Today's guided meditation is an invitation to flow with grace and change. And while the thought of change can feel scary and cause us to sometimes dig in our heels, resist, and hold on to what we have and the way things are, the truth is that we are changing in every moment, with every breath, with every beat of our heart; you are not the same person who woke up this morning, or even the same person who turned on your computer and opened this mediation moment. At the cellular level, transformation is constant and continuous. If we can bring ourselves, in a leap of courage, to embrace change as our true teacher, our life expands in magnificent and unforeseeable ways. We don't try so hard to hold on, we learn each day to let go of the subtle attachments that creep into our minds; we find our own rhythm in the cycle of change: the expansion, and the contraction; the light, and the dark.
Allowing change is the antidote to suffering. In order to find peace, we need to allow things to be in a constant state of flux. This infinite flexibility allows us to see the possibilities in whatever happens, even if the situation seems dire. The meditation we are about to do is a practice for opening ourselves to change; to flowing with grace and ease in your life. Once we can do this effortlessly, that grace and ease will flow into those around us, as well as allowing the change within you to become more universal and more expansive. So, find a place where you can sit quietly for a few moments, close the door, and give yourself this time to connect with your true self: the source of all your ideas, inspiration, love, joy, and wisdom.
Begin by sitting quietly with your eyes closed and take a few deep breaths. Breathe in deeply, hold it for a few moments...and then gently release.
From this space of centered restful awareness, think about a situation in your life that is changing in ways that are bringing up feelings of comfort, or stress. It could be anything from financial woes, to a friend who is growing distant, and everything and anything in-between. Notice the feelings that accompany your story, and the sensations they provoke in your body.
Often when difficult emotions such as fear, anger, and guilt come up, our body automatically tries to resist the pain: we hold our breath, we tighten our mouth, we clench our fists, we stiffen, we brace ourselves, or we try to push the feeling away as fast as we can; anything that lets us avoid meeting what we fear most. Notice whether you are trying to push away that raw part of yourself, and observe what happens.
What are you actually afraid of?
Don't stop at the surface emotion such as no money, or no relationship; go deeper.
Visualize yourself actually peeling away a layer to get closer to the true fear: peel it away. Slowly look at that fear. Is it the real one? Or can we go even deeper?
Very gently, peel back one more layer of this fear. Take a deep breath in, and gently exhale as you settle in on the newest layer and ask yourself, "what do I really fear about this?" Take another deep breath and slowly release. Remember, soften your body.
As you experience this fear and feel it in your body, breathe in to it. Feel the tightness, feel the constriction in a particular location: your shoulders, your heart, your belly, you solar plexus; and breathe in to it--breathe deep, and then release. Breathe in to it until it starts to melt, until it becomes softer, and then release your breath...and with it, the constriction that is associated with the pain. Settle in there for a bit; breathing in to it, and breathing out. Breathe in your strength, and exhale your fear.
And now let's do that for a few moments: breathe in that strength, and release that fear.
Breathe in that power, and release some anxiety.
Breathe in that lightness, and let go of some of the blackness that's inside.
Now let's see if we can go just one more layer deeper. Ask yourself:
What am I really afraid of?
At my deepest core, what is threatening me about this situation?
What expectation do I have about the future that is being rocked by this uncertainty?
What is actually scaring me?
What is really upsetting me?
And as you gently alight on this answer, freeze it in your mind's eye. Look at it from above, from the side, from below, from the back, from the front; go face-to-face with the thing truly that scares you from all these angles: look at it from the inside out, and from the outside-in; close up, and then stepping back. Is this really what you are afraid of? Or is it something else? As you go deeper into the meditation, imagine that instead of fighting your feelings, you embrace them; you relax into them.
Take a few more deep breaths. And as you do, relax your jaw, unclench your teeth, soften your eyes, and just let go of any tension. Squeeze your hands into tight fists--squeeze even more tightly, and then let go; feel all resistance float away right out of your palms.
Move your awareness back to the point of pain; breathe in, and now invite the pain in, saying yes to the experience. Embrace whatever it is. Don't judge or censor any feeling. If there is shame or fear, let that emotion arise in a state of unconditional acceptance; face that from which you would like to hide.
Tears may be running down your cheeks right now, let them flow. Don't run.
Open yourself up to this part of you: open, open; surrender. Let the waves of whatever emotion roll through you from your toes wiggle in now, and start that ripple up through your whole body: through your calves, your knees, your thighs, upward through your hips, into your belly, into your chest, into your heart, moving into your shoulders and then your neck, your throat, your lips, your cheeks, your eyes, your temples, flowing right to the top of your head...and then feel that ripple roll right back down through your entire body, and back again into your toes.
Notice how your body responds as you make room for your shadow. And allow the voice, let it speak; don't defend or attack. Don't resist, simply witness; listen to your heartbeat as it flows, sending all of your blood, through your body.
Your shadow is a powerful part of you. Everyone has a shadow self; and acknowledging that fact can be powerfully liberating. Denying it is the thing making the constriction in your body, in your heart, in your mind; denying it is the thing making the constriction in your life. The sense of letting things be as they are without having to change or fix them...marks your shift into an expansive awareness. Through surrendering into the moment--exactly as it is, exactly as you read it, exactly as you perceive it, exactly as you drink it in--you can tap into a boundless source of love, and freedom.
Release the residue of thoughts and settle into the feeling of open awareness. Feel the spaciousness of your mind as sensations roll in and out like the ocean waves. Make it your intention to say yes to whatever life brings today, letting each experience bring you closer to truth: learning from each moment, growing from each beat of your heart; transforming from surrendering.
Your body contains approximately five litres of blood; assuming seventy beats a minutes, it takes approximately one minute for all that blood to flow through your entire body one time.
I'd like to share a poem with you from the Sufi master, Rumi. It takes about one minute. By the time you hear the last word of that poem, every blood cell in your body would have journeyed beyond the heart and back: pure transformation; at the cellular lever, you will be transformed.
So take a deep breath in, and gently exhale...
This being, human, is a guest house
Every morning, a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor
Welcome and entertain them all
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture
Still, treat each guest honorably
He may be clearing you out for some new delight
The dark thought, the shame, the malice
Meet them all at the door laughing and invite them in
Be grateful for whoever comes
Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond
And remember to enjoy the transformative flame of agony
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