It’s essential to our well-being that we learn to quiet the mind and control our thoughts. The most essential part of us – our souls, spirits, inner selves (use whatever term you prefer) is much deeper inside of us than our thoughts. We are not our thoughts.
When we need to get clarity, to make major decisions about our lives, we need to access this deeper part of ourselves which is always connected to the divine. The following exercise will help you access that place.
All of us have known the experience of feeling grounded, centered and calm. We may have experienced this state during exercise, sport competitions, meditation, prayer or even when being with a loved one. Right now, sit with your feet flat on the floor so you can feel your connection to the earth.
Sit with your spine straight and put your hand on your abdomen with the thumb on your belly button and the rest of the hand below your belly button.
Take three deep breaths. As you inhale, feel this area of your abdomen expand. As you exhale, feel it contract.
This is your center, your place of knowingness. In western culture we put great emphasis on the chatter that goes on in our minds day after day. In eastern cultures, they call this the Monkey Mind. Mediation teaches us to step back from these thoughts, observe them, and control them.
The center is our place of greatest power. It is the place we can move from with certainty that we are going in the right direction. For example, when you study martial arts, karate, judo, tai chi, even dance, you learn to move from this place of center. When you are standing in a room and four opponents attach you from four different corners of the room, if you are in touch with your center, you know exactly which way to turn to face your opponents.
When you move from that place of center, you can’t be thrown off balance. You are poised, balanced, grounded, unshakeable; and you don’t care beans what anyone thinks about you.
Now, try to remember a time in your life, when you were very centered, powerful, grounded, fearless. You knew exactly what to do and when to do it. Picture that time in your memory. What was your breathing like? What did your voice sound like? How did your body feel? Try to remember any cues that might help you regain that state whenever you choose it.
For example, when I walk or hike, my feet feel very heavy, very connected to the earth. It helps me get into my centered state when I walk or pace and feel my feet heavy against the earth. Find a memory cue in your body that helps you get into your center easily.
In that state of calm, spend ten minutes silently repeating one word such as Om or Peace or Jesus. Watch the thoughts that flit across your mind. Gently bring your attention back to the repeated word whenever you notice your mind wandering. After ten minutes, take three deep breaths and stop repeating the word.
Now from that place of center, of knowingness, ask yourself the following three questions: 1. What is the joyful work that would make me happy and support me in every way? 2. What steps do I need to take now to make it happen? 3. What can I do to remove the obstacles that are preventing me from doing this work?
As you bring yourself back to waking awareness, write down your responses to the questions above. Spend several minutes writing and reflecting on your experience before getting up and going about your day. - What insights have I gained about the nature of my mind? - What insights have I gained into my “belittler voice”? - How is my belittler stopping me from find work I love? - How can I use the power of my positive energy to overcome this obstacle?