Are You a 5-Star Innkeeper of Your Own Emotions?

October 15, 2020

Are You a 5-Star Innkeeper of Your Own Emotions?

May 29, 2023

I was once called “the daring crossing guard at the treacherous intersection of psychology and business.” Someday, I hope to walk on stage for a speech with a day-glow orange vest and STOP sign. No doubt, having a sense of humor reacquaints us with our humanity.

But, in times like these, the intersection of our emotions may be full of honking horns and speeding cars. It feels harsh and unwelcoming, even when we’re in the safe confines of our own homes.

As some of you know, like the late poet Mary Oliver, I endeavor to read a Rumi poem every day as part of my reminder of what it means to be human. And, as a hotelier, I have to say my favorite poem of his is this one below which combines my love of hospitality with my fascination with emotions.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Beware of the squatting emotion that isn’t leaving your “guest house” because you’re ignoring it or treating it badly. Too many of those squatters simultaneously and your house, head, and heart will feel like a treacherous intersection as opposed to a friendly inn that welcomes all guests whether they had a reservation with you or not.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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