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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Emotional Pro: An Interview with Ilene Dillon

Ilene Dillon, M.S.W., is known as The Emotional Pro. Author of 19 books, workbooks and CD sets, including a teacher's manual on emotional literacy, Ilene holds two California professional psychotherapy licenses, with over 40 years of service. Through the years she has seen how many people "have learned to stuff, ignore, or avoid emotions, not realizing how great life is when they’re being used as intended!" That's why she has a personal mission to teach people, herself included, about love.

Ilene has been featured in publications such as The San Francisco Chronicle, Care Notes, Feel.com, Personal Excellence and Woman's Day. Ilene has practiced as a Coach the past 8 years (and works worldwide, through the Internet, with people in such places as South Africa, France, Germany, Mexico and all over the U.S.), and is credentialed as a Junior College instructor.

A quarter-century professional member of The National Speakers Association, Ilene's clients include California colleges and probations officers, Dallas Presbyterian Hospital, American Family Cruises, California Council for Self-Esteem, California Personnel and Guidance Association and Adelaide, Australia's C.O.P.E. Ilene was a guest on King World's Rolanda Show, and has presented to Beijing's China Rehabilitation Research Institute, the Relationship Coaching Institute's first-ever online Conscious Relationship Summit Conference, at women's conferences, for federal and state penitentiary inmates, and has appeared on radio and national television in the U.S. and Australia.

Since 2004, Ilene has been the creator/host of Full Power Living, Internet-based radio "awakening the world to the power and importance of human emotions," LIVE on Thursdays, 9 a.m. PT (http://www.emotionalpro.com/). She also hosts “Emotionally Speaking” and “Building Conscious Families” on the Women’s Information Network (http://www.thewinonline.com/), is an Expert at http://www.myexpertsolution.com/, and a registered therapist on http://www.eqlive.org/.

I recently had the chance to talk to Ilene as a guest on her show, Full Power Living, and I couldn’t wait to share her wisdom and expertise here.

Shelly Rachanow: Tell us more about your radio show, Full Power Living.

Ilene Dillon: Full Power Living (FPL) was begun in 2004, when I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into! I wanted to “awaken the world to the power and importance of human emotions.” I had been discovering how important emotions are, and how little we know about them, or how to work with them. Focusing on emotions allowed me to talk about everything, because emotions are part of everything! I discovered and embraced that FPL was really God’s “conspiracy” to keep me growing and expanding!

A hallmark of my hosting is that I actually read each person’s book and construct my own questions. Amazingly, I get to talk in-depth and one-on-one with the world’s cutting-edge thinkers, about what interests me! We have more than 300 archived shows, release over iTunes (“Ilene Dillon”) and book incredible guests 3-4 months in advance! I’ve had to expand my knowledge of “things computer/Internet,” allow myself to ask for what I want, trust my capabilities and my Sixth Sense, and enjoy the wonder that computers and technology afford us to connect, share, relate and open the world to feeling! I’ve made great new friends—listeners and guests worldwide. We visit when traveling. FPL welcomes sponsors who exercise full respect for our mission by supporting FPL “as is.”

Shelly Rachanow: Our emotions can both help and hinder our ability to experience “Full Power Living.” Why is that so and how can people learn to feel more empowered?

Ilene Dillon: Emotions are amazing! They’re tools that have been given to human beings to help us navigate life. Each one gives us a “signal” that tells us the best action to take; they’re available to us 24/7. We need our emotions in order to manifest and create our lives. Sadly, most humans have learned to stuff, ignore, or avoid emotions, not realizing how great life is when they’re being used as intended!

Full Power Living is all about being the fullest, true-to-ourselves, working-in-harmony-with-the-universe people we can possibly be. My show guests have taught me: The key is recognizing who we really are—amazing souls in bodies. Next, we need to listen to our inner voice, that voice that guides us to do what’s right for us, behave in loving ways, and use our talents, skills, emotions and learning. We need to dedicate ourselves and our lives to LOVE (love ourselves and others--we are all One). We need to trust ourselves, realizing we have an internal guidance system constantly leading us to good. We need to share our individual part of the “life puzzle,” stay connected with nature, value what is really important (Big Stuff, not small stuff), and enjoy ourselves, realizing it’s about the journey, not the outcome! Emotions are key to all of this. Learn the emotional signals, feel emotions, make friends with them, learn their lessons, and share them.

Shelly Rachanow: So often in our culture, we are taught to ignore or suppress our feelings about things, men especially. Why is it important to change this?

Ilene Dillon: Our earth is designed as a “giant school,” to which we all have come to learn and grow. Every experience is an opportunity to learn. Learning lessons frees us to grow and move to new lessons. Failing to learn lessons leads us to repeat them, ad nauseum, until we complete them; each repetition offers a harsher experience. Emotions are paired with our experiences to help us notice and learn! Positive and negative childhood experiences are paired with emotion, becoming our “homework assignments” for our lifetime.

