Co-creating Our Shared Emotional Environment

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During this pandemic, I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation, by Lisa Feldman Barrett, where she stated, “We co-construct each other’s emotions.” Her point was that we can use our words with one another in either a positive or a negative way. I would say that this is always important to know and critical to be aware of during a global pandemic.

First, social distancing has created an opportunity to re-imagine how we might want to be connected with one another. Social distancing does not mean we have to be socially isolated. However, social distancing does remove the veil of habit and routine and invites us to look at intentionality. How do we want to be connected with each other? And how can we co-create ways to do that? Reach out and ask people you care about how the two (or more) of you can best do that going forward. See what emerges!

Second, how we see each other are opportunities to either be loving or not. One of the quickest ways to move into being unloving is through judgment. When we are under stress, it is much easier for us to move to judging others, in such places as the grocery store, rather than to be loving and curious in response. A quick way to check in for any of us is as simple as a smile. A heart smile is always a good indication that you are being loving.

Finally, what words we use with ourselves and others are also opportunities to either be loving or not. How are you labelling yourself? Are you calling yourself a wreck? Or are you holding a positive and affirming word or message about yourself? Every moment offers a choice to be aware and shift. And the same applies to others.
So, take a moment and breathe deeply. You are a wonderful loving presence in this world. Feel that. Let it drop down from your head into your heart. Linger there for a bit. Feel what it feels like to stay with that feeling. Allow yourself to smile, a heart smile. Let’s co-create a loving emotional environment – together. It won’t cure the pandemic. And it will offer us a much better way to survive and thrive. I am deeply grateful for all of you.

“Who we are happens by HOW we are”.
~ Kevin Buck