Hi all. Or as they say in the south, Hi Y'all.
This morning I didn't know what to do with myself, so I started watching a set of DVD's that a fellow life coach sent me. As usual, they are so very interesting to me because they cover a topic that feeds my mild obsession, Martha Beck and her techniques for finding the best life for ourselves.
This set of discs is a film of a workshop she held after she released her most recent book, Steering By Starlight, and it's wonderful listening to her talk in further detail about the book.
I watched a little over an hour of it and then was struck with what I wanted to write about on this blog today. She gave a meditation method that allows us to access what she calls the "stargazer" part of our brain - The Watcher aspect that I blogged about recently. And, surprise, surprise, the phrase "may you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering" makes an appearance in this particular meditation.
Here's the idea: think about something you're fighting with in your head. It could be that you want to lose weight, to stop worrying about your relationship, to change your career, to be a better person, to be more creative, to have more money. Whatever it is that is plaguing your thoughts, put that thought into your head.
Next, hold out your right hand. Seriously. Now, picture a teeny little two-inch version of yourself in your hand. This little version of you is wearing a military uniform and brandishing a weapon, and is yelling and screaming at you about what you need to do. "Stop eating that cheesecake! Stop worrying about your boyfriend! Make more money, now!" This part of you is called the dictator. The dictator just wants you to be your best, but the yelling and screaming isn't helping much, is it?
Hold your left hand up as well. Picture another two-inch version of yourself, this time it's your "wild child", and this version of you is wearing leaves and rags and sticks and is also angry, because it doesn't know what it's supposed to do and, as a result of all the screaming from dictator, is going super crazy. Perhaps the wild child is eating an entire barnyard, staying in a job just to spite the dictator, or absolutely refusing to move from the couch.
These two forces are pushing against each other, and this is why you're not able to make the changes you keep wanting to change...how can you?
Here's the meditation part: you're going to access a third part of your brain, the part that can see these other two sides of you, but that can remove itself from their argument. First, turn to the dictator. Send him or her loving kindness in the form of these words, "may you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering". Keep going until you feel at peace with the dictator.
Repeat the same steps with the wild child aspect of you, continuing to repeat the phrase "may you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering" until there is a sense of calm.
At this point you should feel much better about the issue that's been bugging you. I just took a pause from writing this blog to try this myself. My dictator was screaming to me about being more productive, improving my website, having more products to sell on my website, and that I should be making more money. My wild child was mostly just tearing at her hair and staring blankly. After doing the exercise I feel much, much more relaxed and peaceful. Give it a whirl.