Making Great Emotional Decisions

Decisions Series #2

February 3, 2023
Joe and Brett talk about how to dismantle patterns that cloud our judgment and make decisions that include the wisdom of our emotions.

03:00 Embracing Emotions in Decision Making

06:45 Clarifying Decision Making

10:58 Unhelpful Patterns and the Golden Algorithm

19:52 Connection and Decision Making

31:10 Emotional Inquiry

36:15 Pitfalls of Emotional Inquiry

Episode Intro: Welcome to the Art of Accomplishment where we explore how deepening connection with ourselves and others leads to creating the life we want with enjoyment and ease. I am Brett Kistler, here today with my co-host, Joe Hudson.

Brett: Good morning, Joe.

Joe: Hey, good morning. How are you?

Brett: Doing great. It is crazy out there right now, economically. I am having a lot of people in my world and coaching clients facing what feels like some pretty big decisions, so this is something that has been up for me lately, sitting in this perception that people often have that if we make emotional decisions, we can’t trust them. We can’t trust our decisions when there are emotions involved, so we need to be rational and get emotions out of it, which is hilarious.

Joe: That happened to me this morning actually. I was speaking to an entrepreneur in Israel who said the same thing. He said the number one problem he was having was decision making. Also, if I recall correctly, he also talked about rational decision making, which as we have talked about many times, there is no such thing as rational decision making. What’s really true is that I would say it is if you make a decision from depression, it is most likely to bring more depression. If you make a decision from trauma, it is most likely to bring more trauma. If you make a decision from happiness, it is more likely to bring more happiness.

The other way to think about it is that happy people seem to make decisions that continue to make them happy and depressed people seem to make decisions that make them more depressed. I get the idea of not wanting to make an emotional decision. It is just impossible. The question is how you make decisions knowing that emotions are controlling the game. How do you use emotions to make great decisions? Something like that is, I think, the more accurate decision.

Brett: How do you make great emotional decisions? Given that every decision is an emotional decision…

Joe: That’s an even better way to do it.

Brett: This has been something we have covered in a lot of different ways in different episodes here, so this is just something that is very core to our work. We break up that perception that it is the emotions in the decisions that are the problem rather than avoiding the emotion in the decision that causes the outcomes we are afraid of.

03:00 Joe: That’s right. It is not about not making an emotional decision. It’s not about not avoiding emotions in your decision making. I think that’s what you are pointing at there, and that’s a far more useful way to take a look at it. There is this idea of welcoming and accepting certain emotions so that I can have clear decision making and how that works, but what’s interesting to me is how you welcome and accept emotions does a lot more than clarify your decision making. When we talked about embracing intensity in one of the earlier episodes, it is very much the mechanism behind that, which is being able to embrace difficult emotions, enjoy them, and welcome them. That is the biggest leading indicator of transformation. One of the ways that that works is it helps us make great decisions, but it is definitely not the only way it works. To be able to make great emotional decisions also changes a whole bunch of other cool things in your life.

Brett: If you can make the emotional decision of laying off somebody you consider closer and a friend, and you can welcome all of the emotions around that, then you will be able to make a clear decision and be present throughout the thing.

Joe: Correct, and I would say that if you are able to welcome all of those difficult emotions there and in other aspects of your life, other things occur. You are less judgmental. You are less defensive. What you would think are negative emotions start turning into positive emotions. You make better decisions. You interrupt unhelpful patterns. You have more connection with people. All sorts of things happen from that simple thing of what we have called embracing intensity, but I will call here loving and accepting all of the difficult emotions and honestly positive ones. I think I have said this recently, but as the youth are saying, feel the feels. That’s the way my girls are saying it. Feel the feels.

Brett: What makes feeling the feels actually work? Feeling the feels and loving your emotions, to catch people on this, what is it that makes better decisions happen?

