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  • Writer's pictureSherri M. Herman

Take Back Your Power & Reclaim Your Emotional Well-Being

Do you ever feel frustrated or disappointed when people in your life don’t behave how you want them to? 

How often do you get attached to how you think someone should or shouldn't be behaving or responding to you? If you've ever felt frustrated, annoyed, or angry because someone is behaving so differently from what you want or expect, number one: you're a normal human; number two: stick with me.

I'm going to talk about how to stop putting your emotional well-being purely in the hands of others and how to take back your power. This can save you from the clutches of chronic loneliness.

powerful waves, how to take back your power Sherri M Herman

A Muddy Road

In the classic Zen koan (a Buddhist story similar to a parable) entitled, “Muddy Road,” Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

"Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he could no longer restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"


Who are you carrying?

Whose behavior in your life is taking up so much of your energy and attention that it’s practically making you sick? Is it your ex or someone you're interested in?

Whose actions are keeping you in a perpetual state of anxiety or frustration? Is it your parents or children?

Who is making you feel overlooked, disrespected, or discarded? Is it the friend group that you no longer feel connected to or is it your boss?


When you focus more on other people’s behavior, you give away your power. 

Ekido was so consumed by his judgment of Tanzan’s actions; it was his own thinking, not Tanzan's behavior, that was causing his suffering. We can just imagine him walking back to the monastery, seething inside with a tight chest, tension in his body, and tunnel vision.

He was caught up in his mind, disconnected from himself, and no longer present.

How often do you give away your emotional well-being to other people’s behavior? When our focus is outward, our sense of “okayness” is precarious because it’s dependent on other people behaving as we expect or want.


That’s like entrusting your peace to the weather. 

Your emotional well-being affects everything—your sleep, eating habits, exercise habits, self-perception, spending habits, goal pursuits, and of course, your actions and feelings in relationships. You wouldn't want to leave these important pieces of your emotional well-being up to something as fluid and unpredictable as the weather.

Your emotional well-being also impacts the type of people you attract people into your life and the extent to which you push people away.


The more you focus on outward judgment, the more likely you are to feel lonely. 

Getting caught in judging other people’s behavior often leads to a sense of separation and disconnection. 

Do you know anyone who is always focused on other people and is a very peaceful person? It’s pretty rare. Instead, you’ll see their mood fluctuate depending on how they are judging the people’s behavior.

I will be the first to admit that I unconsciously lived my life this way for a long time.

But I’m not perfect and I’m not done growing. I still get caught in this pattern sometimes, after all, I’m only human. However, years of mindfulness practice has significantly reduced this tendency and I’m more likely to catch myself when it happens. 

How about for you? 

How often do you find yourself focusing on other people’s behavior? Do you usually feel content, satisfied, or neutral? Or, do you feel frustrated, disappointed, or downright angry?

If your experience is the latter, I’m here for you. And I’ve got a solution.

Take back your power by connecting inward first.

Meaning, connect with your feelings, needs, values, and desires beneath the chatter of your mind. When you take back your power, your emotional well-being isn’t tied to other people’s behavior because it's tied to your ability to stay true to yourself and control your own behavior. This protects you from chronic disconnection and loneliness.

When you connect with yourself first, you lead from the inside out; you become an actor rather than a reactor. You become the hero of your life rather than a victim waiting for someone else to save you.

If you want to start getting connected from the inside out, sign up for free my Journaling Mini-Course. I'll send you a free guide that will walk you through exactly how to get started with a journaling practice, how to overcome obstacles, and I'll give you journaling prompts that foster self-discovery so that you never have to fear a blank page.

Free Journaling mini-course Sherri M Herma

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And remember,

you are always loved no matter what.

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waves, how to take back your power, Sherri M Herman

Sherri M Herman, spiritual life coach, speaker, psychotherapist, MN,

Sherri M. Herman, MA, LPCC is a spiritual life coach, speaker, and psychotherapist who is known for being a compassionate guide has been helping others achieve their goals since 2010. Having been twice divorced herself, she loves helping women overcome the challenges and loneliness of divorce while balancing the needs of self-love, parenting, and life. She lives near Minneapolis, MN with her husband, son (aged 12 at the time of this publishing), dog (Spirit), cat (Daisy), and axolotl (Mochi). She loves movie and game nights with her family, hosting potlucks and bonfires, working out at the gym, and going camping with family-friends. << Click Here to Get Your Free Mini-Journaling Course >>

I’m here to support you if you need. I can provide you with spiritual coaching regardless of where you are located. Click below to schedule a free support session with me and I'll help you assess what you're needing.


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