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Jane Birdsell's Book, Emotional Enlightenment, Has Great Success on the Calgary Herald Best Seller List

Related: Self-Help, Nonfiction

Learning to interpret and understand emotions is the most important step toward self-knowledge and knowing others. But the suppression of feelings in some cultures makes it surprisingly difficult to attain this essential goal. In Emotional Enlightenment: Managing Feelings for Success, Jane Birdsell, a psychologist, dissects feelings in such a way as to reveal what they really are. She describes how they develop, what causes them and how to manage them when they are negative. She believes this awareness leads to a sense of control and self-confidence, which helps to bring personal and professional success. Jane learned in her practice as a psychologist that many people need to learn more about the nature of feelings to live happier, more fulfilling lives.

Jane conducted a private counselling practice and taught personal development seminars for 25 years. Inspired by working with her many clients and students, Jane has written Emotional Enlightenment: Managing Feelings for Success to help a larger public develop a more comprehensive understanding of emotions. As she came to realize in her work, many people do not understand emotions very well. She began to wonder how people could be expected to be emotionally intelligent when they are without awareness of the basics of feelings. She thought if people could understand emotions in the way cognitive therapists do, they would feel more in control and more confident. Thus she sought to explain emotions in a more in-depth way for those who were interested in developing self-awareness and empathy for others.

Many of the world's cultures, Jane believes, have encouraged the suppression of feelings. She fears that much of today's focus on technology further removes people from being in touch with feelings. Convinced that the suppression of emotion and the avoidance of feelings lead to many serious problems in life, she is passionate about improving awareness of emotions.

Jane also learned that people yearn to be understood by the important people in their life. In order to understand others, one needs to learn to listen to the thoughts and feelings of others and not judge them. This is what empathy is all about. Empathic adults are more popular and provide better leadership than those who are not. And empathic children are more popular with their peers in school.

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