Reblog: Emotional Urge Surfing

Originally appeared in The Carousel, a lifestyle media brand, author Irena Geller introduced this idea of emotional urge surfing as part of weight control on emotional eating.  But the concept can apply to many other areas dealing with emotional urges and behavior modifications.  Hope you find it useful.

Ride the emotional wave

If you allow yourself to sit with whatever you are feeling, you’ll find- just like a wave-it will pass.

“Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.” ― Jonatan Mårtensson

It is a powerful way to train yourself to experience the feelings that you usually escape with food. Urges are like waves in that they rise in intensity, peak, and eventually crash.

Here’s a brief exercise you can do to explore this technique: 

  • Picture your emotion as a wave and you are the surfer
  • Ride the wave
  • Relax into the feeling
  • Have the confidence that it won’t last forever
  • Feel the surge
  • Wait for the ebb, stay on top and keep your balance

Your emotion will quickly subside to froth on the sand.

Want more (including hands-on practice) ? Click here.

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Empathy Starts With Listening

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Empathy is the capacity to understand the thoughts, feelings, and experience of another ( To empathize takes quite a bit of emotional intelligence. Sounds difficult? Not really if you start with listening – a skill that can be learned.

When listening, our attention should focus on the speaker, and not ourselves. But invariably our attention is distracted by the noises in our head: what was said, how to reply, when is my turn, etc. Rather, the focus should be outward on the others: their mood,  body language, and need for validation.

For example, in expressing sympathy, the common phrase of “I’m sorry for your lost” is not being emphatic. It comes across as more obligatory than sincere.  Better saying may be “how are you doing or feeling?” which puts the focus on other instead of self.  Followed up by listening.

Regardless the environment is volatile, emotional, or high stake, empathy can make a difference in achieving the desired outcome. Because having empathy means one is operating on the same page as the other.  And that is useful no matter in personal, social, or business relationship.

Couldn’t we all use a bit more empathy?

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Active Learning

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Learning is important to me. It’s a way for my renewal and spiritual growth. As the saying goes: live & learn.  As long as I learn, I continue to grow.

And without a doubt, hands-on is my preferred method.  Take my three favorite activities– yoga, running, meditation–for example. I can read books on them, but I benefit more from getting down, rolling up my sleeves and engaging in doing them. Going through the motions helps me develop that visceral and tangible feel.

Yes, I do make mistakes. But isn’t that part of learning? Not to mention, I get inspired from trying something new, discovering different approaches, and reflecting from my mistakes. In fact, during my marathon training days, experimenting something new each season was a key part of my marathon strategy.

So in a way, you can say that I prefer hands-on learning because it gives me more inspiration than book learning.

What about you? How do you find your inspiration? 

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This Rhythm Of Life

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Before retiring, my life pace was in quick chops – people to see, things to do, places to go, etc. A bit tense, I admit.  As such, I always had my eyes on the clock. To be mindful of not missing things.  Weekends was my respites between the weekly hustles.

That rhythm changed completely post retirement.  Being the sole owner of my time, not beholden to anyone else, I decide on  what to do with my time after waking up naturally each day. Weekends, interestingly, become my  time to avoid the crowds and rushes.

Although retirement happened like flip of a switch, my  transition into it unfolded gradually. It is a different rhythm altogether. Fortunately, I had my rituals of running, yoga, and meditation there to ease me into this new chapter.

In other words, I had the same familiarity and yet more depth and breadth to explore – benefits from slowing down my pace. And the best part is that there are more for me about me.

How is the rhythm of your life?

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Layoff, Layoff, & More Layoff

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Layoffs continue long after the Covid pandemic peaked. Seems common headlines that tech, financial, hospitality sectors are leading the charge. This week, Disney begins its second round of layoff aiming to slash 4,000 jobs by the end of the week.

Maybe, we shouldn’t be surprised. Aren’t layoff and hiring two sides of the same coin?  Shouldn’t we accept layoff as normal as hiring?  Not to mention, the persistent Feds’ rate hikes are driving up the costs for everyone, business and consumer alike.

Here lies the rub.  You see, layoff is different because of its devastating impacts to people’s lives. Employers are not worrying about their employees but more concerned about their profit/ lost. When push comes to shove, so much for the company loyalty or that employees are the “most important asset.”

Regardless a soft landing can be achieved, plenty of bloodshed already resulted by merciless layoffs. It should be wake-up calls that the worst is yet to come.

