Christmas at the beach is a nice way to spend a holiday.  My mom’s side of the family all traveled to Destin, FL for Christmas this year and we had a wonderful time.  Several things came up this week that would make for a great article, but at the top of the list was an encounter with my brother Ryan. 

Ryan and I were catching up the day he arrived; exchanging stories, talking about the holiday itinerary, the menu, and the grocery list (for that grocery trip…one of many!)  Somewhere in the conversation I mentioned my trip to Napa and “Healing Elvis”.  A few hours later he came into my room for something and said, “What is this book of yours about again?  I know you’ve mentioned it before but what is it again?”  I replied, “It is about emotions- about being comfortable with them because we are human and they are meant to be a gift.”  He looked at me…smiled… mumbled something humorous… and had left my room within 10 seconds.  That is no exaggeration.  The mere mention of the word and he wasn’t sticking around for further details.  Emotions… and… I’m out. 

As a collective, it feels like our comfort level has increased a great deal regarding emotions in the last few decades but we still have much room for improvement.  I sense the gap between where we are and where we could be thanks to my own experience of  “lost but now I’m found” regarding my own emotions- both understanding and expressing them. 

Where did we lose on our way on this topic?  What human being first labeled emotions as bad and attempted to avoid them?  Was it Adam and that stupid Apple?  Where ever we got off course in our quest for civility, it is now time to stop all the madness and remember what our hearts and souls know to be true:  emotions are meant to guide us like a compass toward the best version of who we came here to be.  Being uncomfortable with them is like being uncomfortable with the fact that you have fingers.  “These stick looking things at the end of my arm; I hear they’re called fingers.  They’re awkward and they’re bendable and these hard white things grow out of them and I don’t like it!  I’m supposed to use them to make life easier on myself but it’s just too weird!  I’m going to just ignore them.  Maybe I’ll just wear gloves and keep them covered up.  Yuck…  I hate fingers.  Don’t even talk about fingers around me. ” 

 Pretty ridiculous, right?   Absurd.  Where would we be without fingers?  Can you live?  Yes.  Easily?  Of course not.  Anyone who’s ever broken an arm or finger can tell you how much more difficult life becomes.  Emotions could be viewed the same way.  They are a tool, meant to simplify our lives by notifying us when we are on course.  Those are the good feeling emotions that we are always in pursuit of!  Unfortunately, emotions are not ala-carte… you can’t choose to just have the good feeling ones and do away with the emotions that don’t feel good.  Because they also notify us when we’re NOT on course, they can feel confusing and out of control and that’s why so many flip the switch on emotions…they don’t even want to talk about it. 

My brother is an amazing person.  Beautiful inside and out, very creative, artistics and scientific, a firey Aries always on the go.  He is the VP of Brand Management and Apparel for his company.  In my book, he’ is the VP of Awesomeness and Attractiveness.  He can do, and be, and have ANYTHING he wants.  (we all can…)  But how is he going to know what that is without his navigation system turned on?  How will he really know his passion and therefore his life mission or souls great work?  My brother is a prime example of someone who could bliss-out on his life if he would use all the tools God gave him, including his emotional guidance system- fully activated from his heart. 

Writing an article about a family member… not such a hot idea, maybe?  As you can see, I’m crazy about him so most of its bragging.  I do have the heartfelt wish that he will embrace his emotional nature.  It would take the magic of his life to new places and allow him to connect on a deeper level with his true self and with other people in his life.  If you read this someday Ryan, I love you and I wish you a lifetime of success, love, and true happiness…you’re version of it, not mine.  And thanks for being such a great brother, friend, and inspiration.  You can’t coach your friends and family… but you can be a friend and listen.  My ears are yours anytime.  And hey- lets focus on the positive here.  When Oprah calls, your coming with me!

 All my love,  HD