A NEED FOR UNREASONABLE WISHES – Practice
I promised a practice to follow up on my article on unreasonable wishes. And here it is – in two versions:
- Written for you who likes to read, take notes
- In Audio for you, who likes to listen
This is a practice I do with feelings, wishes or repetitive thoughts, that I can’t seem to ‘just let go’, no matter how understanding and willing I am. Sometimes, it seems to be out of my control, what determines whether I am to look at a subject or not.
Instead of fighting it or being overwhelmed in inconvenient moments, I have started to integrate attention and space for those wishes in my conscious training. In intense periods, I might do this practice daily for a couple of weeks. At other times it might be enough to repeat it two-three times. But either way, when I commit to giving this space and time my mind knows, that this subject and need will be looked at and often the pressure reduces.
First of all, the practice is about allowing yourself to feel. This is not the time to look for the next action steps or for understanding why you feel this. (As a side-effect, this might at times appear for you during or after the practice, but it is not the aim of the practice and could sidetrack you, if you get hooked on that. )
Start with a couple of exercises that you know allow you to connect to your physical experience of now. This might be anything that allows you to sense your body more clearly – dancing, jumping around, breathing consciously, meditation… you choose your style. Give yourself 5-10 minutes that are purely physical. (Pause this tape and then start again, when you’re present with the whole body.)
Then pay attention to the wish you are currently exploring and wanting to give space to.
You could do this by remembering the last time you felt it, or by thinking of a person that is connected to this wish. It could be by focusing on the feelings that are connected to this wish or anything else that allows you to remember a version of the wish that’s on your mind (and you feel you are not in control over).
When your wish is very present in you, notice how you react in your body. How is your position? Is it contracting somewhere or feeling locked? How is your breathing, where are you pushing or trying to control something?
Then without having to change feelings, thoughts or wishes just shift something in your body.
Breathe more so there is more energy available, let go of the tension that you currently don’t need. Move your pelvis or arms, relax your belly.
Now be curious of what else happens in your body. When waves of feelings or emotions are coming – make more space for them and air in the chest and lungs. Physical space – expanding the lungs and chest in all directions, relaxing the tummy, maybe opening the armes to the sides a bit, letting go of your jaw and eyebrows.
This might take some time. There is no rush to get through with this (maybe set a timer, if you need a structure, but then give yourself at least 10min for this part.)
When you’re feeling your body free of the initial reaction, able to breathe and move, remember the situation that you started with, now without returning to the initial physical reaction.
How is the experience?
How is it to wish, now? Does anything change?
Which (human) quality is connected to this wish for you?
Is there any time or place in your life, where you can recognize this quality?
Is there a pain or sadness that needs attention and space to be digested?
After the conscious practice give yourself some time to rest. 2-8 minutes of just lying or sitting, while you are not focusing your attention on anything specific but let your subconscious and body just work with what you have done before.
If you feel curious to learn more about how you keep yourself from wishing, you could journal about all those arguments you have, why you shouldn’t want (or need) anything. It often changes something, to actually write down things that are otherwise some vague sense or thought in the back of our minds.
And then you can look at them: If someone else came to you with these arguments, what would you tell them?
ps. what does the van have to do with anything? oh… that’s just one of my wishes
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