“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”―Stephanie Perkins
My previous article in the May edition of Transformation Coaching Magazine entitled “Now What?” brought unexpected messages, texts and emails into my inbox. Many were from women I’d never met. Apparently, the “Now What?” article was a catalyst that triggered action, and many who read it decided to ask for more advice.
One woman wrote she was starting a new direction in her life but didn’t quite know how to proceed. The questions offered at the end of the May article (Where am I in my life? What do I want to be doing this time next year? What compels or motivates me? Where do I want to be spending my time? Will that fulfill me?) caused her to review her direction, to reflect on what she really wanted, and then to make a decision on what she really wanted to do. Another said the article hit home because she’d been ruminating on self-blame. “What’s wrong with me?” she asked. “Why am I feeling this way? Am I burned out? Is it because of retirement? Do I have value anymore?” These are all typical questions that an individual goes through when pondering new directions in life. In this woman’s case, the questions caused her to review her bucket list, take stock and go forward with confidence that nothing was wrong with her. In the end, she felt she’d be okay with her decisions.
“Now What?” actually has a secondary part to the practice that’s called “And Then What?” When all the self-assessments and reflections on the questions are done, it’s typical to start contemplating the very worst scenarios we can imagine. It goes like this: If I do such and such, then this might happen, and the whole thing I’m contemplating will fall apart. Notice the emphasis on the word might. An uncontrolled imagination has a tendency to make things bigger or worse than the potential result.
The “And Then What?” practice allows you free reign of your worst fears. It asks you to imagine the worst-case scenario that might happen if you choose a course of action. Give your mind or imagination the freedom to conjure anything it wishes. When you have a terrible scenario in your mind, then ask, “And Then What?” Allow the imagination to again roam over the wild scenarios you can create. With each “worst case” presented in your mind, ask the question, “And Then What?” This means if the worst case you can imagine happens, then what will happen to you or to the situation? So you again give the mind or imagination free reign to take each worst case to its finite end. Each time, the worst scenario comes up ask, “And Then What?” Eventually you will run out of the worst-case scenarios and the things you thought “might happen” disappear or are so minimized they’re not even worth thinking about.
At that point in the practice nothing is left to worry about. At this point, you’re left with a place of release, along with freedom and an acceptance of what is. The worst case no longer has a mental or damaging charge around it. It has no power to derail you or what you wish to do with your life or the scenario you’re working on.
Try this practice on anything that gives you stress or anxiety. No matter what it is, think about it, create the worst condition in your mind and ask, “And Then What?” My experience says, that whatever you thought could or might have happened ultimately will dissolve into nothingness. You’ve disarmed and released any negative emotion around it and you’re allowing it the freedom to be what it’s meant to be.
Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine.Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to http://www.starsoundings.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.