Love’s Emotions

Romeo and Juliet_1867_Ford Madow Brown_Whiteworth Art Gallery_The University of Manchester UK

Romeo and Juliet painted 1867 by Ford Madow Brown (1821-93), Whiteworth Art Gallery, The University of Manchester UK

by Catherine DeAngelis

“Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake – it’s everything except what it is!”

(Act 1, scene 1)
William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet

Oh that William Shakespeare certainly had something going on. And then present day researchers have something to say about it!

Were we taught life skills and love’s human emotions and conflict through Shakespeare especially to crave love so much to the point that we would die for it?

From the 17th to the 21st Century what are we teaching youth about human emotion and conflict and is it real?

Easy as it is to want to analyse Shakespeare’s poems and sonnets or plays like Hamlet or Macbeth and cite the omnipotent “to be or not to be,”  “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,”  and “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow.”

Shakespeare  revolutionized  human emotion and conflict simply by his dramatics, words and passion he weaved into his works. He brought to us the “why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it?”

Refraining from refuting scholars who have studied the works of Shakespeare indelibly, let us hugely celebrate the high school principals and teachers who year after year bring this mysterious Literary King into a teen’s mind and heart. They are deserving for making it part of a youth’s coming of age while trying to spring forward a sneak peek at the understanding of the complexities of love and human emotions.

How many recall the passionate teacher, provoked by an early morning’s lesson on Romeo and Juliet, “O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright” – as you frightfully sat, still unawake and withdrawn at your desk?  The teacher marched forward and stopped and stared while she bellowed “what does love mean TO YOU?”

Love, as twisted and confusing as the English language is, is diversely described as:

“deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and concern toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.  An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.  A person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction; beloved. Often used as a term of endearment.  An expression of one’s affection.  A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.” (

Of course, is this the forum to argue if  Shakespeare should or should not be on the curriculum or address the impact of Shakespeare’s passion since the 17th century where his breath of his own personal love of man may be viewed differently now than it did back then.

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Let’s marshall forward to the 21st century where our view of love may be focused more around what many Psychologists report. It can take between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide if you fancy someone. And further they prove it has little to do with what is said, rather than 55% is through body language, 38% is the tone and speed of your voice, only 7% is through what we say. Scientists who love to investigate the power of ruling out something discovered there are 3 phases to falling in love because of how our hormones respond to the process: stage 1 – lust, stage 2 – attraction and stage 3-attachment.

Love  has lots to do with biochemistry.  Helen Fisher, PhD  is Biological Anthropologist and a Research Professor and member of the Center for Human Evolution Studies in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Internet dating site,, a division of

We can only imagine Shakespeare walked the streets and relied on the day-to-day passions of his life’s loves.  However, Fisher’s life’s love is to conduct extensive research and has written five books on the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, gender differences in the brain and how our personality type shapes who we are and who we love.

Like Shakespeare, Fisher addresses the “need ” of  “why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it?”  She wants you to learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love.  She took her research team and looked at MRIs of people and studied them while in and out of love.

It’s okay to put Shakespeare aside and listen up, hear the less dramatic and engage youth, ourselves,  in understanding how love and all of its raw emotions can be expressed and understood more realistically and openly.

Sujen Man
 quotes this poem, as recited by an anonymous Kwakuitl Indian of Southern Alaska to a missionary in 1896, captures the excruciating pain of lost love. This poem is often recited by Helen Fisher, an expert on Romantic Love, in her talks.

Powerful Love Poem (1896)

Fire runs through my body with the pain of loving you
Pain runs through my body with the fires of my love for you
Sickness wanders my body with my love for you
Pain like a boil about to burst with my love for you
Consumed by the fire with my love for you
I remember what you said to me
I am thinking of your love for me
I am torn by your love for me
Pain and more pain
Where are you going with my love?
I am told you will go from here
I am told you will leave me here
My body is numb with grief
Remember what i have said, my love
Good bye, my love, good bye.~
The author acknowledges the diversity of our cultures and how the impact of identified and unidentified childhood traumas and stresses can affect love’s emotions and create conflict. Active measures need to be constantly assessed by educational leaders and politicians to ensure empathy and compassion are foremost in the understanding of how a brain loves with a pained heart.

Read more on the 10 Greatest Love Poems Ever Written as described by the American Society of Classical Poets and how English poetry has been in existence for at least 1,400 years.

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(Reposted February 14, 2018)


Mindful and Meditative Prayer

by Catherine DeAngelis

“The best prayer is to rest in the goodness of God, knowing that goodness can reach right down to our lowest depths of need.”

-Julian of Norwich, 14th-century mystic


Throughout time people around the world have turned to silence and meditative prayer for peace. It is natural during periods  of unrest to pray or meditate to find strength and courage to get away from the upheaval – a pause from the thinking about  it too much.

Emotional pain is gripping. Especially if a loved  one succumbs to fatal effects caused by cancer, AIDS,  and any kind of trauma, mental illness,  grief and loss or financial crisis.

