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Mindful : February 2016
Taming the Raging Fire Within By Margaret Cullen and Gonzalo Brito Pons Illustrations by Michael Woloschinow Anger is the trickiest element in our human emotional inheritance. It’s an inner fuel that offers a habit-forming addictive rush. How can we handle its awesome power? It’s such a shame to think of how often we deride ourselves, and each other, for being “emotional.” It’s like jumping on someone for breathing. Emotion is a process that is a vital part of being alive. As the pioneering affective psy- chologist Paul Ekman has said, emotion is a kind of rapid, automatic appraisal of what’s going on. It’s influenced by our evolutionary past as well as our personal past, such that when “we sense that something important to our welfare is occur- ring...a set of physiological changes and emotional behaviors begins to deal with the situation.” You’ve been endowed with a nervous system that has evolved over thousands of generations → Margaret Cullen, MA , MFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, as well as a certified Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness- Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) teacher. Gonzalo Brito Pons, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, certified yoga teacher, and MBSR teacher who has worked with diverse populations in Chile, Peru, and Spain. February 2016 mindful 57 emotions