Hello. And welcome to the first instalment of The Flow Research Collective’s Shrink Wrap Pro-Tips. I’m Rachel Barbanel-Fried, a clinical psychologist and optimal performance coach. I’ll be bringing you a brief section each month with actionable steps you can use to level up to your best self.
I’m starting with this month’s newsletter article, “Blind to Our Blindness,” by Sarah Sarkis. If you haven’t read it yet, do that immediately. You don’t want to miss this one. She will give you a deeper understanding of the power of our unconscious, illustrating how this is the birthplace of insight, change and free will. She’ll demonstrate how without engaging this aspect of ourselves, our efforts towards change are short-lived and elusive.
How do you want to evolve? You want to become more creative? You need to cultivate openness and inquiry. You want to be less reactive? You’ve got to be informed about the pause between stimulus and response. Here’s where the difference lies.
Whatever you want to shift, you first have to know what is getting in your way. To do that, you need to access your unconscious. There are different ways to work on that, but today I’m going to tell you about mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a type of systematic mental training that expands self-awareness and self-regulation. Mindfulness allows us to engage our capacity to override self-focused needs to spend more time engaged with useful parts of ourselves.
Here’s your prescription. Designate five minutes a day to become aware of your thoughts. You can do this sitting, standing, walking, or lying down.
Observe the inclination to label things positive or negative. Can you manage five minutes without judging? Can you observe without affirming or denying? Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds. For most of us, we run through our days constantly tagging things “good/bad or positive/negative yay or nay.” It’s curiously difficult to just notice how things are.
Here’s why this is important. The assignment of meaning keeps us stuck in the rut of seeing everything through our ego. The more the ego is quieted, the more likely we are to reach our goals. When we soften our habitual way of looking at the world, the more creative, balanced and integrated we become. And from there you can soar.
So go on, designate five minutes a day, everyday, for a week. For the super gung-ho, do it for the month until the next installment of Shrink Wrap. Notice what you notice and as my teacher would say, “have that.”
Feel free to let me know what you find and I’ll see you back here next month for our next instalment of Shrink Wrap Pro-tips.