Emotions are a guidance system. A gauge of how we are feeling. Emotions can be induced by bait.
The post is about not taking the bait! No matter how good it might appear to take the bait.
What is the bait?
The bait is two-part. One half you cannot control and the other you can. The bait is something external, and it is also your reaction.
In his very good book, The Art of Learning, author Josh Waitzkin talks about his experience in chess competitions and also in Marshall Art competitions. During matches in both cases, opponents would evoke frustration and concentration breakdowns would occur.
An example would be someone continuing to tap the chess board in order to break Josh’s flow of concentration. Another would be a dirty Marshall Arts opponent hitting Josh with cheap shots during a bout.
At first Josh would react to this bait with anger. As a result, all of his focused energy and his skills vanished, and he lost competitions because of it. However, through awareness and practicing non-reaction, he would recognize the subtitle triggers opponents attempted against him. Even more importantly he recognized his emotions arising as negative things happened to him.
By being aware, and not letting his anger and heated emotions take control of him, Josh was able to maintain concentration, technique, and the skill needed to win.
This is a profound lesson we need to model in everyday life.
Bait will be there, enticing us to take a bite throughout our entire lives. People will say things to us we don’t like. Things will happen to us that we cannot control. We will do things in our lives we wish we would take back. Welcome to life ladies and gentlemen.
So what next?
Know your emotional guidance system, as Esther Hicks defines in her powerful book Ask and It Is Given. Practice non-reaction, as Eckhart Tolle puts it in his masterpiece, The Power of Now. Let it flow, and then let it go, as Dan Millman explains in his great story, The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior.
Non-reaction is something to practice when we feel our emotions bubbling up. Biting back at someone who bites at us will not solve the problem. Non-reaction, a calm internal response will dissolve the external situation.
When dealing with stress, it’s ok to let out some frustration, in which ever process it best for you. Along with letting out the frustration, it’s vital to practice awareness of our emotions. Recognize your negative emotions, and be ok with them, and then let them go. How? By simply focusing on something you are grateful for you your life or something good you are looking forward to. Work on focusing your energies on those good feelings that come from gratitude and being present, as well as pursing the good things we want in life.
Emotions simply put are the way we feel. And the more we are aware of them, the more we realize how we feel and we can direct our thoughts which are associated with those good feelings.
Don’t take the bait!!