When recovering from skeletons in the closet — any hurtful experience — it’s important to learn how to help yourself in a gentle, accepting way. Here’s a new way to learn to be kinder to yourself, using your imagination.
Start by getting comfortable, sitting or laying down. Make sure you are truly, perfectly settled. If you are sitting, perhaps place a pillow behind your back to maintain a lumbar curve. If you are laying down, consider putting a pillow or some blankets under your legs to help your lower back to relax. Breathe deeply several times, and imagine that there is soft, calming music playing. Think of the sort of music that massage therapists or spas use: slow, gentle, perhaps slightly rhythmic.
Sit for several breaths, slowly inhaling and exhaling and becoming aware of your body as you breathe. Continue imagining the relaxing music.
Now imagine that you are going to make your own meditation/affirmation CD. Wouldn’t you use a calm, reassuring tone? What would you say to encourage someone? You might start by speaking for the breaths — “breathe in slowly through your nose, breathe out slowly… relax your body from head to toe…”
Now where does your imagination take you? Does a calming scene come to mind? Do you feel like telling your imaginary audience about something to visualize? What would you tell someone to help them feel appreciated or important? What might you say to help them relax? Now say those things in your head, as if you were trying to make a great relaxation CD, knowing that you are actually saying them to yourself.
Talk to yourself in this manner for as long as it feels natural — don’t force it or get elaborate. It is best to let ideas simply float to mind, say them, hear them, and let them float away. You shouldn’t need to use your intellect — get out of your head. Don’t worry about remembering what you said either. Just let the ideas flow. Isn’t it interesting — by picturing making a professional meditation/relaxation product, you are actually learning how to love and accept yourself.
How does that feel? I hope it feels rejuvenating and inspiring. I hope it gives you more hope! But I know that if you’ve been in the habit of judging and not liking yourself, then it may feel very uncomfortable or strange, and as soon as it was over, you may have noticed yourself thinking some negative thoughts; you may have even talked to yourself in a harsh voice, because that is what you are used to. Don’t despair! You can gradually learn to like yourself more, to judge yourself less and to be a good friend to yourself.
Try this method two or three times a week, or even as a daily meditation, and see how your life changes when you begin to speak to yourself in a more loving voice. Using your imagination in this way is a bit like tapping into your own personal soundtrack, but in this case, you direct the music rather than simply listening. I hope you will find this meditation helpful as you learn to support and love yourself more.
A childhood friend of mine, Michael Logozar, is an amazing pianist, and he’s recorded three beautiful albums, all of which I find to be very lovely and relaxing. If you’d like to try them, I’m sure you’ll agree! (I’m not getting any sort of money for recommending his music — I just had to mention it!)