Phase IId - Path Construction
Using the materials you identified and collected earlier, and the meditation, mindfulness, and visualization skills you are continuing to improve, begin construction of your path during the coming week.
Reflect. Begin each day by reflecting on the strength of your commitment to constructing your Spiritual path, on the diversity of materials and tools you have at your disposal, on any potential obstacles that may arise during the course of the day, and on the methods you can use to overcome them. Reflect on the qualities (such as the 10 "perfections") that you identified on your Spiritual Self-Schema Blue-Print as the moment-by-moment destinations of your Path, and select one to focus your practice on today.
End each day by reflecting on progress made, how obstacles were overcome, and on any modifications needed in your materials, tools, or skills.
Rehearse (visualization). At the beginning of the day, following your daily meditation practice, do the Activating your Spiritual Self-Schema Guided Visualization exercise. Remember that visualization provides an important opportunity for mental rehearsal of your selected characteristic, and prepares you for your daily practice (see below) during which you will take on the role of a person with this characteristic. If you act 'as if' you are such a person, both in your imagery and in your daily activities, you will soon no longer be acting, but will actually become such a person.
Rehearse (practice) and Record
- Continue your practice of stopping 3 times daily to become aware of what self-schema was active and whether it was compatibility with the experience and expression of your true nature. Enter this information on your Self-Schema Check-In log, and review these logs frequently; they can provide use important feedback as to your progress and any adjustments you need to make in the construction of your Path.
- Continue your practice of daily meditation on the in- and outgoing breath, increasing the amount of time as appropriate to your skill level. You may wish to take a meditation course, (e.g., to learn vipassana or metta meditation).
- Formulate a 3-S Daily Construction Plan detailing how your 3-S Blueprint will be used during the course of your daily activities today. Begin by entering the quality or "perfection" that you selected to work on today, and determine how and when you will enact it -- what cognitive scripts and behavioral action sequences will be required for the enactment of such a quality; what available support systems might be useful? Then throughout the day, while engaged in your usual daily activities, use your Plan and begin to act 'as if' you are someone with the quality you selected. Become an actor who is taking on the role of someone walking your Spiritual path enacting this quality -- experiencing and expressing its this moment-by-moment destinations. It is recommended that you begin your rehearsal in the context of people, places, situations, and activities that you know are compatible with you experiencing and expressing the quality that you selected to enact today. In Phase 3 you will have the opportunity to rehearse in more difficult contexts that you typically find incompatible with your Spiritual path.
Repeat this cycle until all of the qualities and characteristics that you identified on your Spiritual Self-Schema Blue-Print as moment-by-moment destinations of your Spiritual path have been incorporated into your daily activities.
In your 3-S Journal (or folder):
Print and file your Spiritual Self-Schema Blueprint, Daily Construction Plan, and Self-Schema Check-In Logs. Also file copies of all written materials identified on your Blueprint. In this regard, you may wish to include a printed copy of the 3-S affirmation and 3-S stretch, both of which can be modified such that you focus on one specific quality at a time by replacing the words 'Spiritual nature' with the quality selected. Also file a copy of any guided visualization scripts and instructions for mindfulness training and meditation. You might also want to maintain a list of reading material. A partial list for you to revise or add to is provided by clicking on the 3-S Reading List.
This ends Phase 2. In Phase 3 you will practice activating your elaborated Spiritual self-schema in an increasing number of contexts in your daily life, and you will learn how to use it to help you overcome difficulties.