1) When in a busy location (school, shopping centre, public transit) or even during a family dinner. Take a moment to look at the people around you. Focus your attention on one person and say to yourself. “What I see in you that I love about myself is my…” then go ahead and list what it is you see in the other person that reflects the innocence within you. Another form of this same strategy invites you to state “What I see in you that I struggle with in myself is my…” and list a trait you judge yourself for having. Once identified, ask
yourself if you’re willing to let that judgment go.
The purpose of both forms of this exercise it to recognize that what I am seeing in others is only, and always, a reflection of thoughts and beliefs I hold about myself. Once I realize that the judgment (positive or negative) is in the sphere of my own being, I have the power to enjoy the thought or to let it go.
Your internal dialogue may sound something like this:
“Wow, that sales clerk looks so calm while that maniac is screaming at her” and you may say to yourself then:|
“What I see in you that I love about myself is my ability to be patient and loving while there is chaos all around me”
Or you may look at the man who is screaming and state silently:
“What I see in you that I struggle with in myself is my desire to blame others for my problems. Wow, I really do like to believe other people have the power to cause me to be angry. Is that true? Am I willing to let that go? What would my life be like if I took sole responsibility for my thoughts and feelings? …powerful”
2) Spend time in gratitude. At any spare moment of the day be it in the washroom, in the shower, in the lunch lineup, in the car, during supper, waiting for the bus, lying in bed…list as many reasons to feel grateful as you can. Make it a game and play with a partner. The benefits are innumerous (being grateful for feeling grateful is a great place to start).
3) If you’re wanting to deepen your connection with yourself or to a certain individual, this exercise is a great place to start. Each person sits in a chair and faces one another. The chairs should be close enough together that your knees are gently touching. Look directly into the other person’s eyes and maintain eye contact. That’s it! See what comes up. As a starting goal, see if you can maintain eye contact for 5 minutes. As soon as this is comfortable up the ante and see how long you can go. For a silent activity, this sure sparks a lot of meaningful dialogue.
By Amy Rice
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