Recession or soft landing? Which way would you bet on?

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In Everyday Living

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The hollering winds and wet pavement make me shudder at the thought of my morning run being cold and wet tomorrow. A throw back to the cooler climate. If given a choice, I prefer the sun for its warmth, light, and life sustaining energy. Only when missing is when I realize how much I take the sun for granted.

The culprit is none other than the usual suspect of being trapped in a separate reality – our own microcosm filled with inhibitions, limitations, and distractions. Easy to lose touch with our essence. In our relative short existence, shouldn’t each moment be precious and lived intentionally?

The obvious answer is YES. Invariably our human nature takes us on a different path. And the rest is all too familiar: boredom, joyless, and dull. Although, we may not be able to move the world, alter our fate, or command the weather, we can choose to change ourselves to find something new and hopeful in everyday living.

Find something new?

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Week In Review – 23 Apr 2023

On Monday, the 127th Boston Marathon took place, ten years after the bombing incident. Adding to the occasion was the world’s fastest marathoner Eliud Kipchoge who partook but did not win the race.

Earth Day 2023 was yesterday. See here for a brief overview of its origin and history. Considering the 8 billion population and 8.7 million species that our planet is supporting, we ought to be grateful and mindful of its sustainability.

Two days prior, the SpaceX’s Starship successfully launched from its base in Texas, albeit exploded after reaching an altitude almost 40 kilometers, 3 minutes later. The launch was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” quoting Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who first landed on the moon.

Besides those highlights, more somber news included: Fox News continues to sell its snake oil on the stolen election, more innocent people are getting shot in the US, Ukraine is still preparing for its counteroffensive against Russia. And lastly, the rain has stopped.

Stay safe & Have a nice week.

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Let It Rain

Pitter-patter. The sound of raindrops continues outside. “Keep it coming,” I pray. Normally, I prefer dry weather over rain. So, I can venture outdoor for whatever my heart fancies. But this week is an exception. We need that rain. Urgently.

For one, we got a Red Flag Warning for our area from the National Weather Service early in the week. Don’t know how the plants and grass fare. But it is dry.  The wind has shaken loose tree branches and has them scattered all over the  places. I even collected some from my yard for kindling.

And two, the amount of tree pollen blown in the air is out of control. They are not only on top of cars, park benches, but also so thick that I choked up on them as they were getting into my throat while running this morning.

Therefore, I ‘m praying – hoping the thunderstorms will bring much needed reliefs: moisture to douse the dry/ fire weather condition, and wash away the active pollen that is making outdoor activities miserable.

Is filtering the pollen out another benefit from wearing mask? 

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Ukraine War Update #6 – Not Much Progress

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Temperature in Washington DC is hitting 86 degree Fahrenheit. And I’m getting this anxious feeling of when will  the advertised Ukrainian spring offense be happening?  Of course, I would not know the answer but am secretly hoping maybe the leaked Pentagon intelligence document would shed insight.

The war is dragging on for 424 days, according to my calculations. The fatigue must have set in not only for Ukraine and Russia also the neighboring countries and bystanders as well. The best I can gather is both Ukraine and Russia are buying time. Ukraine is marshaling in new equipment from the West. And Russia is trading body for time in the belief that a long war is to its advantage.

Despite the peace plan proposed by China, neither Ukraine nor Russia is ready/ willing to negotiate at this time. The conflict is still early for either side to change its mind. As both parties  remain entrenched and seesaw battleground operations continue (aka slug-fest), status quo is expected for the foreseeable future.

How long do you think the support for Ukraine will last?

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Snake Oil

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Fox News will pay Dominion Voting Systems $787 million as result of an out-of-court settlement for the defamation lawsuit brought on by Dominion.

As part of the settlement, Fox need not apologize for any wrongdoing as in falsely claiming that Dominion manipulated its voting machines against former president Trump in the 2020 election. All Fox need to do: write the check.

Anyone clearly can see what is happening. Fox News will continue to pander to the Trump’s base with lies, albeit a bit less flagrant perhaps to avoid future lawsuits. But the bottom line – it’s a business decision that Fox News will stick with. Integrity is not an issue.

The unfortunate part being as long as people are willing to buy snake oil, folks like Fox News will continue to be in business. Until maybe one day when people are tired of the snake oil or the next lawsuit. The chance of Fox News will cease and desist is nil.

How likely would Fox News go under?

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