I, myself, me
It is something that most of us will think about at some point in our life: What do I mean when I say "I"? WHERE do I imagine this is? WHAT is it made OF? HOW big is it? WHAT is its purpose?...
My approach to counselling heavily leans on the exploration of these questions, on existential subjects, the meeting of "self", and the discovering and strengthening of the individual's connection with their spirituality and their unique philosophy. I infinitely believe that the human power lies in turning our energy to these explorations.
I want to share some ideas that can be made into exercises for this purpose.
It is a concept that is growing in popularity, and it is used in many areas (management, sports etc) to encourage focus and productivity by being able to "see" the goal. In this instance, the idea is to use your mind's ability to create images to familiarise with the invisible concept of self. You may want to find a quiet place and time, close your eyes and focus on the idea of you. Pay attention to what images come up in your mind; search for basic information such as size, colour, shape first of all, and let the image develop from there. You may want to continue by feeling where this image is in your body - or outside of it. Maybe make notes, or draw or paint images to preserve this information.
2. Compare yourself to a can of beans
Sometimes it is hard to say what things are but it seems easier to say what they are not and work through the process of elimination. So, use the richness of your environment to explore. The can of beans is firm and cold on the outside, are you? The can of beans is full of nutritious goodness, are you? The can of beans has a Best Before date, do you? Try this with anything - the more random, the better, in my experience.
3. Watch a replay of yourself
Grab some popcorn, sit back and press play. If you observe yourself in any situation as if you were watching a TV show, you may find that you are less judgemental and more curious about yourself. Just think of some TV characters over the years that you admired, loved and wanted to be: you will have seen some of them do unthinkable, shocking things, yet you would keep supporting them, loving them and wanting them to win in the end. Actually, when I think about it, I think that these moments of them falling from grace are exactly what makes us love them, and relate to them, even more. Give your own character a chance to get to the season finale and show you what they are really made of.
4. Don't trust me to tell you
Make up your own exercises and ways of exploring - somehow I know that these will be even more productive and exciting to you than anything I suggest. If you do come up with some ideas, I would be grateful for anything that you are happy to share.