Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting Through the Day

you may have noticed the booklist on the left side of my blog. one of the books listed is "getting through the day" by nancy j. napier. i said i find it quite helpful.

woah. i'm such a liar.

i'm reading the book. the ideas in it would probably be very helpful...if i could just figure out how to put them into practice! here's an example:

"using whatever relaxation, guided imagery or self-hypnotic technique you like, take a moment, now, to close your eyes and settle yourself. Imagine, without demanding that any specific awareness or sensation arise, that your future self has come back in time to give you a healing experience about shame, to show you how it can feel as you move away from those old, familar shame responses of childhood. As you begin, recall a particular situation in which you felt a deep sense of shame. Notice how your body feels as you review the awful feelings, thoughts, and body sensations that accompany shame.

next, imagine that your future self is approaching from across time and space, moving through your iner world to where you are now. you may or may not "see" your future self. that doesn't matter. what is important is to allow yourself to sense that your future self is coming near.

when you feel that this has happened, imagine that you can step inside your future self so that, as in other exercises, it's as though your body were the body of your future self. allow yourself to suspend any disbelief for a few moments, and simply accept that you are sharing the sensations, thoughts, and feelings of your future self, whether or not you are conscious of them right now.

as you explore what you are experiencing as you blend your body with that of your future self, allow yourself to hold the expectation that the sensations related to shame that you experience in the body of your future self may be quite different from what you carry in your present-day body. it's helpful to call on your natural curiousity and let yourself be open to any subtle, new sensations that may come into your experience. tale a moment, now, just to be with whatever enters your awareness.

next, allow yourself to become aware of the state of mind and emotions fo your future self as they relate to your remembered shame. you might do this, at first, by imagining that you are seeing through the eyes of your future self, that you have access to the perspective part of you. give yourself plenty of time to pay attention to your inner experience, and simply take in any impressions that may come to you.

you may discover that your future self experiences shame in a very different way from how you currently do in your day-to-day life. for example, notice your body. how does it feel as the body of your future self, in all those places where the shame is hidden in your present day body? do you still want to hide? is there a sense of strength anywhere that you hadn't noticed before? what new feeling or sensation is particularly soothing or reassuring to you this time?

to help you know how it feels to move beyond your shame, take a moment to look at your present-day self through the eyes of your future self. it's important to remember that this wiser part of you no longer carries the conviction that you are basically flawed or that you have awful things about you that no one should ever discover. can you sense the self acceptance that your future self feels? is there a sensation somewhere in your body that conveys the quality of feeling good about yourself? just continue to be curious and to realize that it may take some time before you are able truly to accept a less shameful perspective of yourself.

now, give yourself a few minutes just to be with whatever you are experiencing, if that's all right with you. when you take this time just to be with the experience, you allow your present-day body to learn from the body of your future self how it feels to be free from the burden of shame. you allow your present-day self to learn how it is to feel good about yourself and to think well of yourself."

first of all, if my eyes had been closed, like she said to do in the first paragraph, how could i have read all of that?!

ok, that's just me being really...whatever. me, i guess. but seriously, how am i supposed to remember that whole sequence of instructions, and things to notice, and pay attention to? even after reading that twice and typing it once, i'm not really sure how to do it! i can't remember all that!



  1. 1. You're right. That is hard. (It doesn't help that my future self seems to want nothing to do with the past self :-P )

    2. Either try it with your eyes open (like I did) or have someone good read it to you (better).

    3. My word verification on this post is "unhumbl." Please tell your blog to stop insulting me. ;-)

  2. shef, sometimes, you really make me laugh!!! i will try to tell my blog to be nice, but unfortunately, it doesn't always listen to me...(ever notice that BlOg and BOdy have two of the same letters? coincidence...or not?)

    of course, i left out one soon as i start reading the next step, i lose where i was up to in the first step...

    i just got her first book though, which may help me use her second book!

  3. that's why I say have someone good read it to you. People do this all the time in various contexts. Ask someone you're comfortable with, who can read softly and steadily without emotion.

  4. ok, here's to brilliant little me!!!

    tiny note found on the copyright pate of ms. napiers other book reads as follows:

    "for information on prerecorded audiotapes of the exercises in this book, write to: nancy..."

    lesson learned: read book one first!

    (well, i doubt she still has the same PO box she had ten years ago, but...)

  5. ok, she gives even better advice once you get into the book-the record button on a tape recorder! gee, why didn't i think of that?


c'mon, i know you're reading this! what do you think?