Did you feel the texture of your cereals? If your answer is no, you definitely need to get out of your head. Stop thinking and start feeling. Triggers can be blatant or they can be subtle. For example, if a tornado ripped through your childhood home, you're likely terrified of tornadoes and get extremely emotional when one is close by. That's a blatant and conscious trigger. During the next few days, try to be mindful of your reactions. Try to notice whether you're getting triggered, whether you're overreacting or underreacting. If you are, jot down what's going on in that moment. Then see where it might be connected to something from your past. Use your timeline for ideas. You might ask yourself, Why did I get so embarrassed? Or, What's going on that I didn't even notice she was crying? It takes practice, but you can get quite good at this! In an experiment some years ago, a group of scientists asked their student volunteers to wear special eyeglasses that inverted the image: the lenses turned everything upside down. For the first few days of the experiment, the students were stumbling around like my Uncle Bob did every time he got knee-walking, commode-hugging, big-white-phone-in-the-sky drunk, at every family reunion I ever had the misfortune of attending. The students were bumping into desks, walking into corners as they changed classes, falling flat on their faces, and generally having a difficult time. Because they knew how things really were, their brains rejected this new, bogus data--at least at first. Then something odd happened. After just a few days, the students began to accept their fictional, upside-down world as the real one.

Their brains became accustomed to the distortion. They weren't even questioning that up was now down and down was now up. By the end of just one week, they were getting around perfectly fine. "Hmm," said the researchers. They decided to prolong the experiment for a full month. By the end of that month, the students reported that the eyeglasses no longer posed any problem at all. They said they considered their orientation close to normal. They could read and write almost as easily as they had before the project; they could accurately gauge distances; and they were even able to navigate long flights of stairs as smoothly as their "right-sighted" peers. Another way to come home' is through nature therapy. <a href='http://www.geocities.jp/basic0908/king/index30.html'>While</a> ideas around the therapeutic benefits of connecting with our earth were initially intuitive in nature, in recent years they have become scientifically proven to reduce stress, boost immunity and grow our joy. <a href='http://www.geocities.jp/basic0908/king/index31.html'>When</a> we consider that stress is the greatest contributor to disease on our earth, and thus a tremendous burden for ourselves, our loved ones, and our health (or ratherdisease') care systems, we may fully grasp the need for us to truly relax and ground ourselves lovingly, mind, body and spirit. In his book Shinrin-yoku: The Japanese Way of Forest Bathing for Health and Relaxation, Professor Yoshifumi Miyazaki writes that for eons, human beings have lived amongst nature. It is since the Industrial Revolution, only a couple of hundred years, that so many of us have become urbanised and profoundly affected by increasing technological stress. This means that for the overwhelming majority of human history on earth, we have lived within nature. The stress of modern life, incongruent with nature, her rhythms and wisdom, is causing radical increases in physical and mental health issues. It is no wonder that many human beings are permanently stressed; our human genes have not had long enough to adapt to our radically new and different urban lifestyles. Coming back to nature is coming home to ourselves. Bathing in the forest, the ocean and even the sunshine are ways to re-energise and nourish our inner sparkles and are free pleasures to enjoy. Improving your communications and interactions with others is likely to help you meet your goals and expectations. Have you ever heard the adage "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?" It may be cliched, but it contains a lot of wisdom.

The nicer and more compassionate you are to others, the better you'll fare in terms of communicating and interacting with the people in your life. Consequently, you are more likely to have the support and encouragement you'll need to achieve your aims. By combining social skills, empathy, internal motivation, and self-regulation, you can create a strong foundation that sets you up to achieve whatever expectations to which you set your mind. With the help of the other components of emotional intelligence, you can use your skills and traits to achieve even the most ambitious of goals. Let's talk again about trauma, which is a highly distressing or disturbing experience that evokes feelings of deep vulnerability. It's often the source of triggers. As you worked on your timeline, you may very well have discovered traumatic experiences. Or as you recognize more and more what your triggers are, you may come to label something as traumatic that previously you discounted or even denied. Healing from trauma is painstaking. If you're now realizing that you experienced some kind of trauma, whether it was sexual or physical, developmental or relational, then seeing a therapist who's been trained in working with trauma is the safest and best way to heal. That's not about weakness on your part. That's about the intensity of the damage done. Specific techniques such as hypnosis and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can be used, as well as other approaches. You can ask your therapist which one might be best for you. What this experiment suggests is that we will quickly adapt to our perceptions, even if we're looking at the world through a lens that completely distorts reality. Given enough time, we soon treat a profoundly faulty perception as normal. Pound people with enough data, enough input, and you can convince almost anybody of almost anything. We have seen dramatic examples of this throughout history: brainwashing in prisoner of war camps, indoctrination into cults, and the absorption of our children into street gangs. People young and old, smart and dumb, sophisticated or not, have had their views, their realities, their values altered by a relentless deluge of distorted data. People who once had a clear view of life, a strong sense of right and wrong, strongly held priorities and values, nonetheless begin to accept distortions as the truth.

