My heart is pounding. My mouth is dry. My breath is shallow. I can hardly focus on what the other people in the circle are saying because my mind is racing. “What should I say?”… “Oh God! That person just said what I was going to say!”… “Crap! Now I have to come up with something else”…
I’m trying to pay attention to what’s being said by the people going before me while figuring out what I’m going to say, except my brain can’t focus on both at the same time. My mind is flipping back and forth, catching snippets of what is being said. My stress levels are through the roof! My hands are sweating, my neck muscles are tightening.
Finally, it’s my turn to introduce myself. Everyone nods and smiles, looking warmly at me as I speak. But as soon as I finish, the assault begins. “That was terrible!”. “You forgot to mention…”. “Did you notice the look on the persons face when you mentioned…?”
Now I’m not really present and hearing what is being said because my mind is busy figuring out how I could have introduced myself better!
Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a group and you’ve been asked to introduce yourselves. The person starts at the opposite end so it takes a while for you to have your turn and you can’t quite focus on what they are saying because you’re trying to figure out what you are going to say.
Or maybe you’ve been in an argument with someone and after it’s over and they’ve left or hung up the phone, the little voice in your head starts to chime in with all the things you “should have said”.
This is all part of the disease of perfectionism. You’re always trying to “get it right” and yet somehow it’s never quite good enough – at least for your very critical mind.
Have you ever felt like you just want to shut off the critical voice in your head? The one that matters on and on or keeps you up at night incessantly rethinking something you didn’t do or need to do?
Well I have a powerful tool to share with you today to do just that!
Warning! At first this exercise will feel silly, juvenile, stupid. Your mind will question how this can help, but just trust me, it can be a profound experience.
The mind will fight you because it’s very effective in quieting it, and it’s trying to save itself!
So what is this tool? It’s called the gibberish meditation. I was taught it by meditation expert and hypnotherapist Pragito Dove. Here’s what you do:
1- Find a space and time where you have some privacy. (The car is a great place to do this)
2- Set a timer for 2 minutes. (Most phones have a timer in the alarm setting)
3- Start saying non-sensical words and sounds aloud (yabba, blah, blah, hrmph, cheep, cheep, brrr, gagagaga, Ba, Ba, ooh ugh, etc) you get the gist. Body movements are great too. You can let your arms flail, you can bounce up and down, roll your head, or sit still while you speak gibberish – it doesn’t matter.
4- after 2 mins is up. Reset the timer for another 2 mins and sit in silence and simply observe what you think and feel.
When I first started using it. The little voice in my head had a lot to say! “This is stupid!”. “What are people going to think?”. “They’re going to think you’re crazy!”
Luckily, I am willing to try most things at least once and the effect was so profound, I committed to doing it for 21 days.
The first thing I experienced was a profound peace when I got quiet after the 2 mins of gibberish. It was easier to drop into the stillness. It was delicious and made it easier to override the voice of the critic in my head the next time I tried it. There was noticeably less resistance!
Now I use it anytime my monkey mind wants to take me “down the rabbit hole” of fear based thinking. It has been useful for managing my mind, my stress and focusing on opportunities.
Try it and let me know what it does for you!