427: Evolving Toward Emotional Enlightenment

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hal elrod emotional enlightenment

What does it mean to move from emotional reactivity to Emotional Enlightenment? How do you go from unconsciously allowing outside forces to determine your emotional state to consciously choosing which emotion best serves you in any given moment or situation?

For over 20 years, this has been an area of focus for me. I’ve learned how to accept what I can’t change, to experience painful emotions in a state of peace and extract maximum value from them, and move on as soon as it makes sense to do so.

In this episode, I want to share with you why Emotional Enlightenment matters. I want to talk about the tools and paradigms that helped me take control of my emotional state, teach you how to optimize yours, and give you the opportunity to experience a guided emotional optimization meditation–something I’ve never done on the podcast before.


  • Why every painful emotion we’ve ever experienced is self-created.
  • How the five-minute rule and the Can’t Change It philosophy led to breakthroughs in my life.
  • Why being in a state of peace diminishes our emotional pain and makes tragedy, trauma, and loss easier to navigate.
  • How emotional invincibility can become a handicap–and the extraordinary challenge I faced that led me to emotional enlightenment.
  • How emotional optimization meditation works, why I love it, and how to do it.


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Copyright © 2022 Miracle Morning, LP and International Literary Properties LLC

3 Responses

  1. Dear Hal,
    I have experienced transformation through Miracle Morning and your podcast and am so grateful! It has impacted many others in my life too. Thus morning on a long drive, I’m catching up on a few recent episodes and this one is really speaking to me. However, I had to pull over to send you this message during my 5 minutes of being angry.

    Around minute 47, you say you were “emotionally retarded”. WHAT??!! The word retarded is so derogatory and insulting. If you said “nigger” or “homo” you would be derided but there is currently no penalty for insulting those who often cannot defend themselves. I’m beside myself with anger knowing you would use this word. Now that I’ve heard it from your mouth, I simply cannot recommend your work, as I know how many people in my life would be horribly offended, as I am a leader of an international organization that serves individuals with Down syndrome and have an incredible 13 year-old daughter with Down syndrome too.

    I’ll be arriving momentarily to pick her up after 5 days of overnight camp, and I needed to get this off my chest so I can move into a state of emotional enlightenment to feel the joy of reuniting with her.

    My challenge to you, as a major influencer of people’s lives, is to be more thoughtful and creative with your choice of words. I know you can do better than choosing to belittle a group of people who would do nothing but love you if they had the chance. I presume it was unintentional, but know that I’m literally shaking as I’m typing this, and I wanted you to understand how that made me feel.

    Thank you for what you do and for considering an edit and a re-use of this word in your vocabulary.

    1. Kim, thank you so much for bringing this to my attention, and I am deeply sorry for my poor choice of words! Please know that I wasn’t intending to use the word in a slang or derogatory context. If you know my heart and my intentions, I would never do that intentionally. I made a mistake, and I absolutely accept your challenge to be more thoughtful with my choice of words.

      A few days before recording this podcast, I was talking with a friend about my challenges feeling my full range of emotions. I told her how I think it may have started way back when my baby sister died, when I was 8 years old. My friend said, in a diagnostic context, “It almost sounds like you’re emotionally retarded. Like your emotions didn’t fully develop after that experience.” I don’t think she was trying to be offensive, and it didn’t even cross my mind that it would be offensive in that context, because I thought the word had a literal meaning that she was using, suggesting that my emotions weren’t fully developed. So when I recorded the podcast, I just repeated what she said, in the same context. It never occurred to me that was I was saying was derogatory or insulting.

      However, now that you’ve brought it to my attention, I Googled the definition, and nearly every online dictionary says that the word is considered disparaging and offensive. So, this is definitely a learning opportunity for me, and although I’m really sorry that my words caused you to be so upset, I am grateful that you cared enough to take the time to share your perspective with me.

      Thank you again, Kim. It means a lot to me that we can support each other on our journeys to learn, grow, and become better human beings.

      With deep love & appreciation,
      – Hal

      1. Thank you for this thoughtful response, Hal. I knew in my heart that you meant no offense. It’s great to know we are all so capable of learning and growing all the time. I have certainly grown a ton from you! It would absolutely mean the world to me if you shared this experience with your family, as it’s the younger generation who can exponentially impact the self-worth and societal perceptions of people with disabilities.
        Thank you for all you do!

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