A perspective that is way wrong starts to look right, often with tragic results. How much of your own self-concept is based on this kind of distorted thinking? The point of this chapter is that you, too, may be getting brainwashed, in a way that is just as devastating, if less sensational, than being sucked into a cult. While you may not be headed for a cult or a street gang, the most powerful "brainwasher" you will ever encounter is you. And if you're being fed a bunch of bogus information about who you are and who you aren't and are buying into it, your world could be totally upside down and you may not even know it. If your self-concept is compromised and causes you to let some mean-spirited and destructive "jerk" pound on you as a part of your daily life, if you are talking yourself into believing that you are some kind of loser, you're screwing up big time. This chapter focuses on how that happens, how it gets to you, and what to do about it. Natural approaches to eating, drinking, looking after ourselves and the environments in which we live are ways that we can nourish our inner sparkles and refresh our spirits. We are fortified not only by the deliciousness of our attention to life, our self-care and self-love, but on a deeper level: as we love and respect our earth, we nurture and protect the roots of our real wellness. And not only our own wellness at that, but also the wellness of other beings and the future generations to roam this earth. We do not have a planet B; this is our earth. Our home. We are called to live in harmony with her, inspired by her, nourished, nurtured and held by her. We are being called to love, listen in and learn from her, sparkling together in unison. It is devastating and unforgivable that in our human quest for more - our obsession with ownership and with our heavy treading upon her - our beautiful, bountiful earth is in deep pain. When our earth's sparkle is tarnished and extinguished, so is our own. We forge ahead, many of us oblivious to the truth that the sickness and suffering of our earth is our own sickness and suffering. Indeed, when our earth is stressed and diseased, so are we. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil in which we grow our food are our human foundations. When we pollute our waterways, cut down our trees, ransack and dirty our earth, contaminate our soils and stuff our earth's surface with our waste, our own spirits are angered and grieve too.

We often wonder why we can feel so sad and disillusioned. It is because we are feeling with our earth. Affective behavior is one of the most important factors that can impact emotional intelligence. In essence, affective behavior is behavior driven by the desire to produce a result, such as sealing a business deal, winning a competition, or accomplishing recognition in one's chosen field. When it comes to striving for a desired result, emotional intelligence and affective behavior work in tandem. Emotional intelligence is very important when it comes to achieving goals, which include positive expectations. Emotional experiences can also play a large role in emotional intelligence. For example, in most instances a nineteen-year-old college freshman from a small town will not have had the same kind of experiences as a forty-five-year-old veteran who has traveled the world. Experiences shape your emotions, attitudes, and outlook. Of course, there are young adults who are very effective in mastering the skill sets needed for social intelligence. However, a wide range of experiences can bolster one's emotional intelligence. In some instances, emotionally overwhelming experiences can undermine emotional intelligence. Individuals who feel jaded, depressed, or otherwise alienated from past experiences can have a hard time mastering the five components of emotional intelligence. In fact, emotional problems can stunt EI and success in life. For instance, sufferers of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can find the ability to process, regulate, analyze, and harness emotions a real challenge. There's only one end goal to all of this: Inner calm. No matter what you experience in life, and no matter what happens to you, your mind should stay calm under all circumstances. That's the ultimate prize in life. Mastery of the mind means that we control our mind. Remember: You can only achieve that through daily practice.