Episode 5: Knowing Your Emotions with Brian Tohana

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Brian Tohana envisions a world of belonging where the vast majority of people are healed, feel whole, and are accepted for who they truly are. A transformational coach based in Ottawa, Ontario, Brian seeks meaning beyond chronic pain and guides people in aligning their actions with their beliefs. In this interview, he discusses his body's natural inclination to heal, how he was moved to work through all barriers to connections in his relationships, and how his coaching practice is intended to facilitate finding peace and deepening emotional intimacy with others. He also impresses the importance of exploring the nuances of one's emotions and how even the most negative feelings can be used constructively.


  • The friendly bout of horseplay that led to his back injury, and how it took him years to recognize his chronic pain.
  • How Brian began using marijuana as a healing tool, allowing him to examine the flow and blockage of energy and movement in his body.
  • The importance of emotional literacy—being able to understand our most common emotions beyond how they immediately make us feel.
  • How he communicates with his girlfriend about his needs around chronic pain.
  • Brian utilizing "mind maps" to examine what thoughts and triggers drive his emotions and how they interact with each other.
  • The importance of patience and acceptance in the healing process, as well as recognizing what can and cannot be changed.
  • How he came to see the value in letting go and being receptive to others' care.
  • Brian's out-of-body experience in 2013, leading to a spiritual awakening within himself.
  • His attempts to get serious about getting silly, trying different fashions and even stand-up comedy.
  • Why Brian takes ownership of his experience and trusts others to own theirs.


Brian's Website

Free 90-minute Coaching Session With Brian

Emotional Literacy Course

Emotion Wheel

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Lauren Selfridge