Each of us has an “emotional tell”; that tips us off that we are about to get emotionally constricted – either getting ready to bark at someone – or shut down and withdraw. A tell is an unconscious sign that you are feeling a certain way.

When you find yourself emotionally constricting in any way and notice your emotional tell, think SODA:
STOP whatever you are doing or thinking.

OBSERVE yourself – where you are, who you are with, what is going on from a witnessing perspective; feel yourself rise up to the top of the room observing yourself objectively with no opinion. Keep rising up until you can objectively see yourself and the other person or irritant – and simply view them as two children of God. (Sometimes I’ve had to rise to the top of the building or even the moon before I was able to observe objectively.)

DETACH – for just a moment – from the drama, charge, and emotion of the moment and take a long slow deep breath in. At the same time, ever so subtly, step or lean back a few inches; then take a long slow exhale which will bring some release from the turbulence. In this process you’ve created
some energetic distance (through breathing) and physical distance (through leaning back) between you and the irritant.

AWAKEN to a better version of yourself. The part of you that makes you feel proud of how you respond to life. Awaken a hidden aspect of yourself – perhaps the part of you that trusts, or is brave, or is grounded, or forgiving. The part of yourself that’s “better than this.” Stay in this space for a few seconds and simply breathe – observing your higher traits such as strength, confidence, compassion and let them be introduced into the moment. We’ve all heard of What would Buddha do? Or What would Jesus do? At this point in the process, ask yourself, “What would the best version of me do or say right now?” The reactive aspect of yourself will transform in seconds to your most relaxed version.

Have you ever used SODA in your relationships and interactions? If so, tell me about it below!


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