Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stickies

A major reason I stress meditation as a huge Grief Recovery Tool is because it worked wonders for me. In fact, learning Vipassana meditation was what really turned the road for me. Even though I did lots of grief work prior to that course, I date my "recovery graduation day" from the end of Vipassana. I think it is an experience everyone should try at least once.

Learning about this thought -> feeling -> reaction cycle is interesting in the meantime, and I believe you can still get some benefit from this approach even if you haven't yet learned how to meditate formally. Of course, without formal training, you will need some assistance in being mindful of where you are in the thought -> feeling -> reaction cycle. Elizabeth Bohorquez has written some great material to help get you started:

Getting Back on the Bicycle

Your mind will wander. That is a part of the process. Your work is to stay detached, out of the way. I like to use the image of a parade going by. You are the observer, standing on the curbside. You are not part of the parade. Whenever you find yourself involved in your thought processes ( the parade), return to the position of observer by bringing your attention back to your focus breath or ball. Your mind will continue to show you a thought, you will notice, returning then to the focus.

It's not uncommon to get lost in thoughts. This is because your mind is not well disciplined. In the future, you will begin to notice much earlier, allowing you to return to the focus. The process of breathing, noticing a thought & then returning to the focus is a full release cycle. Releasing is also called "letting go." If someone has ever told you to let something go, this is the actual process of doing just that.

There are three general classifications of what the mind will present to you. First are the thoughts. Some of these are presented in the form of pictures, others as sound bytes or inner mind audio tapes. They can be with or without video. There are many classifications of thoughts. Later on, in your work with your Inner Coach, you will be identifying some of your major thought areas, learning to work with them to profit you and your goals.

Your mind may also show you body communications. These are sensations representing body tension. The more stress, the more body tension. When practicing interactive awareness, place flowers on the body sensation, then open the flowers as you did earlier in your mental biofeedback work.

Next, return to your focus breath. Do not be tempted to stay in the sensation, nor to examine it. That is not the purpose of this practice. This is simply awareness of what is, providing you with an opportunity to observe your mind in action.

The third area includes the emotional states. In our work emotions will be viewed as images of children wearing tee shirts with their names on them. Identifying & separating emotions allows for easier release. If you are working with this image, notice that the children have crayons for coloring your experiences. Later on you will be identifying some of your most frequent emotions and their crayons.

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Moments are very small fragments of time, each holding automatic mind programs in the form of thoughts & emotions. The emotions color the moments with their crayons. The body is also involved as it responds to whatever is passing through the moment.

Keep in mind that every moment is valuable. You already know that you can only catch a small number of them. Later on you will learn how to program your subconscious mind for waking up to genres of thoughts of your choosing. For now the goal is simply to practice waking up & releasing.

It helps to set some triggers to help you wake up, just like little alarm clocks. Sticky notes work well for this. No one else needs to know what you are doing. It's not necessary to write anything on them. You already know what they are for. When I'm working to improve this skill for myself, I place a sticky note just to the right on my telephone, one in the car, one on left wall in my office. At home I like the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, the head of my bed. Move the notes occasionally so that your automatic pilot doesn't set up a program to ignore them.

Each time you notice a sticky note, check the moment. Pay attention to your thought processes, noticing the type of thought, the emotional states & crayons that are being utilized. Next, scan your body, noticing the stressors present, gently placing flowers on the bigger areas. This entire exercise takes less than thirty seconds, but provides tremendous benefits, immediate & in the future.

You are building awareness about who you are, your automatic program, your emotional terrain & what crayons you allow to color your life without deciding if they work for you or not.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is a Clinical Medical Hypnotherapist, who works in the area of loss & healing. Her websites offer many articles & discussion on the subject, as well as complimentary mp3 downloads.

1 comment:

Nat said...

Thank you Vic. After reading it twice, I am not sure if I totally understand the meaning of the crayons and flowers, we might need to discuss about it by email later! Thans for that sharing again. (BTW, I like the picture!)