Wrap-up to Session 4.
Assessing your eNinja progress:
In session 1 you:
- Found your Ground” and
- began to experience “The Power of Presence”. To be Here and Now.
- You named your Force. The Force can be one thing or it can clarify the various obstacles that get in your way, daily, monthly and so on.
In session 2 you:
- Declared What You Value, what matters most to you. Throughout this boot camp, you will constantly consider what matters most, what am I about and how to do follow what my heart tells me I value. I am living my Value as I continue to invest in actions that support what I Value. Struggling is one part of valuing.
In session 3 you:
- Took stock in your current base. The essential foundation that supports the acquisition of skills, abilities as well as the required strength to consistently manage thoughts and emotions and as we plan our forward momentum.
Each day eNinja’s purposely consider their base. Just as you check the temperature outside before you dress for the day, eNinja’s check their base. What will this day hold for me and how best can I care for myself? How can I be prepared for the meeting, that client, or current conflict? When will I take a break to regroup and re-focus on my goals for this day? What food do I need to fuel my day? What thoughts can I hold close when the inevitable unhelpful and negative habits show up?
In session 4 you:
- Began considering your habits to determine “Wise Habits” Wise habits are actions, behaviors and movement that is workable and helpful. eNinja’s work to be Physically, Emotionally and Thoughtfully Agile. We prepare to move away from the “Force” i.e. what is un-workable and towards what is workable. What does not work is the persistent habit of struggling with the Force.
You asked yourself, “what am I Not a failure at”? It is too easy to find the bad, what doesn’t work. eNinja’s look for what works, workability!
Each day, out loud, say “My mind is quite busy. I am willing to focus on the thoughts that are useful, workable. Useful thoughts keep me on my path, living a life I love”.
eNinja Session 5 – Mindful Ninja Moves
Mindful Ninja Moves. The diet you feed your body sustains your ENinja movements. A Flexible Thinking diet support the critical eNinja skill of Emotional Agility.
eNinja tools: A blank sheet of paper and a marker to write large words. Notebook, audio and video.
Okay, I was late in posting session 5. Rather than shame myself, I gleefully admit that I am sitting on my balcony, looking at water and boats, thinking positive, workable thoughts. One of which is, this will be late. It is awkward, but not for too long. Thoughts and feelings are awkward until they are not.
Emotional Agility. Psychological Flexibility. Cognitive Flexibility. All the new mindful buzz words. I expect a TV series will pop up eventually, testing people’s “flexibility”.
There is really no way to teach flexibility if your foundation is weak or non-existent.
If you recall from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is pretty hard to get to our “Self-fulfillment needs, if we don’t have a job, a safe, clean place to live and healthy food to nourish us. My Buddhist friends would add, and a mind at peace to sustain new knowledge and mental flexibility.
If I came up to you on the street and asked you to hold my apple, you might do that for me. If you had a backpack on your back, and a suitcase in each hand, you probably would say no. We need the capacity for new knowledge and the development of skills. When we are busy or distracted it will be difficult to take on more, assimilate new skills, unless there is actual (physical/emotional/mental) room, space or capacity.
Lacking capacity is one thing, not being willing to open to new thoughts, new thinking is another. Another simple metaphor for our purposes: In your mind’s mental kitchen, you have a stove top with four burners. Doing the math, you cannot possibly cook a meal that requires 5 pots. The stove top only has the capacity to heat four pots at a time. If you were willing, perhaps one pot can move off the heat, to cool and you can then add a fifth pot. This takes some doing. It takes timing and planning to make room to cook using a fifth pot.
If you are willing to be flexible, to consider how else could this be? You will find the capacity to move your thoughts around, be flexible and willing to consider other thoughts/ideas.
eN exercise 9: Eating a peach – Eyes Closed
Listen to my voice here:
Close your eyes and follow along:
Get yourself grounded. Feet planted firmly on the ground. Take five, deep slow breaths. Breathe and out. Let the air move through your nose, down deep into your lungs and then let the breath finds its way out. Settle your mind so you can be here and now, listen to my words.
Eyes Closed – Put out your arm with the palm facing up. Stretch it out so I can put something into your palm. I have just put a ripe peach into your open palm. Feel the weight of a good-sized peach. Slowly move the peach to your face. Can you feel the fuzz on the skin on your nose? Do you smell the sweetness of the ripe peach? Taking another moment to fill your senses with this amazing fruit. Now, go ahead and take a bite. What do you taste? Did the peach juice shoot out? Did the juice slide down your chin or trickle down your arm? Did you remember back to the first time you ever ate a peach? Where were you? How old were you? Once you are ready, you can open your eyes.
What just happened?
How is it possible that your mind could take you there, back then and light up your brain with all of those seemingly sensory sensations? Isn’t the mind amazing?
Just as you are capable, have the capacity to taste a virtual peach, you also have the capacity to imagine good and positive.
Most of my clients have a difficult time taking a pot off the stove or shifting from negative to positive thinking. They firmly believe that, thinking (aka worrying) will keep the negative from happening. The truth is while you focus on all four pots, or wait for the bad event to happened (perhaps again) what are you not doing? What life or love are you not having?
Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz or the teens in Pleasantville, you can stay in the land of inflexible, Black and White, Or you can shuffle your thoughts to expand your capacity to think, what else is possible?
Say this out loud: “The Negative is Not More True”
eN exercise 10 – Our reality Is Mostly about What We Think is True.
The Mind is Amazing and Powerful!
As we have already considered,
Our minds can take us back to childhood, or propel you towards future.
It has been said that we humans average 50K thoughts a day. That is a lot of thoughts.
These days, anyone who receives mail from the USP must sort the real mail from the junk. So too with our minds thoughts – and most of it is junk mail asking us to do and be.
We have the power to imagine something that has never happened and replay, and relive, something that happened a very long time ago. Our minds project commercial messages or Breaking News banner, filled with inflexible thinking such as: What I think is true. There is only one truth. Start worrying, details to follow. Think this, love that, do more, or less, be this/that.. Here is some real Breaking News!!!! You will die…..someday. And in other
More Breaking News!
You will live, each day. Accept, Choose and Take Action to Do what you love.
How do I do that?
Difficult thoughts and feelings show up when we don’t really have time to think or feel them. eNinja’s need tools to facilitate getting back on track, and not stuck in pain from the past.
I used to listen to music all the time, until I realized the power some artist’s song had over my feelings (admittedly the power I allowed). Driving on the interstate going 65 mph, listening to the radio, an old country western song came on and my thoughts and feelings instantly transported me back in time to a relationship that did not end well. I started crying real tears, seemingly out of the blue, and then my next thought was “You are driving, pay attention to the road!” I quickly changed the channel, shuffled my thoughts as well, and made it safely home. These days, I am a lot more careful about what music or specifically words I want to “prime” my mind’s mood.
Please watch this YouTube video:
Adele sings Bonnie Raitt’s powerful and provocative song here: https://youtu.be/sLfWPLLn-QI
Using the lyrics to Bonnie Raitt’s hit song, “I can’t make you love me, if you don’t”. Let’s break down the words in the song and discuss what impact they have on thoughts and how they prime the mind for feelings such as sadness, regret. Pay attention to inflexible thinking and what you just learned about capacity. How does this song reflect inflexible thinking or an individual’s capacity to love or to be loved?
I can’t make you love me ……if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power, but
You won’t, you won’t.
Give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight.
- Use your eNinja skills to consider what “I can’t make you …… means to you.
- If we felt the same, I would not be in pain.
- You are incapable of loving me, so I will give up this fight.
- It is painful wanting something we cannot have.
- your personal response.
- Now consider what “I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power” means to you.
- I will give up this love
- You don’t know how powerful this is.
- You cannot see/feel me or my love
- your personal response.
- Now consider what “Give me till then to give up this fight”
- let me stay a little longer
- the fight is worth more time
- this fight is about loving you, loving us
- your personal response.
I look forward to knowing what your mind makes of these powerful and provocative lyrics.
For your reference:
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a song written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin and recorded by American singer Bonnie Raitt for her eleventh studio album Luck of the Draw (1991). Released as the album’s third single in 1991, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” became one of Raitt’s most successful singles, reaching the top-twenty on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the top-ten on the Adult Contemporary.
In August 2000, Mojo magazine voted “I Can’t Make You Love Me” the eighth best track on its The 100 Greatest Songs of All Time list. The song is ranked at number 339 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. On 27 November 2016, the Grammy Hall of Fame announced its induction, along with that of another 24 songs.
Willing to distinguish workable thinking from unhelpful, and unworkable.
Open to considering capacity as a mean of acceptance of what is or could be.
Curious how our loved one’s think and feel. What else could also be true?
Able to imagine living a life that follows what they value.
Extra Credit: Watch this YouTube video from another eNinja – Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) | Alison Ledgerwood.