If you're in the Northern Hemisphere we're looking at cooler temperatures and quickly moving into my favorite time of the year. Of course, I'm talking about Autumn (and Halloween!). As you know those gorgeous changing leaves won't be around for very long and while they're here they gave me a grand idea for a guided imagery mediation.
If you've never tried guided imagery meditation before I highly recommend giving it a try! I believe meditation doesn't have to be about clearing the mind so to speak but guiding the mind. For guided imagery meditations you'll have a topic to focus on which helps to keep the mind on track, so to speak.
For extra oomph, why not record yourself reading this meditation out loud, then find a comfy place to sit or lie down and fully immerse yourself in this meditation!
Autumn Leaves Guided Meditation
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
Close your eyes, soften your shoulders away from your ears and start by focusing on your breath.
Actively notice your chest rise and fall with every inhalation and exhalation.
Take a few mindful breaths to slow down your body and mind.
Then shift your focus to your mind's eye, otherwise known as your imagination.
Within your mind's eye, see a large tree with green leaves.
Perhaps it's a tree you've known since you were a child or a new tree that is willing to work with you today.
Take some time to notice the height of the tree, the color of the bark, the shape of the branches and the shape of the leaves. In your mind's eye see yourself taking a walk around the trunk of the tree to see it from all sides and as many perspectives as possible. Allow your mind to notice as many details as you possibly can.
As you are taking in the details of the tree, you begin to notice the leaves starting to change color. Slowly one by one each leaf starts to change. Perhaps you see yellows, oranges, browns or reds. Whatever comes to mind first allow it to happen without judgement, until each leaf has transformed.
Take a moment to see this tree in all it's colorful beauty. Notice the different shades and hues of the transformed leaves. Perhaps taking another walk around the tree to see each perspective and how it has changed. At this point a single leaf lets go of the tree branch and slowly cascades down to your feet. Notice the color, shape and any other details of this first fallen leaf.
As you notice the first leaf, slowly another falls and another, and another....
This process continues as you begin to look back up to almost bare branches and a gentle gust of wind blows taking a few more leaves with it. Notice if you can feel this breeze as the cool crisp air of Autumn settles in.
If it feels right, see yourself picking up that first fallen leaf. Thank the tree for this mindful moment and see yourself slowly walking away from this tree. Begin to let the image fade and return to your breath. Notice your chest gently rising and falling. Gently wiggle your fingers and toes. Slowly open your eyes.
As you return from your guided meditation you may wish to take a few moments to journal about your journey; be sure to include the colors of leaves you saw. I love guided imagery meditations that don't exactly tell you which colors you're working with because your brain will generally fill in as needed. At that point it may be fun to do some color association. I've included a few examples below:
Reds: Passion, Love, Urgency
Yellows: Creativity, Happiness, Warmth, Caution
Oranges: Playfulness, Friendly, Success, Change
Browns: Stability, Simplicity, Tradition
You may even associate these colors with something else based on your personal experience. Take some time and journal it out. See what that first fallen leaf has to tell you from your meditation. <3
- Jenn Rose
(Journal Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash
Autumn leaf Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash)
Manifestation and meditation practices seem to have taken to the web in mass volumes over the course of the pandemic. Or perhaps you've seen the affirmation chants flowing all over Tik Tok? It's no wonder these practices seem to be taking a lead during this crazy year. People are looking for new ways to practice self-care and affirmation practices are important for us to really dive into what the power we have in our words, friends!
I've spoken before the concepts of the subconscious messages behind music you listen to or the thoughts that you choose to live with. However, what if we shift that mindset to only look at the good things or to consciously create more beauty and love in our lives? What if we present the idea to ourselves that there are more positive than negative things/ideas that we can focus on? What if we decide to tell ourselves the narrative of our day and really manifest the messages we want in that moment?
We are certainly living in interesting times, friends and while I'm not going to talking about the virus I do want to talk about maintaining your balance, checking in with your center and gifting yourself the time you need for self-care! Right now, more than ever we need to focus on keeping ourselves healthy and happy as much as possible, whether you're currently working from home for the first time or on the front lines. Keeping a routine self-care check in will help now and in the future once we've put all this behind us.
When the going gets tough and I forget who I am, one of my go-to's is always meditation. While I believe there is a meditation style for everyone, you may just have to try a few to find what resonates with it. I find it's similar to the different styles of yoga; not everyone is into a Hot Power Flow style class and maybe a Yin yoga class is more your jam. I'm here to say to each their own style of yoga and meditation.
One of my favorite styles of meditation is often called "mindfulness". This concept is growing more and more since it allows you to connect to something you see, hear, feel and use your senses to meditate. Depending on your definition of mediation this may or may not be your personal preference, but I believe that meditation is a concentrated focus either on a visualization, something physical or on a concept. With that in mind if running works that for you, then it's also a form of meditation.
Sometimes I think there's a reason we tend to get sick during the wintery months; other than the bitter cold air. It's a time that we are forced inside and for good reason! It's time to look inward and reconnect to your intuition. Gift yourself time to rest so you can reflect, refine and redefine your life.
For those of us living in the northern hemisphere winter coincides with new year traditions like resolutions or goals. We are gifted a new calendar year; a fresh start. Often our resolutions are a reflection of what we want to see changed in our current lives. A refinement of bad habits and a redesign to welcome newer habits that will serve us better. Whether you're limiting alcohol or cutting out sugar this is a renewal of sorts and we're feeling it!
First up, It's been a while and a whirlwind.
So much has been happening in my day to day that I haven't been able to keep up a regular blog schedule; which should be a reminder to check in with my priorities/goals before I became overwhelmed! Needless to say the Universe replays messages until we get them and if we learn to lean into the seasons we're about to learn how good it feels to let go of things just like the leaves on the trees.
Sitting with the Seasons is a concept I've been toying with for some time. Autumn is such a good example of this concept. I'm all about feeling the vibes of the seasons and Fall is about letting go. We often know we should let go of things when they no fit, are useful, etc. However, I find it's often the memories associated with that thing/pattern that we have a hard time releasing.
This is where the trees can teach us a thing or two.
I've always liked to write and while I love my blog, there's just something beautiful and magical seeing your own handwriting on paper. Growing up I kept a diary to help process my thoughts and keep track of those exciting moments. Now-a-days I see my journal work as a key component of my self-care practice.
How, you ask? Check out these four different ideas on how to use your journal for self-care.