A  Time article by Leon Jaroff, Investigating the Power of Prayer explains how an American doctor, Elizabeth Targ, was awarded substantial grants of $611,516 for one study, $823,346 for another to look at the therapeutic effects of prayer on AIDS and cancer patients.

Jaroff reports that Targ took to examining  “distance healing.” This is where someone offers  prayer, but is not present and it is recited for the patient from afar.  Targ identified  “the prayed-for patients had fewer and less severe new illnesses, fewer doctor visits, fewer hospitalizations and were generally in better moods than those in the control group. The technique, she believes, can even work on nonhuman species.”

Prayer can be a set of affirmations that guide one’s thinking to a positive place.   It can be walking  across a bridge imagining the space beneath it which meets the river  below flowing with the rapids as nature inspiring hope and renewal.

IMG207Many people from diverse ethnic or religious backgrounds, whether e.g. Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Indian shamans  take time to practice quiet prayer or meditation, more commonly the practice of mindfulness is becoming more and more part of the 21st century among western cultures.

Something as simple as Mindfulness Keeps You Emotionally Fit

Psychology today, as well as ancient Hindu and Buddhist doctrines contend that, rather than mastering our emotions, could we learn to live in equilibrium with them, and use the energy that they give us and mindfully work to free ourselves from the layers of unspent emotional energy that cloud our relationships, both with ourselves and with others.

The property of  mindfulness or prayer belongs to no particular religion or group of people and neither does the practice of daily praying or meditating belong  to only Buddhists. Anyone can sit mindfully under a tree, or kneel on a bench to find a moment to pray for e.g. empathy of others or compassion for ourselves.

More and more scientists are discovering,  there are benefits in the practice of contemplative prayer, silence, or use of mindfulness to create a  state of being and not doing to help manage stress and combat minor to severe illnesses.  Practice is open to all  faiths. It is astounding the rewards people report how prayer and meditation bring balance to  mental health and well-being.

For resilience, recite a prayer, chant a veda or a mantra,  say a blessing, and accompany it by  lighting a candle or some incense,  hold prayer beads to set in motion a formal or informal setting toward a  quiet time for contemplation and thoughtful prayer, or walk a path and be guided by the simple wonders of  our world and the grandness of its intelligent design.

Open yourself up to intuition, to the natural release of energy – both positive and negative – and to self-awareness.

mountain_pose1PRACTICE DAILY

  1. Check in mindfully each day, the moment your feet hit the floor next to your bed – it is as vital as the air you breathe.
  2. Simply take a few seconds by taking yourself to a calming yet brisk awareness of the ‘here and now.’
  3. Begin this mindful check in, by feeling into the body and mind, simply allowing waves of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations to just be.
  4. Breathe, Inhale, Exhale — No need to judge.
  5. Just let it be.
  6. Breathe, Inhale, Exhale.
  7. Breathe!
  8. Formal breathing practice can be done anywhere anytime.
  9. Listen to all that is around you!

Enjoy one of the traditional core practices of Mindfulness meditation and be thankful to yourself for having taken the time to participate in your health and well-being.


from: Atharva Veda XIX. 9. 1 & 9:2
(Veda is Sanskrit for knowledge)

May the earth be free from disturbance,
May the vast atmosphere be calm,
May the flowing waters be soothing,
And all the plants and herbs  prove beneficial to us.
May all the foretelling signs of coming events  be free from turmoil and
May all that has been done and that which has not been done prove the source of happiness to all.
May our past and future be peaceful and may all be gracious unto us.
May the atmosphere be peaceful,
May the medicinal herbs be peaceful,
May all my shining objects be peaceful for me,
May all enlightened persons be peaceful for me,
May all the peaceful actions be peaceful by me.
Copyright ©  2013 All rights reserved

Coping with Our Feelings

by Catherine DeAngelis


The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario offers valuable information worth exploring on Getting Help: When and How.  It is common to  find it difficult to sometimes cope with life’s obstacles. This is not a sign of personal failure or weakness.  Taking time for preventative care of emotional and mental health is  as important  as physical fitness and can serve to protect against illness.

CAMH was founded in 1952 and is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to making mental health possible for all. This organization develops and provides public policy advice that promotes mental health and improves the lives of people living with mental illness.

Getting Help: When and How

Most of us go through life solving our day-to-day problems without needing help to cope with our feelings. But sometimes, things get out of hand. A severe illness, an accident or an emotional crisis can overwhelm us, at least temporarily, and suddenly we need help.

How do you know if you need help?

