Emotional Mastery: An Emotional Vaccine

Knowing how to create “emotional antidotes” to disturbing emotions has been the core of my work with EnneaMotion[i] and Somatic Focusing[ii] since 1994.

The woman at the auto shop where I was getting an oil change asked me what I do. The easiest-to-understand answer was, “I help people have more of the emotions they want and less of the emotions they don’t want.”

Her first reaction was putting the palm of her hand to her forehead and saying, “Ohhhhh, do I need that!” She went on to tell me how she and everybody she knew (and maybe you, too!) was struggling with depression, isolation, fear, anger, or being short-tempered, abusive, suicidal and more.

No kidding.

The current pandemic is and will continue to have an untold impact on the emotional well-being on the planet. No one is immune.

Something in my mind exploded. We are experiencing not only the Covid pandemic. It is a simultaneous, and maybe even longer-lasting emotional pandemic.

Yes, Covid vaccines are literally on their way. They will save millions of lives.

What about an emotional vaccine? What’s the cost if we don’t have one?

I want you to know there IS one! And it’s here. Now!
It is having a shot of “Emotional Mastery.”

Emotional Mastery

Emotional Mastery is having the ability to —

  • choose your emotions,
  • expand your emotional capacity or range,
  • increase the options you have when responding to challenging moments,
  • cultivate patience to replace impatience,
  • express hurt or anger in an effective and healthy way,
  • speak up for yourself,
  • have a conversation that deepens a relationship instead of challenging it,
  • make better choices, and
  • have more inner peace, better relationships and more joy.


But I jump ahead. A little more background first.

Without knowing it, it seems I’ve been preparing for this over the last decades.

I came into the Enneagram world in 1994 with almost 25 years of “embodiment” work. This was primarily as a choreographer guiding my dancers to authentically and therefore powerfully embody the emotions I wanted them to communicate on stage.

A lot of my early Enneagram trainings involved sitting in a chair for 12 hours a day for a week. I knew I wasn’t retaining the volumes of information being presented.

I wanted to DO the Enneagram. I wanted to feel the energy of each of the types in my body. The Enneagram is a deep well of emotional knowledge, and I knew all of it, the whole well, could be explored with an embodiment practice.

I had studied enough neuroscience and embodiment practices to know that we could create new neural pathways for any emotion or behavior we choose.

I am primarily an experiential or kinesthetic learner. As many others, I learn best, deepest and remember the most when I actually do what it is I’m trying to learn. The doing of it creates the neural pathway for it. And if I forget something, my body will often remember it, and then, boom, it all comes back to me.

I had honed that skill — the ability to embody any emotion — during my decades in the dance field. It was so obvious to me how learning the Enneagram in an embodied way could be done.

I was surprised to find that it did not exist.

So in 1994, I created EnneaMotion. It uses movement and energy to explore the range of emotion of each of the Enneagram types. Yes, we get out of our chairs, stand, move and learn.

A by-product and grateful surprise was that it also teaches us how to embody the gifts of each of the types by creating new neural pathways.

What thousands of my students around the world have learned, is — YES — learning the Enneagram in this way provides easy, deep and lasting learning. Because you feel the energy of each type in your bones, in your muscles, in every cell of your body.

EnneaMotion is a powerful and lasting way to create new neural pathways for a huge range of new emotions.

I never expected what happened next.

I changed.

I had lived a lifetime being painfully shy. Confidence had been elusive. I was afraid of and avoided confrontation. I had a strong fear of being seen. And was terribly afraid of anger, my own or someone else’s.

Somehow, I moved through the lack of confidence during my years in the dance field, but I would chalk that up to it being primarily a non-verbal art form.

Bringing the embodiment approach to the Enneagram, in particular, exploring the range of emotion inherent in The Leader, Enneagram Type Eight, a radical shift happened.

My Shift

My reluctance to be seen, to express an opinion or to approach a challenging conversation stemmed not just from a lack of confidence, but more deeply from my fear of anger.

Teaching and experiencing EnneaMotion made that apparent.

When “moving in the way of” a conscious and resourceful Type Eight, I only “sort of” felt the confidence this type is known for.

Then, following the exercise, I went down to the “dark shadow” of this type. I was afraid, reluctant and scared at first. Soon (in this “ritual container where there are no real life consequences[iii]), I allowed myself to embody the energy of anger.

Returning to movement for the conscious and resourceful type Eight, the “dark shadow” fueled and motivated my longing for confidence with the price of not having it. My new stance was no longer a “sort-of-confidence.” It was a genuine, grounded presence, a natural, easy confidence and belief in myself.