Joe: There are so many things. I just discussed some of them, but to go into depth a little bit, oftentimes we use judgment as a way to not feel difficult emotions. As a matter of fact, you have seen the exercise and have done the exercise where you get to discover every time you are judging somebody, there is an emotion there that you are not feeling or every time you are defensive, there is an emotion there you don’t want to feel. We have talked about on the podcast how when we invite an emotion and welcome the emotion, it feels different than if you are resisting the emotion. Emotions unresisted and emotions resisted feel very different from one another even though it is the same emotion.

The three major mechanisms that transform our lives because we are embracing and welcoming emotions, I would think, out of the dozens and dozens are the decision making, the stopping the patterns, and the increase of connection.

Brett: Let’s double click on that a little bit then. Let’s go into a little bit more about how it affects decision making beyond what we just discussed.

06:45 Joe: We have discussed on the podcast how we make emotional decisions neurologically and if we take the emotional center of the brain out, we stop making decisions. We have talked about that. Then the question is if we can´t make logical decisions or if we are using logic to determine what emotion we think we are going to feel given a decision, then how do you clarify decision making if logic isn't going to do it? The answer there is not using a decision to avoid an emotion or to run towards an emotion and to allow a decision to be an expression of our authenticity, what we are excited about, or our joy. Oftentimes what we are doing is we are deciding something to either avoid a consequence, which are emotional feelings, or hope for a consequence, which again is a feeling. Just to be specific about that, somebody might say they are trying to avoid a billion dollars; that’s not a feeling.

Brett: Or I am following my joy and getting a billion dollars.

Joe: What I would say to somebody like that is if you had a choice between getting the billion dollars, but you are absolutely freaking miserable, you want to kill yourself every day and it is a struggle to stay alive, what do you make of that decision? Or vice versa, if you lost everything but you were happier than you have ever been and you felt totally comfortable, at peace and joyful, how would you feel about that? You couldn’t think oh crap, there is no money because you were in so much joy. You thought it was great.

The consequences that we are avoiding are emotional consequences. The question becomes how you invite and learn each of these emotions not to be avoided or not to be run towards and the entire spectrum is lovely. You wouldn’t always want pizza or the same bottle of red wine. The joy is in the eclecticness or the full emotion palette. Each one of them is information. If you cut off any of them, then you have information that you are not going to get, which is critical. The real thing there is how one just loves and embraces all of the emotions. As you do, your decision making clarifies. If you think that you are happy to do something, such as you might need to be sad to do the thing that’s right by me or you might need to be sad to be authentic or you might need to feel like a failure to actually have the success you are wanting, and if you can embrace all of those emotional experiences, then your decision making clarifies.

Brett: I think there is a nuance here where a lot of people will hear this and think let’s say they are okay with losing a billion dollars, losing all of their investors’ money, losing the partner they love, then it makes it more likely that this happens because the fear of those things is what makes them do something alternate. There is something I noticed there, which is how much is the future emotion and how much is it about the present fear of feeling the future emotion.

10:58 Joe: That’s a great one. This leads into the second thing, which is the repeating pattern. That’s a second mechanism. The first mechanism is the way that we embrace emotions brings us joy and transformation and how it affects our decision making, but the second is how it affects repeating patterns. What you are saying there is basically the opposite of what actually occurs. I am starting to come up with this term, golden algorithm. I don’t know why. It is so important, and it took me years to realize this is at the bottom of everything to some degree. I am always hesitant to say this is always at the bottom of everything. There is a lot of completeness in that which is never true, and it also feels so important and so true so often.

The way this algorithm goes is we invite the thing we are avoiding in the exact way that we are avoiding it. I will just say that again, which is we are inviting the thing we are avoiding in the exact way that we are avoiding it. This is how our patterns repeat. We experience some sort of trauma, and in that trauma we weren’t allowed or didn’t feel something because it was too intense at the moment. We keep on repeating the patterns to get back to homeostasis and feel it, and it happens through this algorithm.

