Worth Reading: Off the web … simple yet powerful practices from The Work that will give you new ways of looking at your life circumstances, and in that, create new possibilities for self-realization. This is part 2 of the 20 Ways.
8. Reporting to Yourself
This exercise can help in healing fear and terror. Practice reporting events to yourself as if a circumstance you find yourself in is actually a news story and you are the roving reporter. Announce exactly what your surroundings are and what’s happening “on the scene” at that very moment. Fear is always the result of projecting a re-creation of the past into the now or the future. If you find yourself fearful, find the core belief and inquire: “Is it true that I need to be fearful in this situation? What is actually happening right now, physically? Where is my body (hands, arms, feet, legs, head)? What do I see (trees, walls, windows, sky)?”
De-Personalizing our stories gives us an opportunity to look at circumstances more objectively, and choose our responses to what life brings. Living in our minds, believing our untrue thoughts, is a good way to scare ourselves to death, and it can appear in any form – old age, cancer, degeneration, high blood pressure, etc.
9. Literal Hearing
Practice listening to others in the most literal sense, believing exactly what they say, and do your best to resist falling into your own interpretations about the information they share with you. For example, someone might compliment you on how beautiful you are, and you interpret that as an implication that the person has ulterior motives. Our interpretations of what we hear people say to us are often far more painful or frightening than what people actually say.
We can hurt ourselves with our misconceptions and our thinking for others. Try trusting that what they say is exactly what they mean: not more, not less. Hear people out. Catch yourself when you want to finish a sentence for someone either aloud or in your mind. Listen. It can be amazing to hear what comes out when we allow others to complete their thoughts without interruption. And, when we are busy thinking we know what they are about to say, we are missing what they are actually saying. You might want to consider these questions:
“What can be threatened if I listen and hear literally? Do I interrupt because I don’t want to really know what they have to say? Do I interrupt to convince them I know more than they do? Am I attempting to portray an image of self-confidence and control? Who would I be without the need to possess those qualities? Is there a fear of appearing unintelligent? Would people leave me if I heard them literally, and no longer engage in manipulative games?“
10. Speaking Honestly and Literally
Speak literally. Say what you mean without justification, without any desire to manipulate, and without concern about how another may interpret your words. Practice not being careful. Experience the freedom this brings.
11. Watching the Play
See yourself in a balcony, watching your favorite drama about you and what distresses you. Watch the story on the stage below. Notice how you have seen this drama performed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times. Watch this until you find yourself becoming bored. The performers are having to exaggerate their parts to keep your attention. Notice when you get honest with your boredom, you get up from your seat, leave the balcony, exit the playhouse, and step outside. Always know you can re-visit. Who would you be without your story?
12. Watching a Second Version of the Play
Write your story from the eyes and mind of another. Write as many different versions with as many different outcomes as you like. Notice what you notice.
13. Exercising Polarity
If you find yourself dwelling on a negative thought, practice going to the opposite positive extreme or polarity. When you catch yourself slipping back into negativity, choose again to return to the positive polarity and be present with your conscious choice; feel the truth of it. There is only love, and what doesn’t appear as love is a disguised call for love. It is your birthright to live in the positive polarity of love and truth.
compiled by Mary Lynn Hendrix