Exciting New Starts!
So, take a breath, drop your shoulders and let’s begin this course, slowly, gently and with ease. Imagine an autumn leaf, gently floating for a moment.
The Main Thing
With our plan for the winter we will not be attempting to do everything. As much as we might want to lose weight, exercise, read more, drink plenty of water, write our novel, decorate the bedroom and so on, we won’t benefit ourselves by running in several different directions at once. We are going to be finding out what The Main Thing is before we set off.
Stephen Covey writes, ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’. When you are short on time or energy, when things are going wrong, I want you to return to this thought. The main thing can be anything, maybe for me it is to enjoy being alive and to keep my stress low. If I realise I haven’t drunk as much water as I wanted to for example, I don’t need to get sidetracked by this or disheartened because the main thing for me is to not get stressed and miserable this winter.
So we are going to use our joined up thinking to refine our understanding of our personal ‘main thing’. This week we will use writing exercises, meditation, drawing and discussion to deepen our sense of our main thing and by the end of the week you will have your own mantra or saying that you will use throughout the course. In yoga this is called a Sankalpa.
“The greatest loss, that of oneself, may pass unnoticed.”
Starting from today we are working on a new habit. On average it takes 66 days to install a new habit and we have 70 days! On the topic of The Main Thing, we are installing the main habit, and this is to spend time each day with your inner guide, captain, wise person. If this is a daily habit, to spend time with your heart centred reflection and wise thinking planning, all other habits that you wish to install will follow.
This week we will be looking at how you make this habit, where and when and next week we will begin to look at your own trouble shooting guide too. The encouragement of the group will help us all to keep the main thing the main thing. Just like Slimming World, the concept of checking in with others will help this new habit become a way of life.
This habit is about connection with yourself.
Suggested activities: remember all activities are optional and can be done in any order at any time or not at all. As with all things, the more you engage the more you will get out of it, but a forced study or participation is counter productive.
Reading and writing: Familiarise yourself with this week’s theme by using the resources below if you wish. Watch the video and write in your journal about why you came to this course, what brings you here, what you hope for and wish to gain from the next 70 days. Consider your motivation for the course.
If you haven’t already read the preparation week contents you can do so now, and the preparation videos are still available to watch. Click here.
Meditation: Opening meditation is below. It is about 20 minutes long, make space in your life to day dream, to relax and to find your inner wise woman or man and maybe someone else, as you take a guided journey… You might want to write in your journal afterwards.
Monday – Friday
Join us on Facebook: The three daily threads are symbolised by a heart, a thinking bubble and a hand.
Reflective inner voice work will be on the heart thread, planning, strategies and awareness work will be on the thinking thread and habit installation will be on the hand thread.
A potted version is found below for quick reference:
1) Share about Sunday’s meditation
2) What did you feel when you read Monday’s reflection taken from ‘The Way of the Happy Woman: living the best year of your life’ by Sara Avant Stover?
1) Introduce yourself to the group. Mention your motivation and hopes.
2) What would you harvest from earlier in the year and put away in your Gratitude Warehouse, to warm or encourage you this winter?
1) Spend time with yourself quietly reflecting and or journalling.
2) Check in here to say how you got on with this one new habit ?
Write down, “What do you want?” / “What do you want, sweetie?”.
Ask yourself this question repeatedly for several minutes, don’t censor or judge what comes up, write ALL your replies down.
Go through your ‘I want’ list again and now expand it. ‘I want because….’
Try to get to the need underneath.
Now put a star beside any you could EASILY fulfil.
1) Take some time to reflect quietly with yourself and to write in your journal. Tell us here how you got on today.
2) After pondering your ❣️ and 💭 exercises (do those first). Give yourself one thing you want today.
3) Check yesterday’s work on your Aims and Objectives for this course, your reasons and motivations. This contains the information that I need in presenting the course and will help you to give yourself what you want.
We are looking at and discussing a different list today. A list of ‘shoulds’. In Gestalt therapy we call these ‘introjects’ which means things we have taken in whole.
Make a list of your introjects or the hidden rules of life. To get the ball rolling I will put out there, “Don’t make a fuss” and “Don’t be selfish”.
After looking at your introjects in our sharing and discussion thread, take three core introjects that are adversely affecting your life and write yourself a permission slip.
‘It’s ok to …’ listen within, and write yourself a permission slip.
1) Check in when you’ve spent some time reflecting quietly or journalling. How many times have you managed this so far this week, is this habit improving?
2) Find a conker – I will explain why soon.
Imagine you are holding in your hands a biography about YOU written about ten years after your death.
If the story of your life ended well, if it was a satisfying read, if the truth of your life so far turned into an inspiring tale, how would it go?
Continue to work on you ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ or introjects looking at how they have both served and restricted you. Thinking about which to let go of like autumn leaves and which to hold on to.
If you’ve completed that work you can make a list of your top ten happy times.
This week we are working on The Main Habit which is quiet personal reflection and journaling.
Did you spend time with you today?
Write a slogan, mantra or Sankalpa.
Take a look at your ‘things to do list’, your daily routine and calendar and notice where you are truly spending most of your energy and time.
What dissonances do you notice?
Take action to ‘brain wash’ yourself!
Put your slogan on your screen saver, in notes on your phone, a memo on the fridge, on a piece of paper under your pillow, as the name of your waking alarm on your phone, in your journal, draw a design, make a poster, make your own meme, spray paint graffiti round your home town… 😜
This week’s resources:
For more on this week’s topic please enjoy the following:
Sankalpa (Sanskrit: संकल्प) means an intention formed by the heart and mind — a solemn vow, determination, or will. In practical terms a Sankalpa means a resolve to focus both psychologically and philosophically on a specific goal.
Reminder: Guidelines for group participation
Guidelines for group participation.
Be kind and do not criticise.
Joining as much or as little as it’s right for you.
Never discuss or disclose anything within the group to anyone outside the group.
No politics, no sales, no religion.
FORWARD TO WEEK 2 HERE
BACK TO PREPARATION WEEK HERE
RETURN TO CONTENTS PAGE COACH YOURSELF CALM HERE