by Justina Hurley
Some tips and tools to help you check in with You!
It’s good to check in on your life from time to time, to see how you are feeling, if you are happy with what you are doing and if you need to make any course corrections.
Today we look at the following areas:
- Life Audit: Plot your own life wheel
- Visualising Change
Tomorrow we will cover:
Life Audit: Plot your own life wheel
Rate your happiness levels from 1-5 on the wheel [range 1 not at all happy to 5 totally satisfied]
Look at the shape of your life wheel.
Is it balanced?
What bits veer towards happiness and what bits veer towards unhappiness?
Think about your answers above and based on what you have said and on your life wheel try to write a description of yourself as if you were handed this information and didn’t know that it was about you.
You might want to change but how do you do this?
Before even going towards change I like to ask people to develop their own change vision. We do this by using a process called ‘Visualisation’.
The nature of the mind is such that it gets used to certain thoughts and patterns. If you’re always telling yourself that you can’t do something or if you’re constantly going over all the bad things or experiences that happened in the past then a negative thought pattern becomes established. The only way to break this is by setting up a new pattern which will override the old.
Visualisation is a good way of doing this as is concentrates the mind on a new version of events. It allows for possibility and focuses the mind and spirit on the here and now and on the future rather than on the past.
Not everyone can ‘see’ in their minds but that doesn’t matter, you can just sense or feel what you are visualising in whatever way makes you most comfortable. The visualisation included here can be taped using your own voice or simply just remembered and repeated to yourself. I recommend taping where possible as it is easier to relax and even if you nod off the positive thoughts are still trickling in to your subconscious mind.
Your visualisation isn’t a day dream so try to really focus on designing the life you feel you want to create. Don’t get caught up in details or in wondering how it could happen. The design is the important bit and the bit you control, how it comes to you is the bit you hand over.
Now move on to actually doing the visualisation below:
Breath in deeply and hold the breath, now release the breath and feel all the tension in your body release.
Breathe in again, hold and release and one more time, hold and release.
Feel your body as it relaxes and just notice what parts are relaxing and what parts are a bit tense or sore.
Leave these feelings aside and feel yourself begin to drift.
If thoughts come in just let them slip by, no need to control them or to follow them.
Now imagine yourself five years from now having achieved everything you wanted to achieve. All your present day worries are gone and you are now exactly where you want to be, doing exactly what you want to do.
What are you doing?
Look at yourself and notice how you look.
Do you look different?
What have you learned?
How does your body feel now?
Look around you, where are you? Who is in your life?
Don’t force yourself to see.
Just take your time and let the feeling evolve.
All that matters is that what you’re doing makes you feel happy and content and that you feel relaxed and at peace with yourself.
Notice your future self, how happy you look, the sparkle in your eye, hear your laughter and feel gratitude for the wonderful life you have created for yourself.
What else do you feel?
Do you feel excited?
Do you feel clear?
Now notice that your future self hands you a gift. You are smiling and happy as you accept that gift from your future self.
Just relax now and look at what you have been given.
What is it?
Now just stay still for a while, breathing calmly and gently and think about what you have seen.
When you feel ready open your eyes.
Write down everything you saw, sensed and felt during your visualisation.
– three words to describe the future version of you
– three words to describe how you felt as that person
– three words to describe what the future ‘you’ had that you don’t have now (this can be qualities, feelings or attributes)
Look at all the words you have written
Now list their opposites e.g. you wrote happy so opposite = sad
Generally the opposite words describe how you currently see yourself and what is holding you back so its worth looking at this to see how your concept of yourself may be affecting you. The words describing the future self generally list what you want to develop in yourself and where you want to go.
You may have to go through the visualisation process several times before you get a really clear sense of what you want your future self to be. That is OK because the more time you give to this the more a real change vision can develop.
Bringing your ‘Change Vision’ into the here and now
1. Make a Change Vision Picture
To make the above more focused and when you feel that you are at a point where your sense of where you want to go is more defined, it’s a good idea to bring your creative side into the mix and put together a collage representing where you want to go/what you want to do.
Using pictures, photos, postcards, cut-outs from magazines, words, poems, songs, doodles etc paste your collage together and keep it where you can see it.
2. Pick a song for change!
Have you heard of the idea of having a personal song? As daft as it sounds it works. Try to pick a song that really captures the feeling the you felt when you got a sense of your future (examples of upbeat songs – ‘Happy’, ‘Ain’t no Mountain’, ‘Sweetest Feeling’ etc.) .
Whenever you feel any of the feelings that normally hold you back rushing in, start humming your song in your head or out loud – if you can!
The purpose of both of the above exercises is to bring both right brain and left brain activities into your change goals and to flood your mind with new patterns and drown out any old negative thoughts.
And finally…Spring Clean your life!
Where thoughts go energy flows.
If you want to change, then you have to introduce it on every level.
Don’t surround yourself with negative anything. If there are people around you who constantly bring you down then avoid them or, if you can’t, then politely cut them off before they go on to give you an earful of pessimism or gloom.
Life is full of ‘bads and goods’ – that is what makes it wonderful. If you’re always on the look out for the dark stuff and the shadows then you’ll find plenty. But you have a choice and you can choose to look for the good.
Even on a really bad day when everything seems impossible you’re still breathing and as long as you are alive you have the potential to achieve anything you want…
Pharrell Williams – Happy (Despicable Me 2