Sometimes the need for help is obvious, and getting it is as simple as phoning for an ambulance or a fire truck. At other times, it can be hard to admit help is needed. This is especially true when your emotions are involved. The problem may be anything from what to do about an aging and increasingly helpless parent to a serious emotional problem such as depression. Here are some of the reasons you may decide you need help:

  • You find yourself feeling overwhelmed by feelings of anger or despair, and you cannot enjoy life anymore.
  • You used to be healthy, but now you are always feeling a bit sick and you are missing more and more time from work.
  • Your finances are out of control, and you are worried about being able to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage payment.
  • You cannot “get over” the death of someone you loved very much.
  • There is too much conflict at home. You are afraid your marriage may break up.
  • You are drinking too much or having some other kind of drug problem.
  • You are feeling suicidal.

How to find the help you need

Most communities, especially cities and large towns, have many different sources of help, such as:

  • If you feel desperate and need help immediately, you can phone or go to the emergency department of your local hospital.
  • The front page of your telephone book may have the phone number of a community service referral agency.
  • Your telephone book may also have the number of a crisis hotline that you can call.
  • Your family doctor can help you find the professional help you need. First, he/she should start by giving you a thorough physical check-up: your problems may not be “all in your head.”
  • A community organization which provides information services may be able to direct you to a mental health clinic in your area.

What kind of help is available?

There are many different kinds of assistance available, and you should be able to find the help you need within your community through the following sources:

Life Coaching – True happiness is not somewhere out there; you find it inside of you and sometimes we need a push to get us there.  You think this rings true for you, but you don’t know where this “inside” is or how to get there.  Finding the strength to get to know  feelings and emotions  can move you toward better self-awareness. Self-awareness is key in managing emotions and feelings.  A life coaching  program is unlike therapy, it is a future-aimed practice, with the focus of helping you determine and reach personal goals.  It may be just what you need to give you the tools to understand emotions that may be bottled up, and feelings that may be getting in the way and making  you stuck at work, home, school, in relationships, and socially.  Success is about you, and know that it belongs to all of us and achieving life  goals is possible.

Psychiatrist – Your family doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist who is a medical doctor specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. He/she may treat your problems with medication or by psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”), or a combination of both.

Psychologist – You may decide to seek help from a psychologist, and you do not need a referral from your family doctor to do so. A psychologist will have a doctoral degree from a university but not a medical degree. He/she will use counselling and other methods that do not involve the use of medications. If you plan to see a psychologist, you should remember that his/her services are not necessarily fully covered by public health insurance. You may want to find out if some coverage is available through private insurance (for example, your company benefits plan) or through social assistance. You can often find a psychologist by calling your provincial psychological association.

Other Therapist – Your family doctor or a psychiatrist may refer you to a therapist such as a social worker with specialized training. Again, you should be aware that the services offered may not be covered by an insurance plan.

Self-Help Group – You may find it helpful to join a self-help group. These groups provide the mutual support of people who have all had similar experiences. For example, there are groups for people suffering from depression, grief, the trauma of sexual assault, eating disorders, and phobias (a phobia is an irrational, crippling fear of an object, animal or situation). Your local Canadian Mental Health Association branch or another community agency can tell you if there is a local self-help group that can meet your needs. You can also find out if there is a national organization dealing with your problem and request its newsletter.

Other Community Services – You may find that some of your problems can be solved by assistance from agencies outside the mental health system. Sometimes, practical help, such as home nursing care, Meals On Wheels or subsidized door-to-door transportation for people unable to walk, will greatly reduce the stress in your life, either as a care-giver or as a disabled person.

Help from Friends and Others – Sometimes, the help of a trusted family member, a close friend or a member of the clergy for your religion can be a source of support. People close to you can also point you in the direction of the help you need.

How you can learn more

Many communities have information centres that produce lists of available services, which you can view at social service agencies or public libraries. Other sources of information include:

  • books about your problems, available at your public library or local bookstore
  • films, videos and audio tapes, courses and workshops offered through community centres, secondary schools, colleges and universities.

Do you need more help?

If you need more information about the resources in your area, contact a community organization, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, which can help you find additional support.

Contact Catherine DeAngelis certified master life coach and founder of Out of Pocket Emotions  to ask about our complimentary offers for individual or group life coaching.   We promise to answer any specific questions you might have – please write us directly:

Copyright © 1993 Canadian Mental Health Association, National Office
Copyright©  2013 Catangelis Communications – Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without written permission from site owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to owner or to any other copyright materials used by owner is also quoted with appropriate direction to original content.

Live Life Forward

by Catherine DeAngelis

Life can only be understood backwards,
but it must be lived forwards. Kierkegaard ~

A New Year has arrived – a chance for brand new starts.  Many of us may think it’s just another day or for some a time to introduce
life changing events into our world.


If we are the one, over holiday social moments, who listens intently and likely hears snippets of chatter about making New Year’s Resolutions, we may have heard plans that include eating less sugar, cutting out coffee, going vegan, losing weight, visiting the gym (more often) and less of or about time to be quitting smoking and drinking altogether.