As adults, when similar experiences occur, emotion(s) comes with them, drawing our attention through joy or pain. We need to listen, find the “lesson” and use the emotional “signal” to take new actions that heal us, allowing us to move smoothly through life. The reasons we’re taught to ignore/suppress emotions could fill a later book! What’s important is that we now fear, feel embarrassed by, and don’t understand emotions. It’s harder than ever to sweep them under the rug; and it doesn’t work. Men and women both ignore/suppress emotions, just in different areas. Men sit on hurt, tenderness, and love; women sit on anger, desire and the emotions of power.

We need to rethink emotions. They are merely energy in motion (e-motion), each shaped to signal us to appropriate-for-us action and serve as our “Human User’s Manual.” Not using our emotions is like burning the books in Alexandria’s library. We’re made to grow, love, change, evolve—and emotions are our 24/7 specially-designed tools!

Shelly Rachanow: Your personal mission is to teach people, including yourself, about love. What have you learned along the way and how can people use love to transform their lives?

Ilene Dillon: In the early 1990’s, I authored a manual for parents, for them to teach their children about love (re-released as The ABCs of Love: Building Emotional Foundations for Life). In my research, I learned “love, is love, is love,” meaning it doesn’t matter whether we’re loving ourselves or another—it’s all love. What does matter is that we choose love as our lifes’ guiding principle. This is an active decision that I made; it transformed my life!

Love is the “stuff” of the universe. Not the limited human love, but agape, unconditional love--loving without restriction or requiring change. Since what we focus on, we tend to become, when we focus on love, we build it inside. What we have inside of us is reflected back to us, drawing to us others who are focusing on love. Our lives become filled with love. No matter what happens, love is our primary awareness and experience. Many people complain of the rude, difficult and uncaring people encountered when traveling. For years, traveling has brought me the most loving, caring and helpful people—but only after I chose love as my life’s guiding principle.

Transform your own life by making a choice: From now on, whatever happens, love is the most important thing! Notice what happens with the way you treat yourself, react to others, take responsibility, care for the earth, treat your children or spouse, or the kinds of experiences you have. Transform your life by deciding to fill yourself with love!

Shelly Rachanow: What’s one thing each of us can do right now to feel more fulfilled in our daily lives?

Ilene Dillon: Gratitude is the Law of Increase. When you are grateful for the “crumbs,” the loaves will follow. Stop several times each day and notice, be grateful for and enjoy those things that enhance your life, including difficulties (which offer you opportunities to learn and grow)! Stay totally in the present (not easy!), a way of eliminating worry and fear. Recognize each experience as an opportunity to learn. All lessons are not going away (until you learn them and are finished with them). Learning is what we’re all here for.

Take as much responsibility as possible, for each of us is personally responsible for our lives (and responsibility is a building block of self-esteem). Responsibility is about freedom and choice—if I make everything I do my choice, I am responsible and I have the ability to make new choices to get different outcomes. Choose love as the guiding principle of your life, and remember that “loving others as I love myself” involves loving myself! When I am full of love, I send love out, without behaving manipulatively, or being stressed. I also draw love effortlessly from my world—human and natural. Listen to, work with, and learn from your emotions, and life becomes a wonderful event of supportive friends and experiences, crammed with fulfillment!

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?

Ilene Dillon:  If I ran the world, I’d make sure people knew from the beginning how things are set up (like a giant school). I’d help them to see who they truly are (an incredible and amazing soul). I’d encourage people to greet each new experience with the wild enthusiasm of a 4-year-old child, no matter what. Rather than change anything about the earth experience, I’d help people rejoice in blending their lives together, realizing they are helping each other to learn with every encounter, joyfully and lovingly. I’d make sure everyone knows that we are all “One”—with each other, animals, the universe and that “whatever is larger than I am” we call Allah, God, Yahweh, The Great Spirit, or The Great Whoever.

I would make sure people understood that emotions are our friends, with us 24/7, prodding, reminding, focusing attention, filling us up, helping us manifest and create, and standing ready as the tools they’re created to be. Like Al Capp’s Schmoos, emotions serve us, happily allowing themselves to be consumed and released into the atmosphere, so long as they can do their job of helping us live better lives! If I ran the world, we’d all be creating beauty—inner and outer—together, as we speak “Emotion,” the language of the universe!

To learn more, contact Ilene at:
P. O. Box 21708, El Sobrante, CA 94820
Twitter: IleneDillon
Facebook: Ilene Dillon
Linked In: Ilene L. Dillon

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