Anti-Procrastination Protocol

We all deal with aspects of our character which may be, shall we say, somewhat less than desirable. This post presents a process for internal change!

Introduction

There are things we love to do. We can’t wait to do them. Just thinking about them fills us with energy. And there are things we would rather not do, given the choice. Things we would let other people do, if we could. Just thinking about them makes us tired. Those are the things we put off — things we’ll put off forever, if we can, or until we are absolutely forced to do them.

Those feelings are the source of our procrastination. This program addresses the source of that procrastination — our feelings, and the self-image that produces them. This program addresses those issues. (It will most likely be useful for all manner of internal change — but since those are things we procrastinate about as well, I’ll leave it as the “Anti-Procrastination Protocol” for now.)

The program was inspired by the 7th in a series of Raja Yoga classes given at my local Ananda center. (See Raja Yoga Insights #7). It found it so successful, in fact, that I expanded it into the Personal Change Program.

At the time, I was dealing with extreme fatigue whenever I was called upon to do “chores” that didn’t appear to correlate with things I really wanted to be doing, that I was enthusiastic about. My reward for asking that question was four great suggestions!

Putting all four of the recommendations together, I came up with this program, and added a few additional wrinkles as they came to me.

Note:
I used a process very much like this one to give up smoking. (I used “sleep teaching” at the time, something I wrote about in Magical Moments.) I didn’t understand as much about how the process worked, at the time. And it took several weeks before it worked. (After 2 weeks, I got bored with the sleep tapes and turned them off. A week later, I read an article on the damage smoking does — a form of external assistance I would have passed right by, before!)

But with many internal “blockages” removed in the various practices I have studied, and with energy-flow techniques I’ve learned, I found that this practiced worked much more rapidly. It worked beautifully, in fact — and much more quickly than expected — literally overnight. I woke up the next day, and found that I couldn’t wait to do a bunch of things I had been putting off!

1. Be at cause.

  • It’s important to be in control, rather than being the victim. That makes it possible to proudly be what you currently are, or be something new and different. It’s your choice!
  • So start by saying, “I choose to __X__”.
  • For me, that’s “I choose to be undisciplined when I’m not enthusiastic.”
  • The original statement of self recognitions was:
    • I am extremely enthusiastic.
    • I’m very disciplined about things I’m enthusiastic about.
    • (But…) I’m undisciplined when I’m not enthusiastic.
  • Adding “I choose to” to last bit gave me the comfortable sense of being in control, and of being who I really want to be!

2. Breathe to meditate.

  • Kapalphati is particularly conducive to meditation, and it’s particularly energizing so start with that.
  • To the degree that fatigue is the issue, it will help to overcome it.
  • To the degree that the fatigue is the result of an internal decisioning-state, it will help you get into the right frame of mind to understand it and/or change it, as you desire.

3. Consider your previous choices.

I’ve added this step, for when we’re trying to make a change that may not feel quite “right”. It’s important to know if there is any internal resistance to change. If there is, this step will help you find it. (There is no point trying to make a change that is counter to “who we really are”. On the other hand, “who you really are” may be more than you even know, at the moment. So use this step to the degree it’s needed. In many cases, it may not be!)

  • This is an important step. Meditate on who you are, right now.
  • Your meditative state will make it easier. With your “consciously thinking” mind momentarily at peace, you will be able to focus on your essence.
  • See yourself as someone who chooses X.
  • Are you holding that decision anywhere in your body?
  • Are there any sensations that go along with it?
  • What happens if you think about changing that choice? What do you feel now?
  • This step is important because (eventually) you will be able to follow that sensation back to the point in time where you made the decision — a pre-verbal, practically pre-conscious time when that decision served you.
  • If so, see how and why it served you. Perhaps it is something you no longer need! If not, perhaps it is time to let it go.
    Note:
    If you know anyone with Ipsalu Tantra training who understands the Intentional Dialog process (something that is more of an art form than a step-by-step process, alas), consider enlisting their help. When you’re following sensations, it can help to have an external guide.

4. Become your super self.

Remember, the words of the affirmations are just a reminder about the internal feelings and images you want to conjure. So use the words as guide.

