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How to Prepare for a Big Day

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You know the feeling. It’s something that’s been on your calendar and taking up mindshare. Maybe it’s a big presentation at work that’s anxiety inducing, or a highly anticipated vacation away, or a medical procedure that you are dreading.

How do you prepare when faced with a situation that feels uncertain and significant?

In the past, I took the tack of trying to control every last detail, whether it’s having extra material to back up my report or creating a minute-by-minute itinerary or tapping multiple sources about a medical condition. Maybe you do the same.

There’s an easier and more effective way to calm the butterflies in your stomach and boost your confidence.

Try This Practice

This practice is called Praying the Latifah. Close your eyes and think of a challenging situation. Follow these seven steps:

  1. Put your right hand on your left waist. Place your left hand over your right hand and then say, “I exist.” There was a time when you did not exist and there will be a time when you do not exist. In this moment, you exist. Feel into the miracle of your existence.
  2. Move both hands to your right waist. Then say, “I desire.” What is it that you long for in relation to the situation? Let yourself be vulnerable in naming your heart’s desire.
  3. Move both hands to the left, just below the left lung. Say, “I hope.” What is the positive expectation that you can have for this situation?
  4. Move both hands to the right, just below the right lung. Say, “I trust.” What can you trust in this situation? Maybe you trust a colleague or partner or your ability to land on your feet. Maybe you trust that life is always for you.
  5. Move both hands to cover your throat and say, “I let go.” What can you let go of in this situation? I often find myself letting go of expectations, attachment to an outcome, or a demand to perform.
  6. Move both hands to cover your heart and say, “I love.” What is it that you love? Feel it deeply.
  7. Move both hands to cover your abdomen (solar plexus) and say, “I am prepared.” How do you feel now? How does this shift how you show up in the world?

Adapted from “The Power of Latifa:An Ancient Sufi prayer to Reveal Your Higher Self”. Special thanks to BrynneDippell who introduced this practice to me.

This practice reminds me to give equal attention to what I am doing and how I am being.  How I show up matters.

I’d love to hear about your experience using this practice. Leave a comment below.

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