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Taking an Emotional Inventory

As you already know, The Self-Awareness Institute strongly encourages everyone to understand, accept and move through their emotional experiences. When we do this on a regular basis, we are able to remain “current” with our lives – there is no backlog of old emotions to leak out and color or sabotage our experiences. Whether your SAW was last month or ten years ago, you may wish to give yourself an annual “Emotion Check-Up” by taking an Emotional Inventory.

Let's begin by reviewing the benefits of releasing the emotional pain of the past:

  1. your mental energy and focus is freed up to concentrate on your current efforts and goals

  2. you can be comfortable in your own skin, accepting yourself for who and how you truly are

  3. you can take charge of your life by being accountable for your past actions and break free from guilt by making amends where necessary

  4. you can objectively evaluate your current thought patterns, habits and behavioral strategies to identify what's not working (and change it!)

  5. you can move from a passive “life happens to me” mentality into living from the more powerful stance of “I create my life”

  6. the part of you that is always on high alert for similar traumas and hurts can relax and lower the emotional barriers it has erected in the past that has likely kept people at arms length and sabotaged your relationships

  7. you can give yourself permission to take risks, to try new things, and to stretch outside of your comfort zone

Now, remind yourself of the promise you made to yourself at the SAW – you may want to say this aloud now, to re-affirm your commitment to emotional healing:

I affirm: I will allow myself to recognize and accept whatever feelings pass through me. Without shame, I will tune in to the emotional part of myself.

Okay, let's start your Check-Up! Pull out your List of Feeling Words from your SAW folder (don't have it handy? no worries, download it here from the SAW Circle). There are two different ways to use this list to take an Emotional Inventory:

The Recent Experience Inventory

Take a look at each of the main categories (Angry, Depressed, etc.) and ask yourself:

  • When was the last time I felt this way?
  • Am I happy with how I reacted or responded to feeling this way?
  • Is this an area that needs more healing?

You may wish to journal the answers to each of these, or use the Emotional Experience worksheet referenced at the end of this article.

The Daily Log Inventory

Make a commitment to track your emotions over a period of a few days or a week. Carry your feeling list and a small notebook with you (or use the Daily Emotion Log referenced at the end of this article) and pause several times throughout the day (I recommend upon awakening, noon, 4 pm, and bedtime – or even hourly) and ask yourself:

  • What am I feeling right now? (the exact flavor of the feeling, not just the general category)
  • Who or what initiated this emotional state?
  • What am I thinking about this feeling?
  • Is there a behavior or action that my Ego thinks will “fix” this?
  • What does my Inner Child want or need right now?
After you have completed this daily log process, you may want to choose two or three experiences and dig a little deeper by journaling about the following questions:
  • Am I happy with how I reacted or responded to feeling this way?
  • Is this an area that needs more healing?
To assist you with your Emotional Inventory, I've created two documents for you: the Emotional Experience worksheet and the Daily Emotion Log.  You can download these from the SAW Circle Document Library.  (NOTE:  You must be a SAW Circle member to access these; if you haven't joined yet, please take a moment to join now – it just takes a moment, it gives you access to lots of tools and resources, and Basic membership is FREE!  Click here to join)

Feel free to comment on your experience of these exercises on the SAW Circle Community Forum (under Emotional Inventory)!

Click here to ask a question or make a comment about this article.


Copyright © 2011-2012,  Shannon Lee.  All rights reserved.