As I sit down to write this afternoon, I am aware of how disconnected I feel. I feel outside of myself. As I pause and acknowledge that, I begin to notice sensations in my body. My head is foggy and busy. I have a general sense of agitation. It feels hard to slow down.
Two of the things that help me come back into myself and calm down are meditation and imagery. I often use these tools when I feel stuck and do not know what to do with myself. In this blog, I will walk you through one of the guided meditations that I find helpful. It is a combination of various teachings I have experienced in mindfulness meditation, qigong and somatic therapy.
Sit and Be
To begin, notice how you are sitting, standing, reclining, etc. Are you comfortable? Make any adjustments so that you may find relative comfort as you continue reading.
Next gently focus on your breath. Where do you feel your breath in your body? In the movement of air in and out of your mouth or nose? In the rise and fall of your chest or belly? What is the quality of your breath...full...constricted...deep...shallow...fast...or slow? Take a few moments to simply be with your experience of breathing and notice what you feel.
Then bring your attention to the areas where you have contact with the floor, the ground, the chair, etc. Are you holding yourself up above the ground in any subtle way? Can you imagine the earth beneath you holding you and providing support? What would it be like to invite your body to gently release and soften into the earth, the ground, the chair?
Focus on your feet. Imagine the energy in your body traveling down into your feet. Imagine roots growing out of the bottom of your feet and down into the earth. Notice if any part of you resists this and notice whether or not you would like to soften and give up the resistance for a few moments. You get to choose.
Now, if you like, imagine anything that you do not want in this moment, any area of stress or tension in your body or in your life, anything that is holding you back or preventing movement and flow, imagine that traveling down into the roots at the bottom of your feet. Imagine the earth greeting whatever it is, welcoming it and holding it for you. Imagine the earth is always there to be with you and to hold everything that needs to be held.
Come back to your breath. Notice if it feels the same or different. Whatever your experience is, try on the idea that nothing needs to change. Your experience has meaning, whatever it is.
My experience from the beginning of agitation and busyness has meaning, as well. The beauty of practicing meditation and imagery is that I begin to connect with myself more deeply and feel more able to hold and greet whatever my experience is. In following this meditation just now, I also felt a shift. As I focused on my breath, my body and my feet, I felt my system calm down. When I imagined the earth beneath me, I felt held and connected to something greater than myself. In that moment, my body responded and softened. What did your body do?