A simple example of this would be my daughter and I are sitting there, and she had a big project, which she went to some bureaucracy, like fish and game bureaucracy, and some secretary there chided her for trying to do something bigger than her britches, so to speak. I asked my daughter what happened, and she said it sucked. I asked her what she was trying not to feel. She said she didn’t want to feel like a failure. I asked her what she did to not feel like a failure, and she said I stopped trying. What did not trying create? It created her feeling like a failure. That’s how it works.

Every single problem that you face you can go to and ask yourself what emotion you are avoiding and how the way I am avoiding is actually creating the problem. You can say you can never make your wife happy, as an example. That’s a problem. No matter what you do, your wife isn’t happy. You can just look at it and ask what the emotion you are trying to avoid is. You are trying to avoid her disappointment, and how do you avoid her disappointment? You avoid her disappointment by running away from her whenever she is disappointed. It could be a number of things, but that is definitely going to make her more disappointed. It might be that you try to fix her problems, which of course makes her feel like she is less than and not good enough, and that will constantly make her feel disappointed because she is not happy with herself. Any problem that you have, you can backwards engineer it using this algorithm and see what emotion you are avoiding that’s creating the problem. That’s how it works. That’s the pattern.

Brett: What you said earlier, this seems to be at the bottom of everything, and I know that’s a very broad or complete statement to make, but I see a parallel here with identity as well. In that example where if your wife is disappointed with you, then it means you are not good enough, and if I have the identity of being good enough by a certain standard and I am not meeting that standard, I would have to feel something. I am both avoiding the feeling and I am also maintaining an identity.

This happens in relationships a lot whether it is work or personal around, for example, trust. I have had some sessions where people say they want people to trust them. What they mean by that is they want to be seen as trustworthy. What ends up showing up in their lives is they don’t share anything with people around them that might seem like mistrust because they project that other people want to feel like they are trustworthy rather than recognize where trust isn’t and work on it. Then it ends up being this subconscious lack of trust, for example, until something happens. Then they say people don’t trust them, and that emotion comes in.

Joe: Beautifully seen. I am going to express that in a slightly different way, which is the first thing is this person doesn’t want to feel untrustworthy. They don’t want to feel like people can’t trust them, whatever emotion that brings up in them. I am not good enough, or I don’t have integrity. Then if you just apply the golden algorithm to it, you can see they want people to feel like they are trustworthy, which means they are avoiding the emotion that comes from people feeling like they are not trustworthy. As it turns out, if you want people to see you as trustworthy, that is not trustworthy in itself. I am not going to trust people who want me to see them in a certain light as much as I am going to trust somebody who is going to be with me as I am and them as they are and talk with them as they are with what’s coming up for them in the moment.

But the algorithm will be something to the effect of you are avoiding feeling untrustworthy by not speaking the truth about when I am not trusting you because of this projection, and now I really can’t trust you because I know there is a problem because I can read it on your face and you are not telling me. The exact way we are avoiding it is the way we invite it. It is so edifying when you see that. When you can see that in every single problem you have, it is like woah, such a thing.

Brett: Something that is fascinating about this is I can imagine for some people this might just be a new way to beat ourselves up. We learn this algorithm and then we start to blame ourselves and shame ourselves for everything that happens that results in a difficult emotion for us. We think we must have been avoiding this emotion. I did it again! How do we address that?

Joe: I would be using the golden algorithm. I would be asking what emotion I am trying to avoid here. That’s what I would be doing. I would be looking and then not avoid it. Instead of beating myself up, I would look for what emotion I am avoiding and I would feel it.

Brett: In your history with coaching, what are some things people are avoiding feeling by beating themselves up?

Joe: There are lots of things people can avoid feeling when they beat themselves up. Oftentimes, at least the first level of what they are avoiding is the thing they are beating themselves up for. The shame is the way to stop the emotional experience, and whatever they are ashamed of is what they are preventing themselves from feeling. As an example, I lie to somebody and I feel shame over lying. I am beating myself for lying to somebody. There is usually an emotion that I have to feel for lying. Maybe it is a feeling of remorse, of sadness or of anger that I felt something was more important than my integrity, and I am avoiding that emotional experience.