The exercise created a new neural pathway and an antidote that replaced my shyness, fear of being seen and my inability to bring up challenging conversations. This was a pivotal moment in my own personal development and an eye opener for what this can — and has done — for thousands of others.

The Need for an Emotional Vaccine

We’re not only having a Covid Pandemic. There is also an emotional pandemic that is simultaneously hitting all of us. It is a worldwide and long-term challenge.

No one is immune. From either.

There are so many versions of sadness, isolation, disconnection, depression, loss, fear, not knowing how to do things, holidays passing without family, the economy, racial unrest, political upheaval, climate change and more…

We are already becoming habituated to these emotional patterns as we cope. These habits will cause as yet unknown repercussions.

In the same way that frugality was required during the Great Depression and became a “good” habit at the time, it ended up being a long-term repercussion even when it was no longer necessary.

For similar reasons, we can assume the “good” habits of physical distancing and isolation required now may become so natural and habituated, that they will be part of the long-term repercussions of this pandemic.

Though there is a light at the end of this long tunnel with Covid vaccines on the way, the emotional virus may well be here for generations.

There could be hints of a lasting impact in children already, with new imprints as they learn what it is to be human. They’re being taught physical distancing, not touching, getting used to being isolated and therefore not honing the skills of connection.

If we don’t shift our reactions to what’s happening now, future generations will carry this wound forward.

Understandably, we do not want this to happen — not now, and certainly not long-term.

We CAN choose to react differently to these challenges by learning Emotional Mastery skills now.

The Emotional Mastery Experience

“How can I learn new Emotional Mastery skills?”, you may ask!  Most people think the “how” is difficult or won’t make a difference.

I’ve often said, “Change CAN Be Easy — when you know how!”

The woman at the auto shop reminded me of how essential it is to know how to develop Emotional Mastery.

In my Emotional Mastery Experience programs, you learn how to create dozens of emotional “vaccines” for disturbing emotions that you might be experiencing. You will also learn how to access confidence, inner peace, patience, understanding, acceptance and compassion. These qualities lead to deeper, more fulfilling relationships and yes, even more joy.

Utilizing EnneaMotion and Somatic Focusing, you will learn how to create new neural pathways for the changes you want. This changes your brain. It changes the energy in your body. And it changes how you think, feel and how you respond to life.

The EQ Toolkit

Your EQ reflects your Emotional Quotient, or your Emotional Intelligence.

The journey to your Emotional Mastery begins with the EQ Toolkit. Your Toolkit includes:

  • Taking the EQ Quiz: reflect on 18 areas of human emotion.
  • Your Emotional Mastery Blueprint: the pie chart of your results.
  • The EQ Quiz Interpretation Guide: how to understand your Blueprint.
  • The “Whammies Webinar:” how a “Whammy,” or a challenge can derail you.
  • Your Emotional Mastery Breakthrough Session: a private call where you learn how all of your scores impact each other and impact you, and what to do about any Whammies!

I’ve seen how each person’s EQ Quiz results are a unique blend of gifts and challenges in all areas of human emotion. Some people are still thriving, despite the times. And I’ve seen why and how some are depressed, angry or scared, based on their EQ Quiz results.

Though based on the Enneagram, this quiz does not just determine your Enneagram type. It shows how much and how little you have of both the gifts and the challenges of all the types. Your Blueprint, your quiz results, show how all of your scores impact each other and impact you to either lift you up, and give you great ease and success in all areas of life, or to challenge you, in the same ways, again and again, causing life to be a struggle.

On the call with me, you will get new insight to the unique blend of your gifts and challenges, and tips for change.

These simultaneous pandemics make Emotional Mastery more essential than ever.

If we don’t learn how to be the master of our emotions, we — and future generations — will carry today’s emotional trauma forward.

Learn how to be the master of your emotions by getting your EQ Toolkit.
The EQ Quiz, based on the Enneagram, is the first tool.


[i] I created EnneaMotion in 1994 as an embodied approach to learning and understanding the 9 different personality styles described by the Enneagram. I was a faculty member teaching EnenaMotion for the Riso-Hudson Professional Training Program from 1994-2018.

[ii] Somatic Focusing is my coaching modality based on the Focusing work of Eugene Gendlin. I added the somatic, the embodiment approach, by getting the client out of the chair and embodying the “body’s felt sense” of that which they didn’t want. We shift the energy in the body which transforms that energy into a natural and organic antidote.

[iii] This is a quote from Cliff Barry, one of my teachers, and the trainer and the creator of Shadow Work Seminars.

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