Sunday, November 6, 2016

Election Relief Meditation!

Election Relief Meditation!
For a lot of people, 2016 is one of the most stressful election years ever, and a lot of people have asked me for something they can practice to keep a handle on all the negativity floating around.

 Here’s a technique you can practice in a few minutes, and you can tweak it for your other goals as well. Some people believe that this kind of exercise can actually shape the future. I’m not prepared to say that, but I think it can certainly make you feel more comfortable and confident about your future. 

Read through all the steps first, find a quiet place to practice, and then give it a try!
Before you begin you’ll need two things (they’re already inside you):
--A “resource state,” which is a strongly positive feeling
--A visualization of a positive outcome for the coming weeks, months and years.
The resource state is simply an emotional state of happiness and joy. Actors and longtime meditators can fire up such a state at will. The rest of us can use our memory or imagination to find that emotional state. Think of a time you felt really happy or joyful (I know this can be hard in the 21st century, but I think we’ve all had some kind of experience at least once, no?). Maybe it was when you were a kid, or maybe it’s a song you like (music is great for building emotional states), or a pet, a joke, a funny Youtube video, a baby or a puppy. You get the idea. If you really can’t remember anything joyful, then just imagine what it would feel like to have something wonderful and spontaneous happen that makes you grin so hard that other people can almost hear it! Once you have that in your imagination, really enter into it, really allow the feeling of joy to fill you up. Notice where it begins in your body (a lot of people feel it in their chest or face, but wherever you feel it is right for you).When you get it, and it feels good, THAT’S your resource state. With a little practice you can start to invoke that feeling separate from the memory or imagining.

Your visualization is a mental image of the kind of outcome that you’d like to experience. It doesn’t actually have to be a visual image if you’re not a very visual person. Some people prefer things they can hear or feel, and those are fine. Better still if you can include all three of those things together—visual, sound and feeling.
What exactly is the outcome you want to have happen? An end to political arguing? Your candidate being elected? The country moving happily and successfully into a prosperous future? Just a little peace and quiet? Whatever it is you want the most, so be it. Get that image clearly in your head, and, to the best of your ability, begin to add visual detail, sounds, and feelings, It’s almost like painting a picture. When you have that, you’re ready to get started.

The Meditation
Find a quiet place where you’ll be undisturbed for a few minutes. 

  • 1)      Shake out your arms and legs and shoulders and sit down. A seat with support for your back is excellent for this. You can do it lying down, but you may fall asleep.
  • 2)      Take a deep breath, hold it a moment, and exhale. Let your arms an your face feel loose and limp and relaxed. Inhale again, a little slower and more relaxed, and just notice the air going into your lungs. Pucker your lips slightly, and when you exhale, blow out slowly, like you’re trying to cool a spoonful of hot soup without spilling it. Continue to just breathe this way for a little while, say 10-12 breaths or more. Your breathing will slow down a bit, and you’ll probably become even more relaxed. At some point, you may wish to close your eyes, and this will be helpful for the next phase.
  • 3)      As you continue to breathe, turn your attention inward, and allow your imagination to explore, from inside, your belly, chest, your shoulders and your face. As you explore each of these places inside yourself, you may find areas of stress or tension, or just bad feelings. When you exhale, imagine actually blowing these tensions or bad feelings out on each exhale, and replacing them with in fresh, clean breath on each inhale. You may be able to clean some of these out in one or two breaths, some may take a little longer, or even multiple sessions. You can chose how long you want to spend. Be sure to breathe out any doubts and breathe in greater confidence.
  • 4)      When you feel you’re ready to move to the next step, bring in that resource state. Find the place inside your body that feeling starts (chest, face or wherever), and then let it expand. With each inhale, imagine you’re bringing energy into that emotional resource, and with each exhale, imagine that feeling beginning to expand. Let that emotion become an energy unto itself, an energy with color, light, warmth, and maybe even sound or motion. Use your breathing to continue to fuel it until it feels really good and begins to fill your whole self. Continue your slow breathing the entire time.
  • 5)      Now bring in that visualization of the future you want. Start by imagining it in the middle of your joyful energy. Imagine all the details—the sights, the sounds, the feelings, the smells of that happy outcome you want. Continue your breathing and begin to move your imagination into that desired outcome. Become aware of details you didn’t notice before. Become aware of how good that future feels. Become aware of all the ways that the future is improving as a result of that outcome. Energize it with your breath the way you energized your resource state. If any doubts try to creep in, just exhale them back out again. This is your time, for your own reality.
  • 6)      Enjoy it and explore it for as long as you like, or as long as you have time for, and when you’re ready, start to bring yourself back to a wakeful state. Begin to turn your attention to your physical body, and then to your surroundings. Take a deep breath and give yourself a countdown, like a rocket—5-4-3-2-1!
    Open your eyes and stand up, stretch or shake yourself out a bit.

You may feel very relaxed, so give yourself a few minutes before driving, operating machinery.
With practice your results will continue to get stronger and faster.
Share it with anyone you think might need it!