Emotional Intelligence

Cover of "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"
Cover of Emotional Intelligence 2.0

As someone who is trying to change so much in myself, there are times I do feel overwhelmed. I wake up almost every morning now to do the following: journal, work on original writing, sometimes blog, watch BK Shivani and mini meditation about soul consciousness raising, do, walk the dog who has been patiently waiting and then right after that work out for precisely 15 minutes, 11-13 minutes running off and on the treadmill and 3-10 minutes using a punching bag.  Finally, shower, Grab a banana or cereal and off I go!. All this before even starting my day at work.  Initially, I was exhausted by 9:30am when I arrived at the office, yet now I feel it normal, full in a way that I have not felt in ages.

I try to use BK Shivani’s message that I am the creator of my thoughts, feelings and actions. I am in charge of my emotions, and I create almost 50-60,000 thoughts in my head in a single day. The question is not about quantity but quality. Positive and soul consciousness raising thoughts give energy while negative, necessary and idle thoughts deplete you.  I’d like to add that negative emotions do the same.  At the same time while I listen to “Healer Within” I remember the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 which tells me to use active listening to hear the other person. I am trying on so many levels to be the person I want to be. I have made it my mission to be a better person because ultimately, I want to enjoy meaningful relationship with others but most importantly with myself.

It’s a hard path because I constantly fail at active listening which involves me really hearing the other person and asking questions. Instead. I get hurt and become self-defensive which in turn creates more hurt and pain which leads to more negative emotions.   I am starting to see that I am truly at the beginning of my journey of being in charge of myself. Wish me luck!

#30trust, #trust30, Writing

Number 1 Passion: A Blog Post

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Number 1 Passion by Eric Handler
What is your #1 passion in life?  Now, imagine what would happen if you incorporated that passion into your life daily.  Write down your passion and keep it close to you.  Remind yourself of it daily, just like brushing your teeth.

(Author: Eric Handler)

Reading has been my passion all my life and lately I have begun to incorporate it into my daily life by either going to bed reading or taking a day or two to make significant progress into a book.  I am still split on whether I prefer the Kindle or the Ipad by my ideal still is a real book.  Something quite satisfying about turning a page, feeling the heft of the book lighten as you make deep in-roads into its story and get stamped with new ideas and thoughts (can’t help remembering some of the passages from Freedom by Jonathan Frazen) and touched by the emotions and characteristics of novel protagonists.

Besides my literary passion, my other passion is trying new things and that has transformed very well at my work as I have managed to make mundane tasks more interesting or come at them differently.  However, I am constantly stalled by my own insecurity and need to please others and I swallow my ideas, ballooning up with regret, festering inside with an urgent need to vomit out all the negativity.  However, I am getting better and I see now that I do not have to react to every situation with emotion especially hurt and anger.  I have learned to quiet down my emotional turmoil and hear what the other person is saying and see it from their perspective.  Even if I do not agree, I see that people relax once they feel heard.  It is a great feeling to make things happen when there is calm in important parts of my life.


The Gossip

Lowest Common Denominator

So admit, lately I have fallen into the trap of judging people almost instantly and what’s worse they are people who were once close to me or near me physically.  I realize now that a struggle it is to remember to just breathe and start the day blank instead of being pummeled by a 100 thoughts of what I need to get done.  As I read and write more, get more enjoyment from the simple moments of life, I see now that I have to make an effort to stay present, connected with what I am feeling but not be overwhelmed by it. It’s a struggle not to speak in frustration and anger.  While the need to be firm is important, I easily dive into anger a bit too quickly.

Moreover, the worst is the recent gossiping I have begun to do, putting down people for minor (at least in the long run) and trivial things that did not matter to me before.  Part of the problem of being in a close group that shares information is that the littlest things get transmitted instantly and the reaction even quicker.  I see now that I am contributing as much to the problem as others, and the only I can hold responsible is myself.

Yet I ask what it is that is making me behave this way?  What makes me put down some people trivial things, and others that I no longer begrudge the benefit of the doubt.  I just assume that lowest common denominator about them, yet it is I who is lacking in basic civility.  Now it would be easy to confront some or speak my mind to others, yet the real problem is myself.  I do not know how to speak bluntly but without emotion.  I somehow manage to sound irritated, petty, annoyed, all at the same time.  The eloquence I think I have seems to abandon me at the crucial moments, and I see what I need to work on.

Recently, I have begun to get agitated at some for not following through for something that seems quite obvious to me in order to better their lives.  But I know it’s not up to me how people choose to live their lives or make their decisions.  I must remember that we each live our own moments, through our own ideals, right or wrong.  All I can really do is to stop gossiping about it.  I cringe as I see that word in print.

Myself, Preeti

A Letter From Me To You


by Jemal Yarbrough

I sent this to my dear friend and family today. Then it hit me that I meant it for anyone in my life.  I hope it helps or if nothing else makes you appreciate what you do have instead of what you do not.


I woke up today, feeling lighter in months.  The sun is shining, lighting up my library and my soul.  I sit here writing these letter with a smile on my face.  I have been meaning to write to many of you and then it hit me that it was almost the same message for all of you.  If you’re getting this email today, it is because I love you, and cannot express how much you mean to me in person.  Before anything else, I would like to apologize to some of you for my mean spiritedness and my childishness.  I expected everyone to behave exactly how I was feeling, and I made it about me and not Preeti so please accept my apology as I was unfair, small-minded and frankly, just selfish.  To some others, I was also unkind and cruel for no real reason than because they happen to be in the way and again, I apologize. All of who have been generous with your warmth, help and thoughts at one time or another so much so that I don’t think I will ever be able to repay you.  So I simply say thank you again, and again and again. 🙂  One last apology, I couldn’t BCC you all for some reason so please ignore the CC’s and do not reply all please.

But that’s not the real reason for this email   I just finished reading the Taking The Leap by Pema Chodron, and so much of the book made instant sense to me so I ask you to please get the book (I was lucky enough to be gifted by someone very thoughtful).  In a nutshell, the book says we are not alone, and we do not need to suffer alone.  Many of you are going through your own crisis’s and challenges, and I just want to let you know that your are loved and thought of by me and others  Don’t let ego and pride be the reason for not reaching out.  I know I didn’t.  Don’t let fear, hate and anger rule your world because in the short-term it will feel good but it won’t solve anything in the long-term.  Do not let negative emotions rule your day and self because they are just old habits that will only give you temporary relief.

Instead, pause throughout the day, take 3 deep breaths.  1) Acknowledge that you have the emotion 2) Experience the emotion 3( most importantly, relax and let it go.  You don’t have to act on those negative emotions. I just reread the email, and I know I sound like a born again sappy religious wacko, but I truly mean the words that are here.  I love you, I miss you, and I am sorry.  IF nothing else, please just remember that.

Have a great day.  I know I will be thinking of you all.



by Jemal Yarbrough

Warning! Whining dead ahead, please delete page before the debris of self-loathing, regret, and petty annoyances ruin your day and eyesight!!

Lately, I don’t know if I even know myself.  Small things I used to ignore or not even let me enter my consciousness now grind away loudly in my head, and I feel as if some are there just to purposefully make our lives more miserable.  I keep trying to forgive, to ignore to live day by day yet I feel so full of emotion that I manage to puke up small hissy fits or too sharp retorts to people who just happen to be in my eyesight..

Between her bouts of nausea, pill giving, constant asking if she’s ok, I have lost sense of who I am and what makes me tick.  Gone is the schedule to write, to read, to sustain myself, and I realize I need to get back to basics as I completely alienate myself from everyone.  I seem to have just become reactive and living emotion to emotion, and that doesn’t quite make me a pleasant person to be around especially if you are her best friend or my new brother-in-law.

