Safe Place Meditation

Our minds and the stories we tell ourselves have a lot of power in determining how we feel.  If we tell ourselves that we cannot do certain things, then we will never do them, and thus prove ourselves right.  If we tell ourselves that we can accomplish anything, then we will be less concerned with making mistakes and will try many more things, many of which we will accomplish, and we will thus prove ourselves right. 

We can harness the power of our minds to help us through stressful moments in life.  In allowing our minds to experience calming or relaxing scenarios, we can ultimately relax our bodies.

Before you begin this practice, notice how you are feeling emotionally.  Notice if you feel grounded or scattered.  Now close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Begin to imagine yourself in a favorite place that feels safe, calm, and relaxing.  If you have trouble imagining a place, see if you can bring to mind an activity, a person, or a memory that feels safe, calm, and relaxing to you.  Mentally immerse yourself in this place or event.  Look around.  Take it all in.  Notice everything you can see.  Notice any sounds you can hear.  Notice if there are any smells.  Notice if there is anything you can taste.  Notice what you can feel on your skin. Notice what emotions you feel being in this space.  Take a few more deep breaths in this space, and then open your eyes.  Notice now how you feel emotionally.  Notice if you feel grounded or scattered.  Notice any other differences that might exist between now and when you started the exercise.

In practicing this exercise, your body did not know that you did not actually go to or experience your safe, calm, relaxing place or event.  But likely, your body reacted as if this event was really experienced.  Your body may have responded to the suggestions of your mind.  This practice and tool can be used any time we feel we need to make a mental shift, change our perspective, or encourage our bodies to relax.

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Jessie Swygert