The root of the word “emotion” comes from the Latin “emotere”, which means “to disturb”. I find this very interesting, because in my experience emotions are incredibly disturbing. I find clarity is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible, when I’m emotional. Not only is the monkey mind bouncing off the walls as usual, but the monkey is high on hormones and adrenaline! There are as many ways of  taming our emotions as there are people. We can breathe, count to ten, close our eyes, walk away, recite our mantra. One person I know envisions a giant stop sign in her head, which I think is just fantastic. All of these tricks are ways of slowing down time, it gives you precious minutes to stuff the monkey into a cage. When the emotions are back in check, it’s easier to see clearly again. Has there been an experience where you couldn’t find the right words, and as soon as it’s too late to speak you find the perfect comeback? Slowing down in the moment cures that. I can feel my brain engage again and suddenly I’m able to find the perfect words for the occasion.

The Latin root for “crisis” is “krisis”, which means “turning point”. This is just perfect. So often in our lives, we find ourselves at a crossroads, a crisis. Maybe there has been a death, a birth, a health issue, a work problem. It could be a positive situation or a negative one.  Either way, it is time for change of some kind. Several people have told me stories of getting kicked in the pants by the universe, the suffering it created, and the wonderful outcome that finally arose from the ashes. New businesses, careers, relationships, self-discovery. Everything life throws at us is to teach us a lesson. When we can learn and grow, we won’t have to face that particular lesson again. It’s when we delude ourselves, hide from crisis, live in denial and turn away from life’s lessons that we’re doomed to repeat them over and over.

Do you have a story of a situation where emotions played a major role? What happened, and what did you learn from it? What about a turning point? What’s your story of crisis and how it changed you?