This week I revisited my own reworking of a meditation that was introduced to me a couple of years ago, shortly after my father died. It’s maybe not a surprise that I am drawn to it again, as I now mourn my mother, who died peacefully in early February.
The meditation is both calming and empowering. This is especially helpful as we all cope with the worries, fear and uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
I wrote about it two years ago, and the way in which I adapted Sandy Newbigging’s Body Calm meditation by combining it with the BodyIntelligence approach to noticing ease.
Newbigging’s Body Calm meditation includes a sequence of thoughts or affirmations that are coupled with a light and open focus on different parts of the body. I was inspired to use these areas as a reminder to notice ease. This is not about having to find ease in these particular parts of the body – it’s about a gentle invitation of a possibility without any sense of what we think we should feel or want.
This is also the case with Newbigging’s affirmations or phrases. He clarifies that you don’t have to feel strong, or worthy or healed. It’s a matter of just allowing the thought gently for a moment, and then letting it go. There is no “right way” to be.
Here’s what I came up with:
I am free to notice ease in my feet.
I am secure.
I am free to notice ease at the base of my spine.
I am supported.
I am free to notice ease at my center (or navel).
I am strong.
I am free to notice ease in my solar plexus.
I am calm.
I am free to notice ease in my heart.
I am open.
I am free to notice ease in my throat.
I am kind.
I am free to notice ease in my forehead.
I am free.
I am free to notice ease at the top of my head.
I am worthy.
I am free to notice ease all around me.
I am enough.
I am free to notice ease within me.
I am healed.
I am SO thankful for my Alexander Technique training and experience right now. It offers such a reliable way to come back to myself in times of stress and upheaval. And right now, I have to “come back” more than ever to not get caught up non-stop in the worries and the news.
It’s less than a month since my mother’s funeral in the UK, and yet it seems almost a lifetime ago, so much has happened and changed since then.
Practices like this one help me, and they help my clients.
I hope you find it helpful, too.
You can even watch and listen to a video of me leading this as a “Power Pause” in the BodyIntelligence Community Facebook group a couple of days ago.
If you’re not a member already, I invite you to join – just click here.
I do a Power Pause on Thursday mornings for the members of the group. Power Pause is my term for a very short guided “meditation” using Alexander Technique and BodyIntelligence ideas, and sometimes other ideas and approaches too, like with this meditation. A Power Pause is a way to take a short break – a pause in your day – to relieve stress and release excess tension, and to become more present, connected and at ease in yourself.
Having ways to calm our nervous system, to calm our body and our mind, is more important now than ever before. When we can reduce our stress – even for a moment – it has a big impact on our own well-being (our immune system even!), our decision-making and reasoning ability, and has a knock-on effect to anyone we interact with (at home, at work, at a distance, online!).
I need as many moments of this as I can.
So does the world.
Let me know how you respond to the meditation and the different thoughts. Did you find it helpful and calming? What phrases resonated the most or had the biggest impact for you? What did you find challenging?
I welcome your feedback. Please write your comments in the space below.