I had the pleasure of spending the past two days with two dear friends, James and Amanda Leath.  They are friends I’ve met in my home town thanks in part to a previous job I had and my Tony Robbins inner circle.

I have high regard for this couple because they get shit done and are some of the most optimistic, motivated and motivating people I know.  I had the pleasure of training for and running a Tough Mudder with Amanda yesterday and that woman is no joke.  She has a heart the size of Texas and the drive to be her best the likes of Tiger Woods.

As we were driving home from LA today I was thinking about a coaching call I had last week with a client and how I addressed the client’s situation.  This is a new client to me and we’re just starting to work together so I’m sharing some foundational techniques I like to teach clients about self-mastery.  The topic came up because in the first few days of working with this new client the pattern of her vibration and state of emotion became very clear to me and I wanted to help my client see it.

As she texted me over the course of a couple of days when she was checking in I noticed the word “anxiety” in her text every text.  I pointed it out to her and invited her to remove that word from her language.

Mind you, I know we can not say something, but we are still in the vibration of that.  I’ve also found that just bringing it to someone’s attention that they’re using a disempowering word they usually have an ah-ha moment. I’ll come back to this later (perhaps in another post in this series about self-mastery).  For now, let’s focus on the vibration….the emotional state.

Your “Home” Emotional State and The Emotional Journal

A few years ago I attended Tony Robbins’ Life & Wealth Mastery Workshop in Fiji. (yes, it was pretty fucking amazing if I do say so.)  One of the homework assignments as part of the course was to complete an emotional journal every day.  An emotional journal is a mini-log of your present emotions, your focus and the meaning you’re giving things and the situation you’re in – what’s happening or just happened right before that moment.

Emotional Scale ChartI freakin’ loved this assignment.  At first I thought this was pretty mindless and almost wrote it off.  I logged my notes, the date/time, the things I was doing and thinking several times a day for a few days.  Nothing much was happening to upset me or note down, but I did what I was supposed to.  Every few hours (as often as I could/wanted to) I would take notes and record my emotional state at that time.

As I learned in business school – what we measure and monitor we improve. I assumed I was one way and by recording what happened throughout my day for a few days I was pretty surprised by what I actually found.

For me, in that week the biggest ah-ha moment came when I left my usual high flying happy/content median vibration and visited anxious or frustrated for a little bit.  When I wrote down what I was focused on I noticed in that moment I was focused on comparing my life to a few other attendees of the workshop I had met earlier. They were better looking, made more money, had a great marriage and all sorts of things that I thought I wanted. In that moment of comparing how my life looked I felt pretty shitty.

Thank you Universe for my assignment to note down my emotions!

By being ultra aware of my emotions, when it came up that I felt bad I noticed that I was comparing myself to others and that was causing me to feel bad.

Holy crap!

The secret to my feeling bad was comparing myself to others!!

Uh. Duh.

I knew I felt bad whenever I compared myself to others, but I had NEVER taken on that if I wanted to feel better I should shift my focus or not even go there in the first place.  Comparing myself to others was just something I did.  Like watching TV or reading a magazine and thinking that the people in the ads or in the article had a better life than I did.  “I’m doing something wrong. My life sucks because I don’t have what they have.”

In that moment I realized that I was giving in to comparison and well…since then I’ve learned that “comparison is the thief of joy.”

Holy smokes!

Now days i love assigning clients to do an emotional journal because you never know what you’re subconsciously or mindlessly doing to steal your own joy. I still believe that when we let our cork float we naturally rise to a state of well being and happiness.

The emotional journal is a wonderful tool for helping you be more self-aware in your daily life when you’re giving your power or happiness away.

Being Present: Focus= Thoughts –> Meaning

Let me step back to the present for a moment.  When Amanda, James and I were driving back from Los Angeles this morning I asked for their opinion about self-talk and how we guide our inner dialogue to one that’s empowering.  They had so many ideas that we shared so this is going to turn into a series so as not to take all afternoon to pass along.

The wisdom we reflected upon on our drive home I want to let you in on.  That wisdom is the power of consciousness.  The power of being aware of when you’re being your most powerful self or you’re off track.  I asked them how do we help people become more aware and we all agreed it comes with practice.  Here are just a few things we rattled off that I hope can help you with your practice of being more present with yourself:

1. You have to want to change – in order for you to have a new life you’ve got to hit rock bottom or be so inspired by someone or something that you begin to do things differently.

2. You have to be mindful – tied in with our thoughts are our emotions.  The emotional journal is an awesome tool to help you begin to monitor your emotions and the things that are going on in your life that are creating those emotions.  Being present to your feelings is super super (can you say super duper) important if you ever want to have a new life.  Emotions are the indicator that you’re on or off track.

3. You have to be the observer – emotions, thoughts, situations come and go.  If we’re not observing the world around us AND our inner response to that world, we can never expect to be at the command of our future.  If you’re just bumping along in life and always feeling like the victim to what you’re bumping into, when do you ever think you’re going to take the wheel?  You start to take command of your life when you step outside of the day-to-day and rise above the noise of what’s going on and be present to the interrelatedness of your thoughts, your emotions, and your life.  The world around you is happening in response to your thoughts. Begin monitoring your emotions, you’ll start to see what thoughts you’re having and you can begin to guide those thoughts in the direction you want them to go. Now you’re in charge.