A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, my son and I got
into an argument. He got defensive and uppity, I got intrusive
and sarcastic. I ended the conversation by slamming his bedroom
door behind me.
At times like that, I can feel myself wanting
to keep up a wall between me and the other person. I wanted to
keep making my son wrong. I wanted to see everything wrong about
Then I remembered E-Squared (or E2). E2
will increase your impact on the person youre talking to
itll add a subtle, relaxed quality to your demeanor
that will help the other person feel at ease in your presence.
And youll like what it does for you even more. You
become calm and at ease and you get a strong feeling of standing
on solid ground. I call it E2 for experienced experience.
As each moment goes by, you and I have
an ongoing stream of experience lots of sights, thoughts,
sounds, feelings, smells but we dont register much
of it consciously. And thats fine. Nothing wrong with that
for the most part. But sometimes its pretty useful to register
your experience consciously. One of those times is when you feel
uncomfortable or when youre upset with someone and you
think youre going to lose your cool. Another might be when
youre giving a speech and you feel like running away or
when youre telling someone something they dont want
At times like those, pay attention to your
physical experience. Experience your experience. Feel
all the different sensations in your body. When youre feeling
powerful emotions, theres a lot to pay attention to; emotions
are complex; they move through your body producing physical sensations
in many different places in your body, in sequence. Pay attention
And while youre paying attention
to your physical sensations, youll notice certain muscles
in your back, in your face, in your shoulders have
contracted and held the contraction. Youll probably notice
lots of sensation in your solar plexus region. Pay attention
to everything your body posture, the expression on your
face, the light coming into the room, the sounds around you.
Notice your breathing, feel your feet on the floor. Be there.
Simple? Sure. Obvious? Absolutely. It is
nothing more than experiencing something that you are already
experiencing. What could be easier? But sometimes we dont
want to experience our experience, and its times
like those you have to do it consciously and deliberately. Otherwise
you will tend to act out those negative feelings or do
something in an attempt to avoid feeling those feelings
something youll regret later.
So I took a deep breath, relaxed, and for
a moment I paid attention to my ongoing experience: I noticed
my body posture, the expression on my face, the different sensations
in my body, the feel of the air on my skin, etc. Then I went
back, a changed man, and talked to my son. Those few moments
I took to E2 altered me. They stopped me from reacting
defending and attacking and allowed me to start fresh.
I went back to his room and apologized for slamming the door
and explained myself as best I could. I was completely calm and
had no edge in my voice. He listened. He knew hed made
a mistake but I had nailed him so hard, he didnt want to
admit it before. We ended the conversation with no hard feelings.
E2 is an act of will. Its not a thought.
Its not a physical action. Its a change of heart.
Instead of running, you stand and feel. Instead of wanting to
hide, you open yourself up. Instead of cowering inside, you pay
attention and relax.
Try it. Try it any time you feel like pulling
away or shrinking back. Stand firm. Breath deep. Relax your tensions.
Practice E-Squared now and then:
Pay close attention to your ongoing experience.