On the first level, I would say that’s what they are avoiding, and by feeling that, then the shame moves away. Then they can get back to seeing this as a great tool they get to use instead of beating themselves up.

19:52 Brett: You mentioned there were three main things. The third one is connection. Let’s move on to that one.

Joe: It is a great segue. Right away, shame is one of the ways we use to avoid emotions. That shame disconnects us from ourselves and from the people around us. If we judge people, we are avoiding emotional experience, and so that’s a way that disconnects us from them. Judgment is a way that we disconnect from others and from ourselves. Defensiveness is another one. When there is a defensiveness happening, we often feel wrong and we are avoiding it. Even if we are not wrong, we feel like we are wrong. I would say almost every time that happens. That’s another example of it. I think most simply put that when we feel disconnected from ourselves, what we feel disconnected from is our emotional experience. That’s the thing we are running away from or avoiding.

If all of a sudden you are making great decisions, you aren’t repeating your unhelpful patterns, and you are feeling deeply connected and moving into and from connection, you can imagine how quickly your life transforms. All that’s required in all of this is just to feel the emotions you don’t want to feel.

Brett: Alluding back to the Embrace Intensity episode, not creating emotions you think you need to feel or setting up a crucible for yourself or diving into shame and wallowing in it.

Joe: Don’t worry. There are plenty of negative emotions just hanging out that you are avoiding. You don’t have to create others. I have a personal story on this one.

Brett: I am thinking of an everyday example is you get a parking ticket, and you think you are a stupid idiot. Then your parking ticket sits on the counter, and every time you look at the parking ticket, you think damn it and then you never pay it. It ends up getting fees and fines, and then it is even worse. You feel even more upset about it.

I’ve heard something interesting that sometimes people do with that. If you take the parking ticket and you imagine you have already lost the money but now it is actually a check, and if you go and deposit the check, which is made out for the amount of the penalty you will save by actually paying it on time, then every time you look at it, you think free money, let’s pay this. It’s an interesting flip on it. There is a little bit of golden algorithm there. That gut punch pushing you directly away from what your optimal action would be.

Joe: That’s right. If you are not beating yourself up from it and there is nothing to avoid, then you just send the check in. That’s a fascinating thought process. What’s interesting is most of these behavioral hacks that you see are often changing the way you think about it to change the way that you feel about it. I make this story, and the story is I am a bad person who has to be punished and pay a penalty, which I don’t want to feel, to I am somebody who is receiving a check and therefore, I am happy to pay this thing. You are changing the meaning to change the emotional reality that’s happening.

Brett: Which is an interesting short term hack, but in the long term it is more freeing to be able to feel the full gut punch of the regret or of whatever you have to feel about having received a parking ticket.

Joe: They also go hand in hand in the fact that as you learn to embrace, enjoy, and welcome these emotions, they change. That gut punch won’t be the same gut punch if you fully embrace, enjoy, love, accept and look forward to it. Then all of a sudden the gut punch doesn’t feel the same in the body. There is that aspect of it, too. If you are going to try to change every single story so that you never have a negative emotion, that’s going to be a long haul. It’s not going to completely work. However, seeing through stories is great and it is very useful, and what I notice is as people feel deeply into these emotions and accept and welcome them, what happens is their stories change naturally. The head catches up eventually. I wouldn’t say it sees. I would say a lot of our stories are guided by the emotions whether we want to admit it or not. That would be another benefit to feeling deeply, exploring and welcoming all of these emotions. Our stories change and they become far more conducive to living a great life.

