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This New Year, affirm the wonderful qualities you already possess with this meditative writing practice called “I Am.”
How to Do This Practice:
1. Take a moment to sit still and take a few deep breaths, and notice how you’re feeling right now.
2. Open your eyes, and on a sheet of paper, write “I am ____,” and then fill in that blank.
3. Set a timer for 1 minute, and repeat step 2 until the time is up.
4. Take a moment to observe what you’ve written. Where did you begin? Where did you end? What can you glean about how you’re showing up today, from what you’ve written? Look for patterns.
5. Take a few more mindful breaths. Consider how what you’ve just written might influence what you’ve just written and the rest of your day.
Today’s Happiness Break host:
Chris Murchison is an artist and meditation teacher.
Check out Chris’s website: https://chrismurchison.com/
Follow Chris on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrismarcellmurchison/
Follow Chris on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.m.murchison
More resources from The Greater Good Science Center:
How to Be a Remarkable Boss During Lockdown (by Chris Murchison): https://tinyurl.com/yypps3aw
Can Self-Awareness Help You Be More Empathic? https://tinyurl.com/eefds36s
Do You Have a True Self? https://tinyurl.com/3xasurwp
Ten Habits of Highly Creative People https://tinyurl.com/yt83udz6
Make Self-Compassion One of Your New Year’s Resolutions https://tinyurl.com/ymn6m5pp
The Dark Side of Self-Help: https://tinyurl.com/4jajdfum
We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experiences with self-insight or self-affirmations. Email us at email@example.com or use the hashtag #happinesspod.
Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
We’re living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That’s where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
DACHER KELTNER Hi everyone, I’m Dacher Keltner, and this is Happiness Break, where we share practices to cultivate calm, resilience, connection, and joy, all in just a few minutes. Before we start today’s practice, I want to wish you a Happy New Year from all of us here at The Science of Happiness.
If you’re a new listener, welcome, we’re happy you’re here. And if you’ve been with us a while, thank you. We’re so grateful to have had you as a part of our community this past year, and we’re really excited about all the great things we’re creating for you in 2023.
And I know this time of year can be a lot — be it good, bad, or both — so today’s Happiness Break is all about self-affirmation – supporting yourself, in whatever way you need.
We’ll be guided by artist and meditation teacher Chris Murchison, who’ll lead us through a short writing practice called “I Am.”
When we see ourselves clearly, and understand what we’re feeling and doing in the present – it can benefit so many areas of our lives.
It helps us use our emotions in wise ways. It helps us become better decision makers. We communicate more effectively when we know what we’re feeling. And it actually relates to being given higher status as leaders and being afforded more trust within relationships.
We’re going to really tap into our present self, by writing for one minute straight. Taking the extra step to write out our affirmation, has been shown to not only be able to help us better fulfill them, but it also helps us be less anxious in the here and now.
So grab a pen and a piece of paper, whatever you have nearby – you can also pause this Happiness Break if you need a moment to find something to write with. Here’s Chris.
CHRIS MURCHISON Let’s begin by taking a few mindful breaths. So please close your eyes or avert your glance. Just breathe deeply. A full belly breath, full lung breath, and bring your attention to this moment. To any thoughts passing through your mind, to any feelings or emotions arising to your body and to the space surrounding you.
Now open your eyes and gather your pen and paper at the top of your piece of paper. Complete this sentence, “I am…” And fill in that blank. “I am…”
Now let’s do that again. So just below that sentence, write, “I am…” And fill in the blank. “I am…”
Now I invite you to continue writing this sentence and completing it for the next minute. Keep writing it. “I am…” Fill in the blank.
“I am… I am… I am…” And do that continuously for the next minute and I’ll start counting now.
“I am… I am…” And continue writing.Begin to capture your last one or two sentences. “I am… I am..”
Now pause. Place your pen down. To take a moment to observe what you’ve written. You may have written five, 10, 15 sentences, all capturing some quality about how you are right now.
You might consider, where did you begin? How did you begin answering this question, or stating this question? How did your answers evolve or change? Where did you end?
What might all of these words say about how you were showing up today in this moment, and what has your attention? Take all of that in. Look for the themes, any patterns. Look for just what you notice.
Now take a few more mindful breaths and we’ll close this exercise by considering how what you’ve just written might influence how you enter the next moment and the rest of your day. Thank you.
DACHER KELTNER: That was artist and meditation teacher Chris Murchison leading us in the “I Am…” writing meditation.
Tell us about the self-affirmations that are most meaningful to you. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the hashtag happiness pod. We really appreciate hearing from you.
I’m Dacher Keltner. Happiness Break is produced by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and PRX. Thanks for practicing with us.