Updated: Nov 18, 2018
PART TWO OF FOUR
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2) Second, say hello, and then say goodbye.
Let me explain. After you have practiced the above enough to feel sufficiently settled in the waiting, begin to use that 90 seconds to dig a little deeper. This will be challenging, but in a very satisfying way, so stick with it. You know all those thoughts that fly through your mind unchecked? The ones telling you that you aren't strong enough, that you aren't worth all the fuss, that you might as well just eat one or maybe two, or that maybe just fifteen more minutes won't hurt. I encourage you to begin noticing those thoughts. And not just noticing them, but acknowledging them and actually giving them voice. Slow them down by saying them out loud if you have to. Say hello. No criticizing allowed, no scoffing or shaming. Just say hi.
And then what? Well, and then let them go. Wave them goodbye. On my favorite meditation app, The Daily Calm, the narrator encourages us to imagine the thoughts you have coming slowly into view as if floating down a lazy river towards you, as you sit on its bank. Then, like the leaves that float upon it's surface, swirling in the ripples and dancing in the currents, watch those thoughts continue on downstream, further and further away, until it's as if they were never there in the first place. You are left with a clear mind, a peaceful space in which to enjoy the stillness of the moment.
And why are we doing this, you may ask? One, because we are training our brains to follow our lead, rather than the other way around. Two, because a clear mind is a proactive mind (more on this in Step #4). And as much as I know we all want to be able to flip that switch to sustainable health quick and dirty style, I think we can all agree that sustainable health doesn't work that way. Remember, we didn't become who we are over night, nor will be become master of our own thought patterns by just deciding one day that we will. And speaking of will, this 'minding-our-mind" activity isn't a matter of willpower or force, this is a matter of persistence and acceptance and curiosity. These things ARE sustainable. That's what makes this approach different, and that's why practicing patience is so worth it.
So let's say you've come to enjoy your 90 seconds (or maybe more by now), of practiced presence. You can skillfully pick those nasty thought loops up out of their well-worn patterns, give them a nod and a wave, then nimbly release them into the vastness of space where they are unable to hinder you from the future you want to have. But what about the craving we were trying to avoid in the first place, the one we were obsessing over before we began this whole 90-second waiting period thing? I'm so glad you brought us back around to that. Shall we?
To move on to the Part 3 in this four-part series, click here!
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Here's to putting our healthiest selves first more and more often, as we connect more deeply and honestly with our inner power and passion!