Emotion Schemas

How am I really feeling?

During a typical average day, a person may spend his/her time as follows:


Hours days


It seems like there’s just never enough time, once you get through all those natural necessities and material obligations you’re not left with much ‘free’ time. Most of our money, energy, and time is already spoken for! It’s no wonder our lives feel out of balance when we look at where our time and energy is going. We sometimes feel like ‘zombies’ on autopilot, or puppets with powerful external forces pulling our strings, directing our destiny. Very seldom do we feel truly alive, but the scary part is that we’re not really even aware of that fact, most of the time:


cosnciousness perc


Alot of the time we are totally or partially unconscious or unaware of what we are thinking and feeling, because our attention is so absorbed in outer experiences. However if we were to consider our mental, emotional, behavioural state during the day, kind of like doing an emotional self audit over the period of a typical month, looking at the times when we are actually aware of what we are thinking and feeling, then we may realise that this most precious time is occupied by the following (which is just a typical example of the % of aware time spent in different emotional and thought states within a typical month):



Moods timings


These feelings and emotions are trying to tell you something about yourself and your life. Your body, brain, heart and psyche are designed this way and by becoming more aware and conscious of these things you can begin to use your emotional guidance system and your intelligence, imagination and intuition better. But if not, you will add another layer to it, you will feel bad about feeling bad, and afraid of being afraid, and so forth and you will trigger bad feelings with your thinking, in a negative downward spiral. But there is a way to be truly at ease and joyful and we will explore that together as we go along, but first let us look a little more closely at these surface level emotions and what they are telling us.




My emotions are there to guide me so it’s very important that I experience and express each of my emotions properly as they arise, in due course, not just the pleasant ones but the unpleasant ones too. I would like to be happy all the time but there is a reason for each of the emotions and the particular feeling state and energy changes it causes, and the altered course of thinking and action it brings about.

Fear is necessary to keep me out of danger. Anger is necessary to ensure someone doesn’t abuse me or transgress my rights. Guilt lets me know when I’ve done something wrong or hurt someone. Shame and Pride is when other people find out about what I did. Happy/Joy is when I get what I want or desire, and Sadness is when I don’t, also works to elicit sympathy and draw support. Grief allows me to overcome a loss or separation. Jealousy lets me know when I have not allowed or experienced some desire or aspect of my self. Disgust informs me when I’m exposed to something noxious or offensive.

Each of these emotions is there to serve me. Some of them are pleasing while others are disturbing, but I prefer to feel good/ happy rather than bad/sad/mad. The emotions usually get categorized as positive and negative, but +ve or -ve depends on the way I deal with it, and on the impact or influence it has on me and those around me. Within this spectrum of emotions and range of emotional tones, the dividing line is not between what I feel to be pleasant or unpleasant, but rather between what serves me and what does not serve me; what is contributing to my awareness of my self, others and reality; what is helping me to realize my highest aspirations, and actualize my full potential.

Can I recognize my emotional patterns and strategies that are not serving me?

Deeper than the surface level of emotions is the background underlying emotional patterns so deeply embedded that we cannot even recognize it as emotion, it is more like the sub-stratum of our personalities. Parents, family, caregivers, and teachers, all recipients of the same conditioning, have reinforced in us positive and negative feelings, ideas, and beliefs, from a very young age. Many people are traumatized by abuse of various kinds, physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and if this is prolonged and sustained, it creates a warped twisted sense of self, with low self-esteem, low self-worth, inability or difficulty with trusting/connecting with others, which all gets mistaken as one’s personality. Developmental adversity leaves deep long lasting deficits.

Those who get a very good, positive, loving foundation in their first few years of life, from parents and care-givers will generally have high self-esteem and confidence, but yet they will face challenges and suffering eventually and so they too can relate to many of the other shared conditions of our collective existence, that many try so hard to mask, avoid, patch up, and cope with, but only very rarely do we directly glimpse or have to face these deeper underlying mental emotional patterns of thinking and feeling:


background deepr emos


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