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Last week I wrote about the sage and how we can choose approaching life from the sage’s perspective. In this post, we will explore the five powers of the sage, which we all have and can develop. Simple situations may require one or two; complex events may require the use of all five.
Our sage and its five powers can meet every challenge, no matter how daunting.
Empathy is one of the most powerful emotional intelligence skills to connect with others, with ourselves (self-compassion), and to project and gain trust.
Empathizing is about feeling and showing appreciation, compassion, and forgiveness.
Empathy recharges our batteries. Think about when you are not feeling at your best and someone shows empathy. Something stirs and you feel like the world and everything around you is not so bad after all.
We use this power when our emotional reserve is running low, and we need to recharge before moving on to problem-solving.
A technique I learned from the book Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine is to visualize the other person (or ourselves) as a young child (usually younger than ten). Kids are full of energy, curiosity, questions, and many times they can be both annoying and fascinating. Even when they start to irritate us, we find ways to see their innocence and how they are seeking our approval and love. Their true essence shines like a diamond.
This technique can be applied to ourselves. I have a picture of me when I was two years old. When my inner critic is particularly vicious or I start to feel like a victim, I locate the picture and see myself in my true essence — a girl full of life, sense of humor, confident in her own skin, with big feet, hands, and smile, who knew she was enough.
It is amazing what happens when we start to see the adults around us and imagine them as five-year-old children. Switching from judgment to empathy becomes significantly less difficult. Try it next time you see your exasperating coworker and observe what happens.
“The opposite of anger is not calmness. It’s empathy.”…