I’ve been thinking recently about how I can alter my state of mind, shift my perspective.
Twice a week I go on a 25 mile bike ride with three or four friends. When riding in a pace line–concentrating on staying within 12 inches of my fellow bicyclist’s back tire, staying mindful of nearby traffic, spinning my legs constantly in a rhythmic, repetitive motion–I enjoy periods of time in a meditative state. I’m focused and in a trance simultaneously. I can do my best thinking while biking.
But it’s hard to write when I’m biking. So, at times I try to reach a meditative/trance-like state when I’m not riding a bicycle but sitting in a chair in front of my computer. It’s not as easy for me to enter that meditative state while in front of a computer. (Of course I haven’t tried putting a stationary bike in front of the computer…maybe I’ll try that.) However, I have successfully gotten into a very calm trance-like state through practicing guided meditations at my computer.
I’ve also learned other less aerobic ways to alter my perspective: A journal writing technique–the Victory Log–helps train myself to see life from a positive point of view.
In this newsletter you’ll find links to guided meditations websites, and instructions about creating a Victory Log.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Guided Meditation Online
At times writing in my journal is simply reportorial–just the facts, not a lot of interpretation or inner searching. However, other times, I want to shed my “in the world” skin and find out how I’m really feeling, what’s really going on deep in the bedrock. Sometimes those feelings are just bursting to come out and other times they need a little coaxing. I find that deep relaxation or centering is a nice way to get to my core.
I’ve found two good websites that offer free guided mediations: The guided meditation at https://www.selfhealingexpressions.com/meditate.shtml works specifically with healing and disease. There is a gentle audio background with choices of photographs of peaceful images from which you can select, and written text to follow.
The guided meditation at https://www.beliefnet.com/story/3/story_385_1.html is a ten-minute Buddhist mindfulness meditation. There is an audio of a woman’s voice and a set series of images that appear.
I open LifeJournal and then go to one of the websites. I take about 10-15 minutes with the guided meditation, and then relaxed and centered, I turn to LifeJournal and start writing. It’s a cleansing process and I like how I feel after such a journal writing session.
Keeping a Success Log
Like most of us, I find that at certain times my life seems to be going well and smoothly: I’m feeling strong, optimistic, and opportunities abound. Then there are other times when I’m struggling: Difficult issues with no easy solutions clutter my inner landscape, time feels pressured and tight, and my outlook is bleaker than I’d like.
I believe that what is going on in my inner world is reflected in my outer, so I do my best to shift out of negativity. Plus, it just isn’t fun to be caught up in worrying. The question for me is how to get through those negative times and turn around my perspective.
During those downbeat times, I turn to a journal technique called the Success or Victory Log. The idea is to write about what you did well that day, to observe and note even a shred of positivity you can find from a situation. To write in your victory log, you don’t need to have won a Nobel Prize, landed the job you have been pining for, or suddenly found your dream partner. Write about even seemingly minor triumphs.
For example, today I’m writing about (1) completing the task of moving my phone line from one phone company to another, (2) finishing the draft of this newsletter a few days before deadline, and (3) helping a neighbor who is a new mother coping with her cranky newborn. None of these are earth-shattering events, but I do value and feel good about each of them.
Then after writing about my successes, I select (click and drag the mouse over) the text and click the topic “Log>Victory” in the Topics List. (Log [top level] and Victory [sub-topic] is found in the Topic List by default.) When I’m looking for evidence and encouragement that I’m moving forward in my life, that I’m making good decisions, and that I am making progress in attaining my goals, I go to LifeJournal and perform a search on just the highlighted passages of Log>Victory. A document appears with a listing of every success I’ve written about. Reading that listing encourages me to keep me pushing through the daily list of tasks necessary to keep a household and business running smoothly.
Sometimes, simply by being on the lookout for successes to record in my journal, I’m training myself to find the positives. Over time these encouraging thoughts do make a difference in my outlook and bring me back into positive territory again.
“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”–Anais Nin
“Find the good — and praise it.”-Alex Haley
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