In a Ted talk that I was listening to entitled “Susan David: The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage,” she talks about the concept of emotional agility. She says, “How we deal with our inner world affects everything; how we love, how we live, how we parent and how we lead. The conventional view of how we see emotion, as good or bad, positive or negative is rigid, and rigidity in the face of complexity is toxic. We need greater levels of emotional agility for true resilience and thriving.” Susan continues with her own personal story of living as a child in South Africa during the midst of apartheid and how her father’s death greatly affected her. She goes on to say, “Emotional agility is the ability to be with your emotions, with curiosity, compassion, and especially the courage to take valued-connected steps.”
We remain open to our emotions simply by observing them; to not place judgement on them, trying to decide if they are good or bad. Rather it is to simply acknowledge that “I am feeling sad,” “I am feeling disappointed,” or “I am feeling content.” This is essentially the concept of emotional ability; the openness to our feelings no matter what they might be.
To listen to the full 16 minute Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_david_the_gift_and_power_of_emotional_courage#t-989361
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