The twenty-first century has seen increasing levels of unhealthy stress. The opioid crisis, drug and alcohol addiction, and the increase of post-traumatic stress, suicides, and stress-related disorders; these are all symptoms of a society in need of emotional healing.
We have not learned to deal with negative emotions as children, youth or adults, and therefore don’t have the resolution skills necessary to deal with such levels of distress. Our models of emotional and other intelligences that we base ourselves on are: cognitive, mental constructs, objectified, interaction-driven and control oriented. Emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others”. Example: I am jealous is regarded an emotion but is in fact a mental construct. The body cannot feel jealous; it is our mind that is projecting a sense of jealousy onto another person. Meanwhile, there are these unpleasant feelings and sensations that one has to deal with.
Figure 1. Conventional model of EI is objectified and interaction driven.
Our inability to consciously “metabolize” our negative emotions that relate to real or imagined danger, can be effectively shown through neuro-imaging. The affected regions of the brain, through the nervous system, produce disruptive biological responses-pairs associated with sadness-anger, rejection-disassociation and fear-control. While sadness is internally directed, anger is externally projected, and so on. These responses can be perceived in the body as respectively heat, heaviness and tension through the ability to perceive differing body states, or interoception. It is on this level that one can learn to de-construct negative patterns which have been conditioned through painful experiences.
Figure 2. biological responses associated with sadness, rejection and fear.
Monsanto-Petruse have developed applied self-assessment psychology or ASAP to cultivate a calm discerning awareness to engage learners in first-person-research. ASAP is a transdisciplinary practice that is based on the combination of the age-old health cultivation system called “Ayurveda” (4), modern systems science and other related practices. Participants learn to internally navigate and track their own internal response-patterns. This progressively enhances their capacity to "metabolize" what they experience subjectively. In addition, future facilitators learn to use different forms of assessment to assist others in this subjective learning process.
As part of the ASAP supported learning process, the individual learner will be provided with The Language of Emotions (1) (3) knowledge framework that facilitates transformation both at subjective and inter-subjective levels, not of the content, but of the quality of experience. This learning from the inside-out is further internally guided by a person’s own willingness, commitment, and ability to self-assess. The Language of Emotions extends the psychological frameworks of emotional, kinesthetic and other intelligences to include formal causes and the internal origin of emotions. This describes how negative emotions, which are in reality mentally construed, are accompanied by the afore-mentioned response-pairs: fear-tension, sadness-burn, and rejection-block. Responses make one feel as though what one imagines is real. They have a structure and pattern that can be internally perceived and recognized through a calm discerning awareness in combination with mentioned subjective knowledge framework.
Figure 3. Expanding existing models with formal causes with an internal origin.
Over time the learner cultivates:
The objective of ASAP is to guide the learner towards:
Our team uses ASAP as the basis for contributing to Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools, wellness in organizations, and a culture of health in our communities. In our train-the-trainer program we instruct and guide professionals in different sectors to help others realize their human, social, and professional potential. We have experience conducting programs, including train-the-trainer programs, in Europe, South and North America, and the Caribbean.
Upcoming research, will measure the outcome of ASAP’s self-directed approach to enhancing the quality of life experience. Satisfactory outcomes will show that ASAP guided processes affect change on subtler physiological as well as on psychological levels. Through first person research and hundreds of field observations in different continents during the past two decades, we have witnessed significant inner growth and positive change in the quality of life. Through evidence-based research we wish to investigate whether these changes are reflected at the genetic level as well as on the level of brain-organization.
1) Monsanto and Petruse (2017), Mindful Emotional Wellness in Education. Academic.edu. Last retrieved on March 21st, 2018. www.academia.edu/36244541/Mindful_Emotional_Wellness_In_Education
2) Monsanto and Lakshmanan (2015). Awareness and discernment lead to homeostatic integration. http://dx.doi.org/10.14259/av.v2i1.170
3) Monsanto and Dijkhoff (2013), The Language of Emotions. Academic.edu. Last retrieved on March 21st, 2018. www.academia.edu/26154158/The_Language_of_Emotions_-_Pedagogy_of_Ayurvedic_Psychology