Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Deeper Listening


When we acknowledge that desire is a natural by-product of being alive it allows us to view our yearnings in the same light as hunger or the need for sleep.
So maintaining peace of mind will require that we recognize what is/isn't working for us on a mental and emotional level, just as noticing which foods do/don't agree with us will benefit our physical well-being.
  
This awareness allows us to throw out the idea that engaging in a conversation with your desires is a selfish indulgence, and help to cultivate the habit of listening to our deeper selves. 

If you'd like an exercise to kick start the process, try this….

1. Think about how we are designed to receive unconscious information through  
-  a recent dream
-  a song or thought that keeps playing in your head
-  a feeling that pops up during yoga or meditation
-  a physical ache or pain for no apparent reason

2. Now give yourself a block of uninterrupted time to write an honest letter to a close friend.  In this letter you analyze what that dream or recurring song might be saying about your current state.
For instance, I have recently been having dreams about dogs…not big scary ones, but friendly small dogs that create a feeling of sweetness to my dream.  Now I could assume this means I should get a dog (which may be true) or I might also discern that it's time to allow more "sweetness" into my life in a variety of forms.   

3. While your unconscious messages may not be as pleasant as this example, try to state your interpretation in a positive way.
When we do this "I lost my wallet in the dream" can become "I was separated from my money, which led me to search out other form of support".  Re-framing your interpretation may require reading your letter many times.  No problem, as this often leads to deeper insights. 

4. As you do this pay particular attention to 
-  how your body is feeling
-  what pops into your awareness as you read/revise
-  emotions that surface, no matter how surprising
   and include a note about these reactions to your letter.

5. When you feel you have come to an illuminating interpretation of your dream, recurring song, etc. I recommend you hang or post your final draft somewhere where you will see it daily.  

As you may have guessed, this is a letter to your closest friend: you. Reread it often, let the message percolate and, most importantly, take some positive action based upon this new information.


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