Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul, tells us that one of the key aspects of our individual evolution revolves around our ability to become aware of and gain mastery over our emotional states.
Zukav believes that emotional awareness is essential because it is a key skill that helps us to develop compassion, and to live our lives from a perspective of love. While there is no rush to this development, gaining control over your emotional states is a major milestone along any spiritual path. Asking how we can increase our ability to do this, every single day, is one of the most important spiritual questions everyone will face, each in his or her own time.
Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to build this emotional awareness in your own life. One approach, popularized by Eckhart Tolle, is to get rid of the emotional pain body, which is another way of saying that you can release pent up negativity from the past and live more fully in the present moment.
Zukav sees this process of releasing negative energy in terms of karma, and writes that as we are able to act more consistently from the heart-center, using the energy of love, we can use that process as a tool for developing authentic power.
Excerpt On The Awareness of Emotions from The Seat of The Soul
Without an awareness of our feelings we cannot experience compassion. How can we share the sufferings and the joys of others if we cannot experience our own?
If we are not intimate with our emotions, we cannot perceive the dynamics that lie behind the motion, the way that these dynamics work, and ends that they serve. Emotions are currents of energy that pass through us. Awareness of these currents is the first step in learning how our experiences come into being and why.
Emotions reflect intentions. Therefore, awareness of emotions leads to awareness of intentions. Every discrepancy between a conscious intention and the emotions that accompany it point directly to a splintered aspect of the self that requires healing. If, for example, your intention to marry causes pain instead of joy, following the pain will lead you to unconscious intentions. If your intention to advance in your work causes sorrow instead of satisfaction, following the sorrow will lead you to unconscious intentions.
Without an awareness of your emotions you are not able to experience compassion. Compassion is not an emotion. It is a way of being, but the path to compassion is through your heart, and only an awareness of your feelings can open your heart.
Read more about living with compassion and loving kindness.