I was inspired to do this meditation in light of recent events of things happening around the world. My heart goes out to all who are suffering.
I so wholeheartedly wish I could just turn my own heart into a glowing ball of healing – like one of those Care Bears from the cartoon when I was young – and beam that energy wherever it’s needed and fix it all.
Alas, we humans are not meant to shoulder the world’s problems: we are designed to bear our own burdens at the individual level, and then, hopefully, collectively, we come together in a common vision and create peace all around us.
When tragedy strikes, or even something like a job change looms, or we have to deal with difficult family members, or as we endure any number of issues and problems that we all face as part of the human condition, it’s so easy and so tempting to withdraw into ourselves, or put up walls or barriers in an attempt to protect our hearts, minds and souls.
I’ve done it. I’ve witnessed others doing it: from an individual level, a group level, even the level of an entire country.
I’m reminded of some quotes from wise figures throughout history:
“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” –Dalai Lama
“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, no matter how painful the experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” —Dalai Lama XIV
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” — John F. Kennedy, Jr.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. —Nelson Mandela
“This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. –Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Fear is present when we forget that we are a part of a divine design. Learning to experience authentic love means abandoning ego’s insistence that you have much to fear and that you are in an unfriendly world. You can make the decision to be free from fear and doubt and return to the brilliant light of love that is always with you.” –Wayne Dyer
“There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. –Robert Kennedy
“When fear makes your choices for you, no security measures on earth will keep the things you dread from finding you. But if you can avoid avoidance – if you can choose to embrace experiences out of passion, enthusiasm, and a readiness to feel whatever arises – then nothing, nothing in all this dangerous world, can keep you from being safe. –Martha Beck
These are just a few of the quotes that resonate with me. I hope they also resonate with you.
We have the power to change.
We have the power to face our fears, embrace all that we are – our flaws, our imperfections, our triumphs, and our successes – and always keep moving forward, always keep changing the world around us to help make it a better place.
Honestly, I’ve suffered from anxiety my whole life. I’m predisposed to feeling worry and fear – I think I got extra genes especially for those two things.
It wasn’t until I started meditating in earnest that I realized that I can face my fears. Part of this LIFE Project is to do just that, too.
Fear of the unknown is a real thing. Fear of what could happen if we don’t follow through with a task, or if we’re not good enough.
You know what?
YOU are good enough. YOU have what it takes to overcome any obstacle that lies in your path.
One thing that will help, truly, is meditation.
Once you begin the mindful journey, you’ll never really leave it. It’s something that, one day, you’ll realize has changed your life.
With that, before I leave you to the transcript of the guided meditation below, I’ll end with my own quote:
“Fear will keep you stuck. It is only when you embrace this emotion – and it’s only an emotion, just like happiness – and acknowledge it, can you then pull your feet out of its quicksand and experience life as it it’s meant to be lived: fearless and free.” –Cynthia Sageleaf
Welcome to this guided meditation to help reduce anxiety. Please sit or lay down where you won’t be disturbed to get the most out of this meditation.
Beginning from 10, I will count down and you’ll begin to feel yourself drifting into a state of relaxation.
Close your eyes.
10…feel your body beginning to relax. 9…take a deep breath, a gentle breath and hold it in. 8…slowly breathe out through your lips. 7…breathe in, and feel the air gently moving to every part of your body. 6…breathe out through your lips until you have no more air in your lungs. 5…breathe in…breathe out. 4…feel your arms relaxing. 3…feel your legs relaxing. 2…feel your heart slowing down. 1…now, let your body completely relax.
I invite you to come on a journey.
You are standing on top of a mountain. The sun warms your body and is so bright, that you feel bathed and protected in its rays of light.
You walk over toward a rock bench that overlooks the blue mountains in the distance.
You feel the warm rays of the sun on your face. Sitting down, you let the soothing light wash all over your body.
These rays, in their warmth, wrap around you like a protective blanket. Here, in this moment, all is well. All is all right.
Through the brightness, you can just make out other peaks in the distance. Everything is bathed in this healing light. And you smile. You know that all your worries are melting away.
Relaxed and carefree, you feel your body letting go of any tenseness. Your eyes are closed but you can see the light through the screen of your closed eyelids.
For a few moments you stay there, still, breathing in and out. Feeling warm, and caressed by that yellow life-giving star.
Your eyes slowly open, and next to you, perched on the rock wall right where you’re sitting, you see that a bird has landed. It makes no noise, but regards you with curiosity.
Its beautiful blue feathers seem to glimmer in the light.
Instinctively, you know it has come to help you. You smile in gratitude at your new friend.
