from "New Approaches to Health"
It is very important to accept and love ourselves as we are while still working to evolve. It is also extremely important not to repress any “negative” feelings but to cop to them and get them out as they come up, thus clearing the way for the new. At the same time, however we just keep our minds on the goal and realize we can change. Our personalities are merely constructs that have been created by us to help us survive. As children we learned to mold ourselves to gain maximum benefits and avoid hurt and punishment. These personality constructs are not us—we created them and if they have outlived their use we can change them. The old ways were a habit, a pattern. They took some years to solidify. We can learn to experience ourselves and our energies in new more fulfilling ways but it takes practice.
One way to begin this practice is with the following exercise. It takes a few minutes.
1. Get comfortable. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply, vitalized by the in-breath, relaxed by the out-breath.
2. Now think of how you wish the change. What do you wish to attain, to eliminate, to become? How do you want to be?
3. Look at what has prevented this. Just be aware of it and then put that knowledge aside.
4. Now suspend your doubt and imagine yourself already being the desired way. Feel how it feels to be this new way. How does your body feel? How do you feel? Imagine yourself going through your day in this new way. How does it change things? Be this way for 5 minutes.
5. Still with eyes closed, step out of this new way and resume your ordinary way of experiencing yourself. Feel the difference. Now return to the new way again. Compare. Go back and forth until you can switch at will.
6. Once more center in the new way. Relax and breathe deeply. Open your eyes and remain in this new way as you go on to your next activity.
Thus you will have learned to feel what the desired new quality feels like; to be in that space and then to compare it to your usual space. Now the trick is daily practice. Just 10 minutes a day is enough, or 5 in the am and 5 in the pm. Then begin to catch yourself when the old patterns and stresses take over and bring in the new quality to even things out. Put on the new act, be it self-love, relaxation, the ability to act with confidence or whatever. Thus practice begins to make it second nature and you will eventually own the new quality.
This post originally appeared on the Gravel & Gold blog.