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May 2015




Can We Learn From Our Emotions?

"Look for the soul through the window of emotions.”

… Julio Olalla, Master Coach

Visit The HubOur emotions are a constant part of human life. We feel sad, happy, angry and frustrated. We feel guilty, ashamed and bored. All of this is a normal part of the human condition, yet most people have little understanding of the role emotions can play in life other than that they have emotions and prefer to seek to avoid feeling certain ways. In doing so, they may well be doing themselves a disservice.

Granted some of our emotional experiences are unpleasant. No one I have talked to about their emotional experiences enjoys feeling frustrated or sad. Yet each one of our emotional experiences is full of meaning for us and about us should we wish to look for it.

Our emotions play a significant role in directing our lives. When our emotions are serving us well, they provide us with cues about what is good and bad for us and predispose us to act in certain ways without trapping us in that emotional state. In other words, our emotional states should be dynamically and effectively responding to what is going on for us in the world. When thing as are going well, we can expect to feel happy and satisfied. When we lose something or someone, we can expect to feel sad or angry. On the other hand, our emotions can lead us astray. Rather than shifting dynamically as our situation changes, we can get caught up in emotional states that just hang around leading to moods that do not serve us well in life.

An awareness of our emotions can open up a window to understanding ourselves. If we are angry, we can reflect on why this is so and potentially uncover aspects of our way of being that have been closed to us. Very often, our stronger emotional reactions are pointing to something that is very important to us, yet it is something we may not yet be able to put into words. As a result, exploring our emotions can be a rich vein of learning.

Furthermore, our best interests are not always served by acting from our current emotional context. When we act from anger, then we can hurt someone, including ourselves. Even though most people emphasise the impacts of the so-called 'negative' emotions such as anger, the same can be said for all our emotions. For example, in most cultures, there is a clear dichotomy about being euphoric at a funeral.

The key to our emotional health lies in an awareness of our emotional states and what that means about us and a capacity to shift our emotional to one that serves us best going forward. For example, rather than acting out of anger we can seek to understand what is fuelling that emotion and look for more constructive ways to address our real concerns.

Welcome your emotions and learn from them. Just don't always let them play out.

We invite you to explore more in the articles section of our web site.


Mind Health Matters

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

"Let’s not save our affection, as if rare wine, for special occasions. Give and receive it as essential nourishment.”

... David Malham


A retired grief therapist, David Malham, has been diagnosed with A.L.S. and is facing his imminent death. He has recently written an essay on the New York Times opinion page.

In his blog article David Malham On Dying: “Let’s Not Save Our Affection”, Eric Johnson reflects on Malham’s piece as being “a thoughtful and light-hearted reflection by someone well acquainted with the grief of others.”

My invitation to you is to read these pieces, reflect on Malham’s quote about affection and apply it to your relationships every day. Based on research into the most effective strategies for building and sustaining resilience, 'good relationships' is one of the eight keys. I often speak about resilience and mention the importance and value of good relationships. When I do so, I get a lot of knowing nods.

Then I ask, “What is a good relationship?” It seems this question is not as easy for people to answer as they think it might be. It seems a 'good relationship' is one of those nebulous notions that we aim to live in every day but can often come up short when asked to describe it.

Applying some conscious, deliberate thought to what a good relationship means to you can offer some new opportunities. Being clear about your own definition allows you to check in whether you are being the way you want to be in your relationships. Reflecting on what makes good relationships can offer some ideas about things you could be doing differently. Then you can reflect on how your relationships could be improved by sharing with others your standards and definition of being in a good relationship.

Are you wondering where to start?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get clear on what a good relationship means to you:

  • What are three things you will see yourself doing when you are in a good relationship? You might see yourself smiling gleefully in the mirror each morning, hugging your kids more, or kissing your partner hello and goodbye every time you meet or part.
  • What are three things others will see you doing when you are in a good relationship? People might see you smiling at a significant other like you have a shared secret, they might see you laughing together or walking hand in hand.
  • What will you be saying about yourself when you are in a good relationship? I’m doing well. It’s worth the effort.
  • What will others be saying about you when you are in a good relationship? You look as happy as a pig in mud.
  • What will you be saying about your relationships when you are in good relationship? I’m thankful for the wonderful people in my life.
  • What will others be saying about your relationships when you are in good relationships? How do they do it?
  • How will you feel when you are in a good relationship? Avoid the common responses such as good or great. They are not feelings, they’re degrees of feelings. Think about a more significant emotional description of your desired relationships. Will you feel calm, grateful, excited, magical, invincible?
  • How will others know how you feel about being in a good relationship? Because I tell others how much I appreciate the significant relationships I have.

