To be human is to have emotions. It is a gift bestowed exclusively upon humankind to feel deeply a wide spectrum of emotions. Some researchers believe that humans can experience 34,000 emotions. American psychologist Dr Robert Plutchik conceptualised the famous ‘wheel of emotions’, identifying only eight as primary emotions1 existing in pairs of “polar opposites”. The rest are merely a blend or variation of these. 

If you observe more closely, only three emotions occupy the imagination of most people. The most sought-after, and perhaps most elusive, emotion in the world — happiness. Which is the most powerful? Fear. And the most challenging — forgiveness. 

However, the key to living a happier and content life is empathy. Spiritual leader Om Swami calls it an “extraordinary emotion” and “greatest spiritual quality”. He describes empathy as the seed of compassion. If you thought empathy was only for those on the spiritual path, think again. Empathy is also critical to emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ). Contemporary workplaces believe EQ to be the strongest indicator of success. 

EQ is the ability to harness one’s emotions. It allows us to live life wholesomely; otherwise, as spiritual leader Sadhguru puts it, “unbridled emotion is pure madness”. The good news is that we can build a strong EQ through four simple steps: self-management; self-awareness; social awareness, and relationship management. Or one word: Mindfulness.

Empathy is the greatest spiritual quality and extraordinary emotion. What's the most difficult emotion? tell a friend

Meditate, read and write to forge your emotional health. Simply visit twice a day. Here is a pick of OSME reads, folks. Shore up your emotional wellbeing for an awesome life. 

Transformative Ideas

The Mustard Seed: At one point in time, international author Francesc Miralles found himself proclaiming to be the world capital of pain. After living in the abyss for days, he had a breakthrough, actually two. From the depths of misery, he found himself transported among the brave Shackleton men. What were the life-altering discoveries? Don’t let the throes of the emotional state of overwhelming sadness get to you. 

The Balance: There have been several interpretations of the myth of Daedalus and Icarus. One of the morals readers draw from it — hubris is fatal! Arunima Ojha offers a creative way to keep pride in check and mitigate ego, for emotions such as jealousy and pride can drown you.

A Learner’s Paradise: Learning is a phenomenal way of satisfying a mind-blowing range of emotions and grow! When you acquire new knowledge, you slake many emotions at once. A few I can count this instant: admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, excitement, surprise, and joy. Aditya Shahi says the universe is a learner’s paradise with all the knowledge and endless possibilities. He shares many encouraging personal anecdotes in this piece. More power to your mom, Aditya! 

Bhakti Yoga: Anonymous (the actual name the writer has used) wonders why we consider bhakti the supreme emotion. It is that aspect of human consciousness that craves for union with something higher to complete its existence, they write. Don’t miss the fantastic video inside. 

To Thread a Needle: Samarth Khanna draws lessons on time management from the unlikely places — a needle, a pressure cooker, and the speedometer. He offers many practical lessons to help bring patience, organisation and joy. 

Embrace BoredomThe best way to deal with any emotion is to embrace it. This short poem by Hritik shows the way with boredom. “Boredom descends, what you do?”… Find the answer now! 

Kindness and Gratitude: The emotional rewards of kindness and gratitude are unbelievable. Sanyog Misra shares the powerful lines he read in a book his wife “forced” him to read: “When you avoid an act of kindness, you deprive yourself of an opportunity to serve humanity and steal from another human being the feeling of gratitude.” A new dimension to RAKs. Everything is connected. 

Sunset: “There is a spiritual quality to sunset, it reminds you of the glory of creation.  Sunset denotes a certain completion and peace,” S Vyas’ musings fill the heart with beautiful emotions. You don’t need much to revel in the miracle of the universe. 

Booked This Week

I am reading an interesting book this week. It has two books in it — Emotion and Relationships by Sadhguru. It opens from both sides and has two covers — one on each end.

I haven’t begun Relationships: Bond or Bondage yet. But there is much pleasure and knowledge in Emotions: The Juice of Life that I am currently reading.

Sadhguru calls emotions the juice of life because emotions are a chemical cocktail that course through our bodies. While we have no problems with pleasant emotions, unpleasant emotions are the source of much angst. In Emotion: The Juice of Life, Sadhguru looks at the gamut of human emotions and turns them into steppingstones rather than stumbling blocks. The book is in the QnA format. 

Here’s hoping ‘stew in your juices’ takes on a new meaning by the time I finish reading it 🙂

Wisdom From Swamiji

Emotional Healing — Erasing Psychic Imprints: If you are still hurting because of the past emotional wounds, your emotional wounds haven’t healed. Spiritual leader Om Swami shares two effective techniques for erasing psychic imprints for emotional healing. 

The Most Difficult Emotion: Forgiveness is hard. Yet, it is necessary. Swamiji writes, “Every time you forgive someone for their wrongdoing, Nature forgives you for one of yours.” More truth bombs to help you let go. Forgiving made easy! 

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Quote of the Week

The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it‘ ~~Nicholas Sparks

10 ways to embrace emotions + 2 potent techniques for erasing psychic imprints tell a friend

I know this editorial had a strong emotional appeal, but do not get too emotional about it, okay? That’s all for now… err… I have one more pun up my sleeve: Whoever called it emotional baggage and not griefcase! Now, if you are wondering about the featured image, you aren’t alone. I have often wondered what emotions Mona Lisa’s arresting face has. What do you think? Does she look happy, sad, sarcastic, smug, snob? Did you notice she doesn’t have eyebrows?

That’s all, folks. Happy Navratri. This is a great day to start your potent Nav Durga Sadhna to invoke the Divine Mother.

Until next…