meditation for ideal self

Recently I’ve been using a meditation for my ideal self and to overcome my idea of my “actual self”.

As you’ll know if you follow our newsletter, there are many different types of meditation. New types are discovered and created all the time. I wrote just the other day about one of my  new meditations, which is an excellent way to develop insight and achieve inner peace. But I wanted to create a meditation for my ideal self too.

What are “ideal self” and “actual self”

Your ideal self is essentially a conceptualized idea of who you want to be. It includes your image, your jobs, your social stats, your relationship, and everything else that pertains to you as an individual. It’s closely related to self-actualization. That’s your ideal self. Actual self, on the other hand, is the person you currently are. It is the way you perceive your life and your position in society.

But here is a massive caveat. The way you perceive yourself is actually just a delusion anyway.  Your “actual self” is simply your mind’s way of interpreting your current life. It is not reality.  And here is the problem. The more your mind clings to the idea of your supposed “actual self”, the more you will be constrained by who you think you are instead of who you want to be.

Let me give you an example of actual-self and ideal-self. My own “actual self” is that I’m a moderately fit, somewhat attractive guy with average intelligence and a job that pays me enough to live but not enough to have afford luxury.

Now, as an example of ideal self, here is who I ideally want to be. I want to be spiritually enlightened, very fit, very intelligent, and work for my passion (meditation and yoga).

Those are my ideal self and actual self.

You can also have an ideal self image, which is how you wish you were with a focus on the visual aspects and how you appear to society.

However, both actual self and ideal self only exist in your own mind.

Actual self and ideal self are both delusions

The core thing to grasp about both your ideal self and actual self is that they are both delusions. Your ideal self is a mental idea of how you want to be and is entirely imaginary. Your actual self is supposedly who you really are. BUT, it is only your own idea of who you are. If you asked your partner, your friends, your colleagues, and your enemies who you are, they would all give you very different answers. There are infinite ways of perceiving yourself.

So, both ideal self and actual self are delusions. Both are in the mind. But we cling to the “actual self” because we believe it to be true.

This is a massive problem because the more we cling to the actual self the less likely we are to become our ideal self.

The mind directs our lives based on what we think is true. If you think your “actual self” is true, that is the life you will live. If you believe your “Ideal self” is true, you will live that life instead.

You can choose to be your actual self or your ideal self. It’s your choice. What you focus on you will become.

Let me level with you: You will be the person you choose to be and the person you focus on. But most people focus on their actual self because they believe it to be true.

Who do you think you are?

Whoever you think you are is the person you will be. If you want to change yourself, you need to think you are your ideal self. This is totally a mind trick. But given that both our “actual self” and “ideal self” are delusions anyway, why not focus on the “ideal self”?

You might wonder, “Does anyone ever achieve their ideal self”. And the answer is yes, once they get over their “actual self”. You must overcome your idea of your “actual self” if you are to become your “ideal self”.

The entire game is about letting go of your “actual self” and discovering you “ideal self”. So how do you do that? Meditation, that’s how.

Meditation, the practice of focusing the mind absolutely on one thing, will help you to let go of your “actual self” and become your ideal self. So how do you do it?

How To Meditate To Become Your Ideal Self

The specific meditation to become your ideal self is quite long. However, it is also very powerful and utterly beautiful. I truly believe you will love doing this meditation. So let me show you how.

Because it is quite in-depth, I’ve used myself as an example to explain things.

As usual with meditation, make sure you’re sitting comfortably with good posture and that you’re relaxed before you begin. If you need to, take some mindful breaths to focus before you start.

The meditation starts with your idea of your ideal self and then zooms out to your ideal life.

  1. Start by focusing on an idea of your ideal self n a completely empty universe. There is nothing else but you. What do you look like? How do you feel? What are you doing? Take your time to truly visualize these things. As an example, for me, I am fit and toned, I am sitting meditating, and feeling total inner peace. Truly take your time to imagine your body and the way you’re feeling.
  2. Note: When you do all the stages of this meditation, your mind will kick-up negative thoughts. For instance, in my example, my mind thinks “But I’m not that fit”. Those thoughts are fine. Acknowledge them, let them be, and continue to meditate on your ideal self anyway. Do not allow your thoughts to interfere with this process.
  3. Continuing to focus on your imagined ideal self, look at what is right next to you. What are you sitting or standing on, and are you holding anything? For me, I’m sitting on my yoga mat and holding a Buddhist mala (beads that are used in meditation). This connects me to two of the most important things in my life: meditation and yoga.
  4. Now look at what is around you nearby (within a couple of metres). For me, I visualize, my meditation book Your Best Meditation and my novel (which is currently unpublished). These are immensely important to me. I also have my computer, webcam, and everything I need to run this blog (because I am deeply passionate about this blog). Remember this is about you and your ideal self. What items do you have around your ideal self?
  5. Now zoom back a little more and imagine what environment you’re in. What are your close surroundings? For me, I have my mother in our home by our piano (which I play) and an apparition of my father. So, imagine what is close to you.
  6. Zoom out again and observe the larger environment you’re in. What kind of environment are you in? Take your time to truly visualize this. For me, I’m by the sea (I love to swim) and behind me are long country roads where I run for miles.
  7. Zoom out further. What is nearby? For me, I imagine a town where there are many art performances happening, with theatres and dance shows and a huge library of old books. This is important because I am hugely passionate about art (I use to be a professional actor and have played piano for 30 years). What is in your nearby surroundings?
  8. Continue developing your imaginary world like this. It is like you are creating a landscape of your entire ideal life. Take your time to imagine everything. The more vividly you imagine these things, the more affect the meditation will have.
  9. I’m sure you can understand the process now. It’s about visualizing an entire environment, including your self, family and friends, and meditating on it. It is very important that you do not negative thoughts to throw you off. Yes, your mind will kick-up negative thoughts and find reasons why your life cannot be perfect. These negative thoughts are the very reason why you are stuck with your actual self, not your ideal self. Just acknowledge those thoughts and continue to meditate on your ideal self anyway.

As you gradually focus on your ideal self and your deal life, your mind will find ways to make that life a reality (just like it is has been making your “actual self” a reality).

I’ve been doing this meditation for three days for an hour every day, and I have found it incredibly motivating and very uplifting.

 

Why this meditation works for your ideal self

This meditation will empower you to become your ideal self because it will make you see the world in a better lights. Did you notice how in my example everything seemed amazing (for me) but it was all entirely realistic? I imagined myself fit. I can be fit. I imagined myself meditating and publishing books. I can do that. I imagined a world full of arts and theatres. That’s a world I can live in. It’s all very real. There is absolutely no reason I can’t live that life. But I haven’t up to now because my mind was consumed by the idea of my actual self and not my ideal self.

The more you focus on your ideal self, your ideal world, and your ideal life, the more your mind will make that ieality a reality. That’s why this meditation is so powerful. And it really isn’t magic. It’s simply saying to your mind, “Look. This is the world I can live in and the person I can be”. It’s just showing your mind a different way to exist. And once you show your mind the way things could be, your mind will make it a reality.

Try the meditation for 20 minutes now. I promise it will make you feel wonderful.

Let me know how you get on with this. Leave a comment and remember to subscribe.

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About Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.


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