Make a Plan I Day SEven
Nourish Your Mind
Create a Future
You did it! You made it to the final day of your class! We are beaming with joy and celebrating the mountains you have moved this week.
Just like at our retreats, the last day of our work together is always about re-entry. Today we are going to prepare you to step back into your life while sustaining your new meditation practice.
In order to do that we want to talk about the immense impact of visualization and emotional rehearsal on the brain. Visualization is the next Core Meditation Technique to be introduced in the next class in this series, and it's a biggie for stepping back into your life and successfully maintaining the progress you've made.
Sports psychologists and top musicians know that physical practice isn't all that makes you a top contender. Visually rehearsing a sport or event in the mind has been shown in studies to not only increase muscle strength but to also fire the same areas of the brain as if the person was actually performing the activity. What this means is that essentially our brains can't tell the difference between what's happening in our heads and what is actually happening outside of us.
This can work for us or against. It means that every time we obsess over the same argument we had with our friend or play out the same fearful scenario about some imagined future, our brain is firing and wiring it as if it were true. Likewise, each time we purposefully close our eyes, focus on our heart and imagine something positive we'd like to connect with, the brain is registering and responding to that as well.
The implications of this are incredible. It means that if we can believe it, we can achieve it. The more times we close our eyes and play out a future, the more we sculpt the brain to look as if that future has already happened. And the more our thoughts, emotions and chemical messengers (hormones) align to that future as well.
So let's get to work building a future where meditation is a part of your daily life!
BUILD YOUR PRACTICE
VISUALIZE YOUR SUCCESS
By now you have a good idea of what's been working for you this week. You've tried on several different types of meditation, and you've paid attention to how you feel after each. You've even begun visualizing what a sustainable mediation practice would like for you - what time of day you would practice, how long you would sit, what meditation style you would incorporate.
In our last guided meditation together, we're going to walk you through a visualization of your life after this class. We're going to ask you to draw on many of the techniques you've already learned and to surrender fully. We want you to draw on your heart and truly feel the joy and peace you'll have as you continue to hone your practice. We want you to use your breath to calm your mind, and we'll even walk you through a few loving mantras to reinforce the incredible work you've done.
Today is about celebration. All you need is a clear vision of the future you want to create, and we'll unfold the rest for you. Allow yourself to be guided and held.
Focus Your Attention
STAY THE COURSE
Our hope and intention is that your meditation practice be a warm blanket that you return to again and again and that no matter what setbacks occur along the way, you return faithfully and lovingly to the stillness within yourself.
Over the many years that we have both been practicing meditation, we have each withstood our own share of obstacles and deterrents to maintaining a steady practice. New babies, major surgeries, job changes, cross-country moves and family tragedies can all take their toll on our very best intentions. And even the the smaller day-to-day challenges can often unseat us.
It's okay. It's all okay.
The changes you have made even in these short seven days are yours to keep. You have walked through a one-way door of transformation, and your life and your brain will never look the same as it did before.
Of course we want you to keep meditating! And our vision is that you've developed a lifelong relationship to the power and magic lying right there inside of you. But mostly we want to encourage you to stay the course. No matter what happens. No matter how many times you quit and start again. Keep at it. Meet yourself in the stillness. Everything you seek is right there in those spaces in between.
We love you. And we're rooting for you. Big time.
Expand Your Awareness
REPETITION + LOVE
This is not a test!
But we do want you to give it all you've got.
Today is your last day of journaling, and we want you to go BIG!
Without looking back at any of the days of this class, can you write down everything you remember about how the brain and body work as it relates to mediation? What new understanding are you taking with you? Use your own words and let yourself free-write. Keep that pen on the page and write, write, write.
When you're done, write a letter to yourself telling yourself how proud you are of the work you've done. Pour your praise onto the page and celebrate all the moments that make you smile. Even if you had rocky days or didn't finish all the work, can you find something to gush about? Love yourself up!
YOU'VE GOT THIS
We want you to know that we see you. We honor the worthy work you have done in this class. And we are rooting you on as you connect with a life you truly love.
There is no end point when it comes to spiritual growth and introspection. There is only the continual return to the precious and generous present moment. We see you shining in all your God-breathed beauty right now in this moment, and our deepest desire is that you would see it for yourself.
You've got this. Claim the life you've always wanted. You so deeply deserve it.