I take a hot shower to counteract the cold.

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I have been sick over the last few days, fever and fire in my throat. I hate it.

I am unpleasantly cold – shivers, rising in intensity. Each morning I wake hoping to be better. I drink a lot of hot tea, black or herbal, or simply water. And take hot showers – for comfort, and thinking.

Things are happening.  Sometimes I think I am back to square one, and there is this comparison thing starting  – look at all those young people with a wonderful career and how they travel the world and how they have everything and how they can do wonderful websites, and what about me? On and on it goes, but now I find it easier to disengage from this kind of thought. I find it easier to focus on what I can do to move me closer to my ideal life right now. Building your ideal life is an act of self-love. It’s all a continual training session but with a twist – with a very sweet twist.

So I have started teaching /interacting with people. When I do it, I find it challenging to adjust our energies – with some people it’s easier to do than with others. You  have to find an emotional connection which is not found through endless conversation. To establish an emotional connection, you have to feel into someone and give them what they need.

So that is what teaching is – establishing an emotional connection and continuously giving, it’s a form of nurturing.

Teaching is good – I get to observe different people and all of them work differently.  In other words, human nature is interesting.

At first I approached my interactions with anxiety, now I come at it with curiosity. I reach deep within myself for something to give. Things like acceptance and kindness. I come to love them instantly, I don’t know why it happens, but I feel that I want to guide, teach, love. Always.

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I also think about writing. I know I was born for it. And since today is the day for severe honesty, I am going to admit that I do like writing in Russian too. I have been struggling with the question of which language to use in my writing, and I have been hiding from the fact I enjoyed Russian as well; so maybe now is the perfect time to face it – I don’t want to make a choice. I think…I know. I know I have enough capacity for the both of them and even more. That’s the thing. When I was trying to shelter myself from Russian, when I was trying to believe that English was my destiny, I now wonder if the point of it was to see what I see now, to embrace what I embrace now – I can write in both languages.

I can be proficient, brilliant, creative – whatever adjective I have always dreamed of becoming – in both of them. Seriously.  

So I want to combine my wonderful and reclusive writing career with working with people. With being able to help them find ease and grace in life. Life is hard, but you, YOU, you can absolutely ace it.

I believe that the people who come to me – I have something to give to  them. Does not matter if they just come once or keep coming, as long as it feels natural for the both of us to interact – I am fine. When I teach, it feels that I sink down into my real self. It feels relaxing. It feels that I am sinking into my heart space, and there is nowhere I would rather be.

However, writing is what I was born for. I keep saying that because I enjoy keeping saying that.  I don’t have to make the choice between guiding people and being a writer. Fortunately, I am large enough to hold both things. And so are you.

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We are emotional beings. But that’s all been said. The focus of this blog is to look at learning from the emotional perspective.  The idea of emotional intelligence embraces being aware of your own emotions as well as the emotional states of others, and the ability to manage those emotions. I don’t really subscribe to “managing” the emotions view, for I think that emotions are a little bit too wild for that, and I don’t want to restrict them – what I can do though, is work with them. The emotional energy is highly plaint – you can tweak it if you have been practicing patience with yourself. It all starts with self, with the emotional experiences of Self. The way you treat yourself is reflected in what you are able to perceive as your reality – what kind of reality are you experiencing?  First of all, it’s an emotional reality.  From my own experience, I tend to focus more on what I feel and how I feel, and then comes the physical reality. If my emotional state says I feel wonderful, then everything else becomes the extension of this feeling, and the way I see the external objects, is positive. But then again, the objects and other external agents can influence my emotional state too. So, it works both ways.

When it comes to learning, I found that my emotional experience is the very context, the very substance in which learning shapes itself. In which the very outcome of it is conceived.  Even though I learn things primarily for the pleasure of doing so, I also learn things to achieve and accomplish the ends that are of interest to me.

It’s been shown that optimism and joy facilitate learning.  So it seems we are better off cultivating these two.  I believe that how much joy you feel is directly proportional to how much care you take of yourself. And this one rubs against the idea of self-love. The emotional experience of self-love.

The emotional experience of self-love can be learned. It’s not an easy thing to experience if all you’ve done to date was crap all over yourself. Now you have to restructure your pathways, break your habits, install new ones, practice being healthier, and all in all, become a different person. Self-love only sounds easy.

But one of its rewards is the improved emotional state. This improved state can be characterized as hope mixed with positive regard mixed with general optimism. Quite a concoction. I found that in this state, I start feeling good about myself and my anilities which then morphs into the desire to learn. The desire to learn, when it is elicited internally, and is stimulated by a dose of the emotional experience of self-love, is the beginning of mastery and a positive learning experience. This emotional tone starts to influence the physical environment of the learner which becomes manifest in supportive interactions that lead to synergistic learning within the group.

Learning synergy is a self-reinforcing and powerful tool for accelerating the learning process. It’s the opposite of competition because it presupposes cooperation.

Both competition and cooperation can facilitate learning, but I do believe that cooperation is much more powerful because it unites, as opposed to competition that takes the experience further along the individualistic continuum, and sometimes leading to isolation and emotional pain.

It’s all about balance in the end. Balance things out, find what works, try new approaches. But most importantly, explore the idea of self-love and start practicing it. In small ways perhaps – eat well, stroke yourself, talk to yourself in a soothing way, tell yourself you are confident even though it may sound like one hot damn of a tale in ttpgqgztyhwwhe beginning.