We are taught from infancy to seek validation of our worth and worthiness outside of ourselves: it begins with a parent, then teachers, then an external God or Savior, then a mentor, a boss, a number on a paycheck, or even a comment thread on Facebook. You may not see yourself as consciously seeking validation in these ways, but how about unconsciously? Most of us need to reconnect with our inviolable, essential self-worth. Here is one tool to help with that. I will post the audio version of this guided meditation in the future. To work with this script, enlist a partner to read it to you. Choose music that brings you peace and ease. Light a candle to ritualize your intention.
Guided Meditation: Self-Love
By Michelle Garrison Hough
1. Go to a place that is comfortable and peaceful for you. Find a spot that is quiet other than possible background noise, and silence your cell phone and all other electronic devices.
Once you have settled into this quiet space, begin to find ease in your body. Sit in a comfortable position or lie down. Close your eyes. Before we go any further, inhale, breathe in, clenching your fists and your arms, and tense up every part of your body, from your face down to your toes; hold it; and on an exhale let it all go. Completely relax your body. Turn your head from side to side, releasing tension in the neck. Let your shoulders drop and unclench your jaw. Take a full breath in, and let the breath out on a delicious exhale; again… and again. Find the ease and the rhythm of your breath, letting it wash through you and over you like ocean waves. Begin to pull your attention inward even more, focusing on the sound and sensation of your breath. Inhale… and exhale. Notice the way your thoughts slow down or subside once you are fully relaxed and conscious of your breath. Notice the pauses in your breathing. Expand into the space between your breaths. It is here that you experience your soul. Keep breathing quietly, just like this.
2. Now, with your mind’s eye, envision a beautiful scene from your memories, a place you have experienced before that brought you an unforgettable moment of bliss and tranquility. You know this place. You have imagined it before when you have needed to be there again. It could be the setting of a cherished childhood memory, somewhere beautiful you visited on vacation, a spot you go to regularly to find solace. Take yourself there now. Immerse yourself in those sensory impressions, the smells, the temperature, the way your skin felt, the sounds you heard. Who was with you? Were you alone? Why did you feel so good? Recreate that wonderful experience, in your mind and body, right now. You are back there again. You are basking in the glow of that radiant experience, letting it fill your consciousness, allowing it to heal you.
3. And now, in this space, where you are relaxed, where you feel whole, where you feel peace, joy and love, breathe in these beautiful qualities. Just as your breath is washing over you, peacefully passing through you, peace, joy and love are permeating your being, flooding your heart. Feel the breath as if you could breathe in and out of your heart, as if the breath went out from and returned to touch the heart space. Love is from the heart. Remember, or imagine, how it feels to love and be loved, completely. When we love someone, a lover, a best friend, a child…we forget their faults so easily. We long to see them, to be with them, to touch them, and in their presence we experience the best in ourselves. We spend time alone with them, private, personal, intimate time. For the gift of their presence, we accept and forgive many offenses, many inconveniences. Love makes us forget those things. The light and heat of love, shining from the heart, burns through all resistance, sluggishness, bleakness and negativity. The light of love is constant, the warmth of love is steady, and the vibration of love is blissful. Be in love. Bathe in love. Be with the beloved, here in this space. Receive the energy of love; let it reverberate through your being. What you send out to others comes right back to you. Send love out from your heart, to the one you love, and receive that love as it comes back to you. Breathe love in. And breathe love out.
4. And now, you are the beloved. You are filled with love, rooted in love, surrounded by love, and you are the beloved. You have invited yourself, the beloved, into this safe and healing space. As you would welcome someone you love into your home, into the privacy of your inner room, welcome yourself into your love. See yourself for who you truly are: a being of light, the creation of love. Hear your voice, speaking for yourself: I am unique. I experience my own unique being, embraced by the Wholeness which created me. I have unique DNA, unique cells, a unique body, a unique mind. I have wonderful and unique insights, gifts and talents. I love my own being. I love myself. I love my cells. I love my skin, my eyes, my muscles, my bones. I love my brain. I love my voice. I am the embodiment of my spirit. I came from spirit to experience love. There is only one me, and I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Everything I do, everything I have done, is a step on the journey of my life. Everything I have done, do or will do, comes back to love. My coordinates are love and love is my destination. Seen through the eyes of love, nothing I have done is unacceptable. Love covers all that I have done, do or will do in my life. Love is always present and love is always enough. I am loved. I love myself. I am enough. I am a gift. In every moment, I am a gift to myself, and the people around me. All that I experience is a gift, helping me to open the gift of myself, the gift of love. “I am beautiful. I am a being filled with the beautiful treasures of life, peace, love, purity, bliss, power. Tears of happiness fill my eyes as I see the beauty, depth and wisdom which is me. I say, ‘wonderful.’ I have begun a wonderful new relationship with myself. Other relationships may falter. I will always be there for myself, to comfort, encourage and foster. I am a good friend to myself.” Feel the embrace of the powerful love that surrounds you, now. Know this love. Return to this love, anytime, anyplace, in any moment that you may need it. Love is here for you, now. You have found love, within yourself.
5. Rest comfortably in this space of love. In the presence of people we truly love, there is no need for words, for constant chatter. Rest into the silence here, enveloped by the presence of love. You are one with yourself, in the presence of love, with a peaceful mind.
6. Now, begin to come back to this room. Gently awaken your senses and let your mind return to your body, regrounding in this present moment. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale fully. Begin to shift and adjust your body. Wiggle your toes and rub your fingertips against your thumbs. If you are lying down, roll onto your right side for a moment, and then come to sit up, with a straight spine. When you are ready, allow your eyes to gently open, and adjust to the light in the room. Feel how your energy has shifted. Notice what has opened up for you. Experience this new space in the mind. Take this with you for the rest of your day, and reconnect often with this energy. Thank you for the gift of your presence. Namaste.