Throughout the years, I have followed many of the recommendations of the Dalai Lama. It all began 13 years ago when I read his book “The Art of Happiness” as I commuted via subway to my finance job in New York City. The book was my first step towards meditation, mindfulness, and eastern philosophies.
These days, the Dalai Lama is using technology to help us reach a higher level of self-awareness and compassion. He has worked with Paul Ekman, a go-to psychologist for Hollywood movie makers, to create a map of the range of human sentiments (these were later distilled into 5 main emotions by Ekman and used in the movie “Inside Out”). The Dalai Lama told Ekman:
“When we wanted to go to the New World, we needed a map. So make a map of emotions so we can get to a calm state.”
I loved the hopes the Dalai Lama has expressed for the website and map: That the Atlas can be a tool for cultivating good in the world by defeating the bad within us.
“Ultimately, our emotion is the real troublemaker. We have to know the nature of the enemy.”
I highly recommend taking a look at www.AtlasOfEmotions.com. Here’s a way it can be of use for you:
- Do you suspect a main emotion you experience is “Anger”? Start there
- What state of Anger are you experiencing? Let’s say “Bitterness”
- What actions of “Bitterness” are you engaging in? Could it be “Passive-Aggressiveness”?
How often have you been able to articulate what is behind that negative remark you happened to make to someone? Have you been able to say: “I am being passive-aggressive because I am bitter and angry at…” And here is where the Atlas continues to help. There is a section for “Triggers”. Some possible triggers for this state: Have you been wrongfully accused of something?
Why is it important for you to have self-awareness of your emotional state? Because it will increase your quality of life.
- Your emotions have information as to what is going on in the world around you.
- Awareness and clarity of your emotions will help you better decide if, when, and how you want to respond to a situation.
- Most importantly, you will know what you need to take care of in your life so that you can get to a place of peace and happiness.
This resource is a beautiful complement to any meditation or mindfulness practice. I have seen how it completes and deepens my own efforts.
What YOU can do TODAY:
- Take a few minutes to play around with The Atlas of Emotions
- Download this app by the Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence. I use it about 4-5 times a day to record my emotions (it has a built in reminder alarm and its super easy). It has allowed me to:
a. Expand my emotional vocabulary so I can better express my feelings
b. Have a greater understanding of my inner state. During the most stressed out time post-pregnancy, 40% of the time I was in a negative state and 60% of the time in a positive state. Yikes!
c. Over time, I could track what was causing my states. Negative ones: concerns for extended family members and work. Positive ones: family time on weekends and productive days of work.
d. Take responsibility and actions over that which was causing my negative states. So much easier to do once tracked and identified! And the best part…do more of that which makes me happy and content, now that I’m crystal clear as to what that is!
Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you share it with your friends, family, and community.
Lots of love,