Kharissa Parker-Forte is a news producer, writer, certified health coach, and columnist for Startland News. Read her “Holistic Hustle” columns for Startland News here. For more of her self-care tips on how to keep your cup full, visit kparker.co.
Editor’s note: This commentary on emotional intelligence continues Parker-Forte’s series on the 7 Pillars of Self-Care by discussing the intersection between spirituality and work.
A key indicator of emotional intelligence is the ability to respond to situations as opposed to reacting to them. The five-step process of how it looks to respond instead of react is something I talked about in depth in the article “Don’t just pop off when under attack.”
Choosing to respond at work is of the utmost importance — especially during negative situations such as when you feel like your intelligence is being insulted or someone is taking credit for a task, idea, or project that’s yours. The major difference between responding and reacting is that a response puts logic in the driver seat and places emotions on the passenger side.
It’s not that emotions should be overlooked or swept under the rug. It’s recognizing that while they have their place, they don’t get to dictate your course of action. Responding instead of reacting is making the choice to think before you speak.
Keep your energy in balance
I could talk about divine feminine and masculine energy all day. It’s one of those aspects about human design that we also see play out in nature.
For example, though the science isn’t totally conclusive, some researchers suggest that a man’s hormone cycle aligns with the sun and a woman’s hormone cycle aligns with the moon. In fact, Healthline states that a man’s testosterone levels rise in the morning and fall in the evening just like the sun. A woman’s hormone cycle may not necessarily sync with the cycle of the moon, but the pattern of a woman’s cycle (period, follicular phase, ovulation, and luteal phase) mirrors the moon’s phases (new moon, waxing moon, full moon, and waning moon). Perhaps this is why the sun is masculine and the moon is feminine in other languages (like el sol and la luna in Spanish) — but I digress.
You might be familiar with the idea of toxic masculinity or toxic femininity in which one energy is overly present and dominates the other. On the opposite end of the spectrum, divine masculinity and divine femininity indicate that there’s a good balance. Mindbodygreen puts it this way. While divine masculine energy calls us to be assertive, take risks, and be action-oriented, divine feminine energy invites us to be more intuitive, wise, and gentle. At work, it’s important to know when to be the ace and when to be the anchor, when to let out your inner warrior and when to just silently observe.
But first …
Implementing any self-care strategy at work begins by exploring spiritual alignment. When we discuss the 7 Pillars of Self-Care, you can’t significantly improve your response or energy tactics without understanding that foundational element: spiritual alignment as a vibrational energy, a practice, a state of being, and a choice — all at once.
Since writing about this first pillar — click here to jump back if you missed it — I’ve received a lot of questions about how exactly to get in and stay in spiritual alignment. Though the true answer is that you literally just do it, I think I’ve figured out how to paint a more tangible picture that will help make better sense of how it looks on a practical level.
When you’re thirsty, you feel it. Be it fatigue, brain fog, craving salty foods (yep, that can be a sign of dehydration), or the color of your pee being a bit darker than usual, the signs that you need to drink water are present.
The fix is simple: grab a bottle of H2O. Wait too long and you could find yourself in a hospital with an IV in your arm.
Likewise, when you’re out of spiritual alignment, you feel it. Your energy might be out of balance, your productivity could slip (or you overwork yourself), and you might find yourself turning to vices to cope with the pressures and demands of your job. You might even notice how you treat your co-workers is negatively affected.
So, how do you fix it? First, you make the choice to get back into spiritual alignment. Then, you meditate, pray, do some breathwork, take a break, speak affirmations, sage your office, or whatever else is necessary to refill your cup and get the good vibes going.
Once you’ve arrived in that space, emotional intelligence naturally follows suit.
How it all ties together
By being in spiritual alignment, you can develop the emotional intelligence to respond instead of react and strike a balance between divine masculine and feminine energy. As a result, you’ll find the poise and prudence to move in a manner that doesn’t put your character or job in jeopardy. Next up, we’ll dive into the third pillar: mental clarity.
Fueled by her expertise as a news producer, writer, and certified health coach, Kharissa Parker-Forte is passionate about helping entrepreneurs in Kansas City achieve their goals without sacrificing self-care. Check out her personal blog and connect with her on Instagram, and Twitter.
This commentary is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.