Breathwork integration and visualisation takes what you learnt in part one and two of this series and supercharges it.
How to change your future with future pacing
Future pacing as a form of breathwork integration and visualisation involves imagining your ideal future in a way that inoculates you to failure. This is done by pre-planning setbacks and pre-planning resistance from others. With those strategies in place, you can then mentally rehearse the future with you thinking, feeling, and behaving in useful productive ways. Most people WILL screw up. And most people WILL encounter resistance to any new way of being. This is an opportunity to make imagining your future a successful prediction rather than an unfulfilled dream. If you don’t pre-plan new responses to setbacks and resistance, the danger is that well-meaning people and situations will anchor you back into old behaviours. The best way to introduce you to this idea is to give an example. And before that lets look briefly at the keys to effective breathwork integration and visualisation.
What are the keys to future pacing for breathwork integration and visualisation
1) Imagine the future in all senses:
This is more than visualising. This is engaging as many senses as possible. Imagining for you may be more of a feeling than a picture. Or it may be what you will hear. Imagine in as many senses as you can: Visual (sight), auditory (sound), kinaesthetic (feeling), olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste). If you can imagine your future with all senses, then do so. Don’t worry if you can’t, just start with your preferred sense. You may find you add others from there.
2) Construct a movie in your mind and run it multiple times:
Imagine and create a movie of yourself feeling and behaving in your ideal way. [This can even be a time from the past that you can adjust the qualities of to be a future example]. And then imagine different times in the future feeling and behaving that way in situations where you would have behaved in the old way. Adjust each mini movie to suit the situation. Do this as spaced repetition. IE: Pick a time in a week, a month, 6 months, and a year from now. And play them out in detail in your mind. [NOTE: Imagining different times will help this new behaviour and feeling become part of your ongoing future].
3) General change or specific situation
Do you want this change to generalise or be in a specific situation? For example, you may want to be assertive in business but not with your intimate partner. Or it may be a more general change like choosing healthier foods where you want it to go across contexts. To make this future a specific change, use only examples of that specific thing (or person) at different times. To make the change generalise, use examples in different situations, locations, times, with different people etc.
4) Resistance and getting in your own way
Answer for yourself these questions: How might you get in your own way? What situations or people may make these new changes difficult? Think about the culture and environment you will go back to. Does that change who you want to be and how you want to act? Using these types of questions, you can role play in your mind how to deal with those situations and people. And then you can add these pre-planned responses to your breathwork integration and visualisation examples.
5) Prepare for setbacks
How will you frame slipping back into old behaviours and patterns? Without a plan, temporary failure will likely lead to giving up. Some changes happen fast and last. Most however, take a bit of time and include a few slip ups into old habits. Remember to be kind to yourself, because the opportunity to not be kind to yourself is likely to come up. Literally imagine yourself sometime in the future screwing up. Maybe in a week, and maybe again in a month. Imagining how you will handle that setback. IE: Imagine slipping back into an old habit or behaviour, then realising with a sense of amusement that that isn’t who you are any more. And then see yourself getting right back on track. If in the future you don’t slip back into old habits, then great. If you do., then you now have a mentally rehearsed strategy for dealing with it.
Breathwork integration and visualisation example
You’ve just had a life changing time at an Alchemy of breath breathcamp. And one of the things that has become clear to you is that you want to continue to feel and act from a place of gratitude. You feel it now, so this is the ideal time to condition your mind to feel and act from it in the future also. Here’s a few of many ideas to inspire your imagination. Breathwork integration and visualisation works best when done with emotion. And so get excited about creating your new future.
A week from now I imagine being at home waking up: I feel a smile come on my face as I open the curtains and see the view outside. I can hear the sounds outside and feel so grateful to be here. [Imagine similarly waking up in different places and times feeling grateful too]
A week from now at work a colleague fails to deliver on a promise: I catch myself feeling resentful about that. I take three deep breaths, feeling grateful for my work and surroundings and decide to send a reminder asking for a definite time the task will be done. And I make a plan to sit down with them and make an agreement on what to do if they are running behind again in the future. I congratulate myself on this different response and feel grateful for having other tasks to move on with.
A week from now I fall back into complaining to a friend about not having enough money: I become aware of a choice to continue or not. And in that moment, I shake off these thoughts (literally) and express gratitude for the abundance that is all around me. The friend tries to steer the conversation back to complaining. And I respond by saying “I hear you and I understand., let’s go for a walk this evening and enjoy nature”.
A week from now I’m sitting at a table eating: I close my eyes and savour the taste and smell. And feel enormous gratitude for the nutritious food available to me. I look around and realise just how much I have to be thankful for.
Get the idea? Do this for different situations and people and then extend it to a month from now, 6 months etc. This is how the mind gains new choices. You will always have the choice to go back to or maintain existing habits. But as you choose differently, momentum will take over and these new ways of being will become automatic. And this breathwork integration and visualisation technique will become quicker and easier the more often you use it. Creating your life on purpose will become a habit.
There are many more ways to help integrate life experience. And for more idea’s and expansion on the ones covered here please visit a series of articles I wrote on the integration of psychedelics here: https://roxiva.com/integration-of-psychedelics-psychedelic-therapy-part-one/
The idea’s and techniques covered there compliment these and apply to breathwork as well.
Above all, realise that integration is never done. You cannot fail to integrate unless you fail to keep learning. People with a growth-oriented mindset realise that the only thing separating them from what they want is time and skills. So, take your time and learn new skills. And I hope to see you at a breathwork event or camp sometime in the future.
About the author:
Lance is a certified NLP and hypnosis trainer and breathwork junkie 😊. He produces meditation and drug free psychedelic sessions using light and sound.
You can find out how that works here https://roxiva.com/how-it-works-the-roxiva-rx1-brainwave-entrainment-device/