What's Your Emotional Reaction to Chaos?

You can count on two things right now: the unexpected happening and your ability to navigate the unexpected.
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Isn't it a shock when we get in an accident? It's an emotional shock. Intellectually we know an accident is possible. We carry insurance just for that reason, right? Chaos happens when we react to chaos intellectually but are behaving like chaos won't happen. That's when chaos becomes chaos. That's how we create our own element of surprise.

The more we respond intellectually to chaos the more resilience we need.

Resilience is not the ability to keep bouncing back like Teflon. Resilience is the building of a moral fiber so strong that nothing can penetrate it. It's the difference between Teflon and Memory Foam. Teflon repels. Memory Foam relieves. And you'll know you have reached this pivotal point when you no longer feel the need to defend your old story. When you no longer reach for your old tools to create what is, in reality, simply another version of the same old story.

True leadership is when you can stay emotionally connected without being emotionally reactive in the moments when the proverbial horse poo hits the fan.


Our intellect is what we have used to keep our emotions in check. But you can't stay there. You can't stay in your head. Not forever. Not without getting a serious headache. And quite seriously, not without really putting yourself in danger. You may think it's safe to stay in your head when actually the opposite is true. Intellect can be used as a tool or a weapon against ourselves. It can be a double edged sword. We use our intellect against ourselves when we stay in it so long that we begin to hide there. Have you ever heard the saying "he's too smart for his own good?" Staying in your head won't solve a thing. It's a short term solution to a long term problem. Staying in your head just masks the problem for another time where you can absolutely bet on the fact that that very problem will show up again. Usually at the most inopportune time.

Emotional Intelligence

To effect sustainable change in moments of turmoil you must come at the chaos with emotional intelligence and emotional presence. You must be emotionally collected to be emotionally connected. Emotional intelligence is what is needed in navigating chaos and turmoil. In times of turmoil some of our emotions, like fear, get stirred up and can run away with you. Which is why you want to have emotional collection. Which is very different from having a tight rein on your emotions. It's a paradox. Having a tight rein will do nothing more than add to the fear and the chaos. Having emotional collection will get you through it -- intact.

Emotional Collection

Think about your emotions like a herd of horses in a corral. If you opened the gate they're probably all going to charge out at once. You want them to come out one at a time so you can stay intact, right? It's the same thing with emotional collection. When one horse or one emotion comes out of the gate one at a time, you can connect with it and direct it. When you have connection, you can get alignment. And when you get alignment you can get course correction. That's why having this tool is critical. When you have emotional collection, you can get course correction.

So what is stopping you from emotional collection? The head games you use to hide your heart? I have a list of them. If you want the common list of silly stories we tell ourselves, send me your e-mail info and I'll send it to you. You know what some of them are. Others are more insidious. Your head games defend that same old bag of tricks you've pulled out time and time again no matter what environment you are in. Can you understand why they're not working? Nothing works in every environment. So why would you expect your tired old head games to work?

This new collection/connection tool can open you up to an entirely new way of being resilient. The old resilience was what you used when you responded to chaos intellectually. This new level of resilience allows you to be present without freaking out. Think again about the difference between Teflon and Memory Foam. Teflon protects what's inside and is resistant. Memory foam has the property of elasticity. It is pressure sensitive and molds to the shape of the current environment. It is supportive but has an indentation force deflection. It relieves pressure points. Would you rather be Teflon or Memory Foam? The new level of resilience is when you can use your emotional intelligence in any situation without the need to resist or repel.

The next level of resilience is when you can be so in the moment that everything in the moment is simply information.

You can count on two things right now: the unexpected happening and your ability to navigate the unexpected. Your navigational tools in these moments are what insure your success or your demise.

Your instincts can be trusted. Your emotions can inform you. The question is: do you know that and are you using your tools?

Lisa Arie can be reached at la@vistacaballo.com. Or visit vistacaballo.com for more information.

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