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Your Emotions: Are you watching them?

By Dr. Sheri Rosenthal

You'll often hear don Miguel Ruiz, author of "The Four Agreements, saying that our emotions are the key to our personal freedom. Wise words! You might be asking why our emotions are so important to our freedom. I've observed in my many years of teaching, how often folks don't acknowledge what they're feeling emotionally. When I ask them how they're feeling they say, "Things are fine, or "The usual." Yet, when you ask them if they got upset or frustrated today, they"ll say, "Well yes, this morning with my husband, or "When the dishwasher repair man came to the house, or "When something was not typed correctly my secretary." So what's going on here? Why are we ignoring the most important tool that we have for our personal growth?

Multiple opportunities present themselves to us daily to grow and learn, yet we're too asleep to see our emotional reactions for what they are. If you're not aware of when you're having a fear-based emotional reaction, you're allowing your personal power and happiness to drain away from you without even realizing it!

A warrior lives by challenge; meaning he perceives everything as an opportunity to learn. Whether he's observing the way he talks to himself when he's waiting on line in the grocery store or sitting on the toilet with constipation - it doesn't matter where the opportunity comes from, a challenge is a challenge! We can learn as much from the way we victimize ourselves on the toilet when we're constipated as we can during an argument with our partner.

We can only shift and change within the context of our challenges, not just by reading books and attending workshops. Yes, we can have "ah-ha's, learn tools and techniques, meet new friends, and adopt a belief system that is kinder to us than the one we currently have. But what really makes the difference is what action we take to make those insights become practical applications.

I encourage you to take advantage of all that life is gifting you in every moment. Stop throwing away these opportunities simply because you choose non-awareness over personal freedom. If you chose to see your emotional reactions to frustrating events as opportunities for transformation, rather than believing that "s-t happens, your life will change.

Take a moment right now to think about how you perceive the events of your life. Do you see challenges as inconveniences? If you do, this could be a great time to shift your point of view. (Remember - the way we perceive our lives is a choice and everything is just a point of view!)

There's one thing I know for sure about this reality. "S-t never happens to us, we're not victims; let's break that belief right now! Life works on the basis of action-reaction. So take action right now based on clarity, rather than your programmed reactions and you'll be on your way to a blissful life, experiencing joyful emotions rather than fear-based ones.

About The Author
Dr. Sheri Rosenthal is a master Toltec teacher and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom. Having trained with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, she currently takes students on spiritual journeys, works with personal apprentices and enjoys being extremely happy. You can reach her at or at

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