Listen To Your Emotions

When we experience emotions, do we listen to what they are trying to tell us? Usually, when we experience an emotion that gives way to unpleasant feelings, we are so focused on the ‘negative’ outcome, we don’t stop to listen.

Believe it or not, no matter how unsettling the emotion, they are there to help and guide us. It’s just a matter of tuning into it and reading between the lines. This article will attempt to give you an understanding of what our emotions are trying to explain to us.

FLIP Model – A universal Model to Understand Emotions

The image above is a model given by ICHARS – Institute of Clinical Hypnosis and Other Related Sciences. It’s called the FLIP model. This model is universal way to understand our emotions; it helps us flip our thoughts from our problems towards our solution.

Learn How to Use the FLIP Model

Introduction of the FLIP Model
This model is universal because we can use this to understand any ‘negative’ thought or situation that is bothering us. It focuses on three main aspects – the source of the thought that is bothering us, the emotion that the source evokes, and a solution to deal with the emotion. 

The solution of the emotions has been derived based on what the emotion is trying to say to us. This will be explained a little later in the article. Each section of the model will be explained below.

Understand Each Source, Emotion & Solution

Source 1 – I am the cause of my discomfort

The first source applies to us if we do something to put ourselves in an uncomfortable position. If we make a mistake, we realize it and we start feeling guilty. This emotion has the power to make or break us and more often than not, it breaks us. It is a very strong emotion.

If we were to pay attention and bring ourselves to look beyond the discomfort, guilt is our body’s way of telling us that we are doing something that we are not supposed to be doing. It could also be telling us that we need to steer clear of these behaviors. It is a natural and powerful way of trying to get us to move away from something.

Logically speaking, if guilt is trying to push us away from a certain behavior, the solution to this emotion would be to learn and apply a new behavior that is more conducive and helpful for our growth.

Source 2 – Others are the cause of my discomfort.

The second source applies to you if someone has done something to upset you. If others are the cause of our negative thoughts or experiences, we feel angry. Anger is also a very strong emotion and can alter our behavior and reactions in an unexpected way sometimes.

If we were to listen closely, it becomes clear that we feel angry because our expectations haven’t been fulfilled. The interesting part is, even if the source is external, we have the power within us to change that. The solution to dealing with anger to re-align our expectations to what the situation is and not what we want it to be.

An example of this, which personally affected me; I used to get angry at people who would walk around without a mask because I couldn’t understand what more people need to take care of themselves and other people they are surrounded with during this pandemic. What I realized is, I cannot change other people, therefore the expectation that everyone would take it as seriously as I do was unreasonable. I changed the narrative in my head to say, even if they don’t take care, I need to be protected, I need to take all the precautions I can to be safe during this pandemic. The anger reduced automatically because I realized it is not worth it.

Source 3 – The situation is the cause of my discomfort.

The third source applies to you if the circumstance is not in your favor. When the cause of our issue is not ourselves or others, it brings us into a state of helplessness, because at that moment, it may seem like there is nothing to do.

It’s interesting because even when we experience helplessness, even though it seems like we are out of options, in actuality that is not the case. When we experience helplessness, it is our body’s way of saying we need to enhance our skills and create resources with what we have to manage the situation.

Human beings have incredible power. We can make choices and live according to a standard we set for ourselves. We have everything we need to build new skills and create and conjure resources to reach where we want to go.

When I was younger, I always wanted to play the guitar because I knew it would help me while I sing. I felt like I would become a better musician. I tried several times to play it, I bought a couple of guitars as well. Unfortunately, I could never hone those skills. When I realized I will not be able to play it, I was bogged down. Once again, I changed the narrative in my head and realized that I don’t need to stick to guitar exactly, I can pick an easier instrument to play. I stayed up one night and ordered a Ukulele online. The day I got it, I learned how to play a song in under 4 hours. This was only possible because I had already tried to play the guitar. those skills got transferred and I was able to make use of them in some other way.

Source 4 – The future is the cause of my discomfort. 

The fourth source applies to us if the thought of what’s coming in the future causes you discomfort. This one is slightly tricky! The future is always going to be unknown and to a certain extent unpredictable as well. Whoever thought that a pandemic would hit us so badly!

