Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Emotional Stop and Reverse
What we've covered in these articles can be thought of as an Emotional Stop and Reverse. Sensing an emotion rising, you stop not the emotion, but your reaction to the emotion, and in the process reverse the destructive pattern.
I don't like to give advice to people. But I can share what I've found to help me and perhaps there is something there that sparks an interest in you. So, please take what I say as just that.
My own method of stop and reverse is based on mediation. Don't confuse this with religion or blissed out nirvana, it is very grounded and has highly practical results. I don't suggest going at this with a "goal oriented" attitude, but rather as something that is right and good, like bathing daily, which pleases you, your body, and those around you.
I sit quietly with my eyes and ears closed to distractions. I let my mind and body experience stillness for 30 minutes or more each day. I don't find a need to chant, wear special clothes, special cushions, or special places. Your den, bedroom, or even office will be fine, as long as you and your family know it is your private time. My focus is simply the breath going in, going out. And with that focus, I then observe what is happening within my mind and my body.
Imagine if all day long you waved your arm all over the place, never stopping for anything. This is what we do with our mind. It never stops. You will discover this in your quiet silence. Don't panic!!! You don't have ADD or other psychotic disease. Treat the quiet time as a treat for your mind. I call it defragging (laughing). Simply allow thoughts to happen, but do not follow them.
Similarly, you discover that your body is in constant motion, even as you are sitting still as a statue! Starting from the top of your scalp, allow yourself to sense what your scalp, ears, face, neck, back, chest, arms, tummy, legs, and even insides are doing. You may discover that while you are in constant motion, a constant state of change, your inner eye is still.
This doesn't happen instantly. In fact, just sitting for 30 minutes is nearly impossible for many. The best way to learn is through a reputable teacher, many of which are free or nearly so. There are Vipassana
retreats worldwide, but they do require a commitment of ten days. This is too much for 99% of the world, so, simply sitting is at least a good start. You will experience patience.
Finally, do not cover your inner eye once finished with your quiet time. This is the part where you "use" it in trading. Put attentive care and awareness in what you do, use the skills you learn in silence to observe emotions rising, and to choose to not react, letting the wave rise and fall away, clearing space for the work of trading. Here is a thread I started on this subject
you might enjoy. More than a few traders practice meditation.
A second practical method that I only recently discovered but am more than happy to share is called Emotional Freedom Technique. This is worthy of a larger piece, so will save it for the next post.