  • “I am __SS___”, where SS is your “super self”.
  • In my case, “I am a writer, well known, widely respected, and financially secure”.
  • In other words, state the goal or target of the activities you’re enthusiastic about.
  • As someone who already is everything you desire to become, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing — so you’re free to change.

This step is huge. It totally removes any resistance you might have to taking actions that would otherwise seem “out of character” or “off target”.

Note:
It can be helpful to invite the energy of God/Universe/Life Force to assist in this process. Imagine or feel it entering at the base of the skull and energizing your vision.

5. Decide to change, if you like.

  • If it serves you, consider making a change.
  • This is the really big step. Making the decision is huge, all by itself.
  • The decision is the first thing, really. Everything after that is just a means to an end.
  • Once you decide, you’ll find a way. Your internal creative processes will go to work on the problem, and you’ll be alert for things in the environment that can help.
  • In case, having made the decision, further insights will undoubtedly come in future meditations.

6. Take the next steps.

  • If you decide to do so, take the next steps. (The ones that follow, in other words.)
  • The deeper you are in meditation, the more effective they’ll be — because you’re in that halfway state between being fully unconscious (asleep) and fully conscious (awake and functioning).
    (In really deep meditation, of course, you’re listening to inner guidance that’s telling you what to do. But it’s also like lucid dreaming, where you have a degree of conscious control. So now is the time to “reprogram” your unconscious, internal decision-making computer.)

7. Affirm your new self, in the particular.

Remember, the words of the affirmations are just a reminder about the internal feelings and images you want to conjure. So use the words as guide.

  1. With full confidence: “I enjoy __X-ing__.”  (“I enjoy paying bills”, “I enjoy cleaning”)
  2. As though responding to an invitation: “Yes! I would love to __X__. I look forward to it!”
    (“Yes! I would love to pay bills. I look forward to it!”)
    (“Yes! I would love to clean up the place. I look forward to it!”)

8. Affirm your new self, in the general.

  • This is where you you set up a new decision-making process that runs counter to the old.
  • To do it, you need to remember where you came in (when you put yourself “at cause”)
  • In my case, the direct re-affirmation would be: “I choose to be disciplined, even when I’m not enthusiastic.”
  • But an even better one would be: “When discipline seems to be needed, I choose to be enthusiastic!”

Other Applications

As mentioned, the process would seem to be useful for all kinds of internal change.

For example, my chiropractor friend loves dealing with difficult people (up to a point) because it gives her a chance to work on and improve her coping strategies.

I confess that I have always shied away from such confrontations. And even though the processing I have done in Tantra and the martial arts have eradicated the internal limbic-system blockages that made that response semi-automatic, I had never found a way to actively choose a new strategy.

But with this process, I can see myself doing just that! I can see myself finding joy and growth in dealing with such a difficult situation. Of course, it’s like weight lifting. You don’t want the weight to be too heavy. But at the same, it just feels good to exercise your muscles!

Epilog

The result of this anti-procrastination program, in my case, has been better than expected. Rather than becoming someone who manages to hold their nose and do things they don’t want to do, I have become someone who wants to do those things, and can’t wait to do them.

That result is even better than expected, because it turns out that the root words of “enthusiasm” mean “divinely inspired”, or “in divinity”. (Something I learned in that Raja Yoga class.) That is a state I love. It’s a state of high energy and pure joy.

(The difference in feelings), in fact, would explain why I’ve been procrastinating about things I wasn’t inspired to do!)

There is nothing better than being enthusiastic about what you’re doing. Finding that enthusiasm for a whole ‘nother range of activities is a treat!

Note:
One of the best and most successful executives I’ve ever worked for (Pankaj Malviya) once wrote an article entitled Can Anyone Be An Entrepreneur? In it, he lists the personality traits required for success. One of them was always a mystery to me: “You have to enjoy every aspect of the process.” I mean, there were parts I loved, sure. But the more mundane aspects of running a business? Hardly. Well, I’m happy to report that I’m a changed person! So different that I hardly recognize myself in the mirror.

Because today, I am positively bubbling with energy! I’ve been tackling all sorts of things I’ve been putting off, and loving it. I have that fully connected, positively vibrating, high-energy feeling I have always associated with the “mission critical” activities, but never before associated with all of the attendant support activities. It is so good to be in the flow…

Copyright © 2017, TreeLight PenWorks

Add your thoughts...

Categories