Here’s the secret, it’s completely normal to feel a little worried or anxious for what’s about to come. A lot of the time, this fear and anxiety make us think of so many different aspects and things that could happen, but that is just our mind’s way of trying to understand what could happen’ what the possibilities are; what’s coming.

The way in which we deal with these uncomfortable emotions is to plan. Think of all the options and plan for all of them. Think of it like this, if we were to leave for a road trip, we wouldn’t just take the car and go. We would plan out what our destination is, how long the drive is, whether we require a place to stay the night, where we can stop to take breaks, what food we need to pack amongst a lot of things.

In the same way, we need to plan for your future with those details. When we look at our plan, we should feel like we have covered everything we can think of. It’s tricky because even though we have a solid, fool-proof plan, there could be several points where things don’t work out the way we anticipated them to. This is also normal. It’s like going on a road trip and taking a wrong turn. If we end up taking the wrong road, do we stay there or go back home?

We find another way out to go back onto the right road to reach our destination. In the same way, if things don’t work out according to our plan, we need to have faith and confidence in our ability to find our way out.

Now What?

Once this model makes sense completely, it becomes fairly obvious that we have a lot more control than we give ourselves credit for. It’s important to understand that the control we have is purely for ourselves, we cannot control the environment or the people around us.

Our emotions are there to guide us and help us change the narrative in our minds. These emotions can create a very unpleasant experience for sure, but it also has the power to transform us in ways we cannot fathom, only if we were to listen.

We should make a habit of cutting ourselves some slack and know that we are doing the best we can. We should listen to ourselves more often because there is no one else that knows us better. Understand why or what our body is trying to tell us. We can travel very far and grow so much by just listening.

Habit 6 – Synergy

Steven Covey talks about 7 Habits, that when inculcated, makes us extremely effective people. Synergy is the 6th Habit. This is an interesting one because it is the product of all the habits combined, at least the ones that precede it.

Nature is synergistic. The concept of ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, is information that is stored at a molecular level. The example which was used was when two trees are standing next to each other, under the ground their roots are collaborating and intertwining. Once this happens, the soil becomes more fertile, because both the trees are working together. This enables the trees to grow stronger. They support each other.

This is the essence of synergy. Each person has their own set of ideas, beliefs, and notions and this is what makes us unique. If we were to use this diversity to our advantage, it paves the way for magic.

Very recently, I had the chance to interact with people on a wonderful platform called InsideOut. It is an initiative by the Youth of the Heartfulness Institute, where in each week, they call in speakers to share their insights on each of these Habits. I am incredibly grateful to have gotten the chance to speak for Habit 6. To understand Synergy in a better way, please watch the video below.


“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” – Kahlil Gibran

Free Inaugural Issue of The Lighthouse, please click on the link below:

The word “Kindness” has so many different connotations to it, which sometimes makes it daunting. Kindness is something that we all have within us, it comes from a part of our heart that is altruistic in nature. It stems from a place of love.

When we think of kindness, there are times when the experiences that come to our mind are those that create a larger impact on society. While, that is a part of kindness, it can also manifest itself in different ways, in our everyday life.

Taking some time out everyday to spread a little more love, a little more happiness and little more kindness creates a ripple effect in our life. When we do something small for someone else, the effect of that comes back to us.

Human beings are social animals and we feel an innate need for belongingness. It is in our nature to be a part of something bigger and that is seen to drive a lot of our behaviours. We can do small acts of kindness everyday to enhance it. This creates an environment that is loving and supportive, within our circle of influence.

I have been lucky enough to be a part of a wonderful team people and together we brainstormed, conceptualized, and created a Weekly Newsletter called The Lighthouse. It deals with different themes each week that steer us into thinking and working towards creating a source of different emotions, which will help us in dealing with the difficult times that we are continuously faced with.

Free Inaugural Issue of The Lighthouse, please click on the link below:

Day 2: The Reinvention Incubator

Your Authentic Self (Mr. Mutsa Samuel – Founder, UbuntuLab)

This session was about becoming aware of yourself and with that awareness how you can transform into the best version of yourself. Now, of course, transformation is not a process that will happen overnight, however, taking the time out to make a conscious effort to start understanding who you truly are; your authentic self, is a concrete step we take towards moving in that direction.

