Something we all do from time to time is to fill up our life with activities so as not to feel our feelings. For example, when you are lonely and depressed, you may find yourself responding to this feeling by suppressing it. The suppression takes the form of diversions, such as activities that keep you from being really present with your feeling.
In seeking to avoid being depressed, you are actually rejecting the feeling, and in doing so, rejecting a part of yourself. In this way, you get rid of the loneliness temporarily, but may find yourself locked into a cycle of depression and diversion.
I believe that “the only way out is through” and this implies that the only way to work with and release the depression is by moving into it. In other words, you would allow yourself the opportunity to feel it, give it space, and thereby integrate it. While you may feel that experiencing the feeling of the depression would be overwhelming, you would survive the feeling and actually lessen the intensity of it as you stayed with it.
Another favorite saying is “What you resist persists.” We could apply that principle here since when you do not allow the feeling of depression to be felt, the depression persists.
Imagining your best possible self can be a powerful and positive catalyst for change. You can do this through active visualization or meditation, not unlike one would daydream the best possible future life scenario.
This activity of positive visualization simply involves imagining yourself in the future in the best possible circumstances after everything has gone as well as it can. You see yourself happy and peaceful, having realized your desires and accomplished your potential. You simply focus on the best possible way that things might turn out in life.
Instead of focusing in your visualization on WHO else is with you or WHERE you are exactly, keep your focus on the most positive and peaceful feeling state you can imagine for yourself. In fact, often we do not know the details of what will bring us the greatest state of peace and happiness.
Researchers and psychologists have found that imagining or writing about your “best possible self” can create healthy emotions, increase your positive outlook, and fortify you to meet any challenges. In addition, it also changes the expectations you have of yourself, allowing you to release old limiting beliefs and break free of constraints.
The Four Agreements, a best-selling book by Don Miguel Ruiz, suggests that four simple principles exist that, when lived, can change your life.
Early on in life we develop concepts of what people and things are. We learn and are taught to judge ourselves and others. We are rewarded for following rules and often punished for going against rules. Our belief system becomes a book of law, and an inner critic uses our book to evaluate and limit us.
Ruiz suggests that your word is the power you have to create, and your intention manifests through your word. In order to manifest a fulfilling life, he offers us four agreements to follow:
1. Be impeccable with your word. Mean what you say and say what you mean.
2. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t assume that everything is about you. All people live in their own dream in their own mind. What they say is about them and not about you. You are not the center of everyone’s universe, only your own.
3. Don’t make assumptions. Sadness and drama are created when we make assumptions. We may think that if people love us they should know what we want or how we feel. Tell people what you need and ask them how they feel.
4. Always do your best. Keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so regardless of your circumstances, simply do your best at that moment.
Every day is a new beginning. For most of us, the alarm ringtone starts our awakening to a new day. Often we get up quickly and hasten to the shower or the kitchen, whatever our favorite ritual to begin our day.
Whatever our routine, we must remember most of all that each day holds a promise for a new beginning. Every day you have an opportunity to “erase the slate” and create the day that you want to have. Reminding yourself of this idea can be a powerful part of your daily ritual.
Here are a few tips:
Before going to bed in the evening, spend some time in prayer and reflection by remembering the blessings of your day–the challenges and the accomplishments–in essence, the learning.
The fact that you wake up and have another day is in itself a blessing.
On awakening each new day, before getting out of bed, remember to express gratitude for this new day and an opportunity to be of service and to extend love and joy to others.
Decide in the morning that, in addition to any specific intention you might have, this is your chance to start anew.
Forgive yourself and others for anything that has troubled you.
Be determined every day to make this a great day.
Your intention may involve a desire to improve yourself somehow, whether this means reading a book, exercising, calling an old friend, or doing a neighbor a favor.
Decide that you will be the best version of yourself today!