Brett: Another thing here is the increasing sensitivity to these emotions. The more you welcome them, the more you will notice that tiny bit of a gut punch of being over the parking but not wanting to leave the conversation because it is so good and I will ignore that for a minute. This is something we talked about in the Q&A episode recently. The more of this work you do, the more sensitive you become and the less you are willing to deal with certain things in your life. You end up feeling more, and it comes earlier, which is really good for making great emotional decisions.

Joe: Well done, Brett. That was a great callback. Yes, that’s right. You can make a lot better decisions if you are sensitive to the emotional experience you are having in the moment, and you become more sensitive the more you feel into them. What’s also interesting is we made a distinction before about choices and decisions, but if you look at all those little choices that happen automatically that we don’t think about, those are controlled even more by emotions than anything else. As you go through these big decisions and find these big emotions you don’t want to feel, as you go through the judgment and find these emotions you don’t want to feel and you start feeling them, loving them and accepting them, all of those automatic, little decisions, just scrolling Facebook for a bit or taking a walk or deciding to eat here, change, which is super cool.

What I notice is it is not impossible but it is really hard to change a habit, such as trying to remember every time you put on your shoes that you are going to do it differently or every time you wake up, you are going to drink tea instead of coffee. Those things can be really challenging, but what I notice is when certain emotional stuff gets loved and unhinged and it is not a hook anymore, some habits just change automatically. A lot of them change automatically. I remember in my 20s I was smoking quite a bit of pot, and I was beating myself up for smoking pot. As soon as I started to love anger and allow anger in a whole new way and then the beginning of sadness, I just lost interest in marijuana. I found that a lot of the habits that we have are used to help us not feel something, what we call bad habits. The more you allow those emotional experiences, learning to love them and embracing them, then the habits are unnecessary.

Brett: Something you said about people making the decision to drink tea instead of coffee every morning. These decisions lead to something that people call decision fatigue, which is you can do it for a while, and then eventually you run out of dopamine, whatever willpower they take, because you are constantly overriding your emotional system, whereas if you just go in and feel the emotions, then you get to refactor that emotional background that creates this context within which all of your decisions occur. I really like that piece about how many unconscious decisions you are making that you are not even aware of. When you look at your life and you think you can only decide between this or that, to leave my job or not to leave my job, how many other decisions are you not even aware of because you won’t let yourself feel a little bit of discomfort somatically before you are even aware that it exists? You realize you could reorg this department. It would be a pain in the ass for everybody and it would be better off in the long run. That’s an option.

Joe: Exactly. We get hung up on these three decisions, and we will call those decisions A, B, and C. They might not even be decisions we should be making. We should be thinking completely about X, Y and Z. X, Y, and Z are actually what’s going to change. With A, B, and C, it doesn’t matter what we decide. The chances of it changing our world is two per cent, but X, Y, and Z decisions might change our world one hundred per cent. You see this in marriages and in people running companies. A lot of the success is built on where you are putting your time and energy, what decisions you are actually making and what decisions you are not making. That is a really hard thing to control consciously. It is far easier to control. Control is not the right word, but to focus on the right stuff is far easier if you are not avoiding the emotional garbage because most of that happens, like you said, subconsciously. That was brilliant. Cool, Brett.

31: 10 Brett: Thank you. Now that we have talked about all of this, how do we do this? What are some practices? What are some ways this could be integrated into people’s lives after they hear this episode?

Joe: We have a thing called emotional inquiry, which I can’t go into here in full depth, but I can talk about the principles behind it. The first thing to see is that it is an undoing. It is not a doing. The doing is in the resistance to the emotion. That’s what takes the energy. That’s what takes the effort. Not resisting the emotion, welcoming the emotion, that takes less effort. It might take a little activation energy, but I have a lot more energy if I have just experienced an emotion unresisted than if I experience an emotion resisted. I’m seeing the smile on your face. You know this experience.

The first thing is it is an undoing, and it is far more like dropping a hot frying pan. How do I drop a hot frying pan? It is one of the most complicated things to explain to anybody, and you just can’t do it. How do you drop a hot frying pan? It is an undoing.