Mr Samuel spoke about a lot of different things, including a process to walk on the path of that beautiful transformation. As humans, we have an innate goodness in us and immense strength. Tapping into that power source will always prove to be enriching, motivating and will cultivate an innate confidence in us to excel in different areas of our life.

Before we can move on to transforming, we have to understand what authenticity is. We have to be true to ourselves, our capabilities, our skills and what makes us the people we are. Authenticity is also a concept that allows us to make choices and discriminate between things based on our genuine belief systems, values and ideas. Mr. Samuel mentioned that when our actions and our beliefs (who we are) are in sync, that is when we are authentic.

Another interesting aspect he mentioned was that it is almost like we have two selves.

  • Acquired Self: these are labels that come to us from the external world, so what people tell you, based on the community you live in, your environment, the way you are brought up.
  • Authentic Self: qualities that are innate in you, what your values, beliefs and ideas really are

An interesting thing that happens is, when we are young, babies rather, our authentic self is what is prominent, however, as time passes, we interact with other people, communities, we share ideas and notions with each other and all these labels start coming toward you. What people think you are, and what you are told you are among many things – start to form another identity, which is the Acquired Self.

He spoke about this in a remarkably interesting way – at the core, we have our authentic self, and these labels that a are given to us (could be true or not), they start to a layer around the authentic self. What this does is, we start paying more attention to the labels given to us, rather than make the effort to break that layer and understand who we truly are. It is not that our Authentic Self has disappeared or vanished, rather its hidden.

Mr Samuel took the session to explain his method of tapping into the Authentic Self. It would seem like a very tough thing to do, but really, it is you taking the time, to listen to yourself, question yourself and dig deeper. It is like uncovering a treasure that has been buried for a really long time.

Once you are able to uncover that, it gives you a powerful experience of confidence, clarity and joy. He mentioned before starting this process, it is of vital importance to create a space within ourselves. It keeps you balanced, centered and composed, to really be in sync with what you are feeling.

He introduced a 3-step process to reach our potential and be in sync with our authentic self. The steps are:

Rediscover why you exist

In this step, what I have understood is that it is important to identify how we talk to our self. What kind of words do we use when we evaluate things? Would we use the same words when talking to our family or friends?

I really resonated with one specific thing he said. When we put labels on ourselves by saying “I cannot do this”, or “it’s really not my thing”, our fears and ego are trying their best to keep you where you are.

Our fears, egos and insecurities attempt to stop us from trying out new things, in a way they are coaxing us to stay where we are comfortable. Staying in your comfort zone feels like a safe place, but getting out of that zone, enables us to learn new skills and mind-sets that push us to places we never believed we could get to!

He also mentioned a few probing questions that hold our hand and take us to a place where we can understand what is driving our behaviour to stay where we are and not reach our potential. When we react to something, it is easier a response that is pleasant, indifferent or negative per say. What happens when we start to question our reactions and why we perceive something the way we do.

Once you tune into these things, it becomes clear that it is possible to change our reactions in a way that can benefit us, regardless of the situation. It allows more autonomy and gives us the chance to take responsibility for what we are feeling. This acceptance will then take us to a place where we are able to face it head on and deal with our problems.

Align your actions to your existence:

In this step we address how we communicate with others and what blocks us from being able to send and receive messages effectively. This was quite enriching because it shed light on how easy it is to misinterpret what is being said or told.

He mentioned that in every conversation, there are 6 other conversations happening side by side. If there are two people talking (A and B)

  • A thinks of himself and how they are communicating
  • A thinks of what B is like
  • A also thinks of what B thinks of A

And these conversations happen vice versa, B is thinking of the same. In a moment, all these thoughts, ideas and notions come to our mind when we share an interaction with someone.

I thought that this explanation makes it even more clear of the need to listen to others with an open mind and an open heart. I believe a lot of listen to what the other person is saying merely to reply, when instead we should e listening to understand. Only then can we express our ideas more effectively.