Five Easy Steps to Achieve Your New Year’s Goals

Psychologist Richard Wiseman examines the quirky science of everyday life on his website “Quirkology.” Of the 5,000 people he studied, that attempted to make their new year’s resolution, he found most failed, but 10% did meet their aims and ambitions. He learned the 10% who succeeded were working on 5 simple principles that allowed them to achieve their goals. Here’s what the successful group did:

  1. Broke goals into a series of smaller steps.
  2. Told family and friends what they were trying to achieve.
  3. Reminded themselves of the benefit of attaining their goal.
  4. Gave themselves a small reward each time they attained one of their small steps.
  5. Mapped out their progress either in a spreadsheet, on the fridge door or in a journal so they knew exactly where they were.

Behavioral Change Requires Sustained Effort and Commitment

There are many practical steps written to help us make New Year’s resolutions.  Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. in her article How to make New Year’s Resolutions Stick, she explains the reason people abandon their resolutions is that they become discouraged when results don’t come quickly enough, or when they find that they are not necessarily happier because of them. Behavioral change requires sustained effort and commitment.

Healthy Emotional Goals and better Mental Health for the New Year

Rarely do we go after attaining healthy emotional goals and make sure that we have an effective approach to create a goal for better mental health for ourselves or for the roles we partake in our community.

It is integral during the making of New Year’s Resolutions that we include better Mental Health as one of our goals.

Mental Health is the capacity for each of us to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. We need to promote mental health in the way that we do our caretaking as friends, family, siblings, parenting or work that we do. We can even go further by helping to enhance the capacity of people and communities to take control over their lives and improve their mental health.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions are often thought of as personal, but youth, adults and seniors can work toward making themselves emotionally and mentally healthier.

Emotionally aware people experience greater success in their careers and a greater sense of well-being in their personal lives. Studies have shown that success doesn’t lead to emotional health and happiness, but rather the other way around. The emotionally healthy experience positive moods, feel more confidant, more optimistic, more energetic, and more sociable. These factors lead to greater success in many aspects of life. Source (APA): American Psychological Association

SENIORS – According to The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on The State of Public Health in Canada 2010 positive mental health can help seniors cope with many difficult issues and life events, such as chronic illness or the loss of partners and friends. For seniors who may have poor mental health or mental illness, the negative impacts are far-reaching. Mental health issues can affect physical health, emotional and social well-being, and quality of life.

ADULTS – As we continue with more studies around mind, body and health, we are learning more about the connection between good mental health and good physical health. Psychological studies show that your mind and your body are strongly linked. As your mental health declines, your physical health can wear down, and if your physical health declines, it can make you feel mentally “down.” A positive outlook can help keep you healthy. Studies show 80% of Americans during the past few years have become more aware of how their mental health and emotions can affect their physical health (APA 2005) .

YOUTH – According to The Public Health Agency of Canada, Emotional Health Among Canadian Youth, is a critical part of young people’s  well-being. Research has shown that many youth who experience mental health problems continue to have these problems in adulthood and may suffer personal costs, including limited employment opportunities, reduced access to housing and strained family relationships. If poor emotional health develops into mental illness, personal costs can include poverty, homelessness and social exclusion, which may ultimately be life-threatening. Therefore, it is essential to recognize and respond to early indications of emotional health difficulties.

Remember to include emotional and mental well-being as one of your New Year’s Resolutions.  Read more >> Improving Emotional Health – Strategies & Tips for Good Mental Health.

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Feelings, Nothing More

by Catherine DeAngelis

“Feelings, nothing more than feelings
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face
Trying to forget my feelings of love…”


Many baby boomers may recall the 1975 record hit song by, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, singer Morris Albert’s “Feelings.”

If you find yourself asking the same group of this generation or any of their off springs what happens when they hear this song playing – they might respond: “oh my gosh that dreadful, yucky emotional stuff – take it off please!

But then, no gender excluded, “the hopefuls, the romantics,” as we like to call them, those “feeling-type people,” too sensitive and emotional call this song a classic. These are the “ones’ who easily and honestly admit, they have no words to describe their own feelings as they listen to the melody, moved to sentiment, who  get a warm sensation in their body, to remind them of love passed, or a love that is waiting to sweep them off their feet some day.

Sappy perhaps or could it be that the feelings are personal emotions aroused like sadness, disappointment and life disillusionment?

Other words to describe feeling are emotion, passion, or sentiment. A feeling is personal and can be complex on how it is relayed through a human response and it surfaces, for some, unknowingly or knowingly, depending on the degree of self-awareness and acceptance in how to feel or not to feel. An excerpt from the on-line dictionary shows how diverse feeling can be:

  • overflow of powerful feelings
  • presence of excitement or agitation
  • passion that is intense, compelling emotion
  • sentiment like a thought or opinion arising from or influenced by emotion (to express yourself, easily, openly)
  • delicate, sensitive, or higher or more refined feelings

Expressing Our Feelings


For some it is natural to share thoughts and feelings with people easily.

