In order to survive our inner pain, we used to focus on everything and everyone external to us. We would scrutinize and judge how others were doing all in attempt to make ourselves feel better. However, if others were doing well, we used it as a tool to beat ourselves up. This thinking allowed others’ actions to dominate our lives. We thought that by seeking others’ approval – and getting it – they could make us feel better. We constantly sought ways to get this approval by being thin, rich, clever, successful, applauded or we put ourselves on a pedestal to which no one else could aspire.
By working through A Program Of Miracles we have come to understand that part of us which seeks external ‘highs’ to make us feel better. We now seek a more nurturing approach to our daily lives, preferring to feel our feelings, express them to others and find nourishing and supportive relationships.
One day at a time – it's where the fun begins
We start by living ‘one day at a time’. No longer is it necessary to plan for the future with a goal of either minimizing what we are frightened of or setting ourselves impossible targets. By living a day at a time we allow ourselves the grace of taking each challenge as it comes and accepting the freedom that not focusing on the future brings. We can all make tiny progress each day by growing our focus on our own lives, eating better food, exercising, not staring at a imaginary future and looking for nourishing relationships.
We curb our natural tendency to worry about the future. This curbs unnecessary stress hormones. We recognize that we have no control over our future and to think that we have, is insanity. By living each day as it comes, we become vigilant at keeping a close eye on our ‘mid racing’.
‘Mind racing’ racks up our stress hormones like a Duracell battery. Ninety-nine percent of the time we’re going over and over the same details and making no progress. We’re whipping ourselves up into frenzy with no real positive outcome. This turns up the ‘fight or flight’ response in the body which releases more stress hormones that keep us stuck in the stress cycle like a hamster on a wheel. ‘Mind racing’ keeps us from experiencing life moment-to-moment. By quieting our minds, we’re able to bring ourselves back into today.
Read (or record and listen to) this whenever you want to curb your mind racing, reduce stress levels and bring yourself back into today:
Get ready now by closing your eyes. ….I want you to take a deep breath….Gently inhale and sigh it out…… And again…. Gently inhale and sigh it out….. Now locate a place in your body where you feel your breath most strongly – this may be your shoulder, rib cage, diaphragm or another place….. Now bring your attention to it ….and from this place begin to observe your breath….. let it do whatever it wants to do. ………….allow your breath to do whatever it wants to do…………………when thoughts come up,… don’t worry just realize they have, and return your awareness to your breath………relaxing and allowing it to do whatever it wants to do… identify where there is a stress spot in your body….. It could be your back, your legs or your ribs…wherever it is…now just like you did with your breath….. bring your attention to your stress spot and then…………do nothing. …just keep your attention on it and just allow the stress spot to do what it wants to do.…..if thoughts come up, don’t worry it’s fine, just bring yourself back to your stress spot. ….that’s all you have to do…….just relax into your stress spot and if you find your attention wandering again, don’t worry….. just bring yourself back to your stress spot and relax….. allowing your stress spot to do whatever it wants to do…. Relax, allow and return. …. watch how your stress spot dissolves……the more you can allow it to dissolve by relaxing, the more it will dissolve…relax, allow and dissolve…allow your stress to dissolve itself….The more you can relax and allow ….. the more your stress spot will dissolve itself…..continue as often as you need to relieve your stress…. allowing, relaxing and returning. …..Now, open your eyes and smile because your stress levels will be lower. You can return to this meditation anytime you feel stressed and want an instant chill.