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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication by Da Vinci.jfif

Keep it simple, stupid.

The best way to approach the guest house visualization method, is to start with an example of how I started my first Guest House journal experience. As you read this example, I invite you to be in my scene, to pick a role to be part of. Are you an observer to this scene or are you one of the feelings I write about. Practice allowing your mind's eye to illuminate the scene of the guest house.

 

Complete and unabridged, this is my very first journal entry of my guest house experience.

Anxiety (26 May 2021)

It is a public holiday and I'm out of sorts driving unconsciously on the wrong road with my wife and child in the car, we make a detour as a result. After my wife alights, i head off with my son in the back seat. A phone alert chimed, and my heart raced, it is a public holiday here and it is 9am. Work came in? My thoughts swirled into the future and i start feeling anxiety in my chest. 

 

My guest house while driving:

Bang bang bang! I hear a loud thumping on the door, kicking and screaming followed. Anxiety is having a fit, his usual morning routine? I wonder as i walk swiftly to meet the child. “What's the matter?” I asked.


"I was playing in the morning but I've a homework due tomorrow which I don't want to do and it is making me feel uneasy, I cannot build my Lego brick horse properly and i am so frustrated the bricks don't fit properly!"

 

I sat on my haunches to meet him in the eye and hugged him, simply assuring him, it is ok, "you are loved, you are safe". 


As I comforted him, Peace entered the hallway with a gentle smile on her face. She had been playing with Anxiety before his outburst and went out searching for him. Come on you two! Let's stay present, finish the game together and then we work on your assignment. "I want to play too!" I exclaimed, and we headed to the living area. 


In that moment, I felt calmer and carried on the drive fully immersed in the Ants Go Marching tune being played in the car, with my son. 

A Momentary Awareness.jpg

Summary of Chapter 2: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

How does this work? Process in brief:

  1. Imagine the scene of the guest house in your mind, visualize it, narrate it aloud, or write it down (they all work)

  2. Place the primary or intense feeling or set of feelings in the scene, each as a character in the scene

  3. Such characters are all guests in your guest house

  4. Bring in reinforcements - feelings of consolation such as Joy, Love, Peace, Playfulness, Curiosity and Hope

Why does this work?

  1. Creating head space to invite a momentary awareness (that you are not your feeling)

  2. The guest house allows a safe space for negative feelings to find their voice, rather than to suppress them, let them in your mind have their spew

  3. Awareness that there are always feelings of consolation present, and to invite a perspective change by allowing such feelings to have a place and voice in your difficult situation(s)

This inner voice is found when you create space for yourself between you and the situation, between you and the feeling. I love this song From a Distance by Bette Midler especially this verse. 

 

From a distance
There is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It's the voice of hope
It's the voice of peace
It's the voice of every man

 

Spend some time to ponder this verse, and perhaps you may enjoy a cover of this song by Libera in this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGBmIfn67ig).

Be flexible (your narrative, your rules)

The visualizations can be imagined anyway you wish, you may be direct and apply the feelings in the physical location or situation you are in as well. It need not be firmly set in the guest house. Except that with more such guest house experiences, you will gradually see how the rich inner peace and tranquility of the guest house can permeate through to any real physical environment.

Keep practising

It takes 60 days to form a habit, and indeed our beliefs about feelings can gradually be changed in a manner we can harness all the wisdom that comes to us through desolate feelings and positive ones as well.

At every opportunity I try to use my raw emotions to practice and get acquainted with my emotions.

Conclusion

This is a method I adapted from the Ignatian practice of the Daily Examen, which reviews one's daily activities with a lens of gratitude, paying special attention to the emotions that surface be it those which we are grateful for and not so grateful for.

 

At the end of reading this book, you will learn to harness the power of anchoring feelings of consolation that matter to you. Such consolations could be love, joy, peace, curiosity, safety, playfulness, awe, inspiration and many more. As you read the sentence, perhaps one or two connects and resonates with you. These primary consolations could be a signal from your inner wisdom, calling out from the wilderness to draw you closer to your inner being.

Warm Up: Recalling Pleasant Experiences
Please rate your overall experienceVery dissatisfiedA bit dissatisfiedPretty satisfiedSatisfiedVery satisfiedPlease rate your overall experience
Choose 1 or more of these emotions you experienced
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Thanks for sharing your experiences, peace be with you.

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