These meditations are small, yet significant shifts for our minds. In principle each one shares the idea of a choice that is both conscious and positive. In doing these exercises, we are not only reinforcing our connections to particular positive experiences. More importantly, we are teaching our minds to assume a positive perspective when looking at anything.
It is a slow process. But with a step forward each day, within a month all of us will grow to be more positive without even noticing. In fact, it is more likely that someone else will notice our changes before we do.
We’ll still be doing what makes sense internally so we’ll feel consistent. But others will compare our reactions to our past, and they will be the ones to notice that we have begun to change.
Make all make a note of whatever negative feeling we experience more than any other. Then today, the first time that we feel an impulse to react with that emotion, let’s use our own logical reasoning to find our way to a more sophisticated and positive reaction.
If we historically get angry about a certain thing, choose to let it go, even just once. If something consistently leaves us feeling sad, then let’s shift our attention to something more rewarding. However we do it, we just want to find our way to at least one new ‘out of character’ positive emotional response because that will reinforce our positive pathways.
Let’s each contact a friend we haven’t yet wished ‘Happy New Year,’ and inquire as to when they’d be available to talk. If they balk for today, ask when a good time would be and then book that call to happen within seven days.
If the person you contact won’t cooperate with that schedule, that’s fine. You can still talk to them later, but choose another person. We want to move something forward today. This is a pandemic. Talking to friendly people is helpful. And in those conversations we’ll be reminded of why we like that person. More good feelings. They all help.
Think of one thing from your childhood experience that you really treasure. Your aunt’s cookies. Summers at the cottage. An annual trip with your cousins. They day you were adopted. The day your beloved sister was born. Just find one thing that you are genuinely glad happened.
Now this is the important part: let’s take a few moments to really sink into that past experience. We need to think of it long enough and deeply enough that we start to remember the weather, and what that day was like. What happened before, and afterwards? We want to conjure up how that day felt.
That day is in there, and it’s a positive memory. If we access those life-affirming stories more often, then we will feel stronger as people. If we repeat that process, at some point, we can get to where we naturally have a much different and more positive idea of our own history.
That’s it. We’re done. We can relax. We have taken a step forward today. Just don’t forget to give yourself credit for meditating today. 😉
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.