I have a very simple 4-step exercise I like to call “Serenity Now” that helps me with… everything. Especially when trying to make important decisions. Or… not so important ones too for that matter. It’s very simple and brilliantly easy.
Let’s try this together, shall we? Just try, you’ll see!
(just remember: keep breathing and don’t hold your breath!)
breathe in, then OUTBREATH
… follow your breath in your mind’s eye…
check for a point of tension in your body,
then RELAX it… just a little…
make sure you’re centered and GROUNDED
… whether you’re sitting or standing…
now make an AFFIRMATION*
or express an INTENTION*…
One Affirmation I like repeating:
“I am Welcome, Wanted, and Completely Supported by the Universe.”
My second favourite affirmation:
“I am loved, loving and love-able.”
When you declare an intention, think of a quality you’d like to develop, and express it as a question. For instance… “What if, in the coming moments I was just a little bit more… (eg: present, a better listener, courageous, loving, decisive, balanced, etc)… what would it look like?” And then just wait and see what comes up.
Do feel free to come up with your own affirmations or intentions.
If you’re curious to find out more about this breathing technique,
then by all means do read on.
Here’s how to achieve “Serenity Now”:
Do the 4 steps.
Repeat at will.
You’re done! :-)
Here’s how to achieve Serenity… Always:
Do the 4 steps.
Try to repeat the sequence about 20-30 times a day,
Yes, 30 times.
Every single day.
It takes 4 seconds to do.
Just FOUR SECONDS!
And if you aim for 30 times a day,
think about it: that’s just two minutes.
2 minutes, that can and will…
transform you life.
Trust me on that one.
I wouldn’t be here writing this
if it weren’t for “Serenity Now”:.
My new mantra… for life.
If 30 times seems like too much,
then aim for 6:
Twice in the morning
Twice in the afternoon
Twice in the evening
Then build from there.
Just like that. See?
It works whether you’re sitting at the computer (right now for instance) or when you’re taking a shower or brushing your teeth, or reading a book or a magazine, or at a family gathering, or when you’re with your significant other, or when you’re with kids (waiting for them to tie up their shoelaces for instance)… or with coworkers or your boss (during a meeting or when you’re on the phone)… or with friends, or at a party, and (especially) anytime you’re waiting in line, and feeling a bit impatient you know? Like at the grocery store or in airports on planes, trains, and automobiles…
You get the idea, right?
Anytime you’re “stuck” somewhere, think of it as the perfect opportunity to practice your Serenity Now exercise. And it really doesn’t matter in the least whether you’re “in shape” or not, or if you’re fat or thin or short or tall, and it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, or what mood you’re in or if you’re having a “good” day or a “bad” one, or what the weather is, or if people are being nice to you or not… because no matter what, all of us have the ability to… JUST BREATHE. It’ll change your outlook on life. Seriously.
Here are good times to try this exercise:
Anytime you start to feel anxious,
or anytime you get excited,
anytime you feel bored,
anytime you feel tense,
anytime you feel sad
(or anytime you feel happy too for that matter),
anytime you feel pain,
anytime your mind is racing
or anytime you mind goes blank,
anytime you’re feeling “stuck” …
Basically… anytime you forget to just breathe, which tends to happen many many times in the course of any given day… there’s one thing you can never do too much of: and that’s taking the time to JUST BREATHE. And the Serenity Now exercise is a really amazing tool, because doing the 4 steps, which includes expressing an Affirmation or Intention… is just incredibly powerful. And life affirming. And helps to center you so you can make the right decisions and make the right moves rigth now. It’s a technique similar to the one professional athletes use. And the way I see it… if it works for them… should work for the rest of us too. Try it right now. Go on… just try! It’s good to start and end your day with too. So tonight just as you’re about to go to sleep, and then again tomorrow just as you’re waking up and about to start a brand new day, try it again.
Just try it.
And then try it again.
And then again.
And then again.
And so on and so forth,
day in and day out,
until it becomes a habit.
That’s the way athletes get so good at what they do. They just practice over and over and over again. They repeat certain movements and techniques over and over again, until they get embedded into their very DNA. And I really think this Serenity Now exercise… is the best habit you could ever cultivate for yourself. And the best habit you can encourage others to develop as well. So don’t be shy to share it with everyone and anyone who’ll listen. And no worries mate, it’s not a “gimmick”, it’s not a “formula” and there’s no “money back guarantee”… because it’s completely free! :-) And you can use it as many times as you like. The more the better, because you can never run out.
This exercise was handed down to me by my auntie H, who is a certified professional coach and former senior government executive in Canada. As it says in her credentials: “Her clients are, for the most part harried, senior executives”. If it works for them… should work for the rest of us too. She calls this exercise “The 4 Second, 4 Step practice” and she teaches it to all her clients as a first step when they consult with her. She taught it to me a few weeks ago now when I was needing some guidance from a trusted mentor, and she encouraged me to share it with anyone in whichever way I choose to. I didn’t coin the term “Serenity Now” myself obviously, but I use it because I just think it’s so pretty… and it’s kind of an inside joke too, if inside jokes are your thing.
And since I like playing with words and making up acronyms and what have you, I also came up a few other names for it. Harried executive-types tend to like acronyms, helps them remember things, because their schedules and their minds are so cluttered with… Lots Of Very Important Things (L.O.V.I.T)!
These two acronyms are great to help remind you of the sequence:
if you do it with an Affirmation*…
if you do it with an Intention*
(that one usually makes people
smile wide, and that’s fine)…
“4 Seconds, 4 Steps”
“4 Second Yoga”
But whatever you choose to call it, it’s the best gift you can ever give to anyone, or yourself for that matter.
Peace, love, hugs, kisses, namaste… and Serenity Now.