The last week of June and I was in Boston, the home of the American Revolution. “One if by land, two if by sea….” Lexington and Concord. Bunker Hill. The Boston Massacre. The Boston Tea Party.
The reason I was there, with my life partner Petra Martin and the creator of the Mixed Emotions Cards, was to help her present the cards to the conference attendees. The conference was the Nexus EQ Conference on emotional intelligence. During the first day, the last two and a half hours was a festival of sorts. Those of us with products related to developing EQ got to demonstrate their wares to the 260 attendees from 32 different countries. It was indeed exciting, and humbling. I got to meet people and discover that our English has difficulty translating into other languages when it comes to emotions. We learned from other cultures that we would need to make some changes in the cards as they move into translations, as well as a the developing phone app.
So how did this former carpenter now nerd student handle all this? I’ve come to learn that the universal language is emotions. We all have them. The Mixed Emotions Cards are a great tool to develop emotional acuity, and I have been using them for just that purpose. I am learning to identify and name my emotions as they occur.
Mind you, I felt a bit like a fish out of water. I am new to this emotional intelligence reality, and there were many there with far more expertise in naming and navigating their own emotions in business and educational settings as well as being able to identify and navigate the emotions of others. I felt awkward. The rookie in a camp of veterans, as it were. So I shared from the limited experience I had, and was open to what others had to say.
Like Linda’s request for translating it into Spanish. Muhammad’s observation that in Bangladesh, some of the emotive words on the cards didn’t translate well, and that the shadings of emotions they have didn’t have English equivalents. Natalie’s offer to help translate into Chinese, yet with that same notion in mind: there are cultural differences in emotions and the expressions of them.
Needless to say, it was an exhilarating time. Not just because of the conference, which confirmed and fortified much of the work Petra and I have developed for Whidbey CareNet, and opened our eyes to see even bigger opportunities for our product and presentations. Also because as a history buff, I was in the place it all began. Yes, I spent one day fighting off the 24 hour bug. That was nothing compared to being inside the Old North Church, making a Facebook friend a real friend, eating at Durgin Park, Seeing the Bell and Tavern and Point Pubs (two of the oldest operating in America), and meeting all kinds of new people with a similar interest in the spreading of emotional intelligence, and sharing all this with Petra.
The day I was sick? The Red Sox played at Fenway Park, just down Beacon Street from where I was. Ask me how I felt about that….