If we go back to our childhood, we may remember how easy it was to express our feelings freely, openly, most times without guilt or shame. It happens that when we grow up we control these feelings at a point where we find we mask feelings and wonder why our communication style blurs or terribly misunderstood in our relationships.

We can be more open with others and ourselves. The reward of open feelings is less tension and a healthy and relaxed state, emotionally and physically.

We can adapt to either feel our emotions or we don’t.  If we shut down feelings like sadness, disappointment and disillusionment, we close-off chances to welcome positive feelings such as joy, surprise, wonderment.

It is easy enough to numb our emotions, but somewhere in our body, we may face consequences by doing so. Suppressing feelings make us become overly stressed and debilitated, doing more harm than good. This disrupts relationships and tears down communication rather than build-up healthy, effective expression of feelings.

When we name our feelings and connect with emotions, the closer we become to others and especially to ourselves. Eventually we gain an ability to embrace stronger and more communicative relationships overall, at home, at work and socially.

How to Practice How You Feel?

A practice to get into as we connect our feelings and emotions to the experience in our bodies — we may become aware of our emotions by monitoring how we feel, talking about our feelings, and expressing ourselves physically.

Connect with where in your body you feel sensations, pain or any temperature change.  If you can easily describe what you are feeling inside your body you may find out varied feelings result in interesting sensations.  Some refer to these interesting sensations as blocked feelings, the ones that never come to the surface, instead leave us perhaps feeling fatigued, or sick.

What is key is to express what you really feel instead of e.g. putting on a happy grin, when disappointed, enraged or feeling weepy instead of cheerful.  Identifying with  feelings takes time; we are prone throughout our life to turn them off.   There are no bad or good ways to feel.  But we can learn to check-in, talk about it, or express it physically.

Imagine the drawing of the body below in your mind’s eye your own.  Throughout the next several weeks, keep track and try stopping every now and ask yourself “how do I feel?” Experience every body sensation from head to toe? If we had a migraine, it may be the result of an over demanding schedule or fear or anxiety over a pending presentation at work or upcoming gathering of friends or family.  If we can find a word to best explain what we are feeling, “I feel overwhelmed” or “I am afraid of failing,” talk about it, or express freely to someone who is trustworthy and listens without judgment. It is pretty likely we will feel lighter and better able to cope as we release those stifling emotions.

How Do I feel Today?

Five basic questions to ask everyday!

  1. Do I need to understand my emotions?
  2. Who is the influence on how I feel?
  3. What are my needs?
  4. Am I experiencing any physiological changes?
  5. What 3 things do I need to express feelings freely?
    – self-awareness to know what is going on (e.g feeling joyful)
    – express out loud how I am feeling (e.g. I feel hurt )
    – release what I am feeling physically (e.g. walk, cry, talk to someone I trust)

The advantages to acknowledging and expressing feelings can motivate, guide, and give purpose and direction in life. We feel alive, stronger with a better sense of knowing self and others better. We find a lightness of being, “I know me, and this is how I feel today.”  This evolves to our being fully alive, highly functioning, emotionally brilliant, able to self-manage and be an openly human, human being.


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A Free Coach’s E-Guide on Emotionality

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What is Emotionality?

Emotional expression is the ultimate form of communication. If we suppress or deny emotions we are removing the tools that others need to understand, get to know, and like us. It denies us the chance to make our true self known…

Need to Know

  • The more we UNDERSTAND our own emotions, the easier we will find it to deal with them when they arise.
  • Take time to EVALUATE emotional health.
  • Pay ATTENTION to thought streams or patterns in behaviors, especially negative ones – usually there is a story to be told.
  • Be ready to explore and RELEASE the emotions attached when they stand in the way of life goals.

Catherine DeAngelis at WorkCatherine DeAngelis, founder of Out of Pocket Emotions, is a life coach who shows you how it is always the RIGHT TIME to learn the BENEFITS to understanding emotionality. You can  enrich your life – not only with yourself, but with others too.

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Find out more about services provided by Out of Pocket Emotions

Copyright © 2013 publication written by
Catherine DeAngelis. Published and distributed
by Catangelis Communications for


A Communication Style that Hurts!

by Catherine DeAngelis

Many of us may agree, among our realm of family, friends and colleagues, there is a degree of passive-aggressive behavior that may be affecting us.

“Passive-aggressive behavior, is only one of many styles in which we communicate. This pattern indirectly is expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them. There’s a disconnect between what a passive-aggressive person says and what he or she does. For a passive-aggressive person, true feelings are shared through actions, not words.” (Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D, Mayo Clinic).

Dr. Hall-Flavin explains for example, a passive-aggressive person might appear to agree — perhaps even enthusiastically — with another person’s request. Rather than completing the task, however, he or she might express anger or resentment by missing deadlines, showing up late to meetings, making excuses or even working against the task.

The more we understand our emotions, the easier we will find it to deal with them when they arise.  This is true of passive-aggressive behavior, because emotions unacknowledged can bend our thinking and result in a non-flattering communication style. 

