May is my birthday month. Yes, my age changes, but I’m more concerned with maturing spiritually, mentally, intellectually, socially, financially, and relationally. I called for an inventory of what things need to be modified and what needs to go away.
As a good deal, I’ve read from life coaches to listen to your “gut” or “internal voice” I found it challenging to act thus. Why? I allowed my emotions to run amok and speak louder in situations, thus overruling and distorting my perception. But I told myself for the month of May I wanted to do something different and I did. Yes, my emotions bucked because they were used to ruling the roost. But I made myself sit quietly and allow my emotions, their say, and then when they wound down I said four words – PRESENT, PROTECTED, PRAISE, & PEACE.
Now mind you I learned this meditation technique from Richard Miller, PhD founding president of the Integrative Restorative Institute. The following exercise has greatly aided in calming my mind and easing my soul into a lying state. It didn’t matter the surroundings, I was in I still was able to do this technique. At work, on the bus, walking, and in my car now, it works. As you practice this exercise you will notice unresolved past hurts enter your mind like a New York marquee sign. It’s tiring and nerve-wracking but believe it or not, it’s a good thing. The more unresolved issues that are elevated to the surface means it’s time to release or modify. Too, this exercise assisted in discovering the little voice to identify which one that I needed to perform.
As you answer the following questions pay attention to how they make you feel. Start with your first knee-jerk response. Don’t think long or you’ll think wrong. You desire that “what feels good” solution.
1. What is my deepest desire for practicing meditation?
2. How many minutes each session am I truly willing to dedicate to the practice?
3. How many days a week am I truly willing to meditate?
4. With respect to a particular meditation session, what is my deepest desire for and during this session? (For instance, is your goal to welcome a particular sensation or to remain undistracted by what’s arising in your awareness, and instead to experience and abide as awareness?)
“Then, express each intention as a concise statement of fact in the present tense, as if it’s already true. This enables your subconscious mind to register your intentions as actualities instead of possibilities, giving them greater power to materialize. For example, instead of saying, ‘I will meditate five days a week for 20 minutes each time,’ affirm, ‘I meditate five days a week for 20 minutes each time.
Next, pick one, two, or even three intentions and shorten them into simple, easily remembered phrases. For instance: ‘I meditate three times a week for 10 minutes each time’ can be stated as ‘Three and 10!’ ‘I’m kind and compassionate toward myself’ becomes ‘Kindness!’ And ‘I speak truth in each and every moment’ becomes ‘Truth!
Finally, repeat your intentions internally to yourself at the beginning of, throughout, and at the end of every meditation practice. Always affirm your intentions with deep feeling and certainty, with your entire body and mind.”1
Listen to one of my favorite “brave” warriors – Brene Brown. She has challenged me to get back up when I fall. And each time I do I am intentionally being brave!
“There is no shame in falling. It’s only when you don’t get back up you allow shame to win.” LMH
1 Richard Miller, PhD, “The Staying Power of Intention – How setting the right intention can help you stick with a meditation practice,” Yoga Journal May 2016: 34.