Brett: How to stop overriding my emotions by telling myself what I should be feeling and what’s better to feel.

Joe: All of that shit takes energy, and it is the opposite. It is the thing that requires the least energy. Interacting with an emotional experience in the way that takes the least energy is what we are looking for. That’s the first thing about it. The second thing is you are meeting your emotions with VIEW. You are meeting the emotions with vulnerability. You are allowing the feeling. Impartiality, you are not trying to change it or get rid of it. Empathy, meaning you are having empathy with yourself and you are being with yourself in your emotional experience. You are not trying to fix it or trying to solve it. You are not lost in the story of it. You are just with yourself, just keeping yourself company. You are in wonder. Wonder is a huge piece to this one.

A lot of the emotional inquiry we do is looking at the emotion as if you were a little kid finding a turtle for the first time, and you pick up the turtle and you are checking it out. Looking at your emotional experience like that is absolutely the way to do it. Also, emotional expression is great and moving the emotions, but the most important thing is how to look at this with some wonder, vulnerability, and impartiality. It is really meeting it with VIEW. There are techniques for it, but that's the general principle.

Brett: Something I liked in there was with the amount of energy it takes to manage our emotions, there is so much energy that becomes unlocked when we don’t. People are often looking for the solution to their problems that requires more energy. What can they expend more energy on? I think that’s where a lot of people are stuck, to begin with. Another throwback to our Q&A episode around depression, it was asked how much motivation it takes to beat yourself up constantly in your head and what happens when that motivation is unlocked.

Joe: It is so right, and it is so hard to see when you are in it. Give yourself a little compassion and gentleness. I hear this all of the time with people. They say they can’t feel this thing. You say to them they are feeling it currently. They are just resisting the hell out of it. That’s a great experiment that you can do right now. You can take any emotional experience you are having at this time, take the most intense one, close your eyes and resist the shit out of it. Resist it. Do everything you can not to feel it. Then take the exact same emotional experience and undo everything. Just embrace it. Just allow and welcome it the way that you have always wanted to be welcomed. Welcome it in the way that a five year old looking at a turtle for the first time would welcome something. You feel that and then that tells you right away that’s the difference between resisted and unresisted emotions. It is just immediate.

36: 15 Brett: To speak to some of the inner wisdom of having resistance to emotions, we developed this for a reason. Let’s talk about some pitfalls that might occur as we start down this process. What makes that this isn’t just a natural thing that we do? What are some of the risks?

Joe: I can tell you some of the risks and what makes it not the natural thing that we do. This is my theory. I don’t know how accurate this is, but this is my going theory, which is animals before prefrontal cortex, before meaning making, before being to look into the future and see potential patterns, they were just looking at the emotional reaction to the moment. It makes total sense to think they shouldn’t do the thing that hurts and they should do the thing that feels good. In a moment, that feels really great if you don’t have psychology. If you have psychology, then saying don’t do that in the moment means not to remember this thing. It is the stories because it is the stories that create a tremendous amount of the emotions. All of a sudden it went from two dimensions to three dimensions, and it doesn’t suit the new three dimensional game. That’s the reason I think it was developed. If it is just about eating or not eating those mushrooms, you do what feels good. You don’t do what feels bad. But when it comes to apologizing to somebody and the ramifications of that in your social network and the ramifications of your social network on your business and all of the meaning you make of that, then what feels good in the moment to what is good in the long term are very different things. I think that’s where it comes from.

As far as the pitfalls go, the number one thing that can happen and this only happens to a few people who are usually super type A, who are in it to win and very self-reliant, people I love working with honestly. They start going after every single emotion all at once. Every moment they embrace this one and this one. That can create too much transformation too quickly and it can make you feel very ungrounded. What I would say is go as hard as you want but if you start feeling ungrounded, slow it down. Do it twice a day, no big deal. I think underneath is pushing yourself to get there is another avoidance of emotions. Pushing yourself to get to a place is another avoidance of emotion.

