Do you feel a pull to deepen your understanding of yourself, and by extension, the way you interact with the world?
Perhaps you have a sense of disconnect; your internal world and your external life aren’t quite in harmony.
If so, SWAN meditation is a wonderful practice to work with. If you came along to my New Year’s yoga and meditation immersion at South Narrabeen Surf Club, you’ll already have a solid grounding in the SWAN technique, and I hope you’re starting to feel the benefits.
For those of you who weren’t there, I wanted to offer a brief introduction so that you might be inspired to try it, too.
SWAN is an acronym for Strengths; Weaknesses; Ambitions; and Needs.
SWAN meditation concentrates on these elements of the self, providing an opportunity to take a close look at what’s going on inside ourselves and to recognise any patterns in our thoughts or actions that might be limiting us.
Acknowledging and then letting go of these limitations allows us to move towards a healthier, happier, more fulfilled life — with a greater ability to handle challenges or tough decisions.
To put it simply, SWAN meditation is a method for working out whether you’re currently living in a way that aligns with your core values and needs.
And then, once you’ve figured that out, it becomes a tool for finding that alignment so that you feel better; mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The SWAN technique is logical and easy to follow, and can be adapted to suit your intentions and needs.
It offers clear, actionable steps so that you won’t feel lost, and it can be undertaken as a strict meditation practice or in a gentler, softer, more contemplative mode.
Once you’re really familiar with it, you can use the technique at any time.
For example, if you encounter conflict within a personal relationship, the principles SWAN meditation will be there, in your head, ready for you to draw on so that you can pause, take stock, look at what’s happening from a more measured perspective and make a conscious decision as to how to proceed.
To work through this conflict using the SWAN technique, you’d follow these steps:
1. Goal. What is — from your perspective — the intended outcome of this conflict? Write it down.
2. Ambitions. Write down all desires that you have relating to this conflict. Don’t hold back; even if you have no idea how to achieve these desires, be honest with yourself about what you want.
3. Needs. This one should be more realistic: write down all of the essential needs that you have to fulfil in relation to this conflict, that are attainable within the goal you identified earlier.
At this point, take a moment to reflect on the ambitions and needs you’ve written down, and decide whether any of your needs are really ambitions, and vice versa.
4. Strengths. Then, consider your strengths; write down any that will support you in achieving your goal and needs in this conflict.
5. Weaknesses. With honesty and kindness, add all of the weaknesses that place limitations on your ability to achieve goal and needs.
Consider which strengths might help you overcome your weaknesses, and fulfil your needs and then, finally, you can start to form a strategy for working towards your goal.
This kind of meditation is a powerful way to improve your communication skills and self-knowledge — and these self-developments will begin to filter out into your external world, so you’ll feel the benefits in all areas of your life.
You’ll find greater clarity in your relationships, your work, your confidence, and your general sense of wellbeing.
Now if this all sounds good or a little confusing join me on FREE Facebook lives where I'm guiding you through the practice. First session is Tuesday 23 January 2018 at 4pm Australian EST.
Join me by clicking here.
Click below to download the worksheet and 4 support emails for the SWAN Meditation practice.
If you can't make it access them afterwards by clicking the link below and heading to the Video Playlist - FACEBOOK LIVES.