Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

June 9, 2015

The Guest House: Managing Emotions with Awareness

The Guest House: Managing Emotions with Awareness


The Guest House

This being human is a guest-house
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

From: Say I Am You, Poems of Rumi
Translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks
Maypop 1994

Emotions can be wonderful teachers because they happen at the most unexpected times. When we’re centered and aware, we make wise choices and manage them well. We use them to connect with others, rather than act them out or avoid them altogether.

  • Breathe and center yourself.
  • Acknowledge the energy by naming it, giving it a color, and rating it on your emotional Richter Scale.
  • Watch the emotion as it changes. Like the weather, this too shall pass. Just wait a minute.

By gaining awareness in the heat of the moment, you will become more practiced at managing all of your emotional energy with intention and purpose.

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Periodically, I offer public workshops on conflict, difficult situations, and difficult conversations. The next one will be held July 29, in Portsmouth, NH. Email me if you’re interested in attending and I’ll be sure you receive an invitation!