Brett: It is not wonder.

Joe: It is not wonder. That’s right.

Brett: What that brings up for me is the experiments with learned helplessness in mice. If they are shocking the mouse and it can do something about it, then they will shock the mouse and it will run away. But if it can’t actually leave, then it just numbs itself to the experience. This is something also in the way they used to train elephants for circuses. All of these ethical conundrums here, but there is history. A way they would train an elephant to stay in a ring is as a baby elephant, they would tie it to a post. It would learn where it could go. Eventually it would become so big that it could rip the post out of the ground, but it wouldn’t actually try because it had learned where the limits were. When you are experiencing emotions that you have avoided for a long time, there was a reason why they overwhelmed you at some point in time. There was a reason why they weren’t safe. You might have gotten attacked for having those emotions in certain contexts.

To be in wonder isn’t to say let’s welcome all of the emotions as a dogmatic fact of what I am going to do, but rather to just be in wonder with what happens when I feel this happen. What does it bring up for me? How does my life transform? What results occur? Rather than thinking you need to feel everything, and if I am not, that’s an indicator of my failing even if it means I am overwhelming myself all of the time and going back and forth between openness and avoiding.

Joe: You are just describing the same mechanism for another pitfall, which is if you are loving and welcoming an emotion to make it go away, it won’t work. A lot of people do this and then all of a sudden my feeling of fear goes away. It doesn’t actually go away. It just feels different, so we don’t identify it as that uncomfortable thing. If you are doing it to do that, then you are still in resistance and it comes back. That’s another pitfall. It is welcoming it at every level. It is not trying to make it go away by welcoming it.

Brett: What happens when you are a kid and you approach your parent and they love you in such a way as to make it go away? That’s a very nice painting. Nice, dear. How does that make you feel? How does that make your emotions feel?

Joe: It reminds me of something. There was this 8-year-old. I can’t remember who I was with. The kid said he wanted to send us a song, and the parent said that was wonderful, and you know the most important thing about a song, don’t you? It is that it ends. The whole thing was I am not going to be able to pay attention to you forever, and using that golden algorithm again, this kid was never satiated and always wanted attention because the parent was trying to avoid that experience. That’s another one.

I would say the final one is that it works for a while, and then people forget about it. They have some big issue and then they feel the emotion. The issue goes away and then they forget about the rule because everything feels good for a while. There is this big relief. They are no longer in this pattern. They feel really relieved. That doesn’t last forever, obviously. All of a sudden I am in this new thing, and then they forget the tool. Since this is such a powerful, important tool, it is definitely a tool I recommend revisiting on a regular basis.

Brett: I think that’s a big one for people who have gone to a workshop and they have done some kind of practice. They think all it took was them for being willing to feel the sadness and then on the other side there was freedom and joy. Now they are free and joyful, but the next time that sadness comes up, they would need to be just as willing to feel it in order to continue to have the feeling. It is not a one and done thing. It is about becoming more and more open to these emotions, which become, as you get more and more sensitive to them, more and more intense for the same thing to occur. The more sensitivity you get to these emotions and the more willing you are to feel even the subtle forms of them, then your life changes. You have the freedom and the joy. It doesn’t mean you are not going to feel those things anymore. It actually means you are going to feel even more of them.

Joe: Exactly. For those of you who just puckered hearing what Brett said, if you do it consistently, it starts feeling better right away even though you are becoming more sensitive, which is an interesting dichotomy.

Brett: The more you actually, genuinely start to enjoy the range of feelings, the more it will come in because your subconscious naturally filters out things that are not enjoyable until you learn to integrate them and see you can actually enjoy feeling jealousy. That delicious jealousy, it means there is something I really, really want.

Joe: Can I let myself want it completely? That’s it. Beautiful. That was a long one. That was great. I really enjoyed it.

Brett: Me, too.

Joe: Good to talk to you, as always. Let’s do it again soon.

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