Skills Sets

These skills sets are designed to reinforce the exercises on this site. Each skill set uses neutralising and defusing techniques to be more present in the moment. It is hoped that your mind will be free of intrusive negative thoughts and feelings by utilising these skills.

Complete these steps first:

1) get into a comfortable sitting position;

2) whatever thoughts and feelings that are resisting your relaxing in this moment – acknowledge them and try to name them in appropriate clusters;

3) ground yourself by pushing your feet into the ground, straighten your back and drop your shoulders breathing in a deep breath, holding it and releasing it slowly (about 15 seconds in all). Repeat for a minute; and

4) choose the skills set you want to complete and follow its instructions along with the photo.

Skill Set 1 – neutralising technique

Imagine that you could step into this photo and sit on the edge of the Cedar wood deck looking out at the rainforest view. Look out at the rainforest take those names for the clusters of thoughts and feelings from (2) and shout each name out – imagining all those thoughts drifting out and whisking away in a mist. Keep working through this until you feel in a neutral position: relaxed, breathing and admiring the view for what it is.

Skill Set 2 – lines and patterns

Take in the painting. Breathe deeply following the lines and the patterns. Feel its presence. What thoughts come to the surface? Are they helpful or a hindrance? Keep the positive ones and try to let go of the unhelpful ones, remaining focused on the painting until all that you think in this moment is this image. Continue breathing deeply and stay there for a moment – hopefully feeling positive and at peace.

Skill Set 3 – calming technique

Plant yourself on the grass looking at this stream. Close your eyes and imagine the sound of the stream – the water flowing over the rocks and rushing into the pool below. The thoughts that came up (in 2) place them on a leaf at the top of the stream and let the leaf go. Watch it meandering down the stream and drift along with the current over the pool. Keep your breathing up and let those intrusive thoughts go with the leaf, enjoying this moment – take in the sounds around you, feel the fresh air and sense the smells of the moss and water. Be present in this moment.

Skill Set 4 – defusing technique

After grounding yourself, look at this storm brewing. As you take in the clouds, recall what you named in (2) especially any thoughts or feelings that are disturbing, unhelpful or negative. As you breathe out imagine you blow them into the storm one by one. Let go until all you feel is a neutral relaxed position. Remain in this moment, watching the storm turn to calm.

Skill Set 5 – freeing technique

Imagine yourself to be a bird flying into this scene and propping yourself on top of the Zen stone tower. Try to imagine the wind against your face and the sound of the waves against the rocks below. Try to be at peace in this moment as you flap your wings and fly over to that island off the shore. Land on the rocks over there and rest. Let any thoughts or feelings that may be present go as you fly – feeling the release of any stress or burdens that you may have sensed. Stay for a moment out there on the island – enjoy this moment – free from any burdens and be relaxed.

Skill Set 6 – using your five senses

Empty your mind and be present in this moment taking in your awareness of the rose. Try to ignite your senses – what are you smelling? What are you hearing? What are you seeing? What would you like to touch? Take some deep breaths and continue looking at the rose. Explore the patterns, the shapes, the folds of the petals. Whatever thoughts come up – acknowledge them and return your attention to the rose. Sense as many positive feelings that you can. Stay in that space for awhile and be relaxed.

Skill Set 7 – creating and defusing technique

Take a look at the sculpture in the middle of this dam. Notice the shapes and forms – imitating water lilies. Close your eyes for a minute and notice what thoughts distract you, place them as shapes, objects, words or artefacts on each of the flat surfaces. As you stack the sculpture up with these projections of your thoughts admire what you are creating – your own personal sculpture of your mind. Remain focused on the sculpture and watch it change. Feel your mind lighter and free from those thoughts that were impacting on you. Close your eyes, imagine the sculpture floating in your head holding all those things that you have place there. Stay alert to it, being aware of your breathing and let you mind become neutral – no longer fused to those thoughts and what they represented.