DO A PAST YEAR REFLECTION INSTEAD
Having volunteered to do offer reflective meditation sessions at a NYE party, I decided that I’ll start by asking people to reflect on the good things in the past year, things for which they can be grateful. Then to reflect on the challenges, on what could be learned from them and how to apply the learning to make positive changes in the coming year.
Finally to imagine all the results of those changes when doing this process again in a year’s time.
If there is time I’ll suggest they share in pairs for a few minutes to help clarify and consolidate what came up.
We’ll complete the session with a short mindfulness meditation.
Then in the wondrous and mysterious way in which life works, I came across this post & podcast by Tim Ferriss where he is suggesting almost the same process, with some minor differences. He also recommends reading a post by Chris Cordry who has been doing this for 5 years.
I liked the idea of doing it as a written process with two columns and was astonished that my good things column has turned out to be 4x longer than the challenges. Just that has already made me feel really good.
Top of my challenges is habitual negative thoughts. I now know I can change these and have many tools to do so:
• dialogue with the thoughts to check if they are telling me anything useful
• observe the negative sensations they generate as energy moving through and out of my body
• simply commanding my mind to shut the f*** up and focus on something constructive and empowering
• remembering I am not my thoughts, but the Conscious Awareness in which thoughts and sensations are arising
• walking in the park
• cleaning house (!!)
• doing an act of kindness
• smiling at people in the street
and many, many more……
However, these negative thoughts are a long term habit, programmed when I was very young and my personality was still under construction and they may never go away. The trick is to not take them seriously. My plan is to give them some silly names, so I can greet each one when they come to visit and invite them in for tea and a chat.
By this time next year I’ll be feeling grateful that we can all have a good laugh together over a cuppa – and maybe some cake.