Converting your ideas into action:

Spend some time understanding the skills you have and what you can contribute to you the community and people around you. Humans have immense power, which is fuelled by our belief in ourselves and others.

Do a service to yourself by honouring what you have to offer in this world. No one in this world has the same qualities, ideas and thoughts as you. By sharing these ideas and taking action, you are acknowledging the magic you have within you and giving importance to yourself.

If we are not able to get this feeling within us, it hinders our ability to serve and acknowledge other people.

One more thing that stood out to me was, we often think of ourselves as normal human beings, but the truth is we are all battling some demons, monsters or dragons; however, you want to call it. If we are battling things and trying to overcome things constantly, doesn’t that make us Heroes?

Mr. Samuel put a beautiful twist in our own story by asking us questions in that way, like “What is your origin story?” how did we end up where we are today? It really was food for thought, I resonated with it whole heartedly because, personally, I faced so many different kind of troubles in life, despite all of that, I made it out, and I feel I am becoming stronger every day.

I would say that is extremely heroic, and out of experience, being able to pick yourself up, is an extremely empowering feeling. One say I thought of everything that has brought me to where I am, the good, the bad, the ugly, the painful and I realized I don’t regret a single thing that happened, because all of that contributed to the way I am today.

DAY 1: Introspection

The Way of The Heart (Mr. Joshua Pollock – Artist and Best-Selling Author)

This was an interesting talk, because it shed on light on something that seems so obvious when you hear it but may not be as simple to grasp. When we are faced with various situations, we tend to have a lot of thoughts that crowd our mind. It can get very suffocating.

When people say “listen to your heart” a lot of questions may come to mind. A common question out of the ones that were spoken about today, was something along the lines of “how do you know which voice is the hearts voice?”

It made me think, because its true. How do you distinguish between the voice of our mind and the voice our heart? To me, what made the most sense was when our mind talks, it shouts. We get crystal clear thoughts about a situation, but they are all coming at us together. It may seem to be like white noise in our mind.

During all of this chaos, you know that there is something subtle, soft, and gentle – urging and provoking you, ever so slightly sometimes. For some people that voice, being soft and gentle can still feel like lightening, because you ‘just know’.

Mr. Joshua Pollock, put it across very simply and beautifully. The voice of the heart is feeling. It may not be a concrete thought or image or idea, but it will be a feeling that is either pulling you towards something or attempting to pull you away.

Another thing that stuck with me was – when we have to change something about ourselves; It could be a behavior, thought, emotion or reaction – we are aware that the response will serve to be a disadvantage for us. Out of fear of getting into the same situation, we change at the surface level or conscious level, unaware of the fact that the residue of that event has stayed with us, for it only to be released when we are faced with a trigger.

This means that the change has taken place at the surface level, which is not sufficient. It has rooted itself in the subconscious. We need to dive deeper to access and make modifications to the root. We have to be able to tap into the subconscious, our inner, true self, to make a long-lasting change.

Heartfulness is like a personal toolbox consisting of various techniques to be able to access your subconscious; it removes all that residue and to bring balance, light, and compassion into our lives. It creates a holistic change and has a ripple effect on every other aspect in our life.

To find about more about the Heartfulness Practice, you can visit their website:

DAY 1: Introspection

Success: Its Secret Ingredient (Mrs. Chiki Sarkar – Founder, Juggernaut Publications)

Success can be a very daunting term because we tend to set high expectations for ourselves, without realizing that some of it could be more difficult than we realize, for us to reach. The intention behind doing this is not to set us up to ‘fail’, it is quite the opposite. We tend to do that because, I assume we want the best for ourselves.

There are many definitions of success, but I believe success is a journey, its not a destination. The reason I view success like this is because it gives me pleasure in knowing that I will hit several milestones and feel good about achieving smaller goals to reach the final outcome.

I also believe that as an when we keep moving forward with our goals, some of them may change. If they do, that is okay, like I mentioned before, we are ever changing. I am also aware that sometimes, it takes a little time to reach those milestones because we may have missed an opportunity. To make up for that, I like to believe in the notion that there is more than one way to attain your goals or expectations that you set yourself.

