Slice of Life with Emotions

Someone asked " so what about positive space?" We say it's only a Space and that's all - no negative, no positive. Just a simple space.

Someone asked so how come anger? We say it's all around us. No negative or positive emotions, all are just emotions and flow within us, changes every second.

Someone enquired "but what about dealing with fear"? We say we don't need to deal with fear, we only need to understand. Fear does need to be ashamed of, we don't need to overcome fear, we only need to understand fear.

Someone asked "what about frustration?" We say "it's good". All it needs is understanding of myself with respect to the situation and my responses.

Well, emotions are so natural part of us but so so less understood rather misunderstood.

Crying means trouble

Anger means guilty

Happy means nice

Sad means desperation

Pressure means giving up

Well, how about just understanding emotions? This week the theme was "emotions". The beginning was introduction of vocabulary and being aware that emotions have extended vocabulary beyond few limited words. Most commons are bad, sad, happy, irritated, and that's all. But what about  pensive, apathetic, valuable, jealousy, respected, frightened, content, sensitive, optimistic, proud, nervous, grumpy, distant....and many more. After playing various games with feeling vocabulary we ended the day with few thought expressed "never knew so many feelings, oh! there are so many feelings".

Then it was about acknowledging the feelings. We often don't know what are we feeling or rather do not what is that feeling? Acknowledging became important to express. Now that we know the feelings vocabulary , we acknowledge them. I am feeling....Played a game in planning to share RESPONSES in various emotional  situation to bring into awareness our responses. No right or wrong response, all are just responses.

Knowing feelings, without knowing what do with this knowledge is dangerous - rather a perfect recipe to be slave of our own feelings. So it was important to understand the concept of " my needs". The concept comes from NVC( non violent communication). In thought club  we reflected on the feelings of the day and identified needs. "I was feeling ignored, and my NEED  was companionship. I felt helpless and my NEED was to be supported". Often conversation is of blame - "you ignored me'. Or self pity " I  feeling lonely noone is my friend". In both the cases the responsibility is on someone else:). Identification of NEEDS help in owing responsibility of feelings.  Although it was difficult for some to accept that "I have to work on myself for my feelings not others have to change or take responsibility". Blaming looks easier.

Needs identification also questioned the concept of positive and negative feelings - all feelings are just feelings and there is nothing wrong in any feeling. So anytime someone says " I am feeling ...". Encourages to communicate further " my need is...." And find various options to fulfill that need. Like for example " I am feeling helpless, I need support". Now the support can be asked from others, support can be given by self by acquiring necessary skills and so on. When the attention shifts from blaming others to self, one is liberated and able to explore many more options to find the self power called "EMPOWERMENT".

During dinner I asked a child "how are you"?

She said, "not fine, he is making fun of my appearance".

I said, "good news, you get the opportunity to know how low do you feel about yourself, you must say thank you to him".  Normally I would say, " tell me more, so what support you need, and so on. But today decided to bring the other side of the coin.

Next day began with understanding ,"deliberate practice". Hmmm what is deliberate practice is to do with emotions? Well, lack of skills, lack of growth, lack of achievement manifest a whole lot of emotions. Some who wants to see next level in themselves struggling inside with their old practice habits. Some who wants to have a feel of feeling good about self are struggling.

In thought club each one of us played a song of their choice - some found the same song motivating, while some found it irritating, some found the slow songs peaceful while some preferred energetic songs to relax - spiritual, rap, rock, Bollywood, Tollywood, opera, religious...all kinds of songs came in the thought club to make us realize "each one of us are different, each one has different feelings". Someone said "acceptance is better when you know we all have different tastes". Hurray Norray Sorray was with feelings and needs chart - I felt discouraged in sports and my need was cooperation, I felt angry when I lost and my need was celebration, I was angry with me what am I doing with myself and my need is to be someone etc etc.

A session on NVC brought another space to explore emotions - It was utterly confusing to understand what is wrong with judgements? Why observations are only actions, while judgements are state of mind? Why needs are important? Well, we went through four steps of nonviolent communication - Observation, Identifying Feelings, Acknowledging feeling and expressing needs and making a request. Some found it tooooo loooooong a conversation to express using the vocabulary of feelings, needs, acknowledging and making a request... some were confused, some were pondering, while some were indifferent. The session just began the journey of knowing another language, another way of communicating and expressing feelings.

And on Friday each one got a book and read any random paragraph. After each reading we shared " what was the feeling of the author or the character".  Someone commented " there are so many feelings in just one paragraph, the book will have millions and millions feelings!"!

And in the midst of various emotions we continued with our life. Prachi a parent visiting Aarohi shared OPOS (one pot one shot) cooking, Paolo from Peru continued with graphic designing and wall painting, Sreelatha another parent shared about Literature club, Craft club continued with Kanchan, Preparation for bird race continued, Celebration of Pongal, Reading club continued, Skiing trip preparation continued and Healmates began their journey.