Your loved one is 5 minutes into their commute and you see that they’re calling you from the car. Default: flat tire? car accident? fear!

A colleague asks if they can speak with you about something in the morning: Default: have I angered them? let them down? fear!

Fear, anger, resistance, resentment– somehow, in spite of our capacity to live, love, and be present for others so much of the time, many of us, myself included, still have these default emotions that come up sometimes. They usually come up when something unpredictable happens, when something extraordinary happens, or when we’re caught off guard.

Regarding the anger, resistance, resentment piece– I usually find these feelings starting to emerge when I know that I’m in the wrong. In other words, these feelings usually end up being self-directed. I’ve worked very hard to not stay in the place of anger, resistance, and resentment. What that usually looks like is letting these emotions evolve or dissolve into appreciation, openness and curiosity.

Just like I’m relieved when the phone call from my loved one is just a quick, “Would you remember to…” and the 9am with a colleague is just a quick, “Wanted to get your thoughts about…” Making the journey from default emotions to more productive ones is the way to go.

Default: fear