It is a personal responsibility and a vital life skill that we work at keeping in-check of ourselves to ensure we are communicating effectively, and with integrity.

“Becoming upset when you see someone doing something that you do, but don’t know that you do, is called “projection.” You always dislike in others what you don’t recognize, or don’t want to recognize, in yourself.” (Source: Gary Zukav)

We need to take time to evaluate our emotional health.  By paying attention to mind streams or patterns in behaviors, thoughts and feelings, especially the negative ones – usually we’ll find there is a story to be told.  By exploring and releasing the emotions attached, then these emotions will not get in our way and we are able to better manage them.

We have human being influences all of our lives from as early on as childbirth. We can choose to understand that we are connected to parent, adult and child behaviors, thoughts and feelings.  Without knowing, we copy patterns from our parents or parent figures. Our adult-self, thoughts and feelings are direct responses to what is happening to us here and now. We replay child behaviors, thoughts and feelings. For some of us, we find ourselves spiraling out of control wondering why we reacted in a negative way, rather than having responded in a positive light, only because of a trigger from a pattern surfacing from “parent, parent figures, adult, or child.” 

Psychology today, as well as ancient Hindu and Buddhist doctrines contend that, rather than mastering our emotions, could we learn to live in equilibrium with them, and use the energy that they give us.

Our Emotional Self

emotional expression is the ultimate form of communication – it can hurt or heal.

~ to suppress or deny emotions remove the tools that others need to understand, get to know, and like us. It denies us the chance to make our true selves known and to free ourselves from the layers of unspent emotional energy that cloud our relationships, both with ourselves and with others.

We can open ourselves up to intuition, to the natural release of energy – both positive and negative – and to self-awareness.  Personal growth is becoming aware of what we are feeling, and learning about ourselves from what we feel. We need to identify with our behaviors, thoughts and feelings to be assertive.

Our communication style is best when it is non-threatening, and we are able to maintain integrity in our dialogue with others. For example, saying “no” is not a weapon. Use of “I” statements and avoiding “you” statements will more likely get a positive rather than a negative response.

Instead of passive-aggressive behavior, we need to know and identify with our emotions.  Assertiveness is non-judging awareness of feelings – being assertive is standing up for our rights, while maintaining respect for the rights of others making us better skilled in our communication style and healing our relationships rather than hurting them.

How is your Emotional Awareness?

Below are some questions that you can ask yourself to evaluate your emotional side. To get an accurate result, answer the questions honestly.

1.       Can you tell others how you are feeling? This does not mean coming out with a simple, “I am sad,” or “I am happy,” response. It means being able to express your feelings at any time without being prodded.
 __ Yes    __No
2.       Do you exhibit signs of stress?
__ Yes    __No
3.       Do you regularly feel listless or withdrawn?
__ Yes    __No
4.       Do you laugh less than you use to?
__ Yes    __No
5.       Do you smile or show delight easily?
__ Yes    __No
6.       Do you become frustrated easily, and want to give up?
__ Yes    __No
7.       Do you push yourself too hard to be the best – best player, best friend, parent or winner of the prize?
__ Yes    __No
8.       Are you reluctant to take on new challenges that you would normally enjoy?
__ Yes    __No
9.       Do you get very upset if criticized or corrected – asked a silly question?
__ Yes    __No
10.   Do you put yourself down regularly?
__ Yes    __No
11.   Are you overly critical of others?
__ Yes    __No
12.   Do you try too hard to please people?
__ Yes    __No
13.   Are you needy or insecure, or cling to the known?
__ Yes    __No
14.   Do you suffer from inexplicable fears?
__ Yes    __No
15.   Do you need continual approval?
__ Yes    __No
16.   Do you boast?
__ Yes    __No
17.   Are you aggressive or attention-seeking?
__Yes    __No
18.   Are you impatient and unappreciative?
__Yes    __No
Results: If you have answered yes to the first question, and no to all of the others, you are likely be in balance and aware of your emotions. Also, chances are you have a mix of yes and no answers. Look at areas you answered yes. These show parts of yourself and your life that are dissatisfying. Example, if you boast, it is likely you feel insecure and need some attention.
(Source: Psychologies Today 12/10)


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Picasso and Edison Proved Success is to Never Give Up

by Catherine DeAngelis

Many of life’s failures are for those of us who do not realize how close we are to success and so we give up. We are usually in the race close to the finish line, but we don’t make it, because emotions like fear or trepidation get in the way, and the trophy becomes worthy of a win for someone else and not for us.

Whatever success means to us, authors and motivational speakers often tell us what Edison was known for, that he proved that he did not fail; instead he found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Picasso’s paintings from his noted “Blue Period” may be quite famous now, but they were not so at the time that he painted them. He was depressed, poor, even couldn’t afford to buy canvas. Picasso found the light to rise above it, and drew on paper, and it is claimed that he may have had to burn some of his canvasses to keep warm.

