In the book Stress Less, Accomplish More, Emily Fletcher preaches the benefits of what she calls the 3 M’s—mindfulness, meditation and manifesting. Now you may have heard of these spiritual activities as stand-alone pursuits, but Fletcher believes the 3 M’s should be linked together. Think of her approach as a circuit work-out for your spiritual health.
While the 3 M’s aren’t physical in nature, I should point out that Fletcher, a former Broadway dancer, also believes in engaging in a morning exercise to start the day. It adds up to a mind/body workout, one you might consider if you don’t have a physical activity as part of your spiritual practice.
The 3 M’s: Mindfulness, Meditation and Manifesting
Fletcher sees this practice as addressing the three primary phases of life, the past, the present and the future. Here’s a quick rundown of the 3 M’s and how she sees them dealing with each phase:
- Mindfulness helps you deal with stress in the present moment.
- Meditation gets rid of stress from the past.
- Manifesting helps you create your dreams for the future.
What follows is a brief glimpse of the practice. For additional details, you might want to check out Fletcher’s website which also includes several informative videos.
It starts “with your eyes closed, your back supported, and your head free.” The next thing you’ll need to do is start focusing on your breath, as you breathe deeply in and out, in and out. Once you’ve reached a state of relative calmness, start with the first M below, then move seamlessly to the second and third M.
Mindfulness. Fletcher calls this activity “Come to Your Senses” as it brings all 5 senses into play. She says it can help you tune in to the present moment and lessen any stress that’s in your life. As you’re breathing, bring awareness to whatever part of your body is feeling something, perhaps it’s a sore back or a small knot in the pit of your stomach. Next, listen to whatever sounds are in the room you’re in. Then, even though your eyes are closed, look into the darkness. Breathe deeply again and see if your nose detects any smells. Then, sense any tastes in your mouth, even if its coffee or toothpaste. Cycle through all 5 senses again, feeling, hearing, seeing, tasting and smelling.Transition to:
Meditation. Fletcher advocates for the use of a mantra, specifically the word One. She reminds us that we are not to chant the word, but let it slowly form in the back of your mind. Also, she mentions what she calls the single most important piece of meditation advice: “thoughts are not the enemy…the mind thinks involuntarily just like the heart beats involuntarily, so don’t try to give your mind a command to be silent.” Thoughts are okay, as long as you let them pass, like clouds passing by the blue sky that is your mind. (For specific meditation techniques, see here and here.)
Manifesting. Start from a place of gratitude. What are you thankful for right now? As Fletcher says, “Whatever is in your heart that makes you feel thankful, acknowledge it.” The next step is to think of “one dream, one goal, or one desire and imagine it as if it were your current reality.” Fletcher says that “you must imagine the dream as if it is happening now. Don’t picture it as something that will happen down the road.” See, hear and feel it as if were “part of your present reality…experience the joy and sense of accomplishment you’ll feel.” As a next step, to solidify the dream, “ask yourself who would be the first person you call to share the news with. Imagine that conversation. Now imagine their response. Take a moment to receive their enthusiasm and let that fuel your dream.”
Fletcher believes that for the best results, you should do this spiritual workout once in the morning, immediately upon awakening, and again in late afternoon or early evening. It’s one more potential activity to add to your spiritual toolbox.