I have felt entirely alien recently, in all honesty. Scared. Unsettled. Lost in negative thought loops. But I'm sharing this today because there was a transformative moment last week when I caught my negative thoughts red-handed - there they were spinning and spiralling like some sinister spirograph while I moisturised and messed around with my hair in front of my wooden dresser. They had their own rhythm, these negative thoughts, there was a swagger and a certainty to their footsteps. They were having a ball, acting like they owned the joint. Spoiler alert: they don't. I was shocked. Really shocked at what I was saying to myself. No wonder I am anxious. So I stopped what I was doing, slowed right down. I took a breath. And I asked myself in the mirror to break the loop.
I know what has happened to me, I said to myself, I was there, I don't need to replay the worst bits. Over. And over. And over. And then a bit more for good measure. I want the tender voice, my inner voice, my soul's voice - call it what you will, but it's the deep wise voice that has my back, that speaks tenderly to me.
My tender voice is an arm around my shoulder, whispering, 'you have been through so much.
You are doing so well. Gently does it. Go slow.' I felt the old narrative slither away, an old skin that could not hold me in. Another deep breath. I can sense myself coming back; and I welcome my smile, my easy laugh, the way I love to sing when I cook and write, the energy I have, the love, the belief in the infinite potential of myself and others. And I feel such relief.
To make that transformation tangible I made myself a meditation. I called it 'Meditations for the dark hours.' I keep it close. It's on my phone. I read, breathe and repeat. I wanted to share it with you today, to take you full circle:
Meditations for the dark hours
Every breath is a gift. The trees move with the wind. The nettles, the bluebells, the elderflower, the purple scribbles of wild flowers hum in breezes and tell me quietly that there is magic in the world. With each gifted breath, the magic - if allowed - helps to unfold the pain, helps smooth the creases out of your traumas, coiled as they are underneath your heart.
What else helps?
Smiles from strangers. A new path through the woods. Dappled sunlight. The buds. Laughter over time and oceans, words from another soul that fall from smiles; when words, perfect, well-timed words spill and fall in to the rhythm of your own. And you needed those words. But you didn't know until you heard them.
Like your breath you take your words everywhere you go. I would love to hear your meditation for the dark hours - what small things bring you joy?
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