Create your own life movie ...
How many times have you felt that you made a wrong decision, or done something in the heat of the moment and then judged yourself harshly afterwards? Or maybe you didn’t achieve a certain task or goal that you’ve set yourself. You feel bad about yourself and the situation and replay it over and over in your head - and it feels almost as if you are re-living it again each time. Does this sound familiar?
The crazy thing is that in fact, as far as your subconscious mind is concerned, this is actually what is happening! In a way, you are re-living the situation each time you replay it in your mind. The subconscious mind doesn’t make a distinction between what we experience in real time and what is imagined or replayed in our minds. The ‘movie’ that you create is stored in your subconscious mind adding to the ‘pool’ of past experience that is the database that you draw from when making decisions in life.
This is very important as more than 90% of what we do in our daily lives is governed, not by the conscious mind, but by decisions made by our subconscious mind.
How do we make decisions?
Generally we make decisions based on previous experiences – on learned patterns of behaviour. Most of this happens without us being aware, for example the beating of our heart, the healing of wounds etc. The host of internal processes that take place in us every day, almost automatically, are initiated by ‘decisions’ that are made by our subconscious mind. As are many of the decisions about how we express ourselves ‘out there’ in our lives. Even our health and illness tendencies are influenced by our interpretation of our past experiences.
So, if most of our decisions are coming from our subconscious interpretation of past experiences then is it possible to positively influence this with our thoughts and ‘movies’? And if the subconscious mind doesn’t make a distinction between what was experienced in reality or what was imagined then can we use visualisation to do this?
Try this exercise - sit down for a moment, relax, close your eyes and go into your thoughts and think of something you experienced in the last 5 or 6 days. It could be one of those stories where you believe you should have done something differently. Take a note of the feeling - maybe you feel you weren’t at your best – maybe you feel that you let yourself or others down. So it’s like a short story that runs in your head as if it was a movie.
If we look at these stories where we don’t really like ourselves and we did something that we think is wrong, then we are often quite tough on ourselves. “Oh, why did I do this? I’m such a idiot!” Then often we add a judgement of ourselves on top like: ‘What’s wrong with me? Why am I like this?’
So then the subconscious looks up and thinks “yes, it’s true, I’m an idiot, really stupid!” This negatively reinforces our self-image and adds to the database that informs our future responses. And then tomorrow the same behaviour pattern happens again :)
Try this meditation technique
So let’s do that differently now. Let’s give ourselves a positive experience that can positively influence both our self-image and our subconscious response. I want to share with you a powerful visualisation technique that I use in my practice that does just that ...
So, again, close your eyes and bring up a story from your everyday experience, but this time stop the insults to yourself. It’s like re-shooting this movie in your head. Re-shoot the scene in the way you would like it to be. The way you would like to see yourself in that scenario and feel how that feels. It is important that you are in the ‘centre’ of the movie. You are the director of the movie and also the star! And use your senses to really feel as if it happening right now. Feeling is important as it has a very powerful effect on the subconscious.
And this is all in your imagination, your fantasy - there’s no one else that sees this or listens to this. But your subconscious is listening all the time and it stores what you are shooting in your mind as if it is happening in real life. And it thinks ‘Ah-ha! This is another way we can feel in this situation, another option! I’m going to try this tomorrow.’ This is an opening up of possibilities – you are creating new, positive ways that you can respond to situations and imprinting them on your subconscious mind as more favourable options.In this way, we are not helpless victims of what has happened in our lives. We can change the interpretation of life events after they have happened by re-interpreting, re-shooting and modifying them to how we want them. This puts us back in the driving seat helping us make decisions that can positively affect our lives.
So the next time something happens in your life that creates a feeling inside that you don’t like – instead of going over why it should or shouldn’t be like this, or why it should or shouldn’t have happened in a certain way - you can find a quiet spot sometime in your day and spend 5 minutes re-shooting your movie and feeling how you would like to feel. And with practice, you may increasingly find that when you are in similar situations in the future your response may be the one that you like.
So, in this practice you are going into a meditation and creating a self-image of yourself that feels better, closer to you, more true.
And this shows that it is possible to change our behaviour patterns and ourselves. And ... if we change ourselves then we can change our future.
In our tradition of Ayurveda we consider knowing our "why" to be such an important factor that affects our health and wellbeing - and in our practice we focus on healing techniques and meditations that support this. Over the coming weeks we would like to share some of these techniques with you .... just keep an eye on our blog or sign up to our newsletter and we'll deliver them to your inbox!
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