If you wonder what I mean by Emotional Fitness, read this series of articles about Google’s Search Inside Yourself project. It is Google engineer Meng’s Google supported effort to bring Peace on Earth.
Here’s a quote: Meng believes that world peace can be achieved — but only if people cultivate the conditions for inner peace within themselves. Inner peace, in turn, comes from nurturing emotional intelligence through the practice of mindfulness and meditation. Working with Zen masters, meditation teachers, psychologists and even a CEO, Meng created a seven-week personal growth program named — what else — Search Inside Yourself (SIY). Launched in 2007, Google has had more than 1,000 employees go through SIY with startling results. Participants rate the program at 4.7 on a five-point scale. Anecdotal feedback, among other comments, from many participants is that this program “changed my life.”
So still confused about Emotional Fitness? Sorry. I developed it to help anyone and every one improve what is referred to in these articles as “emotional intelligence.” At the time I was working in the Mott Haven Section of the South Bronx. Mott Haven was and remains one of the poorest community districts in the United States. Jonathan Kozol wrote about it in his book Amazing Grace. Here is what he says about Mott Haven on his web page:
The South Bronx is a part of the poorest Congressional district in the USA. The people who live there are subjected to the insults of having a medical waste incinerator, a garbage dump, and the relocation of 3,000 homeless families placed in their neighborhood. People come off the highway to just dump garbage in the neighborhood. The three hospitals that serve the area are all understaffed and over-crowded. The medical problems that this community faces are simply staggering in their sheer quantity.
When I worked in Mott Haven, lots of physically buffed young men walked the streets. Physical fitness was big. At the same time having emotional problems was a source of great shame. Better to shoot it out or get in a fight, than resolve conflicts by sucking some things up or seeking help with emotional problems. I tried to cut the stigma by thinking of fitness, not disease. Hasn’t caught on spectacularly, but I still have hopes. And it was nice to see that Google and I are in agreement about this. Only I think emotional fitness involves more than meditation.
STAYING STRONG TIP Learn and practice my Twelve Daily Dozen Emotional Fitness Exercises. I bet you already practice many of them and adding the rest will help you stay emotionally healthy.
PRACTICE KINDNESS: Kindness circles back and blesses you. Be kind to me share this post.
Thank you and stay strong, I am trying.