A lot of times we go out of our way to buy holds. We often think if we just get that little widget, trinket, or snow globe when we’re in the souvenir shop at the aquarium we are guaranteed to remember all that had happened on that special day. We believe this will ensure we have access to all of the wonderful emotions that came with it. I wish that were true. Really I do. But objects are only as emotionally fused with joy, connection, confidence, and love as the emotions you infuse them with. The only emotional conductor for anything is…
That’s actually the good news. Because you don’t have to go out and buy some fancy souvenir to hold the emotion that you want. To be honest, there isn’t a souvenir shop in the world that sells any objects that are already infused with emotions. It is your intention that gives the object its ability to hold your emotions for you.
For example, I ran a race a week ago. I caught an amazing race time for 10 miles and there was a good amount of ‘pushing’ myself to get there. I chose to use the t-shirt that I raced in to be my ‘hold’ for the race. I’d love to say that I was above buying a souvenir race t-shirt. But, in truth, the only reason why I didn’t get one was because I didn’t have $20 in cash on me at the starting line and I was too lazy to go back to the car…hard to believe when you consider I was getting ready to run a race. No matter how the race went from a performance level, I knew that, since I hadn’t been able to race in a year and a half, I wanted a strong memory of it and all of the positive emotions that would come with it. So, how did I create my hold and save myself the $20?
Create Your ‘Hold’ for Yourself
Ask Yourself: is this moment something I want to remember? First, make sure the moment is something you want to remember. It doesn’t have to have a special meaning to anyone but you. Once you’ve decided that you are going to want the memories and emotions that are infused with an event or activity…
Choose an object, or mental object, you’re going to use for your hold. Again, in the example above, I decided that I was going to use the t-shirt that I was wearing at the time — a blue beat up old Adidas shirt that basically just said ‘did s’ because both ‘A’s fell off. It doesn’t have to be specific to the event or moment that you’re trying to remember and draw positive emotions from. You can stop at Dunkin Donuts and grab a mug after the event if you’re dead set on buying a souvenir for yourself. Or you can decide on something you already have with you (remember my rosary from my last blog!). And, if you’re going to use a mental object, you could easily choose from the songs you listen to on the way to your event or back.
Infuse that object, or mental object with all of your intention. This is a little bit tricky, so let me explain. It wasn’t like I was running the race, fully focused on the shirt I was wearing, saying over and over again, “This shirt will hold my emotions!” First of all, I would not have been able to experience the moment at hand very well. Secondly, ‘others’ probably would have chased me down and put me in an insane asylum. You want to be fully focused and immersed in whatever you’re doing so that you can be very present in your experience. But, once in a while whether it’s a song, shirt, coffee mug, whatever, intentionally place your mind on it. It will become associated with your task at hand. Use all of your 5 senses to take in everything that’s going on around and within you. The smells, what things taste like, who you were with, how the weather was, how you were feeling. The more specific the better. If we’re talking about a mental object, you may find that this becomes a bull’s-eye for you so that the memory becomes very vivid whenever you hear a specific song or phrase.
Pick an item or two–those that have the strongest emotional pull for you. Take some time each day to pick up (or call to mind) the hold that you identified. Let the emotions fill you up. Try to keep those emotions with you as you take action on your performance challenge, or even just when you try to contemplate that challenge. You’ll gradually notice that your ability to call those emotions up for yourself, and hold onto them will increase when you have an actual ‘hold’ to connect with them!
Try this today and let me know what you come up with! You may have something you are doing right now, or maybe you create a hold from an event that you’ve done in days, months, or years past. It’s never too late to create a hold, you just need to use your intention!
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