Has this ever happened to you? You know that you should (or want) to get out, but the sofa, or that binge-TV -watching feels so great. So before you know it, the day has passed and when you do get out, it feels so energizing that you wished you had gone out sooner! Well, this has happened to me here, in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I should be ashamed! And I am, but we are all on our human journey and I have committed to share mine, so I will put it out there!
There have been days when I find the bed and the air conditioning so enthralling that I find myself repeating, “I will get up in one hour” over and over again until all the hours are gone! There are only 12 hours of day light here on the equator, so one should make the best of them. With that in mind, I kicked myself out of the house yesterday at about 3pm – 3.5hours to darkness. The breeze was glorious, the beach was quiet and relaxing, and Marc and I had a wonderful time doing little to nothing, but doing it as we walked and took in the great energy. All the while, I internally chastised myself for letting this happen . . . and not for the first time. I have committed to five things daily: stretching, meditating, exercising, writing, and music. But on this day, I had gotten slack.
So I reckoned back to the days of practicing therapy and pulled out the Book Mark technique. This is when a person fully drinks in and memorizes a positive moment – mind, body, and sense – in order to call on this moment for motivation at a later date. It might be remembering what it feels like AFTER a workout, so that you can call on that great endorphin rush memory when you feel stuck and apathetic about working out. It might be the feeling of finishing a report and being proud of it, so that you can call on it when you have to start that next report but would rather procrastinate.
For me, it was taking a moment to fully absorb the nature that I moved here for. I felt the breeze on my skin, smelled the salty air and the wafting aromas of grilled food. I turned a full circle to feel the heat of the sunshine on one side of my body and the cool of the shade on the other. I listened for music in the distance – there is always music in Bali from ceremonies or bars! Finally, I put my full awareness on the peace and energy that I felt being OUTSIDE and in the nature that feels so good to me. I sensed my smile – in my brain and heart, and on my face. And I committed this all to memory – like a wrapped gift in my mind, there for me when I was feeling lethargic or lazy.
Even though my example may be a basic one, this tactic can be used to toss aside those unproductive internal patterns that really are disposable. How often have you needed to make a phone call that you dreaded (I bet there were previous dreaded phone calls that felt great once they were done). How about knowing that eventually you would have to see someone – either on your own terms, or by running into them and being caught off guard? Bet you could harken back to a time this has happened before and you got through it alive. And of course everybody’s favorite – getting that workout in even when you really don’t’ want to. . . but think about how great it feels at the end of a workout!
This technique can really be the swiss-army knife of emotional tools – functional for all aspects of self-defeating behavior. So, when you have a proud or wonderful moment, DRINK IT IN! Book mark it fully and call on that memory when your motivation is low!
WANT TO TAKE A DRINK?
The least intimidating and yet highly effective way to use this practice is for sleepless nights when you need to focus in on your happy place. Take time in the near future to be fully present in a place that brings you great joy. This might be a hike in the mountains, sitting by the lake, or even a yoga studio or church. Feel that place in every fiber of your being. Your peace, your energy, your vision, your hearing, your muscles, your heart – everything. Then on that night and for the next 5 following nights practice returning to this moment in your mind and replicating the peace and joy you felt while there. You will get better and better at this and soon you will find that the Markarita has great health properties!
Courage to you all!