In the intermediate stage of the Ready for Better Method, you reached greater clarity and consistency in aerobically programming your aspiration. You expanded the method to include repeating your goal or intention aloud. The repeated aerobic programming aloud helped to increase your awareness both internally and externally with respect to issues related to your aspiration. This likely led to adjustments in the wording of your aerobic programming. Being able to objectively observe your results internally and externally and then adjust was a key developmental aspect of the intermediate stage. You may also have expanded your programming to include multiple areas for focus.
An important developmental aspect of the intermediate stage is beginning to shift to a different context for how you view your life. This shift involves moving away from the negative attitude, “It is being done to me,” with associated negative feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. This critical developmental step involves greater acceptance of responsibility for creating a better future. The method gives you something to do that is under your own control, without any judgments or boundaries imposed by others. Taking aerobic action to program yourself for reaching your goals is a very powerful step in creating a better future. It builds response-ability, your ability to respond to the challenges presented in the Game of Life.
The developmental process continues to expand in the advanced stage of the Ready for Better Method by using aerobic visualization techniques for stress management and enhanced creativity. These techniques go beyond the method’s basic stage of silent verbal aerobic programming and intermediate stage of audible aerobic programming.
What is typically considered aerobic exercise by itself [with no aerobic visualization] can often bring significant value to a comprehensive stress management program. Aerobic exercise helps burn up or metabolize the stress hormones and biochemicals that tend to accumulate in the body when we are under significant or prolonged stress.
Additionally, a wide variety of non-aerobic stress management techniques can also be used, including: relaxation methods, passive meditation, yoga, a healthy non-toxic diet and nutritional supplements. There are loads of internet resources for each of these areas, some of which have been selected and are shared, along with further information, in the Wellness & Wellbeing section of Our Concerns.
Aerobic visualization is a new variation that simultaneously combines aerobic movement and rhythmic breathing with purposeful visualization. This can be a helpful additional component in the Ready for Better Method. It can be more challenging mentally and adds an important area of brain/mind function. Visualization can be an important element in creative thinking. Building your visualization skills can enable you to generate more creative ideas and solutions for problem solving in your journey toward your most important goals. Doing this aerobically helps empower you for successful positive action.
The method uses aerobic visualization within a context of 7 motivational or energy centers.
There is a useful structure for organizing human motivation and energy within the intangible realm. Within this framework each of us has seven physical centers of motivation and energy, each of which is associated with a particular color of the rainbow, or vibrational frequency:
In some cultures and systems of knowledge, these energy centers within the human body are called chakras. Carl Jung, the famous Austrian psychiatrist and colleague of Freud, considered them to be centers of awareness, motivation and energy. They can also be viewed as levels of perceptual awareness and motivation in the evolution of our consciousness as we grow from basic to more refined perceptual sensitivity.
The first three centers [survival, sex and power] involve basic ego-related motivations and perceptual awareness. They can be viewed as the “lower energy centers” in the evolution of our individual consciousness. Our focus and learning tends to move naturally through each of these three in sequence. After our birth we initially focus as infants on survival with the basic necessity of food and water of primary importance. If all goes well, we bond with mother, father or caregiver. As we mature physically we discover sexual feelings and learn how to cope with those feelings by ourselves and in relationships with others. Power and control issues tend to arise more prominently during adolescence. These issues continue for the rest of our lives as we seek to choose and develop a career, as well as find and secure a mate. Our intimate and work relationships often involve power and control issues. Such issues are always prevalent in other sectors. including organizational dynamics, politics and reaching for higher financial status.
The bulk of mainstream news media and advertising revolves around these three issues of survival, sex and power. Sports programs are about competition and who wins; which team is able to dominate the other team. Our current dramatic television programs and movies focus on these three issues almost exclusively. Reality TV programs seem to project nothing but ego-based behavior and concerns around survival, sex and power. This cultural programming strengthens our ego-based concerns and tends to restrict how we experience and respond to our evolving world.
The Game of Life is filled with problems and challenges revolving around survival, sex and power. Making progress in this game involves learning how to cope with the numerous challenges that arise as we journey beyond ego into moments of mindful self awareness. Success can often become more ego-food. This tends to bind us in fixed egotistical or selfish behavior patterns and ways of viewing our world.
Even though it is easy for each of us to become stuck in survival, sex and power issues, the Game of Life creates opportunities for personal growth and progress in the evolution of our consciousness. As sexual attraction drives us to explore intimate relationships we have an opportunity to bond with a mate. As that potential bonding process unfolds we may begin to open our fourth energy center, our heart. This creates significant opportunities for emotional growth. In these relationships it is also true that emotional scar tissue can arise from unmet expectations, disappointment, hurt feelings and resentment.
Intimate relationships can often bounce us between the third and fourth chakras, between power/control and heart. If we can learn how to successfully cope with these challenges, we can then learn how to sustain an open heart, bond with another and form a more lasting relationship. If we become parents we encounter a host of challenges as we learn to cope with similar issues that arise in taking care of our offspring.
As we taste the sweetness of intimate love and nurturing parental relationships, our heart center opens to accept and bond with another. The challenge in all such love relationships is to keep our hearts open. Power and control issues can often block tender feelings for our mate and offspring.
Herein lies the first major challenge in our conscious evolution toward higher centers of motivation and energy: how to keep an open, loving and forgiving heart with those we care about. The Ready for Better Method provides techniques for accomplishing this, and going beyond an open heart into integrity and wisdom.
The fifth energy center, integrity, is in the physical area of our throat. Telling the truth and speaking truth to power are important aspects of integrity. The integrity domain includes another important issue, the degree of alignment across three crucial areas: our words, behavior and intention. Gandhi has been quoted as saying that integrity is present when our words, behavior and intention are all in alignment with each other.
The Method makes extensive use of programming for intention, first by clarifying intention in words, then aerobically repeating that intention silently and adjusting the wording of that intention as the individual journey unfolds. That programming increases our awareness of inconsistencies when our words, behavior and intention are not in alignment with each other.
Many people live with such inconsistencies, often unaware of their negative effects and how a lack of integrity can negatively impact personal growth, the evolution of consciousness and quality of life as a result. If people are aware of an inconsistency, they may not know how to work on bringing words and behavior into alignment with intention.
Aerobically repeating our intention tens to increase our awareness on discrepancies between that intention and what we say and do. Adjusting our spoken word and overt behavior so as to better match what we intend is a critical aspect of self management, personal growth and spiritual evolution. The Method can be an enormously effective and powerful way to bring our words and actions into alignment with our intention.
As we accomplish this, we accumulate insights into our own responsibility for the quality of our life and our relationships. The merging of these insights is the beginning of wisdom, the sixth energy chakra.
As we sustain an open, loving and compassionate heart and we align our thoughts and actions with our intentions, we become more aware of how our life history and the choices we have made are connected with our current circumstances. These insights enable us to better understand how we have been playing the Game of Life. As we deepen our wisdom, it is likely that by using the method we can adjust our lives toward evolving in a more favorable direction.
The cultivation of wisdom can also involve testing our emerging recognition that a higher motivational center can be helpful in dissolving the problems and challenges that arise from a lower energy center. For example, in some cultures it’s not unusual for some women to use their sexual energy [chakra 2] to increase their chances of survival [chakra 1]. Correspondingly, some men may use the power of their financial status [chakra 3] to meet their sexual needs [chakra 2]. This relationship dynamic, however, can lead to an opening of both hearts and enable a more enduring love relationship through mutual support and pair bonding [chakra 4].
As a relationship progresses, power and control issues inevitably arise, which can create emotional scar tissue and the closing down of hearts that were previously open. The scar tissue is an emotional stuckness created by the memory of conflict and hurt feelings. An answer to the question, “where does love go when it dies?” can be that it is buried within emotional scar tissue at the heart level. For relationships to endure, both parties must learn how to let go of past hurts, forgive each other and revive the tender feelings that arise from an open heart. Emotional scar tissue can be dissolved through forgiveness. The Method can be used to facilitate this goal. A combination of verbal and visual modes, separately and then together, is useful for coping with this issue. The technique for blending verbal and visual is described in more detail below.
This evolutionary process for our human spirit may also enable us to deepen our understanding of how the complexities of the world are related to an invisible web of dynamic cause and effect relationships. We begin to get momentary glimpses of how the world seems work in all its majesty, tragedy and complexity. We begin to see how the Game of Life can be played collectively with deeper awareness and higher levels of consciousness. This includes an evolving understanding of the principles underlying the Game of Life. We deepen our understanding of these principles as we recognize the intangible cause and effect relationships that permeate our history. This is the dawning of wisdom.
Guidance for coping with these and related issues as our journeys unfold can be enhanced by connecting with the seventh or topmost energy center at the top of our head, called the crown chakra.
An important aspect of personal growth and the evolution of our consciousness via the Ready for Better Method is the opening of our crown chakra at the top of our head. Information and guidance passes through this energy center when it is open. This is the connection point between an individual and the Universe or Source.
Different groups and organizations use different names for the Source, including: Tao, Higher Self, Gaia, Mother Earth, Great Spirit, Jahweh, Creator, Allah, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, the Force and the supra-system. As the seventh chakra opens and informational energy and guidance flows through it, the quality and effectiveness of our choices and decisions will improve to the degree that we can detect and properly respond to that guidance. When the crown chakra is open we are enabled to think, feel and behave with increasing awareness, mindfulness and what can be called right judgment. This awareness enables us to receive guidance from beyond our rational minds. We may sometimes speak with knowledge or understanding that can be surprising as well as enlightening for ourselves as well as others.
Carl Jung believed the opening of the seven energy centers enabled a heightening of our intuition, with that intuition drawing from what he called the collective unconscious. Others have written about the Akashic Record, from which those who are connected with Source can obtain important knowledge gleaned from a nonphysical plane of existence. Tielhard de Chardin believed there is a noosphere encircling the earth, from which creative ideas and guidance can be extracted. Artists and authors from many disciplines report that when they are “in the zone” information and ideas seem to flow through them effortlessly.
The Ready for Better Method enables the strengthening of this two-way communication channel between our individual selves and our Higher Self, otherwise known as the Source. We can receive guidance for our individual and collective journeys, as well as project messages silently and aloud that clarify our most strategic and heartfelt intentions. This intimate spiritual connection can soften our hardships and reduce our pain and suffering, as well as guide us toward a better future. The Method provides an operational description of what to do in seeking such guidance and solace.
With this background in mind for the seven centers of energy, awareness and motivation, we turn to the operational aspects of aerobic visualization. The first step to qualify for using this aspect of the method is to clearly visualize the colors of the rainbow.
Aerobic visualization enables us to dissolve stress and negative emotions. The first qualifying step for using this technique requires that you be able to visualize the colors of the rainbow, especially green, blue, purple and white. To check your current visualization skill, try to visualize each of the colors of the rainbow in sequence: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, as well as white.
One way to do this is to recall familiar objects of the desired color, such as a red apple, an orange fruit, a yellow lemon, green grass, blue sky and a purple flower or robe. If you can close your eyes and visualize each of these items clearly with color, you can proceed to the next step.
If you cannot visualize one or more of the items, then it may be helpful to obtain a real one in front of you for the first three fruits: apple, orange and lemon. Look at it closely for a few moments and then shut your eyes and recall what it looked like, with a focus on the relevant color.
Practice that repeatedly until you can recall an image of the first three colors of the rainbow whenever you choose to do so. Do the same for green grass and blue sky. For purple, find an article of clothing, a magazine picture or a digital picture that shows purple clearly in the image. Practice visualizing green, blue, purple and white until you can do so easily.
When you can separately visualize the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white clearly with your eyes closed, you are ready to prepare for aerobic visualization.
While sitting or standing, visualize each of the rainbow colors separately entering your body from above on successive inhalations, and then leaving your body on the corresponding exhalations. Try to sit or stand with your spine upright and extend your upper torso to its full height.
Begin by visualizing white light entering your body from above, traveling down to the center of your body and radiating from your abdomen just below your navel. This is called your chi center. Repeat this with white until you can do it clearly. Then repeat it separately with each of the rainbow colors until you can visualize each individual color clearly traveling through your body and radiating out from your chi center, filling your body with the light of that color and then radiating out by spreading beyond the boundaries of your physical body.
