Using sub-personalities in loving-kindness meditation

I believe we are our own worst critic. If you are familiar with the Metta Bhavana (loosely translated as the cultivation of loving kindness) meditation then you will know the 5 stages. (Click the link to find out more).

I don’t think too much about who I’m going to put in each stage I go with whatever comes up. This morning it became obvious I should put myself in the 4th stage (the person we have difficulty with, sometimes called ‘the enemy’ but it can be a friend we are having problems with too). I often put myself in all the stages. I have found myself being very critical and judgemental of others in the last few days and even more so of myself. I realised it was time to be kind to myself.

As I was meditating I brought to mind a technique I was taught on my coaching course using sub-personalities. It can be very hard to appreciate ourselves so by imagining that judgemental part of me as a separate person I found it easier to send her metta.

I usually meditate as soon as I wake up otherwise I get distracted and put it off and inevitably don’t end up doing it. I have to say this has had a powerful effect on my day. I have stopped feeling angry with the world (well for now anyway) but it is a practice and I keep working on it.

National Novel Writing Month

A little over 2 years ago while I was on retreat I had an idea for a novel. I started writing it but after I came home life got in the way and although I did a bit every now and then it got put aside after a while.

I’ve always wanted to write a book so last month I set myself the goal of finishing the raw story by the end of November. Fortunately this happened to coincide with National Novel Writing Month. The target is 50,000 words in a month. You can set up a profile and enter in each day how many words you’ve written. This is displayed on a graph and it compares your stats with the average and tells you how many words a day you need to write to reach the target and what day you’ll finish if you continue at your current rate. As a mathematician all this is very pleasing to me and keeps me motivated.

In the past I would make excuses to myself for not doing it. Since the last week of October I’ve been writing every day. Even if I don’t have much time I write SOMETHING! My daily word count has ranged from as little as 400 words to over 7000. I know that if I miss a day I’m likely to miss the next and the next…. I’m currently on target to reach 50,000 words on 24th November so it would be easy for me to say I’m well with in the (self-imposed) deadline so it won’t matter if I don’t do it today, I’ll make up for it tomorrow.

Last weekend I hated it. But I still wrote anyway.

Some days I think it’s stupid. But I still write anyway.

I’ve heard the best way to get over writer’s block is to write. Fortunately I haven’t had that problem. I don’t always know what’s going to happen next in my story but that’s part of the fun, seeing how it unfolds. It’s like watching a film in my head sometimes, I just write down what I see.

If you are writing too and feel like giving up – don’t! Coaching may help too.

What is work?

My son commented yesterday that I hadn’t worked for ages. I reminded him I was cooking all last week. Ah but you didn’t get paid for that he said.

No, I didn’t get any financial reward but I got a week’s food and accommodation so I was saving on my own bills. I was also able to participate in the retreat. There were many magical moments and great company. In my view that is priceless.