Checking in on your relationships is worth doing. When you are doing things tough having good relationships around you can make all the difference to how you see things through.

Remember, your mind health matters.

If you’d like me to speak about mind health matters and resilience at your conference or to your organisation please contact me at jacqui@jacquichaplin.com or +61 (0)412 741 531

Play Create Elevate offers your organisation the opportunity to hear first-hand, from a lived experience perspective about the signs and symptoms of mood disorders, how to give and get help and how to build and sustain resilience. PwC have released a report that says for every dollar spent in creating mentally healthy workplaces that an ROI of at least $2.30 is possible… What are you waiting for?  It’s time to speak openly and comfortably about mind health matters!

We invite you to read Jacqui's blog here

More on Mind Health Matters next month!


Want to Learn More About Ontology?

Our mission at Talking About is to share the ontological work with as many people as we can. Our aim is to make the world a better place. To that end, we have initiated a self-directed learning experience we call 'Ontological Foundations'.

In the coming months, we will be building on this initiative and adding more self-directed learning material covering topics such as learning, conversations and moods and emotions. All of this material will be free to anyone who wants to explore the ontological approach.

Ontological Foundations

So what are we offering?

Ontological Foundations is designed to give you an opportunity to gain some familiarity with the basic principles of the ontological approach. It is also designed to give you a chance for self-reflection and self-observation. We do this by offering you a detailed paper on the foundations of the ontological approach and an assignment that we will review and return to you with comments if you wish to send it to us when you have completed it.

How you want to approach this is up to you. You can simply request the Ontological Foundations paper, or get the paper and the assignment and work through them on your own or you can complete it and send it to us for some further thoughts. Ultimately, it is up to you. If you are interested in finding our more, please click on the Ontological Foundations image above or write to us at info@talkingabout.com.au.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Hey, did you know?

"But I Feel Good" Radio Show

Radio Show

Did you know that since November 2013, Jacqui has been hosting a weekly radio show called ‘But I Feel Good’ …talking about pink elephants and black dogs.

The show is dedicated to speaking openly and comfortably about the ‘black dog’ of mood disorders from a lived experience perspective and the ‘pink elephant’ strategies and practices that build emotional resilience and inner fortitude.

It covers a range of topics related to mind health and plays a great mix of music in between interviews with subject matter experts and related content.

The show goes live to air, streaming on www.MAINfm.net so it can be heard AROUND THE WORLD every Monday from 1-3pm AET. Its official broadcast base is 94.9 MAIN FM which extends across the Mt Alexander Shire in Victoria on the wireless. You can also tune in on your favourite smart phone app at 94.9 fm Bendigo.

You can listen to abridged on demand episodes at www.jacquichaplin.com/bifgondemand.

The Monthly Diversion

How the Internet Really Started!

A revelation with an Incredibly Big Message (IBM).

You might have thought that you knew how the Internet started, but here's the TRUE story.

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband: “Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?”

And Abraham did look at her – as though she were several saddlebags short of a camel load – but simply said: “How, dear?”

And Dot replied: “I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS).”

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew.

It was called Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed language to transmit ideas and pictures – Hebrew To The People (HTTP).

But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secrete himself inside Abraham’s drum and began to siphon off some of Abraham’s business. But he was soon discovered, arrested and prosecuted – for insider trading.

And the young men did take to Dot Com’s trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung.

They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And, lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum-maker in the land.

And who indeed did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say: “Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others.”

And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to be known. He said: “We need a name that reflects what we are.”

And Dot replied: “Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner–Operators.” –  “YAHOO,” said Abraham.  

And because it was Dot’s idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.

Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot’s drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God’s Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE)

And that is how it all began.

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

… Robert Brault, Author

Join Us Online

LinkedInDo you want to explore some of these ideas in more depth? Then, we invite you to join our LinkedIn Group and share any insights you may have. As others have done, we also invite to offer your own thoughts and conversations if they relate to the ontological approach. You can find us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.

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