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The Positive Approach - Lesson 7


Our Resource of Pleasure

By Peter Shepherd

Listen to the Lesson:

Suppressing the painful memories of the past - bad things that have happened or that we have done - may help us avoid some unpleasantness. But it also suppresses our pleasurable resources that support our self-esteem and wellbeing. And the energy expended suppressing our past drains our present-life living. By recalling pleasant moments you can recover your lost energy and enthusiasm, and at the same time drain the energy from negative memories. Releasing wonderful new feelings and enjoyment into your present life. This lesson helps you do this.

When you re-experience positive memories you reclaim your vast resource of enthusiasm and joy. So you can enjoy it now. These experiences are left-behind golden nuggets of your life-energy that you can now reclaim. In the following exercise you recall some of the pleasant experiences of your life. By putting your attention on the positive, you increase your energy and validate your good and honest qualities. Your increased life-energy then makes bad experiences less significant. It helps release those negative experiences.

Positive Memories Exercise

Step 1. Ask yourself a question from the Recall List below.

Step 2. Recall such an experience and briefly run through it from beginning to end, as if it were happening in the present. For example, "I'm running along the road and...".

Step 3. Ask yourself the next question.

If you cannot recall an incident, or you get an unpleasant memory, leave that question and go on to the next one.

Recall List
Recall a time when you enjoyed yourself.
Recall a time when you earned some money.
Recall a time when you heard some good music.
Recall a time when you mastered something.
Recall a time when you got something you wanted.
Recall a time when you enjoyed a cozy fire.
Recall a time when you rode a bicycle.
Recall a time when you played with an animal.
Recall a time when you rearranged furniture.
Recall a time when you really knew what you were talking about.
Recall a time when you gave a successful demonstration or talk.
Recall a time when you straightened out a messy environment.
Recall a time when you felt good about the way you looked.
Recall a time when you enjoyed talking with someone.
Recall a time when you were acknowledged for a job well done.
Recall a time when you kept a promise.
Recall a time when you held somebody close.
Recall a time when you enjoyed exercising.
Recall a time when you drew a picture.
Recall a time when you helped somebody.
Recall a time when you won.
Recall a time when you met someone you got on well with.
Recall a time when you had a good time dancing.
Recall a time when you felt important.
Recall a time when you were having a good holiday.
Recall a time when you achieved something worthwhile.
Recall a time when you were enjoying a long walk.
Recall a time when you enjoyed working in the garden.
Recall a time when you had a good idea.
Recall a time when you kissed somebody you liked.
Recall a time when you laughed at a joke.
Recall a time when you painted something.
Recall a time when you felt enthusiastic.
Recall a time when you were with a friend.
Recall a time when you stood your ground.

Step 4. When you can recall pleasurable experiences without much difficulty, repeat the above and look for earlier incidents of the same kind. That is, you ask:

Recall a time when ...
Recall an earlier time when ...
Recall the earliest time when ...

If you feel complete after several passes through the list, you may continue by imagining an 'experience' in response to the questions - let your imagination run wild!

So instead of "Recall a time when... (e.g. you enjoyed yourself)," ask: "Imagine... (e.g. enjoying yourself)." Imagine yourself experiencing this in the present.

This is a fun-exercise that really does make a difference to your outlook on life and improves your self-esteem.

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Next Lesson: 8. Thought - Feeling - Action
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