Edison loved what he did, and created what he thought the world needed. His inventions included the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, and over 1,000 other patented items.   He explained, “Through all the years of experimenting and research, I never once made a discovery. I start where the last man left off. … All my work was deductive, and the results I achieved were those of invention pure and simple.” (Makers of the Modern World, Untermeyer, p.227). 

Action is the Key to Success

Picasso believed that “action is the foundational key to all success.” In spite of what may have been termed as a psychological depression or blue period, Picasso was a man of empathy that enriched his art form. He chose subject matter that reflected this time, street drunks, beggars and prostitutes, or old and sick people, often the themes shown in his paintings.

Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

Perhaps Edison’s or Picasso’s wise words may have come from ingratiating the father of the laws of gravity, Sir Isaac Newton, who shared with the world, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Edison or Picasso may have found life to be difficult, but they became stupendous, either as businessmen or artists, they were creative, inventors at a space and time we are now fortunate to talk and learn about. They dominated the world with a love for their work, and wanted to share it with others. They dared to step outside of society’s restrictive confines of imagination, and went beyond human expectations.

We have plenty to learn from people who have travelled the road to success. We need to dig deep, research and explore so that we may find our mentors, maybe 2 or 3 or among the millions of influential advocates who have been written about ready to raise us up.

What provokes us to be motivated to get beyond our fear? We can ask, “What is it I need to do to help my self-worth, get me back onto the boat that leads me out of the dark waters and onto the horizon of never giving up?  I need to keep on going further — I owe it to myself.”

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Moods, Emotions and Feelings

by Catherine DeAngelis

Before we can begin to know what emotions or feelings we are experiencing in our daily lives, we need to be aware of our moods so that we may manage and shift them to affect positive outcomes within ourselves, our relationships, at home, work or at play.

Mood can be defined as frame of mind, disposition, bad or good temper and humor, sulk, having the doldrums. In an “atmosphere” mood creates a feeling, vibes, ambience, an aura in the air that may set a tone.

It is often difficult for us to identify our moods.  If you didn’t know this already, we have a variety of moods to choose from which we experience in a day and may change many times during it. A mood cannot be simply described as “bad” or “good” – it helps to be more specific. It may sound simple, but knowing the specific mood we are experiencing will better allow us to work on changing or easing it and as a result allow us to name the emotions and feelings.

Moods are identified as one descriptive word: anxious, mad, happy, hurt, disappointed, loving, proud, guilty, ashamed and afraid. For instance, if we were in a frightened mood – a high level of emotion/feeling may be I feel dreadful, panicky, terrified, horrified, petrified, and desperate. A moderate level of emotion/feeling may be I feel alarmed, jittery, strained, shaky, threatened. A low level of emotion/feeling may be I feel uneasy, tense, timid, anxious, nervous or puzzled.

How to identify Moods

Body – focus on any changes to your body, is there a heaviness throughout it that may show disappointment, depression, while tight shoulders may show fear and tension or vice versa, relaxed shoulders may show we are in a pleasant mood.

Identify emotions/feelings – it’s important that we not judge our mood, as many of us may not want to admit to certain feelings as a result of our mood (e.g. anxious, bored). Moods are just that moods. It is okay to be honest about the mood and name it by the feeling or emotion and simply deal with it truthfully.

Be clear – Avoid using vague terms to describe your mood and be exact in your description, for example a sad mood, say, I feel bummed out, down, disappointed.

Moods are different from thoughts – Try to know the difference between moods and thoughts – this takes practice. Psychology Today explains our mind is cluttered with thousands of thoughts, most of which are repetitive and circular. Thoughts may range from wondering what “other people feel about me” to ruminating on “what life is all about.”

Identify and rate our Moods – On a scale of 0 to 100 we can think about rating the intensity of our moods – the higher the rating – the higher the intensity. We can think about the situation, describe where we were, who we were with and what we were doing? By being specific we can find our mood(s) in one word.

Mood Disorders 

Canadian Mental Health Association reports that Mood disorders affect about 10% of the population. Everyone experiences “highs” and “lows” in life, but people with mood disorders experience them with greater intensity and for longer periods of time than most people.  One common mood disorder is Depression. A person with depression feels “very low.” Symptoms may include: feelings of hopelessness, changes in eating patterns, disturbed sleep, constant tiredness, an inability to have fun, and thoughts of death or suicide.

It helps to know ourselves well if we can identify our moods. As a result we have a better understanding of our emotions and feelings to allow us to enjoy a healthier mental state and create greater relationships all around.

Blog written by Catherine DeAngelis Copyright © 2013 Catangelis Communications – Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without written permission from site owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to owner or to any other copyright materials used by owner is also quoted with appropriate direction to original content.
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by Catherine DeAngelis

Fearlessness in action is to watch snowboarding athlete, Shaun White, win the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Gold Medal. Before the winning run, Shaun talked about a new trick that he was going to pull off, so he performed the Double McTwist 1260, and showed the world anything is possible.

