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8: Emotional Alignment Practices Overview

This blog series considers the importance of developing that intra- and inter-personal harmony by offering holistic practice considerations. They are intended as regular practices to support being in ‘right-relationship’ with yourself and with others. However, they are not prescriptions so much as offerings from which you may choose, modify or replace as you prefer.

The emphasis here is on the interconnected whole that is each of us and that surrounds us. As you read through this post, please take time to reflect on how you experience these interconnections to enhance your consciousness.

For an an understanding of the intent and context this blog post, please visit the blog series introduction.

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Emotional Alignment Practices Overview

There has been much made of our current global cultural climate, not just of physical separation, but emotional distance and missing compassion. As we rely more and more on technology and living in the ‘virtual space’, many people are feeling more isolated and lonely than ever. COVID-19 has accentuated this online-quality of our lives, but it is most certainly not the genesis. From virtual games to video-conferencing to social media to streaming movies to work intranets and portals to apps for every imaginable purpose, we have embraced a virtual life more and more over a natural one. Children are being given phones and iPads at younger and younger ages.

Yet naturally we are social beings. We have survived these eons of existence not with fangs, claws, flight, speed or skin of armour but with community, compassion and communication*. So our brains are social organs – producing reward hormones like oxytocin that encourage these connections. Relating to one another is how we move forward. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” is an oft-quoted phrase, and for good reason. But this necessary fabric of society and the ‘social contracts’ that go along with it are being ever-so-tightly stretched.

Many psychologists believe this virtual-living experience is affecting our emotional capacity for empathy, as our own perspective dominates and we make assumptions about the intent of others. The lack of in-person connection and use/reception of body-language expression may actually reduce our ability to understand others and establish and maintain healthy relationships. This has become common on social media where friendships can be lost in rapidly escalating text battles, where any perceived protection seems betrayed by the pain and emotional injury still felt online. Fear, anger, hate, distrust, depression all seem to be on the rise, fuelled by conspiracy theories and politically motivated misinformation campaigns.

And the novel coronavirus is but one of many collective challenges we face. From poverty-stricken societies to water and food availability to habitat destruction and the ‘6th Great Mass Extinction’ to the unseen but always present yet uncertain threat of our anthropogenic climate crisis. While think-tanks, NGO’s and some governments engage in discussions and debates on these matters, the rest of humanity largely is left to pretend they aren’t aware, yet the weight on our emotional health remains.

All of this has created an emotional crisis that cuts to the heart of our ability to be human and humane to ourselves and one another. At a time when emotional awareness and emotional intelligence are most needed, we live in a technology-dependent society that has damaged rather than nurtured both. So how can we counter some of these negative influences in our lives toward greater emotional alignment within ourselves and with others?

In the figure below are four Emotional Alignment Practices for you to consider, which I will share in greater detail in four blog posts to follow. They are intended as considerations to support ourselves and others to become the ‘better angel’ within each of us at a time when angels are much needed but in short supply. As Charles Eisenstein recently said in a podcast, we need to move from separation to both inter-being and intra-being.

As with the other alignment practice offerings, what you decide to take from them is up to you. This list of four is neither perfect nor complete, and I invite you to offer any additional thoughts throughout.

  • As living and breathing testimony, as I searched for an image of humans communicating together for this blog post, the result from my search when I simply used the word 'communication' was the following:

References / Readings:

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