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Cultivating a Helpful Mind

We live in a society that says that humans are rational beings. That is untrue. We are emotional beings with the capacity for reason. Those are very different things.

Emotions evolved as a way to goad us into immediate action that could prevent us from being eaten or missing out on a possible meal. We rarely need that kind of “emergency mode” reaction in the modern world, but it is still part of our neurological design.

Your unconscious mind, which has been trained over time to respond in particular ways, creates your emotions. Your emotions are therefore not directly controlled by your conscious mind. That is why you sometimes feel, and perhaps even behave, in ways that do not match your conscious beliefs and views of the world.

Depression or social anxiety, lashing out or shutting down – these are examples of emotions running your life in problematic ways. My approach is to help you be less reactively controlled by your emotions, particularly emotions like fear, anxiety, or anger.

This happens through a process of training, not just learning, because your unconscious mind learns through repetition and experience rather than reasoning. That training can take many forms, including mindfulness practices, practicing new relationship skills, understanding yourself in new ways, breaking habits of isolation, and identifying with new narratives.

Once your unconscious realizes that you have the strength and skill to deal effectively with life’s challenges, you will have greater access to the other side of emotion: joy, excitement, appreciation of beauty, enjoyment of the moment. This is the core of a life worth living.

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