Welcoming the gifts of anxiety

There are gifts in anxiety? Yes! People are often very surprised to learn that anxiety contains specific gifts, because anxiety is usually described only in terms of disorder or disease. However, at its most subtle level, anxiety (which is related to fear) helps you plan for the future and complete important tasks. Really! When I look at the problem of nuance, I see that so many … Read More

The ingenuity of confusion

Welcoming and understanding confusion! In my empathic approach to emotions, I’ve separated emotions into seventeen categories that are based on the unique actions each emotion requires. When I created these categories, I wasn’t trying to erase emotional nuance; I did it so that you could get a handle on your emotions and develop a working emotional vocabulary. I identified two states that I call masking states: … Read More

Fear: Intuition, instincts, and awareness

Welcoming the gifts of fear! As we take an empathic tour through the emotional realm, we’ve started with the emotions that help you set boundaries: Anger, guilt and shame, the masking state of apathy, and hatred. Today, we’ll look at an intuitive emotion that helps you orient yourself, connect with your instincts, and keep yourself safe: fear. Fear arises to orient you to change, novelty, or … Read More

The twisted love inside hatred, revisited!

The twisted love in hatred Previously, we looked at the connection between hatred, disgust, and rage. Rage is the aggressive aspect of hatred that can make you obsess over your hate targets and project all sorts of troubling material onto them. The fascinating thing about hatred is that you actually choose your hate targets not simply because they’re odious, but because they’re specifically odious in ways that … Read More

Embracing your hatred and saving the world

Hatred: The Shadowy and Necessary Emotion As we take a tour through the emotional realm, we’ve started with the emotions that help you set boundaries: Anger, guilt and shame, and apathy (the mask for anger). Today, we’ll look at an emotion that can set boundaries in very troubling ways if you don’t know how to work with it: hatred. Actually, we’ll continue to look at hatred … Read More

The genius of apathy and boredom

Unmasking the genius of apathy and boredom We’ve looked at anger and shame, and now, we’ll focus on what I call the masking state of apathy and boredom. Empathically, when I look at behaviors, I sense the emotions that underlie them. In apathy and boredom, I see a state that serves to mask fatigue and depression, certainly, but most of all, I see that apathy and … Read More

Karla McLaren celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

Hello Ausomeness! We’ve come to the end of Autism Acceptance Month, and now we’re embarking upon Autism Acceptance Year, Decade, Century, and Epoch! Heck, let’s just call it Autism Acceptance Eon! I’m being silly, but I’m also being very serious. Now that we’ve become somewhat clearer about what autism is and how many different ways it manifests, we’ve realized that there are a lot of autistic … Read More

Embracing guilt and shame

Befriending all of your emotions! In my post on befriending your anger, I re-framed anger as a necessary emotion that supports you in developing and maintaining your healthy self image. This week, let’s look at the emotion that I call anger’s friend or partner: shame. I envision healthy anger as the sentry that calmly walks the perimeter of your self-image and watches out for any challenges … Read More

You don’t have to be blue!

Today is International Autism Awareness Day, but I have to say, if you’re not aware of autism yet, friend, where have you been? My friends in the autism community find this day pretty excruciating, because the message about autism is so bleak and panicky — on this day, people mistake a disorder for a disease and a community of real, live human beings for an epidemic. … Read More

Understanding and befriending anger

Welcoming all of your emotions! Anger can be the most honorable emotion you have, if you know what it is, why it appears, and how to work with it. All of your emotions bring you specific gifts and skills, and we’ll look at all of your emotions — one by one — in terms of how each one works, why it arises, and which actions you … Read More

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