This is the fourth in a series of brief excerpts from How To Rule Your World From The Inside Out: The Art Of Inner Leadership.

2nd Chakra: Sovereignty and feelings

Emotional intelligence is an essential skill, both for understanding our selves and for being in right relationship with the world around us.

So why do we sometimes get so overwhelmed by our feelings, or feel numb and cut off from them?

Feelings are the way in which your body communicates with you. Through your feelings, your body gives you valuable information about the people, places, relationships and situations you encounter every day in your life.

Your body is both powerful and intelligent. When you listen to its responses, and work skilfully with your feelings, your inner kingdom remains healthy and happy.

When you know what you feel and what you need, when you’re in touch with what your heart truly desires, you can make sovereign choices. You can align your will with your deepest longing, which always emerges from your soul’s purposes, and you can shape your life to serve what you truly love.

Feelings unite your soul with your body, when you listen to them, when you let yourself experience them fully.

All feelings are energy. Energy is vibration-in its natural state, energy moves fluidly and freely.

When you resist your feelings-either because you believe it’s not okay to feel them, or because you’re afraid to feel them-or conversely, when you cling to your feelings, or layer thoughts, ideas and stories onto them, you run into problems.

Resistance will cause you to contract and shut down the energy of your feelings. Clinging to them will intensify and balloon them out unnaturally, and will distort the flow of their energy through your body.

Either way, the natural flow and vibration of your feelings will be hampered, and their cleansing, healing effects will be blocked.

So let’s explore the world of feelings a bit today.

We’ll start with the four basic feelings: sad, mad, glad and scared. There are many variations on these, of course, but these are the four fundamental categories of feeling.

Just think about them for a moment. Sad, angry, happy and scared. Which of these feelings do you allow yourself to feel? Do you give yourself permission to be sad? To be angry, to be happy, to be scared?

Which feelings make you cringe? Which ones do you resist, judge or push away?

Which feelings do you cling to or hang on to? Which ones do you make up stories about?