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Pathways to Growth: The Perfect Companion

An exercise from Molly Young Brown

Take a few moments to find a comfortable, alert position and to relax. Close your eyes and pay attention to your inner experience...

Remember a time in the recent past, when you were in an emotional crisis or facing a difficult decision. Relive that experience as fully as you can now. Recall how your body felt, what kinds of postures or movements you might have used... What were your feelings?... What were your thoughts and how did your mind work?... How did the world in general look to you from within this experience?...

Now, imagine a companion you would have liked to have with you, someone whom you could trust and with whom you would feel completely comfortable, even in this trying time. This companion may or may not remind you of friends you already know, yet there is something familiar about her or him. Take some time to develop a sense of this companion...

What are the qualities of this person with whom you would choose to share your turmoil and distress?... How would he or she respond to you? What, if anything, might be said? What would she or he communicate without words?...

Take time to explore this person's presence, making any changes in the image that you need, in order to be completely comfortable...
Extension:

If you are willing to take another step, imagine that you are this perfect companion, that those qualities are yours. Try looking back at yourself in crisis and experience what feelings and thoughts you have from this perspective about yourself in crisis... What might you say to yourself about how you see yourself in crisis from this perspective or about your willingness and attitude in being there?...

Imagine bringing the qualifies and attitudes of your imagined companion into your relationships with others, your family and friends, people of work and in the community. Imagine being with yourself in this way ... How would it be to bring these qualities and attitudes into play when you think about people and events in other parts of the world?... Take time to allow this experience its full impact, and then bring your awareness back to the room.

Read Molly Young Brown's earlier blog: Anthropogenic Climate Disruption and its Moral Challenges

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