Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nathaniel Branden, Self Esteem, and Sentence Completion Exercises

This is just a repost of a comment that I made on my first post. I just wanted to let you know that a preliminary portion of the material covered in The Six Pillars of Self Esteem is available online on nathaniel branden's website for free. I am just making this post to link that information and how to use it.

This is about as detailed of a summary as I can give you.

The exercises that are in the Six Pillars book are different from the ones that I link here, but these will produce the same effect. They're all geared towards bringing more consciousness into one's life.

If there is something I have learned from my hiatus from blogging it is this: the best realizations are the ones you make yourself. I can't tell you just how powerful those exercises are. Its like the matrix, you have to see it for yourself to believe it.

Since there is no summary on the exercise link for how you would use those exercises, its actually very simple. I'm picking a sample stem from week 1 to illustrate the example.

Every morning, before you do anything else, you write (in a notebook) the following:

"if i bring more awareness to my life today..."

and then you finish the sentence with the very first thought that comes to your mind. You must write as quickly as you can, and finish the sentence 6-10 times. The idea is that you write the very first thought that comes to your mind, without imagining scenarios or how things would play out if you actually did these things that you're writing down. The key is NOT to think. The endings don't have to be profound, they don't have to be grammatically correct, and they don't even have to make sense. As long as you finish the stem, you're fine.

Here is an example usage (from my own life):

"if i bring more awareness to my life today..."
i would walk my dog
i would study more programming
i would visit my grandmother
i would sleep over at my grandmother's house
i would relax a bit more
i would be proud of myself

This is how it should look in a notebook, with the stem at the top, and the endings below. If you're writing with a pen, you can just read the stem once, and then write (as rapidly as possible) the first endings that come to your mind.

If you're using a computer to do this, my suggestion is that you re-read the stem over after every single sentence, and then write the first thought that would complete the sentence stem (but keep the format the same as the above).

After you are done with the exercise, all you have to do is go about your day. You don't even have to pay attention to what you wrote down (though, at times it is quite intriguing what comes up). You will notice (over time) that you have set forces in motion that will make it absolutely impossible to NOT act more consciously in your every day life. The key to the exercises is A) speed, and B) NOT THINKING. You fail the exercise if you start thinking about scenarios, and what would happen if you do X, Y , or Z. Think AFTER you're done with the exercise.

Anyway, that is basically my lifestyle philosophy for the past 7 months. I can't say that bringing more consciousness in my life has made me a whole lot happier (because my subconscious was suppressing A LOT of painful emotions and thoughts), but at least now I know what I need to do to be happy in life. 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section.

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