The Two-Minute Treatment series is for people who are too busy and need help now. As with all treatments, if you need to, please take time to research the links before just jumping in. If you don’t need lots of footnotes and “science,” just go for it.
Whether your belief system is pro-life (killing is always wrong, period) or pro-choice (no one can tell me what to do with my own body), in America, our political system lets you speak freely to support your position. The implication is that you will also listen carefully, attempt to view the issue from the “other” side’s position and reach some rational compromise that works best. This two-minute treatment for abortion rights also works in any polarized conflict. Try it.
First, it’s important to actually feel as human as possible. If you can do this together with the “other” side present, for example, that’s really good.
One note: this example takes 5-10 minutes, but you can compress the same practice down to two minutes as you get better at it.
Start with your heart
The idea here is to reconnect you to your humanity. Grab your headphones and an Internet thing that makes music.
Sexy music is a quick way to reconnect with your heart, and since abortion is about reproductive rights, find the music that puts you in the mood, makes you feel animal, turns you on, makes you want to dance…basically engages you with your most visceral self – your loving, compassionate, wild, powerful self. Put the intellectual and belief system stuff aside for now, and just listen for five or ten minutes.
If you are the type of person who needs a goal for this listening, make it your goal to count your exhalations. See if you can count all the way to ten exhalations without getting distracted.
If it helps, close your eyes. You may get visual stimulation with your eyes closed; that’s cool.
Engage your mind
Musicians use a lot of alternating left/right hand, eye, and foot movement. Not long ago, a psychologist discovered the power in this kind of alternating movement…while she was walking. It’s become known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or “EMDR” and you can learn about how it’s used therapeutically here.
The functional purpose of EMDR is to get the left and right hemispheres of your brain working more closely together. Stop for a moment and appreciate the irony of that. EMDR does this ‘bilateral stimulation” by triggering one side, then the other, over and over.
Anyone who uses alternating left/right hands, arms, feet, legs, ears, eyes, etc, experiences bilateral stim. Now we’re going to trigger that and use it, too, using the principles of EMDR.
To “use” EMDR, you bring an issue to mind that holds some psychic energy for you. Abortion is a good issue for this! So bring that into your mind, along with all your feelings about it. Ready? Now we engage the bilateral stim.
(Are you still listening to your music? If you are, you can expect supercharged results from bilateral stim.)
As you hold the abortion issue and all the feels in your heart and mind, tap alternately on your left knee, then your right knee, and repeat continuously. (Sit in a chair, feet on the floor, hands resting on your knees, and tap alternately.) You can do this lying down on your back, too, either tapping alternate knees or with your arms folded over your chest tapping alternate shoulders.
There’s bilateral music you can use, too. It orbits between the left and right ear of your headphones, which produces the bilateral stim. The one at this link is a good example, except that it’s more meditative, rather than all energized the way abortion is.
At this point, music has engaged your heart and bilateral stim has engaged your mind. With practice, you will find that you can become fully present to your heart, mind, body, and spirit in this way.
Engage your self
With your heart and mind fully present, allow yourself to consider abortion. What is the most passionate aspect of it? Why? Let that turn over in your mind. What triggers your most passionate feelings about abortion? How do those feelings live inside you? Why? Now, as you contemplate all this, allow yourself to extend your thoughts and feelings beyond your self – to your family, friends, colleagues, those you admire and respect from a distance, even those for whom you have no respect or compassion (we all have those people, right?). Just allow. No need to have an opinion or judgment. That can come later.
For the goal-oriented, this complete engagement of your heart, mind, and self is where the real work happens. You will find that the more negative aspects of your passionate feelings about abortion seem to disperse, leaving you more objective. Your opinions will be stronger, but with a more human sense of belonging about them.
When you feel your practice is complete, allow yourself a few seconds’ silence without movement. Those moments of release are so rare, and you have just done amazing inner work, so give yourself pause before whatever happens next.
Putting it together in two minutes
Here’s how it looks:
- Engage your heart: music that makes you feel raw animal power
- Engage your mind: bi-lateral stim
- Engage your self: contemplate your passionate energy around abortion
Although steps one, two, and three are listed separately for clarity, they can all be engaged simultaneously.
Oh, one other amazing thing about human beings: with practice, you won’t even need a music player. When you practice with music, the music you need will play in your mind when you need it with the same physiological effect.
Got questions? We can help.
Reach out here, here, or here. Want more of an introduction to Bill, what he does, and why? Excellent podcast guest appearances featuring Bill are great ways to hear how the intelligent use of music can work for you, and this is a good one. If video is more your thing, here’s Bill’s YouTube channel.
Ready for a deeper dive? The Music Care Quest, a fully-mentored online active-learning experience will immerse you in practical ways to meet life’s challenges with skills you may not realize you already have. It’s not for everybody, but you are that unique individual who really resonates with with the power of music and wants to learn to wield it with skill, give it a try. The landing page is here.
The Two-Minute Treatment: Abortion Rights