Introduction: Your Guide to the Emotional Clock®


In the writing of our book, One Billion Seconds: There’s Still Time to Discover Love, we had the opportunity to look back on our thoughts, feelings, decisions, and behaviors that made us an ideal couple back in college.With life experience, maturity, more developed communication skills, and the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we understood both the tiny cracks that led to our break up,and more importantly, the huge chasm of assumptions and ill-informed conclusions that ultimately shaped who we each became.

After the 32-year hiatus, we examined our separate lives, relationship decisions, divorces,and our own identities. We observed the lives and relationships of other people, and asked ourselves how we believed they made decisions in their relationships. We saw repetitive and common patterns. The concept of the Emotional Clock® came to us on at 5 a.m. one morning, and we immediately sat up in bed and created the 12 clock settings of human emotions.

We know from Poppy’s role as a Registered Art Therapist and college psychology instructor, that when emotions are highly charged, and people feel overwhelmed, the human brain gets relief when a tactile object is introduced. Through our decades of research, studies, and teachings, we understand that the human brain, when emotionally taxed, causes stress and difficulties for people to harness clear thinking.

When someone feels emotional flooding, the fear center of the brain, the amygdala, is highly activated, causing “Amygdala hijack,” coined by Emotional Intelligence author, Daniel Goleman in 1996. To get back into the left-brained thinking, people need to recalibrate their emotional balance by using a processing tool, like the Emotional Clock® to regain physiological, emotional, and mental steadiness.

The Emotional Clock® allows individuals to go through a problem-solving process with this solution-oriented tool without the emotional wear and tear that crop up in traditional disagreements. This communication device eases the physiological build up of overwhelming feelings, and provides a platform—outside of the body—to sort and make sense of thoughts and emotions.We developed this guide for you, so you can also have heart-healthy communication in all of your relationships. No more assumptions. No more reading another’s mind. No more jumping to ill-informed conclusions.

“The Emotional Clock® is something employees need. Most people leave without having a conversation. This is a process employees need to understand in order to engage.”-Eric Spiegel, Former CEO of Siemens, USA