When I started practicing meditation three years ago, I found it hard to clear my mind and control my thoughts. Our mind keeps bringing negative thoughts at a high speed similar to car racing, often disturbing and interfering in our life without invitation. The uncontrolled negative thoughts induce stress that leads to poor performance, zapping us of our energy. These thoughts are not constant and are usually scattered without any connection, peaking in the morning when we wake up and before we go to sleep at night. The scientific community has a name for these thoughts: cognitive interference. Scientists have been able to measure the number of thoughts we have per day. We have around 4,000 thoughts per day with an average of 14 seconds per thought . How can we calm our minds? I am convinced that meditation will help to do this, but I found it difficult to clear my mind of these intruding and often negative thoughts before starting meditation. I needed some kind of exercise to free my mind. With that in mind, I found a great method called the Sedona method, created by Hale Dwoskin  , the author of the The Sedona Method. I started using this method to first identify my bad thoughts — many in one day –release my tension and worries, and enjoy a feeling of peace before I began meditating. The relaxation during my meditation kept my mind from wandering and allowed me to clear my mind faster and to bring it back if it wandered! The Sedona method explores our ability to release all the conflicting feelings and emotions we can go through in a day including our fear and pain. It captures all the negative emotions and releases them in such a clever way — by asking five questions:
First: Focus on what is making you upset or causing you to feel angry or fearful. This might be multiple things, so start with one emotion at a time. Allow yourself to explore and think about your feelings at this moment. Whatever you are feeling (strong or weak), just welcome it and allow your mind and heart to accept it.
Second: Ask yourself to accept or reject these feelings or thoughts. As simple as you think this question is, your answer whether it is yes or no will allow you to accept your mental state. Most of the time, when I ask this question to myself, my answer is yes. But those few times when I answered no, I felt much better immediately. My “no” made me reject the feelings as if they were groundless.
Third: No matter what your answer is to the second question, you need to ask this: Am I willing to let the feeling go? This inquiry to me is the most confrontational question. You are confronting the negativity of your thoughts face-to-face and you are asking your “heart” to listen to your “brain.” Almost always, my answer to this question is yes.
Fourth: Ask yourself this very simple question: When?
This question is like an invitation to release your pain and let it go NOW! Although this question is very simple, it is a very powerful. You have no choice other than saying “Now.” The liberation to confront myself and to feel my negative emotions gives me a tremendous reward. I usually envision that my negative feelings and thoughts fly away like a balloon in a blue sky. I usually enjoy watching the balloon getting farther and farther away!
Fifth: Repeat these steps several times if you still feel that you have pain. I usually do this three to four times (per thought) until all the traces of my negative thoughts and feelings disappear.
After the completion of this simple exercise, I am now ready. The Sedona method leaves me in good mental shape to ease me into my 20 minutes of meditation. Combining the two exercises together is particularly powerful. I release negative emotions and reach a state of complete relaxation. I don’t always combine the two though. If my stress levels are not high, I may choose to go straight into meditation. In any case, the Sedona method and meditation are two powerful tools to increase our energy and well-being.
Thank you for reading my post. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.