Five MAGICAL STEPS to DUMP the BLUES & SCOOP UP SCADS of PASTELS [CONCLUSION]
[THE REMAINING STEPS: PART II]
MAGICAL STEP NUMBER THREE:
DEEP-MIND NOURISHMENT: The latest sleep research postulates that the reason we sleep is to STRENGTHEN THE HELPFUL electronic connections (synapses) in the brain, and to WEAKEN OR DUMP the UNHELPFUL, or downright HARMFUL, memory connections. So don’t underestimate the need for sleep. But also … during the approximately 16 hours you are awake, you need to plan for …
A TEN-MINUTE DEEP-MIND NOURISHMENT. Yup, MEDITATION.
For those unaccustomed to its benefits, there’s nothing mumbo-jumbo about it. So don’t make it esoteric. Personally, I use “Mindful Meditation,” because of its simplicity, but here’s a site that offers several approaches: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16452/6-simple-meditation-techniques-for-real-people.html.
COMMITMENT: Meditate only ten-minutes a day and do it daily, without fail, for one month—and I guarantee you’ll be a meditator for life!
TEN-MINUTES: Accepting the above, don’t lure yourself into the trap of believing “if ten-minutes is good, then I’ll have twice the benefits with twenty-minutes.” Don’t do it, at least for the first month, and, then, only when you’ve attained a happy rhythm with all the 5 Magical Steps. Ten-minutes is sufficient.
MAGICAL STEP NUMBER FOUR:
THREE DAILY KEEPERS: This is probably the MOST PROFOUND, while simultaneously the LEAST PRACTICED PRINCIPAL in the entire program. It is profound because it WORKS. It is abandoned because IT IS EASY. A paradox, right? Until you understand what it is:
COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS: Every evening, before retiring, WRITE OUT Three things for which you are most thankful. Don’t just scribble them out. Think about each one. How would your life be diminished without it? If you have a religious orientation, give prayerful thanks for having it in your life. Is there some action you need to take to enhance that blessing? If it’s a person, should you share with him/her your feelings?
COMMITMENT: Allow long enough time before bedtime to complete this important reflection. Please, do not rush something so spiritually transforming.
WHY IS IT WRITTEN? First, it CLARIFIES the thought process. Secondly (and equally important), if you try contemplating your “Three Daily Keepers,” at bedtime, your head may be on the pillow … but your body’s waiting for sleep. Either your body will win, or in my case (for I’ve tried it), you’ll lie awake half the night thinking about Aunt Edna who was a blessing for raising you … except when she punished you for ditching school with Randy … and what ever happened to Randy? Didn’t he join the … etc., etc. …. Write it out.
MAGICAL STEP NUMBER FIVE:
KEEPING SCORE: You wouldn’t start any SIGNIFICANT JOURNEY without a ROAD MAP, would you? With a journey that may be the most important of your life, the Magical Step Score Card is your road map.
Borrowing from one of the finest: I count as one of my blessings the reading of Benjamin Franklin’s “Autobiography.” I would urge anyone to pick up a copy and discover on how many levels Benjamin Franklin personified the epitome of a self-made man.
BRIEF HISTORY: One of the tools he used for self-growth was a small book he made (about the size of a deck of cards). His goal was nothing less than a “project of arriving at moral perfection.”* He attempted this arduous task by investigating his behavior in each of the virtues that comprised “moral perfection.”
He conducted the investigation daily by charting his successes and failures in his book. The book listed each virtue (by its initial) on the left side of the page, going vertically. Across the top, horizontally, he listed the days of the week, by initial. (I will leave it to you to study the specifics of his “conduct book.” I only want to use it as a model for the Five Magical Steps score-keeping.
WHY KEEP SCORE? Primarily, your self-investigation as you proceed through your daily Magical Steps gives focus and order to your commitment. As you study it at day’s end you can point to an achievement with pride, and also you will learn as much from your shortcomings. As such, it will mirror your progress. (No learning process is a straight-line ascent. There will be plateaus one must rise above.) If you use your scorecard with the spirit of adventure, it will act as a motivator.
THE SPECIFICS: For me, a packet of 3 X 5 blank index cards works best since I can easily slip one or two in my shirt pocket, along with a clip pen. On the top of the width of it, starting ¼ inch from left margin, I write out M, T, W, Th, F, S, Su. Going down the left side, leaving ¼ inch from top, I write CH (for choice; Below that, MD (Make Difference); then, MN (Mind Nourishment); 3DK (Three Daily Keepers); finally, KS (Keeping Score). Yes, I need to investigate how well I perform that function, as well.
I must admit, I am rather excited for any who choose to embark on this wonderful adventure. As a student and practitioner of personal development, I can assure you the principals that underlie these Magical Steps are sound. They work … but only to the extent that the student employs them to exercise the spiritual muscles they are designed to train. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, commit yourself you their stringent use for at least 38 days. Why 38 days? Because spiritual muscles, like physical muscles, may get sore during the first week. (Please. Don’t walk out of the gym after the first week.) My sincere wish is that you spend the full 31 days—one month—AFTER the soreness wears off, in FULL. SPIRITUAL. SUNSHINE.
IF YOU DO, YOU’LL NEVER CHOOSE TO GO BACK TO LIVE WITH THE MUSHROOMS! I PROMISE YOU ….
OH, ONE FINAL, FINAL WORD:
Will you let me know how it’s working for you along this marvelous adventure? I really want to know!
*Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (p. 71). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.