Near the end of our online daily practices, I often open a space for intention. Someone might set an intention to touch back in through the day to the deepest stillness experienced during the practice, or to follow the breath in the nostrils or relax the forehead for a few minutes. Setting an intention has a powerful effect.
There is a complex interplay between our nervous system and the various levels of our brain and this can be quite dramatic or very subtle and easy to miss. Self-care is a challenge, especially for those of us who didn’t grow up with the opportunity to develop strong self-regulation.
Sleep is a challenge for many of us. I’ve noticed that when something is “up” in my system, I am reluctant to go to sleep. I’m far more likely to watch “one more” episode on Netflix or read late into the night even as I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. Very similar to the resistance we often see with children.
I recently came across an interesting video with Matt Kahn where he was speaking about intention and quitting smoking. I’m not familiar with his work but the 1st two minutes caught my attention. You keep smoking or whatever the compulsion is but say these words first.
“This is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now.”
Apparently the subconscious mind knows that is not true and will create a dissonance that becomes uncomfortable. Our action (smoking) is out of alignment with our stated intention – to do the most loving thing I can do for myself. The harmful behavior will fall away.
I set a repeating reminder on my calendar for 9:30 every night that says “Staying up watching Netflix until midnight is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now.” I’m also going to try “Going to bed for a good sleep is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now.”
Join me in an experiment. Let me know how it goes! firstname.lastname@example.org