Several years ago, a health opportunity came up that required me to go to lots of appointments with doctors and other health care practitioners. It was heaven for conditioning and torture for me. Not only did I have this painful health opportunity that was impacting my life in a big way, I had to tell my story over and over again to each new health care practitioner, interact with them, talk about plans and options, and make decisions —all with conditioning whispering in my ear about what a terrible job I was doing and how futile my efforts were.
With guidance from my Zen Awareness Coach, I started making recordings before and after each appointment. That was really helpful, but I realized that even with recording before the appointment (and listening to the recording in the waiting room, exam room, etc.), by the end of the appointment, I was often caught in some version of conditioning’s suffering stories.
In looking at how to support myself even more, it dropped in that I needed the equivalent of someone waiting outside the doors of the doctor’s office to remind me about what was really so, and help me get out of conditioning’s clutches. Luckily, the Mentor was happy to oblige!
So I started leaving myself "voicemails" from the Mentor. Before each appointment, I would record and check in with the Mentor about how I was doing, what I wanted to have my attention on during the appointment, etc. Then, I’d stop and imagine myself coming out of the appointment. What will conditioning probably be telling me? What might it be telling me I should be worried about? What reminders will I need?
Then I’d start the recorder again with “Hi honey, it’s the Mentor calling.” The recordings were often short, just a few thoughts from the Mentor letting me know that she was proud of me, how much she appreciated the way I was showing up for the body, and reminding me that I didn’t need to listen to conditioning’s “gloom and doom” predictions.
The recordings were simple, and yet, every time, they seemed to give me exactly what I needed. After the appointment I’d put in the earbuds, start the recording, and feel tears come up as I heard the messages of love, appreciation, faith, and trust. I often wanted to listen to it again and again, so I’d just keep hitting repeat all the way home.
I still leave myself voice messages from the Mentor when I go to doctor’s appointments, but I also use the same technique when I’m going into some kind of interaction or situation that I think may be challenging — whether it’s public speaking or a difficult conversation with a co-worker.
The next time you’re about to go into a challenging interaction or event, turn on the recorder and leave yourself a voice message from the Mentor with all the reminders you’re likely to need. When the interaction or event is over, listen to the message and let yourself bask in unconditional love and acceptance.