Yet there is more to this than me being just self-pitying  In all of this, is the cry of my love language: acknowledgement.  I come from a family where we are quick to appreciate and recognize what we do for each other, yet I am with someone who is heading to possible depression as she copes with a disease that has stolen away so much of her energy and heart.  We sit apart across a gulf of resentment, and self-pity, and while I call out to her, I seem to be just by myself, destined to wallow in a shallow pool of self-hatred and guilt.  Our friends are trying to help yet are some too young, some too selfish and some just indifferent.  Then there is the special category of people who seem to be waiting for for me to beg for forgiveness and all I can say is that they will be waiting a long time.  Finally, there is the extra special category of self-important people who for one reason or another are not reaching out because they are “hurt” by my sentiments.  To them, I say a big fuck you and please get out of my life.  I pity myself for being dumb enough to be friends with them in the first place.

I also know that two simple words from her could change all of this.  Two small words that if I heard occasionally or perhaps in the form of a card, a poem, a line or just an intimate moment.  Two words that would make the day just go faster and more worthwhile instead of the constant and steady silence in our room and house.  Two words that could cleanse away this wall of resentment between us.  Two words from her that could make me feel like a husband rather than just a caretaker.  Two words that could ease the heaviness in my heart and dampen my reactive nature.  Two words that would make the 3 years of hell we had prior to her illness fade into black.  Two words that would mute my hurt and anger at the world and those close to us because I am lashing out blindly. Two words: Thank You.  Just that.  Thank you.  I do not need anything else.  Those are the words that will sound proof me from my constant doubt, worry and self-hate.

Thank you for reading. Thank you Lord for never leaving me alone. Thank you Family for always being there are at my lowest moments and just bringing me up with your presence.  Thank you ex-friends for teaching me the value of friendship and finally thank you to the ones who selflessly come out of the wood works and shown the true measure of caring.




Going Nowhere Fast

Angry Talk (Comic Style)
Image via Wikipedia


by Jemal Yarbrough


Today was one of those days where nothing made sense, and everyone seemed to be at blame.  I was unhappy with many, and it seemed that many close to her were taking her chemotherapy for granted.  I was angry, yet I knew what was driving this emotion: fear.  My fear, to be precise.  In my effort to control the uncontrollable, I got lost in the blame game.  It seemed easier to be angry than to face the glaring truth: I am run down, overwhelmed, and just plain tired.  Plus, I can no longer ignore the twinges in my throat that foretell a major cold: something she cannot absolutely not be around.

And so I fumed, angry at the world and especially annoyed by others carrying on with their day when I know no peace and neither does she.  Therein lies the problem: I made my pain above hers, and just felt truly alone.  Between the countless hours of worrying, and wondering what the coming day will consist of, I lost sight of the one person truly living with this.  It’s easy as hell to be mad at her family for not being around, but hard to acknowledge that I am failing her in some key ways: mainly in emotional arena.  It’s hard because I am not at peace anytime and unable to get to do the things I need to fulfill myself.  I am drawing empty, I do not know what to do.

So I get angry, and blame and try to numb myself by borrowing an hour to go to the Hidden cafe. It’s not enough because deep down, I know I am not doing myself any favors by blowing smoke, and that the real break for me is to be around my friends and family, read and write as much as I can.   I do not know how to reach out because I have been let down by a few, and due to this foolish pride of mine, I sit here alone in the other room unable to sustain my wife in any meaningful way.  I see it and know that I need to be better, and can be better. I just have to step away from the ones that aggravate me, quit blaming others,  be vulnerable, love myself, be kind to my soul, and love her with all my soul.

So although the day went nowhere fast, and I fight this cold, I know one truth: we are halfway through and at the end of the day, that is all that matters.  I am thankful for what I have, no for what we have, and have faith that things will get better.  Today ended with me realizing that I need help, and it may not come from the ones I expect.  And that’s ok.  Friends and people will fail and let me down, and I will too, and that’s ok.  I am only human.