When you record a song in the studio, you record onto tracks.
For instance, when you sing the final lead vocal on a song, you typically sing along with the instruments that have already been recorded.
You might sing the whole track. Maybe you do it almost perfectly.
But maybe there are a few parts where you went flat, or got a scratchy throat.
Recording technology is so amazing that you can go back to those sections and “punch” the part.
The engineer finds the place. You both listen in. And then you start singing along into the mic. At the right moment, the engineer punches the part. Voila! Your new vocal part replaces the old vocal track in that one section.
So there was a time in my life when I was working hard to shift my typical reactions throughout my day. I was expanding in big ways – but the “old stuff” would come up in my moments of unawareness and completely throw me off course.
As Iyanla Vanzant so brilliantly points out:
“The New-You is willing to confront challenges and wants to do so in a spiritually grounded way. When, however, the New-You is backed up to a wall, it will, out of habit, borrow from the Old-You. The instant the borrowing occurs, the New-You is rendered dead – even if it is only for a moment. The challenge is that when the New-You is brought back into focus, there is probably a pile of Old-You crap that needs to be cleaned up.”
I went through years of this Old-You, New-You back and forth. And I remember feeling as if there was simply no way to get a hold of those old patterns and habits and beliefs that would strike out of nowhere!
It was then I remembered the recording studio.
I asked myself, “What if I used that same technology on me? What if I punched my day?”
It worked wonders. It actually seemed to add to my present-moment awareness levels the more I practiced it!
How to Punch Your Day
Your own inner technology is so advanced that you can actually mimic the recording studio, and change the outcomes of your day.
This is a great way to create new habits, be kind to yourself, and clear any blocks or default patterns soon after they happen.
At the end of each day, sit quietly for about five minutes. (It may take longer, but start small at first.)
Then move through your day in your mind beginning from the moment you woke up, all the way through to this moment right now.
Ask yourself, “Is there anything I would’ve liked to do differently?” Or “How could I have been more empowered or centered?” Or even, “In a perfect world, what would’ve happened here?”
Then, become the engineer.
Imagine the more empowered response or action in any given moment. Then, punch in the new response or new habit, and replace the old one with it.
For instance, let’s say as you review your day in your mind, you remember a phone call you made at lunchtime. The phone call was your first attempt at inquiring about a job you want. The person on the other end was unpleasant. When the call ended, you were nervous and freaked out.
Instead of going back to the work on your desk, you went to Boston Market and got a huge plate of macaroni and cheese, and you called three friends and related the whole story for them.
When you punch your day, you can change this Old-You pattern.
You can get off the phone call, and see yourself being happy. You can see yourself getting right back to work – trusting that the Universe has something great in store for you, and trusting that your intention is guiding the way. Maybe you even get an email from an old co-worker telling you about an even better job that’s out there.
OR, you can head the entire thing off by not making the call until you are less exhausted and scattered. You choose to wait to make the call for another day when you’re more focused.
There are many ways to approach it. None of them are right or wrong. You’ll know which option you want to choose.
Sometimes it’s fun to just change the entire situation, and get the job interview or the acceptance letter or whatever.
Sometimes, as a bonus, I used to add in little extras. Like when I’d get my mail, I’d imagine a few extra royalty checks for me, just to make things fun! It always made me smile. Try it. (Royalty checks rock!)
This doesn’t have to take long. But try it for a week and see what a difference it makes!