Personal Growth in a High Speed World
I'm guessing since you're reading this, you have some interest in your personal growth, your spiritual growth, or even just having a better life. The catch is, how do you squeeze time to do any growing into a life that is already jam packed with other activities?
Fortunately, strong personal growth can occur without the need to go sit on a mountain top for years. Here are some useful techniques for increasing the light in your day, without needing to slow down at all:Falling Still
As explained in this awesome video by Dhrumil, falling still is something you can do many times a day, for a few minutes or even a few seconds at a time. Just sit (if possible), feet flat on the floor, let all thoughts go, and breathe. This gets you back into your center and connected with your true self.
EFT - Emotional Freedom Techniques This method (tapping on meridian points around the body) is a bit hard to do normally, without being stared at that is. There are a couple of ways you can help unblock negative energy (aka unpleasant emotions) from your system without anyone around you noticing.
You can simply imagine tapping on each of the meridian points in turn. This isn't quite as effective as physically tapping, but it's very close, and has the benefit of being completely secret (unless you're with someone who can read minds).
Another way is to use finger tapping, where you tap the thumb of each hand against the edges of the tips (between the top & first knuckle) of each finger in turn. This is something you can do with one hand (ex. if you're holding your phone in your other hand), or both hands at once (in your pockets, walking down the street). Again, it's not quite as effective as regular tapping, but in terms of taking the edge off a strongly emotive situation, it's super helpful, and you can always amp it up by doing both hands at once.Releasing
I've explained releasing (aka "just let the thought/feeling go") in some depth here, but the general gist of it is to pay attention to your thoughts, emotions & physical feelings. All these parts of yourself work together. A lot of times negative thoughts or emotions manifest as a clutching or tightness in our stomach or chest. It's just our body talking to us in the language of feelings (which is how it communicates).
Philip has discussed how we can often benefit in unexpected ways simply by letting go of pent up emotions.
So, any time you feel a negative thought, feeling, or physical feeling, you can choose to simply "let go" of it - as simple as dropping a pencil on the floor. It's hanging onto the negative (pushing thoughts/feelings down, avoiding them, etc) that recreates these situations in our lives. When we learn to let go, they simply stop recurring. You may find yourself re-exposed to the same situation (angry boss, busy traffic), but your reaction (the thing you let go of) simply won't be there.
Of course, the beauty of this is that you can do this absolutely anywhere. While you're walking down the street, in the middle of a conversation, you name it. Hell, I've even done major releasing in mid air while being thrown around during Aikido.
This does require a certain presence of mind, which when things get really crazy can be hard to find. Saying a mantra like "not so bad" can help enormously with that initial detachment. If part of you starts screaming "but it is so bad!" that's an excellent sign. Keep repeating it and letting go of all feelings until that shouting goes away, and you'll feel a ton better.
For less immediately stressful situations though, the key to releasing is this - the higher 'state' you're in (ie, the better you feel) the easier it is to call up those negative feelings & release them. So, just choose to be happy first (you are the boss of you, remember), feel as great as you possibly can, then only when you are feeling wonderful, dive in, call up limitations negative feelings etc and let them go.Mantras / Affirmations
Affirmations have been around forever, as a way to refocus our mind onto the positive. The general gist is to repeat empowering phrases to yourself. Ideally, they should be positive and in the present tense. The reasons for this are that:
- Our brain doesn't understand negatives (say "don't drive into the trees" and you'll swerve towards them)
- Putting things in the now connects us more strongly with them.
The classic affirmation is by Émile Coué, "Every day in every way I am getting better and better". When things get overwhelming or stress levels too high, I've also had great success just repeating "not so bad" over and over. This greatly helps me detach from whatever-it-is that's bothering me.
Personally I don't find affirmations by themselves as effective as doing them while using the other techniques above (tapping/releasing).
The important thing with all of these approaches is just to find what works best for you. We're all at different stages of our journeys, and all on different paths. All that really matters is finding something that helps improve your life.
As an added bonus? Every time your life improves, so does that of every person you interact with.
Si Dawson was first introduced to EFT through Bob Doyle’s excellent Wealth Beyond Reason course. Since then, he has used it on every single aspect of my life I could possibly think of. His reasoning was as follows: a) it’s free and fast, so why not? b) by first removing each negative thing, then replacing it with the positive opposite – his life just got exponentially better, in sometimes tiny but always noticeable ways, every day!
Of course, you can’t remove negative external events – after all, who controls the traffic or the weather? However, you can definitely remove every negative internal emotion or reaction to those events. The other thing he's noticed – the more he let go of internal tension, the less these inconveniences were attracted in his life in the first place.If you want to get in touch with Si about EFT, please visit him at sidawson.org, or catch up with him on Twitter.