Friday, February 27, 2009


As a follow-up to my last entry, I’d like to recommend a few books that can be great resources for understanding and developing the skills we need to manage emotions and stress:

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

The Art of Changing the Brain by James Zull

Being What You Want to See by Jennifer Day

The Hidden Power of the heart by Sarah Paddison

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Power of now by Eckhart Tolle

And especially for Parents:

Creative Visualization with Children by Jennifer Day

Living Joyfully with Children by Win & Bill Sweet

How to Raise a Child with High EQ by Lawrence E. Shapiro

Teaching Children To Love by Doc Lew Childre

Also check out: at : is the most complete guide to information about Self -Improvement, Personal Growth and Self Help on the Internet. It is designed to be an organized directory, with articles and references to thousands of other Web Sites on the World Wide Web

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Emotionally Intelligent?

Emotionally Intelligent? President Obama presents as an emotionally intelligent man: he appears self-aware, with an ability for emotional self-management and impulse control, seemingly at ease with ambiguity, empathic with a natural gift for communicating, persuading and inspiring others, and obtaining support for decisions. Some individuals are inherently emotionally intelligent and, unlike the rest of us who need to make concerted efforts to develop our EI, always seem to be calm, unruffled and in control.

Whenever we view someone innately emotional intelligent, we come to expect certain qualities, for example we would expect that such individuals would also be insightful about those who are not so emotionally intelligent; like most of the rest of us! However, in most cases that has not been my experience. Much like a naturally talented dancer or athlete who finds it difficult to understand what it’s like to be stiff and ungainly, so the emotionally intelligent person may find it difficult to grasp that empathy and “meeting threats with greater understanding*” is not something most of us can do just because we’ve been told to. This is not because we are incapable, but because it’s not inherent within us and we haven’t been taught how to.

We know we need to collaborate more, but the necessary ‘know-how’ is not automatic. We know we need to “brave the currents……. Endure the storms,,,,,,,, and not falter” * Trouble is, we have not been taught the required skills to carry this out. HOW do we meet threats with greater cooperation? If we knew how to, wouldn’t we already be doing it? This thought takes me right to the work I do with businesses and families: very few people consciously mis-manage stress; consciously allow their emotions to control their actions; in fact I believe that if we all knew HOW TO manage stress and emotions, (and I say manage on purpose, as opposed to control), I think we’d be doing a better job of it!

So next time someone tells you to ‘suck it up’ or ‘pull yourself together’, “pull your socks up”, or “you need to communicate better”, and you know you really want to but just can’t seem to, explore whether you really have the skills to, and if not, look for ways you can begin to acquire those skills.

Excerpted from US President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Press Kit

Here is a picture of the official glossy press kit for the Being What You Want to See book now available from us here at AEM. If you are interested in hosting, promoting or writing about the new book and would like a kit, please e-mail Carmen at It includes a new feature I quite like, which is an audio disk with excerpts and guided exercises from the book.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Riding the Wave

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I frequently refer to surfing as a metaphor for managing change, even though I am not a surfer. My husband however, surfs and each time he explains one of the principles of riding the waves, I am struck by the parallels to life itself! Yesterday he explained ‘pearling’, which occurs when you don’t reposition yourself to compensate for transitioning from the downhill slope of the wave to flat water. As a result, the surfboard digs vertically down into the bottom of the ocean, and you get pitched into the water! As you come up for air, you may find yourself floundering, anxiously trying to get back up on the board and, if you manage to, paddling furiously in order to catch the next wave that you know is due imminently! This is often called “The Impact Zone”, a ‘zone’ where time is of the essence! If fear and anxiety are allowed to take over, your much-needed focus will be gone with the waves and your next experience will likely be a wipe-out!

As we move through the second month of 2009, more and more people are finding themselves in that ‘Impact Zone’, experiencing the effects of our global economic crisis, firsthand. And for those of us lucky enough not to, we see neighbors, family, friends or colleagues who are. Potentially, we can all quite easily move into a state of anxiety!

Two questions emerge for me:

1.Have we / are we flexible enough to reposition ourselves to compensate for the transition we are going through? In other words, are we willing to be adaptable, try something new, stretch our thinking till it surfaces out of the box we have hitherto made ourselves so comfortable in? Can we transcend old behaviors and ride the waves of change with flexibility, or are we sticking with long-established, customary measures that will inevitably pitch us back into the water?

2.Are we anxiously and furiously flailing about, grasping at sea-foam, our fear of the possibilities ahead paralyzing us and keeping us just treading water until the next wave wipes us out?

I only pose these questions in the hope that they will cause reflection. One thing I do know for sure is that managing our emotions is paramount if we are going to be successful at ‘riding these waves’. Although it is natural to feel anxiety and even fear, our chances of successfully navigating this time will be in direct proportion to our ability to process and move through these feelings, keeping our ‘emotional brain’ calm and managed, and our ‘thinking brain’ switched on: The two ‘brains’ can never be active simultaneously! When we are in fear, our ‘emotional’ brain takes over and puts us into defense mode, causing panic, inflexibility, and resistance to change. Short-term thinking and bad decisions are made in this state. Conversely, smart, innovative thinking that will create the new ways of doing things that we so sorely need, comes from a switched on ‘thinking brain’, which can only happen when we are in an emotional state of centeredness; focused yet flexible, willing to reposition, and open to transcendence. ‘Riding the waves’ in this state will minimalize the chances of ‘pearling’ or ‘wiping out’, in fact we may eventually find the ride quite exhilarating!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Even in the simple organizing of stones, certain principles apply when creating a balanced, sustainable and unshakeable foundation.

The same principles apply to human progress and the underlying emotions that form the foundation for all our behaviour, thinking and inter-relations.

I am experiencing this every day and hope to share my thoughts and ideas with you as I write here, sharing tid bits on the blog of AEM.