I'd like to share with you a gratitude meditation I've developed.
I'm moved by the concept of finding happiness in any situation. It doesn't mean you have to be thrilled by a particular situation you may be in whether that's suffering from a job loss, the loss of a loved one, or another personal struggle, but it's finding happiness no matter the situation through focusing on what to be grateful for.
If you've never meditated before, remember to be patient with yourself and open. Meditation is not a religion (though it could help a person deepen their relationship to a religion if that is the intention).
Meditation is simply a tool to help greater experience that which is around us and already inside.
It's a practice that helps us experience the wholeness of our daily lives. It moves our experience from "Same S*** Different Day" to experiencing the tiny miracles that make up each day.
It's so easy to get caught up in the minutia of the day-to-day, the muck, or get caught up in the many responsibilities that we all share. It takes conscious effort to see beyond it.
That's the beauty of meditation. It helps us see the lotus flower that rises out of the daily muck.
(click the image to listen to this 10-minute guided meditation)
This meditation combines the research of Abraham Maslow with the ancient practice of visualizing chakra centers. We will begin by slowing down the breath and then saying a series of affirmations that align with our energy chakra centers.
(If uncomfortable with the thinking of chakras, consider instead imaging a bright light that fills your body with each breath. You pick the color.)
Begin in a comfortable seated position, either on a chair or sitting on a meditation pillow with your arms gently resting on your knees, palms resting up to feel lifted or palms down to feel grounding. Find a space that is free from distractions, whether that's a bench in the park or a corner in your home office.
Softly close your eyes or if you prefer them open, gaze gently down the tip of your nose to focus on a pebble or a spot on a wall that will not move.
Begin your meditation by slowing down your breath to a smooth four-count: counting on an inhale up to four (1,2,3,4) then exhale counting back down (4,3,2,1).
When ready, continue to breathe steady while saying aloud or to yourself the following affirmations. You may say them only once on one complete breath if you don't have much time or repeat the affirmation for 5-10 breaths. It's up to you. The audio I provide (by clicking the image above) has been made into a 10-minute meditation.
#1: I have all the necessary elements to thrive in my life. If comfortable, you may imagine a bright red light at the center of the pelvis near the colon.
#2: All the relationships I need to thrive in my life are with me now or well on their way. If comfortable, you may imagine an orange light glowing around the naval.
#3: All that I need in my life to grow stronger and healthier is either with me now or well on its way. If comfortable, you may imagine a yellow light glowing at the solar plexus.
#4: I am full of love for myself and others and forgive those who have harmed me in the past. If comfortable, imagine a glowing green light at the heart.
#5: I speak honestly with confidence and am open to receiving help from others. If comfortable, you may imagine a bright blue light at the throat.
#6: The current path I am on is helping me to write the life story I'm honored to read. If comfortable, you may imagine a bright indigo light glowing near the eyes.
#7: I follow my inspiration and breathe away fear. If comfortable, imagine a bright violet light glowing above the crown of the head.
Gently open your eyes or loosen your gaze and take a couple breaths before moving on to the next part of your day. Send a note of thanks to yourself for taking this time to practice gratitude.
Remember that meditation is merely planting a seed that grows slowly with every drip.