Fearlessness is described as a word synonymous with bravery, as feeling no fear.  It is an emotion experienced to expect some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a want to flee or fight).  It is the quality of mind enabling one to face danger or hardship resolutely, as if it is a kind of imagined courageousness, dauntlessness, gallantry, gameness, nerve, spirit, stoutheartedness and simply – gutsiness.

Imagine an Olympian athlete running a race and in the last lap, coming close to first in line to finish.  A win in sight, suddenly fear strikes.  Her demise is harmful and she forges on, but in a state of anxiety. In this state of trepidation, could she blend her thoughts with the love she has for the game, and push with fortitude to splint faster? Allowing love to surpass the thoughts, she soon may find she’s reached the ribbon, arms up, crowds cheering, knowing bravery is what wins the gold.

Shaun White after his gold medal win, told the press “to have all the eyes on me and all this pressure, and just so much going on, I mean I can’t even talk about how much I’ve been thinking about this and I can’t even sleep at night. I am so happy it is over. It’s unbelievable, and I am just happy I was here, happy I was able to win for the U.S., make it a historical day and make my parents proud.”

Remembering the Canadian freeskiing pioneer spirit of Sarah Burke, who passed away Jan. 19, 2012 .

How We
Combat Fear

Many of us have stories to tell on how we have tried to combat fear, either through sheer determination or the genuine will to see something through whether it is to turn out successfully or not in its end.  We walk into it, that dark wall of uncertainty, and trust that through it, are the imaginings we hope will bring us the rewards we have dreamed in our goals.

Motivational speakers, coaches, teachers will tell us that our goals are indelibly reachable. Then our fears will no doubt come in the way of them.  Fears may not allow a struggling person recovering from an addiction to kick the habit on the first try or an aspiring person to get a PhD, find the perfect mate, and have the two children and a lovely home by the lakeside, while becoming an award-winning author. How long could this take, if we are at the mercy of facing fear that is crippling? It could result in a lifetime of regret, looking back and finding, courageousness was not part of our physical make-up.

In spite of Shaun’s injuries, during the days before his gold medal run, he was learning and inventing his tricks, had surgery, torn a ligament in his thumb, and chipped a bone in his ankle, all resulting from taking severe risks and many hits to his body.

Spiritual teacher, Marianne Williamson has written “that there are really only two primary emotions in the universe, love and fear. So anytime you’re feeling anxious, insecure, worried, angry or resentful, you’ve left love and entered fear.”

Conquering Your FearsMaster Life Coach and Media Personality Bruno LoGreco in his book Polishing The Diamond Within, A Guide to Self-Confidence, offers major steps on how to conquer fear before it conquers you. He shows overcome fear, and it increases life satisfaction and self-worth.

“The most profound and important thing a person can do to erase fear and access the power of intention is repeating these five key words: I want to feel good!” This is according to self-development and spiritual leader Wayne Dyer, PhD. He adds, “It’s been proven that the thoughts we choose have everything to do with our emotions. I can tell you that a commitment to feeling good can take away a stomach ache, fear, depression, sadness, anxiety—you name it. Any stress signal is a way of alerting you to say the five magic words: I want to feel good. This is your intention to be tranquil and stress free—and it’s a way of connecting to spirit.”

Nothing is Impossible

It could be a physical or emotional conquest we are undertaking, like losing unwanted pounds, running a marathon or sharing a traumatic life changing story. The act of knowing it is doable, and we can succeed in spite of debilitating fears – we tell ourselves and others, rarely comprehending the size of  the words – nothing is impossible!

Shaun White said he wanted “to put everything on the table,  that was what the last run was about – taking his victory lap and then showing everyone in the world on this big world stage what he can do.”  He went off to do this new Double McTwist 1260. It was reported he did this, without having the speed to pull it off. With pure gutsiness,  nerve, braveness and gallantry at their best, it may have been more than just love of the sport that made Shaun shoot way over the top.

Watch Shaun White perform the Double McTwist 1260-Trick, from his gold medal run.

Free Online Magazine

Visit, a free online magazine that is intended to empower people through unique stories of overcoming fear. From entrepreneurs, business leaders, artists and scientists to survivors of extreme experiences, these stories show the hidden potential we have to face our fears and come out victorious. Read examples of how people are conquering fear, in spite of risks, whether they are in immediate physical danger, the looming threat of failure, the pressure to compete in a changing world, the incessant quest for identity, or the overwhelming uncertainty of death. Check out more>> on Fearless Stories.

The Courage to Be Free

Much credit goes to all the many authors who have written on the topic of Fear. We have selected to introduce Guy Finley, who has written many books about fearlessness and helped millions live richer, more contented lives. We trust him to give tools to help work on overcoming blocks we meet because of the fear some of us live with for whatever reasons. Watch this video and hear Guy Finley speak about, The Courage to Be Free.

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All rights reserved © 2007-2013 Catangelis Communications
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