An important intangible aspect of stress management is cleansing your body of the negative energy that tends to accumulate from the many stresses of daily life and work. Relaxation, meditation and yogic stretching can be useful, while aerobic visualization adds an entirely different component for even more beneficial results.
It is helpful to begin by first establishing a moderately aerobic pace [brisk walk, jog, swim, etc.] that you can easily sustain for at least 20-30 minutes. Breathe deeply in rhythm with your repetitive movement. Many people find that a 4/4 rhythm works well for them in the beginning: four steps [or movements] on the in-breath and four on the out-breath. You can adjust the rhythm count according to the physical demands and exertion needed to sustain a consistent pace.
When you are moving comfortably and regularly, begin the aerobic visualization by visualizing white light entering you from above and moving down entering your body on the inhalation. As you exhale, visualize the light moving down through your body and into the earth.
If you have had a stressful or emotionally troublesome day, visualize the light turning dark gray as it passes through you and grounds out into the earth. As you begin to feel better from the exercise and deep breathing, visualize the gray light inside your body gradually becoming white.
Then you can separately visualize each of the colors in sequence. Bring white light into your body and as it passes through you, shift it to each of the rainbow colors in sequence. Shift from one color to the next after you have been able to clearly visualize each color moving through your body and going into the earth. You can do this repeatedly until you feel “cleansed”.
After you feel cleansed of negative energy, shift mental gears by stopping the visualization and returning to silent verbal programming or doing it aloud, in rhythm with movement and breath.
One useful way to think about this is that you are cleansing your body/mind of stress and negative emotion. You are grounding the negative stress and emotions [negative energy] into the earth. As you do this you will feel better, more energized and fresh. This is also a very helpful technique for shifting gears from a frustrating or challenging day to stimulating a more enjoyable state of consciousness so you can enjoy your free time by yourself, with family or with friends.
A more physiological way to think about this technique is that it builds your ability to increase blood flow to the visual processing areas of your brain/mind. This is useful for the more advanced stage of aerobic visualization: purposefully combining both verbal and visual programming modes during aerobic movement.
Possibly the most challenging technique in the Ready for Better Method is the simultaneous combining of both verbal and visual modes during rhythmic aerobic movement. Learning to implement this technique has the significant beneficial effect of establishing and strengthening connections in your brain/mind between verbal and visual information processing centers. This has all the beneficial effects explained earlier, plus it enhances your potential for thinking and speaking more creatively.
The way to establish your ability to use this technique is to learn it step by step, preferably in a single programming session. If necessary, of course, you can use more than one session.
Repeating your silent verbal affirmation during aerobic visualization brings multiple benefits to your brain/mind and consciousness for thinking and speaking more creatively. This prepares you for stage 3 of aerobic visualization: audible aerobic verbal and visual.
Stage 3 uses the same steps and technique as Stage 2, except that audible verbal [speaking aloud] is used instead of silent verbal. After you have practiced the Stage 2 aerobic combination of silent verbal with visual and can do that effectively, you are ready for Stage 3. In Stage 3 you use audible verbal rather than silent verbal and repeat the same sequence as in Stage 2.
As you practice Stage 3 of the Ready for Better Method, you are increasing your focus, awareness, commitment and strategic learning. You are also increasing your stress management effectiveness and your ability to think and speak more creatively. These powerful benefits should be moving you forward into a future better than the one you faced when you began using the method. Your strategic learning has been ongoing as you have applied the method in your own life to your own goals using aerobic action. Serendipity and synchronicity may sometimes appear unexpectedly more frequently than before. These unexpected surprises and meaningful coincidences can be interpreted as positive leading indicators for a better future.
May your journey continue and may you share the Ready for Better Method with others in your life space by sending them a link to this information.
As you continue to make progress on movement toward a better future, we encourage you to look into the strategic concerns we have identified. We will post informative articles from time to time about these issue. Additionally we encourage you to sign up for our email newsletter(s) by clicking on which concerns you want to receive notifications about.