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Visualization & Narrating Movement To Reduce Anxiety? My thoughts.


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Hi Buddies,

 

I had an interesting talk with my friend who's a behavioural psychologist. He was telling me some stories about people with brain injuries doing much better when they slow down their actions, think/visualize through an action first, and then (if necessary) narrate the action while they do it.

 

Being a benzo survivor and bring in the camp who believes that we have a TEMPORARY brain injury, I started to do this. I'm finding it very helpful in reducing the amount of times I get overwhelmed by my physical symptoms and my anxiety. I've been writing about my recovery too, which is very helpful. So I wrote about visualization/intention. Here's part of it:

 

... "People with brain injuries need to think, visualize and sometimes even narrate their actions in order to properly perform said actions.

 

The next morning, this idea of intention and/or visualization was echoed in my morning meditation readings. Something clicked: I understood at that moment a concept I had read and re-read for almost seven years. It’s the idea of Wind Horse, and its practice is eerily similar to how my friend described people functioning with brain damage.

 

In fact, it is essentially the same principle my friend mentioned the night before: bringing intention to every thought and movement throughout the day. Like sitting in the saddle of a wild horse, we have to be fully conscious and fully dedicated in our actions in order to avoid being thrown off. So, riding a horse here is a metaphor for living everyday life. We’re on an untamed horse (our mind) whether we want to be or not. In order to be one with the aggressive animal, we must bring our full attention to each and every moment. It seems simple in daily life, right? I know I’ve scoffed at this notion many times since discovering it. “Who isn’t present and paying attention during their days?” I’d ask. “How could you be so foolish?”

 

Well, I’m here to tell you that I was not fully present during one-tenth of my day before my friend appeared to help me that evening. I’ve been meditating for close to seven years, so I just assumed I’d have to be present by now. The day of my struggles, I woke up and read my morning teachings and then sat for 20 minutes, but I also had my phone by me the entire time and I checked my email before reading. I was simply going through the motions of being present in the hopes that I could somehow fake it without putting in 100% of my energy, intention and focus. By 4 p.m. that day, I was spiraling: I was on my phone, texting three people, I had my laptop open with music and email going, and I was late for an appointment. I was about as present as housefly bouncing itself off a sunny windowpane.

 

What I’m coming to learn about mental health as well as physical injury is the importance of everyday intention. Folks like me probably don’t have the most energy in the world, dealing with troubled minds and hurting bodies. It’s exhausting, so the last thing we want to do is expend energy elsewhere for literally anything. When it’s time to relax, we want to zone out. When it’s time to focus, we want to zone out. Zoning out is a way of self-protection, yet it no longer serves a purpose for us, I’m afraid. To conserve energy, we must expend a little more in the beginning through setting our intentions, being mindful of our actions, and thinking through certain processes.

 

The night my friend told me about brain injuries, I decided to avoid all electronics the next day in an attempt to lessen stimulation and increase my awareness. I woke up with the phone off and my laptop off – not on vibrate or mute, but completely off. It was a fantastic feeling. I read my book, enjoyed my coffee and then sat down to meditate, setting my intention for the entire day. Unlike the previous day, I was now 100% focused on my actions. No phone, no Internet, no music, no excuses. I then did my small acts of dignity, like making my bed and doing the dishes, before sitting down to write music. By the time I looked up at a clock again, 3-4 hours had passed and I was (nearing) being late for work. I wasn’t zoned out, I was in the zone – fully present with my thoughts and actions. Let me tell you, after the previous day of suffering, I’ll not make the same mistake again and assume I’m present just because I went through the motions of sitting practice." ...

 

Full piece: http://jarettburke83.wixsite.com/ouatiw/single-post/2016/11/02/Wind-Horse-Intentions-Actions

 

Hang in there Buddies  :thumbsup:

 

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