As humans are creatures of habit, triggers are present in and affect all our lives, often without people even realising them. Many are harmless, some are harmful and even less tend to be of any use.
The first step to understanding a trigger is to understand how they’re formed. The process is extremely simple; it’s a combination of two main elements. Namely, association and reinforcement.
If you’re looking for a trigger, consider your behaviour and watch out for repeating patterns.
When deconstructing a trigger, go back to when the behaviour first appeared (it’s a good idea to use the Anchoring meditation for this part), as far back as you can go, keep working your way to when the trigger was initially formed. What do you remember? Why is the behaviour associated with the trigger in question? It can be as simple as that was what you were focusing on at the time, if you’re lucky, you’ll know immediately. If you’re not, keep mulling over the scenario alone or ask someone reliable for a hand figuring it out.
Now you’ve figured out what the trigger is, it’s time to go further back into your memory. Go back to the trigger before it was associated with the behaviour (once again using the Anchoring meditation), connect with the memory and consider your thoughts and feelings about the object. Now, keeping in mind these old feelings, compare them with the more recent ones. Analyse the situation. Why are these views different? Are these perspectives rational? It should become clear to you that there is one particular memory that is significantly less influenced by irrational constructs. Select the relevant perception of the trigger, focus on it, keep it in mind and slowly, in your own time call up a recent memory of the trigger. In this manner, you connect the old perception with the new, eventually replacing it.
Creating a Safety Trigger
First of all, I’d like to thank Saevous for working with me and providing the inspiration for this exercise. Cycling is his technique (though this is my derivative) and the idea of using a safety trigger to help manage any emotional turmoil any Darkies et al, may experience when exploring various memory meditations was a breakthrough.
This exercise is primarily for use with the Repressed Memories section later on, though I find it fitting in the Emotion topic as the basic technique described is a staple of many variantions of emotional meditations. Largely, this is to do with the nature of this style of meditation, which is designed to progressively increase the intensity of emotion. This process is called Cycling and in this example, it’s used as an extention of the Anchoring meditation.
Almost forgot this. I thought it would be prudent to mention two things. To create a trigger takes repetition. So you’d need to perform this exercise a few times to build and reinforce the association. Secondly, to set off a trigger, all you need to do is draw your focus to it. Natural assocations will then begin building. I think you can all manage it from there.
Decide upon a fitting emblem, a unique object or a specific movement which you can easily focus upon. Something with a meaning relevant to what you’ll be working on in your meditation is best used.
The next thing you need to do is select a memory of your choice. As always, I suggest a happy, emotional memory. This is the memory you’re going to start the meditation with.
Now you have your focus (the emotional memoriey) and the appropriate symbol bring the two together. Hold the object throughout this coming meditation and if it’s positioning your body in a particular way you will need to be able to maintain the gesture.
Use your senses, as if you were discovering the symbol for the first time. Re-discover it’s nature. Contemplate it’s shape, colour, texture, temperature any identifying features. As you hold the symbol physically, do so in your mind, focusing upon it’s entirety.
When you’re comfortable with your progress, begin the Anchoring stage of the meditation; remember to maintain the presence of the symbol, incorporating it into your memory. Draw yourself deeper and deeper into your chosen memory until finally you connect.
Now you’re connected, draw your focus to the emotional intensity of the memory. Allow the emotion to fill you. Intuitively explore the emotion, flow with it. Where does it lead you? To a similar memory? Anchor to that memory and allow the memory’s emotion to intensify and build upon the emotions from the previous.
In this manner, continue to intuitively explore the emotion throughout various memories, each memory channeling more emotion, building upon the last, heightening the overall intensity.
Continue until the emotion no longer guides you and bask in the emotion for as long as you desire, allowing it to radiate throughout your body.
This is a small footnote, for people who desire to work on any meditations involving generally percieved “negative” emotions. I strongly suggest creating a positive emotion safety trigger before you decide to start any work. Once you have it you can carry it with you incase things take a bad turn during or after the meditation. I know from personal experience this type of focus in meditation can take you to some bad places. You should be prepared for them. That’s all, good luck and be careful.
Lastly, everyone feel free to comment on your own experiences with these exercises, and any uses you may think of for them.