The course of your life depends on the choices you make. Mindful choices enable you to serve your purpose in a successful appreciative way.

Anna Cherry

If you are interested in taking a highly individual route to equanimity and purpose, even in tough times, with some fun along the way, then read on. I encourage you to take ownership of your personal choices using a new Emotional Intelligence tool – Mindful Runes – based on bioscience, psychology and Buddhist philosophy. My message is “envisage your truly astonishing self – you are a unique and beautiful person – think and act accordingly”. Let’s start with two definitions:

Equanimity: the state of being calm, stable and composed, especially when exposed to stressful experiences with the potential to upset the balance of your mind.

Emotional Intelligence (EI): the capacity to be aware of, control, and express your emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously with empathy.EI is now acknowledged, by both academics and therapeutic professionals, as a potent cognitive feature for coping in our frenetic 24/7 high-tech world. It is key to both your personal and professional success.

Here’s a brief EI summary: at all 25 attributes are interpreted fully.

1. POTENTIAL: Unlock success, wherever you focus your mind, skills and expertise. Rather than material things, success is a measure of accomplishments that enhance your emotional well-being, plus activities through which you help others and the environment.

2. CONNECTION:Maintain mutually beneficial links with family, friends, colleagues and community – referred to as social integration. In the same vein, meaningful connections to the environments you inhabit significantly affect your quality of life.

3. SELF-KNOWLEDGE: Look inside and notice personality traits, learned behaviours, stress triggers: who or what presses your buttons, any perfectionist tendencies? Picture your coping mechanisms and see where improvements can be made.

4. HABIT: Recognise your habits going around in closed repetitive cycles – some emotionally hindering, some helpful. You have the power to determine which habits to bid farewell as you break free and introduce stimulating new experiences.

5. WILLPOWER: Clear life’s hurdles withcourageous self-discipline and persistent effort.Be conscientious about personal responsibility for your choices to function effectively in ever-changing circumstances. Say the maxim aloud: ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’.

6. HEALTH: If it is within your gift, take full responsibility for your health by putting only nutritionally good things into your mouth, exercising your body daily, filling your lungs with fresh air, getting enough sleep, being a thoughtful kind person, and laughing often.

7. CREATIVITY: Thinking and acting creatively is the emotionally healthy way to grow your life, especially if you are dealing with unresolved issues. By developing your creative skills, you will experience a great sense of accomplishment and enormous emotional delight.

8. BELIEF: Are your long-standing beliefs and value judgements, both rational and irrational, still serving your purpose? From beliefs about yourself, to faith in a deity, to questioning the very nature of the universe and your place in it – where do you stand?

9. VOCATION: Equilibrium is required to offset pressures such as overwork or unemployment, 24/7 work culture, too many voluntary activities, caring-role demands etc. Unchecked stress can lead to medical conditions – it is essential to achieve healthy balance.

10. CONFIDENCE:  Bring forth your ability to subdue anxiety around others, to remain calm in awkward situations and to take on challenging projects. You grow in confidence as you accept help from a trusty source, risk something new and bravely be yourself.

11. PROCESS: Engage the emotional feel-good factor that comes with achievement by developing efficient coping skills without the demon perfectionism. Avoid procrastination and stress by organising tasks into compartments while allowing for flexibility.

12. LEARNING: You grow in wisdom by being ever curious and keen to learn at every stage of life. Stretching your mind – being open to new ideas – is a key feature of EI. There are so many ways to acquire knowledge – make sure you do choose at least one or two.

13. ACCEPTANCE: You can’t change the past so choose to accept ‘what is’ – the true situation. Refuse to carry the emotional burden of previous worries around with you. Find the silver linings as a way to heal old wounds and move forward in a rational frame of mind.

14. RESOURCE: Your finances, property, material possessions and natural resources all require occasional inspection, plus your resourcefulness for generating appropriate income. What are your real needs craving extra? Know what is enough for a happy contented life.

15. ELIMINATION: Discard prejudiced assumptions, hindering thoughts, stressful situations, physical addictions, wasteful habits, junk foods, unnecessary possessions, people or things that no longer serve your purpose. Experience the healing effects of elimination.

16. FREEDOM: Allow your authentic character to manifest. Control freaks, bullies, unreasonably-demanding bosses, idle gossipers, emotionally-draining individuals, hindering doubts and worries – leave them all behind. Set healthy boundaries for splendid liberation.

17. ASPIRATION: Acknowledge your hopes, aims and ambitions, even your wildest dreams. Develop a clear vision of ‘what might be’ and ‘what can be’, devoid of grandiose expectations. Whatever you aspire to be or to do, enthusiastically bring it into being.

18. RELATIONSHIP: To be in loving harmony with others is life-enhancing, while damaging unions may need to be culled. Ensure your closest relationships are well-tended with loyal commitment to those who are truly loved and respected by you and you by them.

19. INSPIRATION: Identify the people who are your worthy role models. Ask what stimulates your ingenuity –helpful books, uplifting movies, social debate, onlinetutoring etc? Can you, in turn, set an inspiring example for others to follow? Yes – you can!

20. PLAYFULNESS: Have you repressed your jovial childlike nature while the serious aspects of daily life dominate? Witness the magic of make-believe as young children learn to navigate the world. Your own light-hearted child is always there waiting for the fun to begin.

21. ADVENTURE: Be prepared to take a risk on change of some sort; doing something new or something familiar differently, travel in a physical sense, travel in your mind. Life can become stale without adventure, so seize opportunities for spontaneity and exploration.

22. KINDNESS: Give yourself and other people the unconditional presents of kindness and consideration, compassion and empathy, your time and attention. See how your generosity changes the life of another. Being kind, nice and generous is simple – try it every day.

23. GRATITUDE: To express thanks is a positive pleasure which counteracts tendencies to dwell on personal misfortune or the depressing news of others. Show appreciation by frequently counting your blessings and feeling genuine life-cherishing delight for others.

24. PROTECTION: Safeguard your emotional well-being by taking appropriate precautions. Ensure your thoughts, feelings and actions are free from malign influences or self-sabotage from your own doubts and fears. Maintain a safety net to feel securely serene.

25. MINDFULNESS: Train your busy mind to observe thoughts and feelings as they arise and learn to let them go. Thoughts need attention to survive – so turn off your attention. Focus on your breath, a mantra or simply rest in the moment – lay the foundations for equanimity.

My promise to you is that, by engaging your EI attributes wisely, you gain the personal power to live more healthily, to flourish contently and to serve others with kindness, respect, and love.

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.” Carl Sagan

Anna Cherry
BSc. Psychology [Bristol]; Dip. Holistic Design Institute; author of The Habitat Affect. A former regional PR Director with a leading global agency, today Anna is an Emotional Intelligence Coach. She gives talks and runs workshops for charity which encourage Emotional Intelligence and mindful awareness of how mental and physical environments affect thinking, productivity and vital well-being.


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