Take a moment to notice the sensations you normally ignore. Are there thoughts in your mind, floating below conscious level? Are there feelings in your fingers and toes that you can barely notice?
Many people have these elusive sensations. If you don’t feel them or aren’t sure, take a deep breath. They will come to you soon.
Why am I talking about these shadowy feelings?
Because you can use them to open your mind.
Thoughts normally flow smoothly and pleasantly, but often they feel stuck. This simple trick helps create nice, open flows of thought. It can help you relax or inspire new ideas. Do you have writers block? This will help.
If you want to relax, let your mind drift to the last time you felt happy, elated or full of gratitude. Be honest about the feeling – you’ll know it when you find it. Hold the memory firmly with a loose, comfortable grip.
If you want to inspire creativity, imagine your project. Hold the image vividly in your mind.
In case you haven’t already, take a deep breath. Settle in to your chair and let yourself loosen. You know that you can read these words without getting distracted.
Take what you are holding in your mind and make it intense. Sharpen the colours and turn up the volume. As you focus on it, you may notice it expand to fill you mind. Let it. Let it grow and seep into the recesses of your mind. Don’t resist it.
It is normal to get distracted. If you do, place your focus gently on the image. You’ll probably notice that it was waiting for you while you were gone.
If you feel your breath quicken, let it. Trust that your breaths are still deep and relaxed as you return to the image in your mind.
Soon, you may feel it spreading through your body. This means that the exercise is working. It’s fine if you don’t feel it in your body – it’s because your mind is engaged with the task. Keep it up. Let the experience unfold naturally.
Now, take all the time you need to let it continue to grow and sharpen. The images and feelings may become intense and clear. The thoughts will fill you entirely.
When it nearly fills you, hold the sensation. Be gentle and kind. It is young, but powerful. Do you feel it in your core, in your extremities?
Allow the sensations to grow beyond your body. Feel it float through the air, soaking into the room around you. Feel the walls through this sensation as they, too, relax and allow the ideas to move through them.
Let it flow beyond the walls into the street, beyond the street into the world. Beyond the world. Feel everything it touches. The whole world is thinking your thoughts right now. All the energy and creativity is pouring into you.
Hold the sensation. You may appreciate how wonderful this feels. Savour it. Bathe in its light. Keep holding the sensation. Hold it for as long as it feels amazing. Only read on when you want to.
Let your mind drift for a moment. It doesn’t have to focus on anything. Simply let it be. Notice it without judgement.
Now… release. Place your attention back on your breathing. Notice its depth and rhythm. There are no wrong depths and no wrong rhythms. You know that your body is taking care of itself. Slowly and naturally, encourage your breathing to slow and deepen.
Some people notice a feeling of lightness throughout their body. Other people feel heavy through a strong physical connection to their surroundings. Some other people notice their body is neither, but somehow feels more real. Notice these feelings without judgement.
Now, does one of your hands feel different from the other? Notice your left hand. Does it feel warm and tingly? Maybe you notice it feels cold and heavy. How does your right hand feel? The same? Possibly, or maybe you notice it’s the opposite. Warm and light, cold and heavy.
Let’s return to your breathing. Is it still as you want? That’s good. Savour this next breath in, and then the exhale. When you focus on it, sometimes it feels like the only thing in the world.
Okay, now that’s good. As you return to your normal state, take a moment to appreciate how you feel. Notice your thoughts – are they any different? It is common to feel like your thoughts are faster and more relaxed. Feel free to wriggle your body, observing how it responds.
With your mind clear and relaxed, think back to your original image or memory. Many people notice that it feels different, like you are seeing it for the first time. If not, that’s fine, it will just take a little longer. The next time you think of it will be with fresh eyes.
Like all things, this exercise becomes better with practice. The next time you try it, you’ll go deeper into the sensation. It will become more intense faster, and will stay with you for longer. The great waves of serenity pull stronger and last longer throughout the day. And you will think your old thoughts with ever fresher perspectives.
If you feel different now than you did five minutes ago, you should see these posts. They’ll make you feel even better: