This week I thought I would talk about dealing with blocks when it comes to trying to do a visualisation technique as this is something I have really struggled with in the past. The first time I was introduced to the idea of visualisation I felt a huge amount of resistance to it. I’m not really sure why I felt like this, maybe it was because it didn’t feel like visualisation was a hugely relevant object of focus for meditation, or maybe it was because the idea made me feel a bit stupid. If am honest I think it might have been a combination of both those factors.
Whatever the reason was, it knocked my first attempt at regular meditation practice completely off course to the point where I gave up for a while. Having had this experience I knew that when I came back the technique of visualisation I would have to find a way to get past that resistance that I had been feeling if I wanted to carry on with my practice.
When doing the visualisation technique I was being instructed to imagine a bright light either spreading from the centre of my body or gradually spreading upwards from my toes. In order to make this more accessible than it had been in the past, I turned to one of my favourite points of reference: Doctor Who. In particular, the regeneration scene because the regeneration energy is shown as a light spreading through the Doctor’s body as he changes. I may not be looking for the explosive effects shown in this clip but it has helped me get over the difficulties that I was having with visualisation.
I fully understand that Doctor Who might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the idea is simple if you are having difficulty with something, try and find something that you love to relate to and this should make it a lot easier for you to persevere with it.
Mindfulness isn’t just about meditation, it’s also about remembering to look after yourself when you need it most. For me, this mostly takes the form of making a small change. Once I have noticed that I’m in a bit of a bad mood, trying to find something I can do that will change that, whether it’s reading a chapter of a good book or talking to a friend, I try and do something that will lift my mood. it won’t always work but sometimes that small shift can be enough to make my day go that little bit better
I had a lovely surprise in the post this week, I received a Buddy Box. The Buddy Box is put together by The Blurt Foundation who are dedicated to helping people affected by depression. This month’s box was all about taking the time to just ‘bee’. It’s full of little things that made me smile. Particularly the Koala magnet with the slogan: I give Koality hugs
This box also contained YOU, a book which is full of small ideas to bring little but effective changes to the day. One of my favourites is: listen to a powerful song, in my experience listening to music is always a good idea, especially if you want to lift your mood. I will probably revisit later and let you know whether it has been helpful. I hope that it will be. I know that I am not the best at making changes, so breaking things down into smaller more approachable ideas seems like a good place to start.
One of the things I have been learning as part of my mindfulness practice is that doing something good for another person can take your mind off things if you are having a bad day. I’m not saying it will work for a long period of time, but I’m saying that sometimes it is good to try and make connections with other people. This box encourages that in a random sort of way, as every box I’ve seen includes a postcard for you to leave with some positive thoughts for another person. I love the idea of leaving things for other people to find, whether it’s postcards with something positive on or sharing books that you have loved. (Bookcrossing.com is a good way of doing this.)
Doing little things for yourself and those around you could start to make a big difference and for me trying to put that into practice as much as possible is what mindfulness is about.