This is a part of my 7 day blogging challenge – every day for 7 days, I will post about 7 things. It’s day two today! Yesterday was 7 children’s books worth reading, tomorrow will be 7 types of tea, and the next day’s in the works.
For Sleep / Relaxation
This is a meditation that I started using a looooong time ago, to help me get to sleep at night. It works by progressively tensing your muscles, one by one, and then relaxing them, so they are each in a state of deep relaxation. As you tense and relax each muscle, I find it helps to visualise that muscle as relaxed. Work your way up your body – I do toes-to-head, because that’s how I learnt it, but my partner does head-to-toes – you decide what works best for you.
This is a visualisation method for when you have a lot of worries (or to-do’s) in your head. Close your eyes and picture a blue sky. Now imagine that each of your worries are a cloud – focus on each ‘cloud’ and watch it float across the sky and out of sight (and mind!). Another version was taught to me by friend & artist Jane Thorne, who said to imagine each worry is a bubble. Hold the bubble in your palm and gently blow it away, watching it float up and away until it is out of sight. Now, the universe will take care of it.
This is a widely-used meditation (there’s some in-depth info here)in which a strong, healing energy from the earth & sky fills you and protects you. Imagine the sky glowing with a bright white light. It sends down beams of this light, and one comes straight down to meet you. It enters the crown of your head and fills you with its energy – your head, chest, arms, torso, and legs are filled with this healing energy. The beam goes straight down into the earth, grounding itself and you, then comes out again, wrapping around you like a protective cocoon.
This is a good one for when you’re feeling a bit frazzled. I use it as soon as I begin to feel anxiety & irritability building in my body. Close your eyes. Imagine your core, (or your solar plexus chakra if you’re familiar with yoga) – somewhere between the chest and stomach for most of us. It’s a ball of energy, glowing, pure white, perhaps, or tinged with another colour. This is your energy, your potential, your connection with the energies of the universe. Visualise it, focus on the power that it imbues you with, and take three deep breaths, feeding it with positivity on the inhale, and letting go of the tension on the exhale.
I use this on days when I feel like everyone’s out to get me. ‘Cause the world revolves around me, obviously (ha!). Anyway, my lovely counsellor taught me this little one which I put into practice right away. I imagine my ‘self’ as a flower – a french-rose-pink lotus, to be super specific. I find visualisations come to me readily, and when I have the emotional walls up, my lotus is closed into a bud; when I feel confident it is open, full and bright; when I feel like digging a deep, dark hole & hiding inside until the world disappears (don’t tell me you’ve never felt like that!) it is dull with tattered edges. BUT no matter what condition my lotus – mySELF – is in, I have a gentle, white circle of protection around it. Any words or actions that would otherwise be taken personally simply bounce off the circle of protection, and become what they are – just words and actions – not a personal attack on me.
This is another one my counsellor taught me – it’s a visualisation meditation, as well as an affirmation. The affirmation is “I am perfect.” I reinforce this affirmation with a progressive visualisation technique: lie down, or preferably, lie in the bath. Close your eyes and hold the words “I am perfect” in your mind. What does it mean to you? Think about this on a deep level, and hold all the ideas that ‘perfection’ means. Now, mentally scan your body, starting from the tips of your toes, slowly going over your whole body, especially the bits you’re not too fond of. Ensure that throughout the body scan, you are holding the affirmation, the truth: “I am perfect.”
For Every Day
I have begun to practise meditation in my daily routine. Meditation is about mindfulness – living fully in the present moment. Some examples follow: 1) When you are brushing your teeth, hear the swish of the brush, the bristle of the brush; feel your teeth being cleansed; your morning ritual. 2) When you drink a glass of water (or other beverage), feel the liquid touch your lips, tongue and down your throat. Do this for every sip. Visualise the liquid nourishing your body; giving you energy; feeding your body and soul. Be grateful for the nourishment that has been given to you.
This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop