Since the beginning of Flow, in the summer of 2016, we have been asking folks these three questions before they meditate:
How do you feel?
What do you want to find in your meditation?
What do you want to let go of?
These three questions can be an essential part of our growth in meditation and in life.
Why are these three questions so important to our meditation process, as we start our journey within?
These three questions do a lot for us, as they set us in motion. They immediately act to connect us with ourselves and give us the opportunity to find out more about ourselves on a deeper level. Once we have asked ourselves these questions it makes it easier to know which way we want to meditate on any given day.
Let's explore a bit more depth how these three questions work.
How do you feel?
Every day, every moment we are changing, and therefore no two meditations are the same.
Our emotions change like the wind. From Sad to Joyful, from Mad to Powerful, or Scared to Peaceful (and many others in between), we might feel all six of these core emotions or some version of them in a single day. Sometimes we don't even know how we feel.
These six core emotions are taken from the center of the Feeling Wheel*, but if you want to get more specific you can explore all the different ones that are mentioned in the larger circles.
The Feeling Wheel* by Gloria Wilcox, gives us a great way to explore our emotions. Have a look and see if you can identify how you feel today or at this moment.
*Feeling Wheel - A Tool for Expanding Awareness of Emotions and Increasing Spontaneity and Intimacy by Dr. Gloria Willcox. www.positivepsychologyprograms.com
What do you want to find?
Once you have identified how you feel, then you ask yourself: "What do I want to find in my meditation today?"
The most common responses we have gotten to this question are more calm, ability to focus more, and energy. However, there are countless benefits you can find in meditation, like more wellbeing, inner strength and courage.
If you are not sure what you want, think about how you are feeling. If you are feeling confused, perhaps you want to find clarity of mind or confidence. If you are feeling sad perhaps you want to feel loved or joyful. If you are feeling irritated or frustrated, perhaps you want to feel your own personal power to overcome obstacles or to feel appreciated. You can use your feelings as motivation in meditation to find what you are looking for.
There are countless goals we can strive for in meditation. We can reach to achieve greater awareness, compassion, insights, or even practical solutions to problems. Each day we can strive for a different goal. We can also stay focused on one goal we consistently aim for like gratitude or humility. Those are very great qualities to nurture in meditation and will give us much reward to cultivate those qualities within us.
What do you want to let go of?
Often when we go to meditate there is something in the way, some kind of inner obstacle which we need to let go of - obstacles like laziness, distractions, worry, or frustration. The list is endless, but remember so is the list of the benefits of meditation. ;-)
Letting go is joyous and ecstatic when we are happy - think of some of your best times like a wedding or a birth. When change is upon us, and it's positive, we naturally are in a flow.
Letting go can be tricky when there are difficult or painful feelings to face and feel. That's when we need meditation tools the most, to help us deal with hard times in the best way.
Here's how you can actively let go faster so you can move and get through stress to the other side, where you feel free to express yourself and achieve your heart's desire.
Which meditation should you choose?
According to the three questions, you can look and see, from what you realized about yourself, which of the six modes of Flow meditation calls to you on any given day, in any given moment.
For example, if you are feeling tired, and want to gain some energy, you might want to do a Restore meditation and experience a power nap and recharge your batteries, or you might want to do a Move meditation and get energized that way.
If you are feeling great, and ready for a good day, you might want to do a Focus meditation to increase your positive intentions for the day or do Let Go meditation and get filled up with even more positive energy.
You have to trust yourself and make a decision and just do it.
The rewards of meditation
Then once we have meditated, we take a moment to notice - how do you feel now? Do you feel different? If so, do you feel more of what you were wanting to find in your meditation? Did you let go of something? What is your next step to keep finding more of what you are seeking?
90% of the time after we meditate we feel different, and we notice a positive change. We perceive that we feel more calm, clarity, or focus. We gain energy, confidence, awareness and a heartful feeling of connection to ourselves and others. We experience more happiness, joy, and satisfaction. The rewards of meditation are well documented and are even scientifically proven.