When you go on a long road trip, you are bound to find yourself with some kind of trouble, it could be because of the car or the weather, or can lose your way. When that happens, we usually do not stop and stay there and give up on reaching that destination. You find another way to reach that place.

There are a few things I struck out to me during the Session with Mrs. Chiki Sakar. I will mention them below:

  1. There are a few decisions in life that lead to a lot of uncertainty and resistance, that is usually because of the fear of what we think is waiting on the other side. Taking that leap of faith to other side, opens up new doors for us and new opportunities to explore. Taking that jump itself provides us with new skills and resources to use.
  2. Making a conscious effort to observe opportunities that may not necessarily be right in front of us or turning situations and molding it in a way that it creates opportunities to for us will be beneficial. This happens when you start asking the right questions to yourself, challenging your own thoughts, thinking of what you could possibly to do create a more favourable situation
  3. Giving yourself a break, some time away from work can actually spark creativity. If you are constantly thinking about what you can do to make it better or what more you can do to reach goals, or if you are at a dead end – Taking some time to breathe, away from that situation, helps you in settling all those thoughts for a while.
  4. Networking and talking to people, listening to their ideas helps you learn new things. It invokes curiosity and curiosity opens up doors, sometimes we do not consciously realize we have. It helps you think different notions and ideas and how you relate to that. Curiosity sparks innovation.
  5. Believe in your dreams, that belief fuels us into making sure we put in all our effort and heart into achieving something we believe adds value to us, our community and our world.

Day 1: Introspection

Today, I got a wonderful opportunity to sit in on an online platform to be part of a workshop. This workshop is a 3-day event, wherein, different speakers come in and share their insights and understanding of certain topics that are important to lead a fulfilling life – especially during turbulent times like these.

Decoding Yourself: Mr. Harpreet Bhan (VP – India and Middle East, Adizes Institute)

This session was about understanding the different aspects of yourself that contribute to understanding who you are. There are various elements that make up who we are, it was interesting to break it down the way our Mentor did for this session. The different aspects to yourself are:

  • Your name and other demographics
  • Our physical body: which is our health and our appearance, amongst other things
  • Intelligence Quotient (IQ) – this is our intellect
  • Emotional Quotient (EQ) – this refers to feelings, emotions, and hormones
  • Spiritual Quotient (SQ) – this pertains to our purpose, values, our moral code, all of which allow us to have clarity of thought

It was also interesting to see how our environment and people who are directly related to us have impacted us for the better. We all know that our parents are our first teachers and we love them unconditionally. We also know that good or bad, we learned something from them. When we were asked to write down things we learned or things they taught us, I had to really think, not because I didn’t imbibe anything from them, but because I couldn’t find the right words for the gems they left for me, every now and then.

I say it was interesting, because after being able to pinpoint what a fraction of those lessons were, it made me realize how much we tend to take things and people for granted. Along with that strange feeling, I also felt a huge sense of gratitude, for a lot of things that I cannot really put into words. Those gems have extended from my heart and mind, to my behaviour.

It got me thinking about the small victories and blessing that we receive but may not necessarily be conscious of. Gratitude is a particularly good way to feel connected to people without having expressed it. I feel one should take time to think about people who have really impacted them, especially when one feels low.

The speaker also talked about different ways of perceiving, a model that Mr. Bhan uses when conducting sessions as part of his work at the Adizes Institute. According to what I have understood, there are 3 ways in which you can perceive a situation:

  • How it IS
  • How you WANT it to be
  • How it SHOULD be

When we are babies, the three aspects are aligned, babies cry when they need something and that need is fulfilled, because it is necessary for the child. As we start to grow older, these three aspects start moving away from each other. When this happens, an imbalance occurs because they are not in sync anymore. When this happens, leads to an increase in frustrations.

Understanding that the situation itself is not good or bad, it just is. What gives the situation a positive or negative feeling, is our perception of the situation. Once we understand this notion, we realize that in order to manage the situation, we have to realign our expectations to what is.

