Each morning before plugging into your computer, cellphone, or turning on a podcast, take a deep inhale and then exhale, then make your way to the comfortable space you have created for yourself. Once you are sitting comfortably with good posture, repeat the steps for Square Breathing and Learning to Be Present. Remember to be compassionate and patient with yourself while creating your practice.
- Square Breathing (remember to make note of how many cycles it took before you became centered).
- Once you find yourself centered begin Learning to Be Present exercise.
- Once present, begin to create a view of yourself as engaged, open, compassionate, and curious (this is a state of self-energy, which you will use to understand your internal influences). Remember, this is the state which allows for integration of your new adaptive patterns, beliefs, emotions, etc.
Daily Journal questions:
Using the maladaptive narrative you comprised over the first three lessons and juxtaposing with your adaptive narrative:
- What beliefs, emotions, strategies, vows, behaviors, etc. have changed or feel more accurate now?
- Are there beliefs, emotions, strategies, vows, behaviors, etc. still needing attention? Attend to these needs.
- Visualize the maladaptive traits fading away and the new empowering adaptive traits getting stronger.
- Once you have connected with the empowering traits, visualize employing these traits in various scenarios.
Mental Theatre: The Mental Theatre Technique is a technique used to help integrate the empowering traits into your system. First begin by sitting comfortably, take a couple of deep breaths, and become centered. Next, in your mind, create a theatre. It can be outside or inside as long as there is a movie screen. After you have created your theatre, imagine you have a remote control that can rewind, turn emotions up or down, fast forward, control sensations, basically anything you need to be successful. Now picture yourself on the screen and successfully employing your adaptive traits through various scenarios. Use your remote to rewind, dial down intensity, or whatever function may be needed in order for the positive traits to be used. This technique can be used for past scenarios and anticipatory situations which provoke anxiety patterns. Remember to take your time and really connect with the discoveries and paths forwards as you are directing your life. Each night, continue to review and modify your narrative as you integrate these empowering, adaptive characteristics.
Cue Word or Symbol: This technique is designed to assist you in shifting your attention to help keep the rational part of our brain online. In this exercise, the goal is to condition our ego-state through associating it with a symbol or cue word (e.g., vacation place, sign, word, image, etc.). For example, when you think of a lemon certain images and responses come to mind. This exercise is based on the same conditioning and will assist us with the ability to shift states more quickly. First, begin by sitting comfortably, take a couple of deep breaths, and become centered. Next, once you have connected with the self-energy, characteristic you wish to embody, or desired attitude, begin to notice if the is a symbol or cue word that would best describe this state. Once you have a symbol or cue word, link the two together. Hold this state and symbol/word together. After you have them linked together, next think of something that produce some mild irritation. Notice the irritation and how it feel in your body – maybe some tightness in your chest or head. Now switch back to your symbol or cue word;what did you notice? Practicing this exercise on a frequent basis will develop stronger associations which allows for better ability to regulate our nervous system.