“Sometimes we don’t know the value of the moment… until it is a memory. Exploring memories and our emotions attached to them is a key to what we value, and what we fear.” ― Guru Tua
Here’s an exercise that is part of our blended learning process. We use this exercise in the introductory phase of the “Hero’s Journey”. We meet one a week and work with this exercise for about 15 minutes each session. Our research shows that short periods every week are better one long session. This practice primes the pump for other exercises such as lucid dreaming.
This is the type of exercise that you work on over several weeks and months. As you explore your memories, many people find they remember more of their dreams. And these dreams will connect to our memory of events. The focus of this exercise is on finding what we value.
One of the important discoveries of this exercise is finding out how many positive memories you have. When we start, many people will only find one or two memories in the first few sessions. As we spend time on this over the next few months, the number jumps exponentially. It is not uncommon for people to end up with hundreds of these positive memory snap shots after 3 months.
Then we find that many of the positive memories share a common theme. This teaches us what how we can focus our lives to bring more happiness into our lives. This teaches us what we value.
First Exercise for Exploring Memories
Step One ― Document Findings
You will need a spiritual journal to record this exercise. A cheap ring bound note pad works fine. You’ll probably create several of these documents. You should have one to record your dreams first thing in the morning. And you’ll have one for this exercise where you investigate memory.
You’ll find correlations appear in other parts of your spiritual exploration. These synchronicities will appear in your dreams, daydreams. They will surface in omens that appear in ordinary reality. The Universe is trying to communicate with us. We just need to learn to open our spiritual eyes and hearts to perceive them.
Step Two ― Find What We Value
To begin, sit comfortably and close your eyes. Search your memory for three short positive snapshot memories, years apart if possible. What you are searching for are memories, like snapshots, seconds in duration at most, not minutes. You will find that you have these events crystallized in your memory because of some signification association.
For your initial trip down memory lane looking for snapshots associated with positive, not negative feelings. This is very important. This is because the mind will be more apt to find memories that are positive or pleasurable. The more positive memories you find, the farther back in history you will go. Exploring memories will become something the mind looks forward to doing. That’s what you want.
This exercise could take some time because many of our “significant” memories revolve around stories and not snapshots. But they are there; you just need to rummage around a while. You may need to think about this and doodle in your journal. Some people take a break or two. The goal is to find at least three. If you find more than three, that’s great. Look for positive memories only. Steer away from negative memories at this point.
Step Three ― Expanding
Once you have identified at least three positive snapshots, hold them in your “minds-eye.” Now, describe them in writing. Tell the story behind them. Describe the colors and smells that correspond to them. Describe your thoughts and feelings about each with as much detail as possible.
The next time you do the exercise, you may find more details emerge. You may also find it links to other memories.
Step Four ― Connecting to Other Memories
Finally, go online and find three pictures that correspond emotionally to these memories. What corresponds emotionally may not necessarily be what your memory is about. What did you find? Are there patterns? Are the memories or associations related in any way?
Now, once you put your memories in perspective, things will begin to surface. This will show you what you really value.
Second Exercise for Exploring the Negative
We do not recommend moving to the second exercise until after working with positive memories weekly for at least 3 months. Once you have a solid foundation for positive memories, then you are ready to venture into the darker territory.
Now go back and instead of looking for positive, seek negative memories. For many people this can be scary. So limit your time to 15 minutes. If you have suffered trauma, it’s best to work with a partner. Write your immediate feelings but don’t dwell. This will show you what you fear.
At the end of this session, go back to your list of positive memories. Don’t let your discovery of negative memories also trap you in a victim mentality. Bring your focus back to that of the survivor and victor. You do this by bringing the positive memories back to the forefront.
The value of this second exercise is to face what we fear and conquer it. It doesn’t mean the trauma didn’t occur. It means we move from being a victim through surviving to a victor. This will have a profound effect on our outlook on life.
This Exploring Memories exercise is a powerful spiritual tool. We learn that our memories can either help or hinder us. They color our worldview. In this way, our subconscious mind affects the way we think. So, this journey down memory lane can be a real epiphany.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia