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Arrow Tip #46: Remember a Fabulous Future Rather than the Pathetic Past


This Arrow Tip seems kinda weird to think about...How can we remember something that hasn't even happened (yet)? But it's a mind hack I've found that works, not only to get myself "unstuck" when I need to but also to feel better right away. The key is to have fun doing it.


The only thing that exists right now is the present moment. (See Arrow Tip #38) When we remember something from the past we bring an experience that's already over and done with and "re-live" it in our minds as if it's still happening NOW. That's how we keep this negative stuff alive, shackling us to the past and holding us hostage. Then we dwell in states of mind that have nothing to do with what's going on right now.


A few years ago I was working with a patient on her adrenal fatigue which was affecting her physical body. We uncovered some of her mental stressors. She worked for one of the broadcasting companies in Chicago. She had a few run-ins with a co-worker who was making her job very difficult. He was verbally abusive and she bore the brunt of that abuse on several occasions. Clearly, some changes needed to be made in her life. But for the immediate moment, to give her some relief from the memories she kept replaying in her head, I told her to try this technique just for the fun of it. She loved her job but she didn't love the co-worker. She wished she could be transferred to a different department. I suggested rather than "remembering the pathetic past" she would choose a fabulous future and "remember" that instead...as if it had already happened. She created a new memory that was based on something that hadn't yet happened but hoped would in the future.


She started "remembering" how it felt when she walked into her new office with the people she wanted to work with. She "re-lived" the sense of relief she experienced knowing she never had to deal with the other guy again. Rather than replaying the bad memories, she "re-played" the desired outcome as if it had already happened. This is just another way of mentally rehearsing what you want. When you REALLY understand that neither the past nor the future exists anywhere but in your mind, this exercise makes more sense.


What happened to her? Well, as she practiced this exercise she gained a great deal of relief. It released her from the chains of ruminating thoughts that held her captive by disrupting the patterns and redirecting her focus, not only mentally but emotionally. No matter what your situation, you can always be free in your mind because that's the one place only YOU have access to. Her stress levels also decreased because her moods changed for the better. And guess what? True to form, as she mentally and emotionally rehearsed this new outcome (as if it were already a done deal because she did it as a "memory") eventually she was transferred to a new department that she loved. This is what some people call "manifesting a new result". But the science behind it is that the brain is on high alert for new opportunities and possibilities. Mental rehearsal also causes the brain the fire and wire together thus causing the body to react in new ways.


Try this technique out when you find yourself stuck in a pattern of remembering situations that are painful. Stop "firing and wiring" the mental and emotional pathways that lead to anxiety, stress, and depression. "Remember" a better future as if it's already happened in the past and now you're in a better place! Feel the feeling of relief. Fire and wire THAT! And most importantly....make it FUN!


 

ACTION STEPS:

  1. When stuck in a repetitive bad memory pattern, come up with a better future scenario.

  2. Create a scenario in your mind to remedy your situation that would feel great.

  3. In your mind, make this scenario into a "memory" by playing it as if you've already experienced it. This gets easier with practice.

  4. Replay as many times as possible so it rewires the neural pathways.



*Remember: YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE. (Seriously....."remember" it!)