Monday, April 28, 2014


Day One~ I have differnt depths of experience than you.  I pray that yours reach deeper.


Life is a feeling experience. When our underlying emotions are positive, comforting and warm, we enjoy life. When our under emotions are chaotic, full of anxiety, and disturbing, we struggle. Our words and thoughts often just tag along and try to create explanations for “why” we are experiencing what we are experiencing. Our thoughts can serve as regulators, instigators or magnifiers of those original emotional stirrings so our thoughts and attempts to create reasons for what we feel are not insignificant.

Through the evolution of human thought, the human emotions has been a hot topic. Because emotions being the underlying criteria for how we experience life, they therefore have been examined extensively by many notable religious leaders, philosophers, psychologists and political leaders. Within the experience of emotions is found the keys to understanding the lives that we experience.

As children, we were all subject to the waves of the emotional roller coaster of fear, joy, anger and sadness but because of our lack of understanding we had very little ability to regulate the emotional experience. We were just along for the ride. Through experience and the support and direction of “emotionally intelligent” parents or care-givers, we set in motion a trajectory for our future experiences with interacting with our emotional lives. At first, our youthful brains were not sufficiently developed to do much with the emotions except to be their servant. With maturity and experience comes the opportunity for understanding. With that understanding comes the opportunity and the ability, through persistence and focused attention, to begin the difficult process of actually changing some of the emotional programs and hard wiring of our brain.

Our brains have a quality of plasticity which allows for change. The automatic emotional responses CAN be regulated so they can better fit into our plans and intentions which we hold for our present and futures. Regulating habitual emotional responses and intervening with strong emotional triggers is not a task for the weak at heart. It is the undertakings of a weekend warrior but those who are willing to begin a mindful effort which includes liberal servings of compassion, persistence and patience.

Change comes from creating new associations with the old input. When we begin to mindfully observe ourselves, our emotional reaction, and the triggers to those emotional reactions, we are in a position to integrate these new insights about ourselves with a deeper understanding of our own human experience. As we integrate a complex weaving of our emotions, our triggers, and our behaviors with our present beliefs and past experiences, the deeper understanding will begin to soften many of our emotional responses.

It is not an immediate drastic change. Our emotional lives have been sculpted from millions of years of evolution and millions of personal attempts to give meanings to these emotional episodes in our lives. The change takes time and mindful work. The difficulties associated with changing the emotional trajectory of lives are a significant obstacle for many and they quickly tire of the process of change and return to their past practices of fanciful dreams, defensive avoidances, and clever excuses to avoid the pain associated with personal responsibility. Reading a little ditty from a page, such as mine, does not cause change. It may provide constructive material to work with towards our desired change. Unfortunately, our skilled past practices can also easily use the material to continue its own deceptive practices of tricking our conscious mind into believing we are changing when in reality we are not. Acknowledging a truth has very little to do with change. Embracing and integrating a truth into who we are, facing the discomfort of our humanness and frailties, brings about the needed awareness which is essential to begin the molding of our minds and creating of a fully changed life.

May we all begin the hard work of integrating healthy beliefs and behaviors into our lives so we may experience the powerful emotions of a flourishing life. ~Troy Murphy

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Not being EMPTY~

It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty. 
April 16, 2002: Jonathan Safran Foer's bestselling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, is published.