It is probably safe to say that meditation and yoga are the exercises most associated with spiritual development. I say they are methods to build spiritual muscle, and the basis for creativity. While sitting in contemplation one day, and during a space of no thought, an idea germinated in my mind. A way of using negativity to awaken the power of now, and make the ego triggers much less powerful.
Some mental images and thoughts trigger negative reactions within. This could be a very big problem if it is occurs often. For example, when we see a person we believe wronged us, or when we can’t look at ourselves in the mirror because we are unhappy with bad choices that lead to disappointment. There is an exercise that I’ve found to be most effective when experiencing the former. Simply look at a photo of the person you see as the cause of your suffering. Make this process a meditation, and become aware of what is happening inside of you. Take deep breaths, then look away or close your eyes, but keep breathing deeply. Practice acceptance of the emotions or negative feelings. Don’t let the emotions turn into thinking. Don’t make a story out of it. You only need to do this for a minute at a time. If a picture is unavailable then write their name on a piece of paper and look at that instead.
Some individuals may also have difficulty looking at themselves in the mirror. They may believe that they are not good enough because they aren’t the right size, or haven’t achieved success or enlightenment. Do the same exercise by looking at yourself in the mirror. A minute at a time will suffice. Avoid judging what you are looking at by making peace with the image. By no means will this make you free of your problems, but it will help you become free.
This exercise is all about quality not quantity. A few minutes is probably the most you will ever need to practice it. Letting go completely isn’t important either. Drop all expectations before engaging. I also recommend a short meditation beforehand. This may become the basis for your own ability to create when faced with a problem.