The bluebird nods its head at you. You straighten up, still looking at the bird. You bend toward it and whisper something that has been causing you stress in your daily life.
The little bird listens intently, memorizing every word you say. And with a glisten in its eye, she flies off, sailing through the air, and taking your problem away.
A feeling of relief comes over you. You know it’s going to be okay.
As the bird gets smaller and smaller in the sky, you look after her, knowing that your message is safe with her. The bird flies toward the blue forest, and in a few moments, you can’t see her anymore.
Again, you close your eyes, and lay back against the rock wall, letting your body relax.
You take a deep breath in and feel the pure air enter your lungs, cleansing them. That pure air, like a golden elixir, makes its way slowly through your lungs, to your heart, to your arms, to your belly, to your legs, and to your feet.
It weaves golden, calming energy to your head, eyes, nose, ears and lips…
You look over to where the bird was, and notice that another has landed. This bird has brilliant jewel purple feathers. Its eyes twinkle in the sunlight, too.
Like the other bird, it nods its head, gently encouraging you to tell it something else that is burdening your heart, while it waits in perfect silence.
You sit up straighter and lean over. You tell it about something else that’s bothering you. As the bird listens, you sense that he’s listening closely to everything you say.
When you finish, the purple bird lingers for a few moments to be sure he understood everything you said. When you smile and nod at him, he spreads his iridescent wings and engages in silent flight, in the same direction as the blue bird.
After a minute or two, he’s no longer visible on the horizon.
Again, you take a deep breath, letting the oxygen from the beautiful mountain air circulate through your body. Then you breathe out, your breath expelling any remaining negative energy.
You sit there for a few more moments, and again, you sense that all will be well.
Gently, you stand and walk over to the edge of the rock wall, and gaze from right to left at the panoramic view of trees blanketing the landscape in green velvet textures.
Still breathing calmly, you glance behind to find that a beautiful eagle is perched on a tree behind you.
Your eyes lock and immediately you sense a connection to this bird. You feel a sense of lightness and euphoria.
This bird doesn’t seem that big, but now, it flies down to you.
It’s bigger than you are. The eagle beckons you closer. You trust him. You know that he will keep you safe.
He bows down, and allows you to get on his back.
As you climb on, you find a secure place to hold your hands and feet. The bird looks back at you with his brown eyes, letting you know that, still, you are completely safe and that he’s there to help you.
In that moment, the eagle hops up to the rock wall and spreads his great wings wide open and takes flight.
You immediately feel warm air coming at you, as well as a sense of freedom.
Below you is the thick, lush forest, and above? Infinite blue sky. Everything around you glows in the sunlight, as if it’s all pulling for you – for your freedom..
You’re so high in the sky that you can see the curvature of the earth, and lulling clouds in the distance. But you’re not scared. You’re safe…and free.
As you ride on the bird’s back, you feel a sense of conviction – that you will have the poise and determination to face the entire world with your love.
The eagle is infusing into you the answers you need and the strength to go on, no matter what comes your way.
Perhaps at this moment, you already know the answers to what has caused you any angst.
Perhaps you still need to decipher them.
Right now, you don’t have to know. You just need to take in the warm, positive energy and feel the connection.
The words “action” and “control” come to your mind.
Your thoughts become sharper and you know that the answers you seek will come, and they will be revealed in a way that you can understand.
As the eagle flaps his powerful wings, you feel a subtle jolt of energy: energy to carry on, energy to do your work, energy to move forward.
After circling the landscape three times, the eagle effortlessly lands back at the rock wall where you began. You get down and he eyes you silently.
On the screen of your mind, you see the words, “I am powerful; I am confident!” appear.
Before the revered and magnificent bird leaves, he bends down to whisper something to you. Already, you know its something you needed to hear.
What does he say?
You take in his wisdom and his words.
When he’s finished, you bow in gratitude for his insights.
A few moments later, the eagle again spreads his wings and, silently, effortlessly launches into the sky.
Calmly, you walk back up and lean against the rock wall, looking after this wise being.
He ascends higher and higher into the sky. You also see the blue bird and the purple bird in flight behind and below the eagle, flying toward the east.
As you stand at the top of that mountain, you gaze out at the world before you, knowing that you’re ready to return to your day.
10…feel your legs waking up. 9…feel your arms start to wake up. 8…you take a deep breath, feeling the air expand in your lungs. 7…exhale, slowly, through your lips. 6…inhale deeply. 5…breathe out. 4…feel your body gently waking back up. 3…open your eyes. 2…take one last breath in. 1…breathe out…and now you can return to your day, feeling more relaxed and ready for any challenge ahead.