, they began to see where they could create the result that they wanted in their practice, by taking actions from a place of compassion and their employee didn't know what my client's priorities were, right?
Like they can't see inside of her brain and they weren't being communicated because my client was coming from a place of frustration and anger and not from a place of compassion or confidence or certainty. And we can apply this practice to any result that we want in our life. The third way that you can counteract unhelpful emotions once you've done. The first two practices is to ask yourself what result you want to create for yourself. Once you've decided on that, ask yourself what actions you would need to do to achieve that result. Then ask yourself how you would need to feel to get into that productive action. You're choosing chances are it's going to be from a place like commitment, love, compassion, determination, confidence, even determination. Then ask yourself what you would need to believe to create that feeling. It's okay if you don't want to believe it, a hundred percent right now like that, that is something that takes practice.
We actually have to practice our thoughts. Our thoughts are well worn grooves in our brain. So if you are having a difficult time, moving from a thought, creating anger or frustration into a thought that is going to create something that is more productive feeling. That's more productive. Know that you are not alone. You've got to practice this thought. It's not just, Oh, I think it, you've got to choose that thought. You've got to practice it. You've got to write it down every morning. Maybe put a post it note on your mirror. I'm telling you that stuff works and commit to it. This practice can be applied no matter what result you want to create for yourself, whether it's a large financial goal, a personal goal, like weight loss, or reducing your drinking or a goal like contributing to something you believe in the choice is always yours.
I want you to know that the choice is always yours. I'm going to link to the resources that I sent to my subscribers. You can always just subscribe to anything on my list and you can get on my list of subscribers and you'll get the same things that they get from me. Sometimes I send them extra special gifts, and I want you to also just, you know, take care of yourself right now. I mean, it's always important to take care of yourself, but right now, just look after your mental health, because our, our mental health really is everything. Understanding our emotions and understanding ourselves is really everything. It's the key to not just creating what we want in our life, but being an active contributor in whatever way we want to contribute in this world. And I'm always wanting to contribute more in this world.
That's why I do this podcast. That's why I am on social media. That's why I really do anything. It's to create an emotion, right? Like I want to feel like I'm of service, that I have a contribution to this world. And you know, with the events around right now, it just helps us reflect on how do we want to contribute? How do we want to be in this world and change it to reflect more of our values? All right, well, I'm sending you lots of love this week and every week, and I will talk to you soon. Bye.
Hey, if you enjoy this podcast, I offer one on one coaching using my, be a better lawyer framework. That's where we rewire your brain to help you create the life and the practice that you want. Go to Dina, cataldo.com to schedule a strategy session.