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Ben

Befriending Meditations - (in their most basic form)

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Ben

Befriending Meditations 

Befriending meditations are, in essence, mindfulness meditations, but with a twist. The goal is to 'trick' or 'con' social anxiety into siding with you and working FOR you. Not against you. (Yes, I want you to embrace that energy because we're going to need it later.) 

Firstly, it's important to understand exactly what meditation really is. And to do this, you'll need to cross two items off your list. Those are, as follows:

The past

It's like a tattered old library book - one that you keep rereading and referencing to, and digesting to the point of exhaustion, hoping that those days can return or be altered. But even with all of the desire in the world, you will still NEVER be able to jump into the book and have the power to change things. The book has already been bound and published. Keep it, okay. But shelve it, and ONLY pull it out during times of celebration to rejoice, when reflecting back on how well you have done at a given life stage. 

The future

It just isn't real. It doesn't exist. It has never existed and NEVER will exist. Time will always exist in the here and NOW. You will never escape now, so absorb it and stay with it, because it's the only place you will ever be. So just stop. Breath. And think of a trickling stream that runs through a floral meadow. Imagine the sun sparkling off the reflection of the water, the smell of dew soaked grass and the tweeting of an early morning bird chorus. Take yourself to that place in your mind now, and remind yourself that it's not yesterday, and it is not tomorrow, it is now! Done that? Good, because now you're meditating. (Practise this first before doing anything - switch mind from "active and thinking" to "passive and sensory".)

The 'Friending'

Okay, with that meditative  state of mind nailed on, go into the middle of a major city, a coffee shop, or on a train during rush hour (or whatever) and literally people watch. And when you look at these people, tell yourself, in your minds eye (not out loud, obviously), that the person you're looking it:

- Has your best interests 

- Cares about you

- Is your friend 

- Loves you

What we have now is a false reality appearing true, which is precisely what social anxiety IS in the first place! (Hey, it cuts both ways! Why not make it work for us eh?) I'm not saying talk to these people, or even look at them, just connect with them and accept them as part of your environment. Love them back, wish them all the best, and see them as a beautiful spirit, just in the same way as they see you. The mistake anxiety sufferers make is withdrawing from the people, which will only serve to worsen your problems, as you'll become disconnected, and even more aware of how separate and 'different' you are, so stay connected! Even if you're just sitting in a room saying nothing - it doesn't matter, breath in the good, exhale the bad and love these people back!

 

On a Date or with Someone You Like - (Thought I'd add this, just to cover my ass.)

Meditate again, and tell yourself the following: "I am going to BE the person that I would be afraid to lose." Don't ever make the mistake of looking for "the one" - you are a sovereign individual who doesn't need 'completing'. And even if they reject you, remember that you get to wake up tomorrow that same person, with infinite potential awaiting you. Don't disrespect yourself by 'chasing' them. Because if someone wants you out of their lives that badly, just let them go. Your hobbies, interests or 'obsessions' have the power to make you a millionaire if you like - so focus on number one and be authentic. (This last passage is a personal befriending, which will tie in beautifully with the above. So worth adding I guess.)

 

Anyway, this isn't gospel or a set in stone proverb, this is intended to be a discussion. Any thoughts, questions, ideas are encouraged . 

Edited by Ben
Semi-colons just aren't cool.

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RiRi

I just want to give a gist of what mindfulness is to those who don't know because a couple of years ago, you mentioned it @Ben alongwith @Alex but didn't tell me what it is. I'll give an example of mindfulness which you can do at any time but there are more formal ways of doing it as there are different kinds. Like the first type, you can sit on a pillow with one leg over the other and focus on your breathing, etc. The other one you can do any time you're doing something. A lot of thoughts can run through your mind at any certain point. The general idea is to focus on the moment. Like, if you're washing dishes, feel the water touch your hands, see the dish become clean, all the details in the present moment, etc. I've only read half a book on mindfulness or maybe 1/3 so if anyone has more to add, feel free. 

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StormCrow

That is interesting. It almost like the creating your own reality, or using your mind to shape your own future type thing. 

it's hard to explain, but it's like willing things into existence.  

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