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Making Friends With Anxiety

… And All Of Your Emotions

An interview with Karla McLaren  & Tami Simon

“I am totally In LOve with this Interview “
Patsy Griffiths – Global Contact Custodian

Note: Karla’s book : “Embracing Anxiety: How to Access the Genius of This Vital Emotion”, discussed  in this interview, is not expected until end of August , but we we wanted to share  this interview as soon as possible.

This interview was conducted by Tami Simons – one of our favourite people – who also happens to run a highly successful company – Sounds True. She is an advocate for encouraging us to embody spiritual practices in all areas of our lives – including business.

This is what Tami says about her interview with Karla:

“I was raised in an emotionally illiterate family, and quite honestly, it wasn’t until I encountered the work of Karla McLaren and her groundbreaking book The Language of Emotions that I started to develop a full “emotional vocabulary” and an appreciation for emotions as messengers and guides.

According to Karla, every emotion carries a “genius” and arises in our experience to help us navigate our lives. She teaches, for example, that sadness carries with it the genius of being a “water bearer,” helping us let go, and anger carries with it the genius of being an “honorable sentry,” helping us claim our boundaries.

In this podcast, I talk with Karla about her “unified theory of emotions,” and some of the most important principles that underlie this theory, including the starting point that emotions are neither positive nor negative; they are aspects of cognition that bring us necessary information to help us navigate in the present moment.

We also discuss:

  • The transformational power of emotional literacy: how research studies show that people are more regulated when they have more descriptive and nuanced words for their emotional experiences
  • Karla’s new book, Embracing Anxiety, and how anxiety’s job is to help us prepare for the future
  • Why Karla calls her husband “an anxiety shrine,” and refers to herself as a “depression shrine,” and how we can come to appreciate certain human beings as places where a particular emotion loves to visit.
  • How emotions often arise in clusters, and how to work with the Anxiety/Panic/Fear cluster which is present for many people at this time
  • A specific practice we can do to stay grounded and open to receive the genius in our emotions

    I mentioned that I grew up in an emotionally illiterate family, and even further, as a young person deeply interested in meditation and spiritual practice, I found myself as a participant in many spiritual circles that reinforced that illiteracy by “transcending emotions” or, better put, avoiding emotions or, in even stronger language, denying and vilifying emotions. Learning to appreciate the vital energy that emotions carry and how to befriend and benefit from every emotional experience has been a huge learning path for me. And the work of Karla McLaren has been a hugely important key. ”       

Click here to listen to the Podcast.

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