SELF ENQUIRY: STOP TECHNIQUE (2017)
There is always something positive. If you’ve forgotten that, lost sight of appreciation, and you notice a strong uncomfortable emotion or sensation, stop briefly, take a breath and go through these steps of AWARENESS, ANALYSIS, ACCEPTANCE and ACTION. Use this in journalling or in the moment; Take 2-5 minutes to re-balance - give thoughts space, examine the truth. Then from understanding and calm we can plan ahead with presence, with less resistance to what is, With space we have the ability to respond, not react.
S = Sensations (Soothe)
Notice, acknowledge and allow the sensations and emotions in the body. Take a soothing breath, and as yourself: How & where are my beliefs making me feel?
If it feels difficult to be with give yourself a deeper breath and exhale with a long sigh, placing a hand on where you feel tension. This is a simple meditation. To notice what we feel in the present moment and meet our thoughts and feelings with Awareness.
T= Thoughts (True?)
What thoughts are creating these sensations and emotions? Can you be sure that the thought is True? If so, why? Which are facts and which ones are opinions?
Try and get a pithy sentence and if there is a judgment in there write it down. Any shoulds or needs in your thoughts? Allow yourself to vent here. Then notice how you emotionally react when you believe the thoughts. This is about challenging our thoughts with Analysis.
O= Options (O.K)
Why are the facts O.K? Change opinions to options by choosing opposites:
(He should → ‘I’ ‘could’...)
(I need → I ‘would like’...) How might these opposites also be true?
Play with this, see how the truth is open to interpretation and how we often judge others by how we judge ourselves, and we create in our connections the things that we resist and push away. If we take time to inquire, to face that which we fear or condemn then we often enable empathy to let it dissolve and create new understanding. This is about Accepting the situation so that we can see what is really present, beyond our emotional reaction.
P= Positives (Perspectives and Plans)
There is something positive in every situation. Whenever something is stimulated in us there is something new to learn about ourselves and a potential connection that we can create by planning a positive, kind action. How could you be kind to yourself in your plan? This is about Action without attachment to outcome.