An important aspect of personal empowerment is having an ability to be emotionally present and aware of your internal emotional experience. So often we try to figure out what we need to do next with our brilliant intellect, we then miss the valuable information our emotions are telling us about an experience. I see my feelings/emotions as my ally. They round out my experience and when I also pay attention to my feelings, I am fully grounded and oriented in my world. Often my intellect (the thinking/rationalizing part of me) can hijack my emotional connection by telling me what I should be "thinking" and "doing" and that "feeling" and "being" are of little or no value to me.

Daniel Goleman has written many books on the value of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This is how he describes emotional intelligence:

This is the essential premise of EQ: to be successful requires the effective awareness, control and management of one's own emotions, and those of other people. EQ embraces two aspects of intelligence:

1. Understanding yourself, your goals, intentions, responses, behaviour and all.

2. Understanding others, and their feelings.

Goleman identified the five 'domains' of EQ as:

1. Knowing your emotions.

2. Managing your own emotions.

3. Motivating yourself.

4. Recognising and understanding other people's emotions.

5. Managing relationships, ie. managing the emotions of others.

The process and outcomes of Emotional Intelligence development also contain many elements known to reduce stress for individuals and organizations, by decreasing conflict, improving relationships and understanding, and increasing stability, continuity and harmony.

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Having a vocabulary for our emotions in essential. For most us we grew up learning that feelings don't really matter and have learned to suppress and discount our emotions. Often the vocabulary for our feelings are narrowed down to good, ok, fine, and better which are judgments about our feelings. This can leave us disconnected and numbed out to our feelings or held hostage by feelings that we don't have any control over.

It takes the willingness to be present to our emotions and identify and feel what we are feeling versus running and stuffing our feelings. Feeling our feelings doesn't mean we become them or that they are our identity. It means we feel them, listen to them and ask ourselves, "what do I need in this moment that will support me in living and speaking from my heart lovingly and authentically?" This connection supports us in being fully present and empowered on our journey.

Author's Bio: 

Helen Valleau is an Author, Speaker, Coach and Visioning expert. She has inspired thousands of visions to come to life and has created a program and book called A year of possibilities to offer a variety of ways that people can work with her to achieve their dreams.