Mar 272014

Watch the free webcast for The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church held on 3/28/14, noted as the nation’s first religiously backed conference to address mental health issues


/ [update] Watch/listen to the recordings from The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church All of the plenary session videos and workshop audios are online for free. /

Traditional media mentions, most recently:

I’m most eager to hear of the next steps and sustained efforts at keeping the conversations alive and ongoing, raising awareness, shaping and changing perceptions, breaking stigma over time. It won’t happen overnight. I do pray that a bunch of good things will birth from this event. And I hope the event organizers will record the webcast videos and make those available as a very valuable resource.

Aside: I haven’t yet found discussions online leading up to the event, though I did find a few blog posts. (My attempt to contact organizers about follow-up next steps got a reply of: “… decisions have not been made yet.”)

Dec 122008

Continuing the series on “Developing emotional maturity – part 5 of many”. [cf. part 1: what is emotional maturity? part 2: how to develop emotional maturity; part 3: how emotionally maturity is connected to spiritual maturity; part 4: emotional intelligence and emotional maturity]

I confess I’m not exactly sure where to go with this series. I don’t have a road map or content schedule planned out. So I’m going with what’s at my fingertips. This chart comes from Soulwork Systemic Solutions, a coaching system developed by Martyn Carruthers:

And, Guy Kawasaki twittered this online Emotional Intelligence (EQ) test over at Taking the test just now (there were like 15 questions; I lost count), it told me, “Your results indicate an above average score on emotional intelligence.”

The people there wrote that Emotional Intelligence “refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while other claim it is an inborn characteristic.”
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Nov 172008

Continuing the series on “Developing emotional maturity – part 4 of many”. [cf. part 1: what is emotional maturity? part 2: how to develop emotional maturity; part 3: how emotionally maturity is connected to spiritual maturity]

emotional intelligenceWhen I searched, I found 199 titles with the phrase, “emotional intelligence” in it. That’s a lot of books on one topic! There’s even a Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.

Emotional intelligence is not identical to emotional maturity. It seems to me that “emotional maturity” is a broader general category for someone’s emotional life. Whereas “emotional intelligence” is the whole science of quantifyingly studying and understanding human emotions, both individually and relationally.[*] It’s probably right to say that if one’s EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is high, that person is more emotionally mature.

Let’s use this working definition: “Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify, use, understand and manage emotions.

What does that look like? Daniel Goldman describes Five Components of Emotional Intelligence, according to [ht: Sandeep Gautam] :: Continue reading »

Oct 012008

Let’s kick off a new series, “Developing emotional maturity – part 1 of many”.

What is emotional maturity? Emotional maturity isn’t something that necessarily grows with chronological age, i.e. you don’t get more emotionally mature when you get older. Some adults are very emotionally immature; some have never matured emotionally.

And, you can’t tell someone that. Telling an emotionally immature person they’re immature will get an explosively immature reaction. Childish. Not a pretty sight. And it’s too bad. It’s those emotionally immature people that need a lot of help, but how in the world do you help them? They have to want the help, like the alcoholic who has comes to the point of admitting they need help.

There’s a lot to unpack about this topic, as I began looking more closely at it, and as I review my own journey of emotionally maturing. Not to say that I’ve arrived.

I do think about this topic, and have to say that I haven’t come across great books or teachings on this. Don’t recall any classes or seminars on this. And, it seems that cultures have different categories for emotions and feelings, if the difficulty of navigating both Asian and American cultures is any indication.

Before I find out how does someone develop emotional maturity, let’s consider what emotional maturity looks like. From my quick scan of the Web, these are my tentative thoughts in process:

  • Emotional maturity is being responsible for one’s behaviors– both actions and words.
  • Emotional maturity is NOT controlling one’s emotions. It’s controlling one’s behaviors and choosing to act in a way that doesn’t impulsively give in to reactive feelings.
  • Emotional maturity recognizes it’s okay to feel. It’s human to feel the full range of emotions. It’s not okay to act out immaturely, definitely not illegally.
  • Emotional maturity seems to go hand-in-hand with developing mental health.
  • Emotional maturity doesn’t mean every person will feel the same way about a situation / stimulus / idea. There’s some kind of relationship between core values and emotions / feelings. Would you believe values can change?
  • There’s probably a fine difference between emotions and feelings, but it’s too close to call for me, so I’m using them synonymously. Add a comment to explain otherwise, ok?

James Burns says, Emotionally Mature People Are Responsible. Excerpt below:

Emotionally mature people accept responsibility for their actions. They don’t look for excuses for their behavior. There may be reasons or circumstances why emotionally mature people act in an irresponsible way, but they don’t waste time making all kinds of excuses. Emotionally mature people don’t feel victimized by circumstances or other people. Even when circumstances or events are difficult, they deal with them without resorting to blaming others. … It becomes the responsibility of the individual to overcome difficult circumstances that were not really the fault of that person.

Continue reading »

Sep 192007

When I write down my life slogan, it’s “seeing life change up close”. I’ve heard Rick Warren say that he’s addicted to changed lives, and that propels him to do what he does with growing his church’s attendance, even though it’s not about numbers. I haven’t quite figured out what actions I’m propelled to do for what I like to see. I do know that it takes a particular finesse to cultivate access to another person’s heart, which is where I believe life change happens.

I’ve gathered random bits of data for this series of posts. There are different approaches to facilitating life change. (I know I am in desperate need for life change myself. Yet, I also am discerning how to live out of how I am made, rather than being someone I’m not.)

According to this article, there are only 3 things that motivate people to change:

  • pain – emotional or physical pain gives motivation to change
  • pull forces – transition in life stages or response to inspiration
  • push forces – motivation from someone else or circumstances

I’ve heard great things about the 12 steps to recovery, originally defined by Alcoholics Anonymous. Having met people who’ve been through this kind of a process and really work it, I’m amazed by their honesty, vulnerability, and profound life change:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Twelve Steps for Christians is enhanced with Scriptural references, and explicitly names God as the “higher power”.