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)
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.
Back in November we took some time to check in with that gratitude mindset towards others and of course for yourself! We see a lot of posts on social media about gratitude during the holidays, but what about connecting with that feeling when it's no longer being published in every social media post/etc. to remind us to do it?
1. Journal it out.
Always my first suggestion. Taking the time to write something out helps us to organize our thoughts and give us time to really feel it. Also, if you write it down you can go back to it later and remember that feeling of gratitude or joy.
What stories would your body share if it could speak for you?
Would it tell of the gall bladder surgery when you were thirteen or of the beautiful dance performance with that gorgeous group in Las Vegas on a legendary stage? Perhaps that tooth you lost when you got hit by a snowball? Or maybe how your fingernails feel fancy when they're freshly painted?
What stories do you tell your body?
Do you stare in the mirror with love or ..... ?
Often times our body stories are a mix of our past and our feelings.
The wanting to be something that we aren't right now and not enjoying the journey or the present moment.
Truth be told, I'm not a big Valentine's day fan.
However, I'm not one to miss a chance to talk about self-love and self-care! In the last few years I've started to shift the idea of Valentine's day to be a day to check in with myself, making sure I am getting what I need to care for myself so that I can present my best self to those I love.
Let's jump right into some simple self-love ideas for your Valentine's Day/week or every day life!
(Because you shouldn't need a specific day to love yourself; it should be constant!)
I'm really loving that this year the moon cycle seems to have synced up so perfectly with the holidays! We had the Full Moon sync up with the Winter Solstice last week. This week we've got a waning moon before we release the 2018 year and welcome in 2019. Not to mention the New Moon on January 5th, 2019!
For today, let's just focus on the waning moon.
When I say waning, I mean the moon is diminishing in size. This is a great time to let go of things that do not serve you. Right now it is especially powerful as we let go of 2018.
Gift yourself some quiet time before midnight December 31st for some yearly contemplation.
With the moon in the waning phase releasing this year's difficult situations may feel a bit easier. I'm not saying it still won't be emotional, but letting go during a waning phase is allowing you to work with the natural cycles rather than against. It is also important to let go of the comforts that no longer serve you. This one might be a bit more difficult, but if we want to grow this is necessary!
Grab your journals! Let's do this together.