Staying on your path, staying on purpose, is an important skill to have whether pursuing a health objective or completing any other project or reaching any other goal. In his book, What We May Be, Italian psychologist Piero Ferrucci, gives the following exercise for developing “the power to choose,” which we’ve adapted for our Health Journey:
- Relax for a moment and think about any and all your health objectives. Ways you would like to feel, how you would like to look, things you would like to do. (Only what you really want—no “shoulds.”)
- Now choose what feels to you at this moment to be the most important objective.
- Close your eyes and let an image spontaneously arise that represents this objective or symbolizes it. For example, you might see yourself dancing gracefully or a waterfall, representing energy, clarity and purity of the life force that symbolizes how you would like to feel.
- With your eyes still closed, envision a long, straight, clear path leading to a distant hill. On the top of the hill you can vaguely make out the image you have chosen to represent your health objective.
- (Quoting now from Ferrucci) “On both sides of the path you can see and hear and feel the presence of beings of various kinds who will try to divert you from your path and prevent you from reaching the top. They can do absolutely anything they want except for one thing: they cannot obstruct your path, which remains straight and clear before you. These entities represent various situations, persons, secondary aims, and inner states of your life. They have a great number of strategies to divert you—they will try to discourage you and seduce you, to frighten you and hypnotize you. They will give you logical reasons why it is not worthwhile or why it is even absurd for you to go on; they will try to intimidate you or make you feel guilty; and so on.
- “Experience yourself as clear will, and proceed on the path. Take some time to understand the strategy of each entity. Feel its pull. You can even have an imaginary dialogue with the entity—but then move on, and, as you do this, experience yourself willing.”
- Keep going until you reach the top and come face to face with the image representing your health objective. Stay with it a while and enjoy it. You might even become it temporarily and feel what it’s like to be it. What does it mean to you? Does it have anything to communicate to you?
- Open your eyes and write about what you learned from this exercise in your journal.
With this exercise we end January and our focus on the mind. In February we will begin Step #2 – Open Your Heart!