Realigning those expectations and perception can happen when we make a conscious effort to decode ourselves. In other words, introspect and explore the different aspects that are causing these frustrations. Once you identify the source, or the roots of the problem, it is easier to deal with. It makes it easier to understand your options and which way to go.

Finally, there is no end as such to introspection and decoding ourselves because we are ever changing and evolving. We learn and try to unlearn things as time goes by.

If you would like to check out more information about Heartfulness, you can click on this link and it will direct you to their website


Spending time with your children plays a very significant role for the child’s growth and development. The children observe you and how you react. This means when you do sit down with your child, they will notice whether you are actually paying attention or not.

Quality time with your child is not just sitting next to them, it requires a lot more input. You must engage them in the activities your child is doing because it shows them that you are interested in what they are saying. It shows them that you value what they have to offer.

It’s about sitting with them, listening to what they have to say, playing with them and doing activities that your child is fond of. It teaches them a lot of different things, some of them being:

  • It enhances socialization among children, they will understand that it is good to mingle with other children and play with them
  • It teaches them the concept of sharing and communicating what they are doing
  • It will foster a loving and caring environment – this kind of positivity and encouragement
  • It increases a child’s self-esteem, self-worth and confidence
  • It fosters a lot of emotional growth and optimism in the child because they feel very secure and satisfied

There may be times where you want to spend time with your child, but you don’t know what exactly to do, or you may be tired. There are different ways in which you can spend time with them, some of which are:

  • Asking your child to help you out in the kitchen
  • Helping them do their homework
  • Playing different kinds of games with them
  • Watching a movie, or spending time watching your child’s favourite cartoon with them
  • Reading a story to them

You can turn mundane tasks into opportunities to spend time with your child. Make your child’s interests yours, you will get to know a completely different side to them.


“Human freedom involves our capacity to pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight” – Rollow May

Take a moment to reflect on the kind of experiences you have shared with your child. Some may be filled with absolute happiness, some may be filled with sadness, some may be filled with anger. If you take a minute to focus on the times you have had an argument with your child or gotten angry at your child. What do you think would have happened if you took a minute to pause before reacting the way you did?

Answers to this question would be different for each person, some may say that the reaction would be the same, but most would realize that the amount of shouting may have reduced. Every behavior one exhibits, at the time is the best one can do. In these difficult times, the reaction we put forth is the only option we can see at the time because our emotions are heightened at the time, which clouds our judgment and then our response.

Imagine, if we took a minute to recalibrate ourselves before reacting to everything that comes our way. It gives us a minute to breathe and stop thinking before bursting out into flames. Now, obviously, on paper and in this article, it sounds a lot easier than done, that is true. However, there are ways to take yourself out of a situation, when things get frustrating, a couple of them are. These techniques were explained by Daaji in 2019 at a workshop I attended in 2019 by Heartfulness: 

  • Excuse yourself from the room or where ever you are for two minutes, take a big long deep breath and exhale. The inhale from your left nostril and exhale from your right. Repeat breathing from alternate 
  • Sometimes, out of anger, you start feeling hot, to counter this reaction, drink a cold glass of water to break that heat

In case you want to know more about the Heartfulness Practice, the link for the website is

Mindful Parenting

Parents are a child’s first and most influential teacher, from the time of conception, a child observes everything the parents do. They observe the way that you interact with them, yourself and others.

It’s very easy to slip into the trap of projecting your feelings, wishes, and desires on your child because it comes out of a place of concern and wanting the best for them, however, this can sometimes be a catalyst for hampering the quality of a parent-child relationship.

Understanding what your goal is as a parent is for your child works almost like a compass, it gives you direction in the way that you bring your child up. It helps you understand whether your actions, words, and behaviors towards your child will work towards your goal or against it.

Creating a bond of trust between you and your child cultivates a beautiful parent-child relationship. This can be done by showing your child that you are actively listening to them. Active listening is showing your child that you are hearing and understanding what they are saying, this can be done by:

  •  Making eye contact, asking them questions related to what they are sharing, nodding your head while they speak
  • Ask them about their day, ask them to share things that they enjoyed, what they liked about the experience and so on. Doing this for your child shows them that you care about what they have to offer – explicitly and implicitly.