What comes to mind when you hear the word “revise?”
Perhaps it’s my school teacher background, or flashbacks from my Law school days, but my first thoughts are of late nights, text books and granular coffee. So when I first heard Neville Goddard’s lecture on The Pruning Shears of Revision, I was amazed. Not only were there no books or assignments in sight, but, true to Goddard’s style, you only really need one thing: your imagination. And that’s not even the best part! The purpose of this revision?
Self-care.Any school teachers reading this are familiar with the post-break or post-lunch time huddle. That is, the time when kids come to you with one or more of the following:
- Someone wouldn’t let me join in a game.
- My friend said something mean to me.
- My “best friend” says that they have a new best friend.
- They won't share with me.
What if, in addition to advising kids to take a breath, calm themselves and communicate with the other person, we also showed them how to revise the situation and let it go? Read below to find out how.
6 Steps to RevisionStep 1: Appreciate it!
At the end of each day, (10-15 minutes before hometime) kids take out their journals.
Ask: what went well today? When did you feel good? When did you feel happy? Kids then note three things they appreciated throughout the day.
Step 2: Identify it!
Ask: Where did these experiences leave you feeling on the Hicks emotional scale? Find and note a number.
Ask: Did anything happen to make you feel sad? Did anything upset you? Were you frustrated today? Is there something you wish you’d done differently? Kids acknowledge a negative experience from the school day (frustration in a lesson, a challenge with a friend, a tough morning before school, a reaction they wish they hadn’t had.)
Where did this experience leave you feeling on the Hicks emotional scale?
Encourage children to look again at the difficult experience they’ve noted. (If they haven’t written any, they can continue on a rampage of appreciation or they can set intentions for tomorrow.)
Ask: How would you rewrite this so that it ended with a positive outcome? What edits would you make so that you can close your chapter feeling happy? Children then rewrite that segment of the day, ending it positively.
ExampleNegative Experience: My friend wouldn’t let me join in her game at breaktime. She said there were too many people, but later on, she let someone else join. I just stood on the outside and then ended up sitting on my own. Now, I feel like she’s not really my friend.
Number on the Scale: 21
Revision: I went to play with my friend at playtime and she invited me to play her game. She was smiling and made room for me. It was so fun and the time went so fast! We played until the bell rang.
Revision: Just after lunch, my friend came to me to explain. She said she’d had a tough morning before school and wasn’t in a good mood. We asked if she could hug me. I said yes. We smiled and were friends again.
Children then close their eyes and scene-by-scene, reimagine the new, edited version of events- exactly as they wish it to be. They replay it over and over until it begins to feel real, and until happy emotions start to grow. And then for us teachers, it’s a simple case of watching as smiles start to appear around the room. You’ll feel the energy of your whole classroom change and you’ll watch as all of your students go home as happy little campers!
The ASTOUNDING benefits of RevisionAccording to neuroscientist Dr Joe Dispenza and hypnotist Paul Mckenna, the body is so objective that it cannot distinguish between an event that has actually happened and an event that is purely imagined. Rather, the body responds to what it feels has occurred. Therefore, if children revise challenging events and imagine them anew (so vividly or repeatedly that they create the subsequent emotion) then the body REACTS. And get this, it reacts by physically:
- alleviating stress.
- quelling anxiety.
- creating heart-head coherence.
This strategy shows children how to imagine the stress away- literally. Think about the rising number of children and teens who live with anxiety.Imagine the long-term effects of revision on mental health.
Imagine the sense of control over one's emotions.
Imagine the sense of satisfaction in editing the script of your life.
Goddard goes further. He says that pruning the garden of one's mind every day ensures that no negative seeds are planted in the oh-so-fertile soil of the subconscious. Negative emotions so planted later turn into limiting beliefs, which are then acted out by the body. (The body takes a thought, i.e."I am not worthy of love" and acts it out as a string of unhealthy relationships. Similarly, "I'm never going to lose weight" then manifests as bad food habits.)
Based on the mind-body law that "If you feel it, it's real," Goddard asserts that revision should be a non-negotiable part of every person's day. Perhaps this is where the age-old advice of "never go to sleep on an argument" originates, for it is during sleep that the subconious mind is most active. Pruning each day then assures that the gardener only has positive seeds to grow.
One more INCREDIBLE Benefit of Revision
In his book The Code of The Extraordinary Mind, Vishen Lakhiani discusses the benefits of forgiveness. Studies of the human mind have show that forgiveness not only has the same positive effect on the brain, heart and body as that of feeling gratitude, but has the added benefit of building compassion for others. Thus, in the revision example above, the initially upset school child who felt left out during breaktimes could end the session not only feeling happy and anxiety-free, but also be left with a new feeling of understanding and compassion for her friend. This is because imagining an event in a more positive way also shines positive light on the people involved, thus triggering feelings of forgiveness and enabling the participant to let go.
So, there you have it. Revise for self-care, not for exams!