“Create-tography?-to boost the creativity already present in your Soul Design.”
OK, I made up a word but: Even One Made-up Minute Makes a Difference!
WEEK EIGHT! – This final Week of Creative Core Training Camp concludes with a little magic I call Spiritual Technology. Spiritual Technology is any set of practices that produce a feeling of clarity, connection and soul-centeredness within you. For millennia humans have nurtured spiritual practices for one reason, they produce a powerful and desired result in our brains and in our lives. A happy brain is a healthier more creative brain.
Your brain is kept healthier and happier when you add some type of daily practice to your life .”But who has time?” I hear you say. Meditation is one example of Spiritual Technology. You may long to meditate but find it next to impossible to fit meditation into a busy life. Psychology today writer Susan Blackmore, Ph.D gets it– “… I found myself falling into Zen meditation practice and working very hard at mindfulness. But it’s SO hard to keep going.” If you’ve ever meditated you may well have found the same problem. She and I agree that mindfulness, like meditation skills can easily be lost, and your motivation can become buried by the burdens of everyday life.
“I knew I wanted to ask some really difficult questions – like “Who am I?” “What is consciousness?” but to do that I needed a clear mind – and that meant I had to keep meditating – ideally every day without fail.”
I hear her. We’re only human! I know from personal experience that anyone who meditates regularly can have trouble establishing a regular daily practice. Susan goes offers the benefit of her experience, “For me it was the encounter with mindfulness that made it possible, but some hints and tips from others also helped a lot. So I pass them on in case they are of any use: Most important is not expecting too much of yourself.”
No doubt about it, meditation can be a rigorous practice and an awkward combination with a busy life. For example, Transcendental Meditators recommend two periods of meditation twenty minutes a day. Tibetan Buddhists practice twice a day and they carry out visualizations intended to invoke mindfulness, compassion or insight at the start of their hour-long sessions. Zen sessions are usually half an hour, but serious practitioners do several sessions a day with short breaks in between! I’m sure they run by the market, pick up the kids from soccer and throw in a load of laundry between all of that! Perhaps meditation is just not a part of your *Soul Design at this stage of your life, or perhaps you just look forward to a sacred and nourishing retreat every year.
Susan points out that the passion-fires can burn high for meditation when there are no other demands on your time. “This is easy on retreat, or at inspiring conferences, and if you go to one you may be tempted to think you can keep it up, but it is a big chunk of time out of a busy day, and if you fail you end up feeling bad about yourself and giving up altogether. Personally I’m not prepared to give that much time outside of retreats, nor do I want to agonize each day about whether I’m going to sit or not. So I meditate for about 15 minutes a day, first thing in the morning, often with my partner, and this suits me well. It seems, gradually, to establish deep changes that I welcome, and it is – after all – a lot better than nothing. Most obviously, calming the mind becomes gradually easier. You may be able to do a lot more than I do and that would probably make for much deeper practice, but I am sure that a little is better than none, and every day is better than intermittently.”
What she is saying is that she has found the flow of a practice that fits well with he daily life as well as her Soul Design and it is beginning to settle deeply into her brain, where habits form!
Susan Blackmore’s Power Pointer Brain Trick- “Commit yourself to sitting on your cushion every day. That’s all; if you want to stop after 3 seconds that’s fine!” Her point is the brain says, “all I have to do is sit” to receive the positive feedback. (endorphin hit!)
Susan has found this advice extremely useful, and her brain found it acceptable enough that this is the basis of her daily practice now. In the event that she does not feel like sitting, she still motivates herself to sit on the cushion, “expecting to last only a few minutes, and then somehow, once I’m there, it seems quite pleasant. Five minutes goes by – or even fifteen. Either way I have stuck to my commitment, and have a regular practice that gradually deepens.”
WANT IT EVEN EASIER?– Try one of these Magic Practices for improved brain function and a sense of wellbeing.
Magic Practice One: You are waking up. Feel the sleeping surface beneath you. Feel gratitude and appreciation just for BEING. Imagine the words, “Thank You” going out into your neighborhood. Your “Thank You,” travels across the land and sea, indeed around the world until coming back to you. (5 minutes daily)
Magic Practice Two: You are anywhere. Touch the tip of the thumb together with the tip of the index finger. This stimulates knowledge, wisdom, receptivity and calmness. Imagine the word “Calm” floating in space above your head. Relax until you feel a shift within. (1-2 minutes, whenever you want or need Calm)
Magic Practice Three: Stop what you are doing or thinking only for a moment. Mentally drop your next thought as you would drop a pencil to the floor. (Only takes a few seconds. Do this as often as you want through the day)
Advanced Wisdom from Ashley Lee of the Brain Integration Institute:
- Breathe in from the bottom of your feet and up through your body the time and the time zone where you are at in 1 breath.
- Next, breathe in from the bottom of your feet and up through your body the place (the city, state, and country if appropriate) you are in, in 1 breath.
- Finally, breathe in from the bottom of your feet and up through your body the day, the date and the yearin 1 breath.
- Now NOTICE what you are feeling.
Easy, magical methods to nurture and awaken your creative brain. I’d love to hear how you get on. Perhaps you’d care to share a different practice that achieved your desired result. Enjoy your Soul Design daily! –Dr. Judy