Balancing emotion and reason: Taming the mama and papa bear

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Joanna Jullien (Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien
(Photo: Christi Benz)

Welcome to the 2014 Spring/Summer Edition of the Banana Moments: Family Business Quarterly.

In an article via Mamapedia, a blogger mom, Jenny Ball, expresses her simmering rage in an open letter to an Amway lady who deeply offended her teenage son while he concluded a shift at his supermarket job. The lady was a customer and as he finished bagging her groceries, she made a comment about his acne and then suggested she had a product that would take care of it and left him her card.

Personally I recognized this mama bear that surfaced in this blog post. That mama bear lives in me too; and as a mom reformed I routinely redirect that mama bear to her cage. And so I could also appreciate the considerable restraint this angry mom demonstrated not to publish the woman’s contact information as she delivered a diatribe that ascribed misguided and exploitive motives on the part of the Amway lady in question. This mother heart knew intimately how painful that Amway exchange was for her son, which according to her was a kick in the gut to someone who already knew he had an acne problem and was working on it.

There is a saying that goes something like this:  “A mother is as happy as her least happy child.” And while I can identify with this statement, here is the question for any mom who can relate to this protective instinct to take down the external source of your child’s pain or discomfort:

What do you believe about personal power for you and your child?

Who knows what that Amway lady’s motives were. We can assume she just wanted to sell something, or perhaps she saw a situation with this young man that could be helped by a product with which she had experience. Sometimes we are offended by things that are good for us too, that we need to hear – especially when the delivery is poor.

So honestly, what if the product the Amway lady suggested her son to try did the trick? Chances are her son will never know if the emotional reaction to being offended is allowed to be in control.

The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Neson explains how to identify and release negative emotions stored in the human body that cause disease and disturb the peace.

The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Neson explains how to identify and release negative emotions stored in the human body that cause disease and disturb the peace.

Who is in command of your emotion?

This is an important question that every parent must ask him or herself because the mobile connectivity in daily life introduces a power crisis for everyone. From bullying to addiction and exploitation, the dynamics in the cyber realm elicit negative emotion (fear and anxiety) if we allow it. So how can we come to a place where the role of negative emotion in life is not governing our lives?

Dr. Bradley Nelson wrote a book, The Emotion Code, about taking command of the role of emotion in your own life, which offers pragmatic insight about the human condition based upon the hands-on experience in his healing practice. The premise of The Emotion Code is based upon what modern science tells us about matter, (i.e., what we consider to be the physical realm) and ancient wisdom; that a) all matter is actually energy assembling itself at a molecular level with instruction sets or programming to show up in a specific way, b) that the human spirit is an intelligent energy field residing in the human body, and c) negative emotion can become stored in our physical bodies and block the flow of love, which ancient Asian wisdom calls “chi” or life force and create health and wellness problems.  He offers self-help techniques to identify and release negative emotions and promote wellness and healing.  I have found this book to be a very worthy read.

Equally important, this manuscript offers tremendous insight for the modern parent governing a home with cyber-powered devices that can have a very emotionally disturbing impact on family dynamics. According to Nelson, we have the power to choose our emotional reaction regardless of the situation (no matter how horrifying or pleasant), but it feels counter-intuitive because we can easily be convinced that the emotion chooses us. Just ask any parent about the impact of devices on family dynamics ranging from elation and joyful experiences to irritability, and then to hostility and  isolation.  Truly these devices may introduce a disturbance that can inspire hopelessness or hope depending upon your worldview. The question we might ask ourselves is: before the cyber-powered devices was the quality of our family relationships really that much better? Or was it simply comfortable and acceptable?  What does this crisis want to teach us? More importantly, what do I want to learn from this experience? What is the crisis or disturbance revealing that is so painful? What can  my family and I learn from this experience? Am I open to learning how my children’s experiences are informing them?

In this regard, I have found that being open minded and authentic is more important than ever for leaders in a free, globally networked world. Whether you are raising children, or creating a new business or leading a corporation, people are being conditioned differently for authority. The internet connectivity has indeed made the world flat, which means that authority is a relational experience that requires authenticity – or fearlessness. We can no longer simply rely upon roles and titles to achieve compliance. We are now in an era where people must face choices to collaborate in good faith, and fearless collaboration is the authenticity we all seek in order to be free from oppression in the flesh and in the social network.

2014 Spring Family Business Quarterly



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Reviving Parenthood


2014 April Monthly Round Up

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Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner

Guest Blogger – Marie Hall, BeMoneySmartUSA

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2014 May Monthly Round Up

Cyber Safety for Kids and Families with Joanna and Jodie on 103.9FM The Fish family Morning Show


Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner



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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.