You Are Not the Burden You Think Are: A Guide Using ‘The Map of Transition Emotions’

Reached the peak

Last month I did a little research project on my Facebook account. I asked my FB family, When you’re not okay- do you reach out for loved ones to help you? Consensus? I found most people (namely women) are just like me! We wait, feeling overwhelmed in our emotion. We feel like we should be able to handle it, until the point where we definitely cannot handle it anymore and only then do we reach out for the help we so desperately need! The good news? You are not the burden you think you are, and, most importantly, you’re not alone.

I need to work on how to ask for what I need without feeling ridiculous or feeling like I’m a burden.


I figured there must be a way in which we can identify these feelings we are having when we are not okay, know if it’s worthy of reaching out and move on from there.

For that I have the help of my hubby. There is no mountain this man is not willing to climb! It’s amazing, and today I want to share with you his “Map of Transition Emotions”- download available at end of le post.

If someone doesn’t ask me (notice), I never reach out. If they ask I’m always honest but will never be the one to bring it up.


History and tid-bits on The Map of Transition Emotions

Map of Transition Emotions- focu

The map started with Nathan diving into his emotions and realizing that between one emotion to the next there was another emotion; transition emotions, the emotions that take you from one emotion to the next.

Emotion (thought I would add another in there for sh**s and giggs).

We don’t just go from happy to sad, there’s a transition there!

Imagine this map like a mountain’s terrain. ‘Happy’ is the peak. The map is used just like any other map, you can go forward, around and through. There is no right or wrong way. This is your terrain. It is all about where you are and where you want or desire to go. There are many directions to take. For example, worry can lead to sadness which may transition to anxiety, then possibly fear.

The main takeaway for this pathway is that IT IS OKAY TO BE WHERE YOU ARE ON THE MAP! All of our emotions are completely valid. Your desire may very well be to be afraid, or angry. The questions are…is that emotion USEFUL? Is that where you WANT to be? Is it where you NEED to be?

Sometimes I prefer to be by myself in my comfort cocoon until I’m feeling better.

Map of Transition Emotions-focus on gratitude loop

Gratitude Loop tid-bit

Notice humility and acceptance are in a constant loop making gratitude quite easy to attain. This is where we like to stay most of the time.

Imagine this like a ski lift. Humility brings you down, grounding into gratitude, while acceptance lifts you up to those happy feelings; to the mountains peak. In the end, every path leads us back to this. How you get there is all up to you. There are no right or wrong answers, until you find the right and wrong pathways for YOU.

Self Awareness tid-bit

This occurs at the base of the mountain and near the peak- an easy pathway.

This is just as important, if not more important than the gratitude loop. It’s wonderful being in a constant loop of humility and acceptance. The reality is, however, that we have many other emotions and should not only be aware of them, but accept the fact they are a part of each and every one of us.

Self awareness is quite grounding in and of itself. It reminds us we are alive and that the emotion(s) we may be feeling have purpose, because all feelings do have purpose. Being aware you’re dealing with sadness, for example, will make it easier to get back to where you want/need to be, or accept that where you’re at (mourning the loss of a loved one).

How to use the map

First, identify your emotion.

Understanding which emotion you’re feeling is simply listening to your body.

For example, when I feel really frustrated it starts right below my heart (chakra) and builds in my chest. If I do not do anything about my frustration while it resides there, it will continue up and out of my throat (chakra) without warning. (I go from frustration to mad QUICKLY!- which you’ll notice is a direct path on the map.) So, just being aware of how you feel physically based on your emotional state can really help to start calming you down, bringing you back to happy with some ease.

The Legend

Next…every map has a legend.

Use the wheel of emotions as a legend to the map to figure out where you’re at emotionally. This was created by Nathan- there are many options with a quick google search. Like apps? Here’s one with an app.

This is how you’re able to personalize Nathan’s map for yourself!

Where Nathan’s map has ‘Mad’, ‘Sad’, ‘Fear’, etc. you can use the legend to narrow down how you’re feeling on your personal terrain.

For example: maybe you’re not feeling ‘Mad’, maybe you’re feeling disrespected. So, perhaps you’re really on the fear track and you didn’t know it until you looked. See?! (Maybe your reaction is anger, but you realize it is based off fear.) This is super customizable. Just flow with it.

Recognize the path you may be on.

Now, breathe. Be aware of where you are and where it very well may lead. And again, BREATHE.

For the sake of this post we will focus on “burden”. Burden can mean you feel overwhelmed by how much there is going on for you. I mean, why would we want someone else to take on this much?!

Of course we feel like we have such a load and don’t want to put that on someone else. It is a lot. It is overwhelming.

The feeling of being a burden has the very same heart as fear. And, according to Nathan’s Map of Transition Emotions this is the path you’re on if you choose to be:
Overwhelmed -> Burden -> Anxiety -> Fear.

This, in turn, leads us afraid to reach out.

Decide if that is the right path: Feel the emotion, sit with it, decide.

I’m fiercely independent and self-reliant so I think it is in my nature to go inside myself instead of reaching out.


Again, breathe my dear one! Is it the right choice to stay overwhelmed and feed the lie of being a burden? What is it doing for you? Sit with this emotion. Feel it. Let it speak to you. Then decide if this emotional state is where you should remain. And, more often than not, you’ll find you don’t want to be, or shouldn’t be there…so you have the ability to move on, turn around, or change direction.

Only after you’ve identified it, recognized the path you could be on and sat with the emotion, do you have true power to move.

Know Your Worth! You are not the burden you think you are!

I usually just keep it to myself but the days where I feel like my worth is not seen by others then I’ll reach out. On the days I keep to myself I remember that tomorrow is always better, I give myself grace, and I do what I need to do to make it through the day (eat chocolate, slack on adult responsibilities).


This is KEY! (I know I know, I’ve said everything is important, but this, above all else, is important.)

Know you are worth helping if you need it.

Take a note from Mel (quote above). Give yourself some grace, take a break and then speak out about it later. Whatever the case may be…know you are worthy.

Check in with loved ones

Something that has been instrumental in my relationships is this: ask your friend/family member if they are able to hold space for you.

Check in with loved ones- ask for help

I had never heard of this before I started hanging with Kay…She mentioned that her and Molly do it all the time, and OH MY GOODNESS! it’s a game changer. No wonder most of us feel like a burden, we don’t want to bring someone else down with us…but what if we asked if they were available to help?

What if you went to a friend (or family member) and said, “hey man, I have some pretty heavy stuff to talk through, do you have the energy/space to talk with me about it and maybe give some advice?” (Near exact quote from Kay just a few weeks ago!).

If they say no, GOOD! They were able to take your request, see where they were at energetically and say what they need to. And of course, the side we are hoping for, “yes I have space for you.” It’s a beautiful back and forth of respect. Deep respect.

Once we learn to respect each others feelings (and boundaries) and that we are not unique in having these feelings, the better it gets! I promise. You are truly not the burden you think you are. How could you be when there are so many people in your life that love you?! If you feel you cannot find one, you have two mama hens here that are happy to listen.

Finally, be ever so grateful.

Find Gratitude

Whichever path you’ve decided on after feeling like a burden. It’s always a good idea to come back to gratitude. Grounding down into gratitude gives us a powerful way to get back on track so that we are happier and healthier. The “gratitude loop” is a beautiful place to be. This grounds us down in humility and lifts us in acceptance, not only for ourselves but for others who are close to us.

Be kind to yourself.


Featured image by Mohamed_Hassan. Facebook link below.

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