As the holidays approach, I often feel easily overwhelmed and consumed by the pressure of making the holidays go just right. As a result, I often miss out on being able to observe what is because I’m busy looking at what isn’t. Today’s centering practice is meant to help find presence (not presents) in the midst of all of that. It is about letting go and letting be.
Let’s begin by taking a few deep breaths. As you breathe, begin to attend to your body position. Bring your head up tall, lengthening your spine, pressing your sit bones in and down towards the floor. Find yourself comfortably stable and upright – without straining. Bring in a deep belly full of oxygen as you bring your awareness into your body. Continue to breath fully throughout this exercise. Today we will focus our awareness in on a few common challenges. For each one, we will examine where we store that location in our bodies, release it, and then replace it.
The first challenge we will address is the feeling of struggle. What is something you have struggled over recently? Perhaps it is a relationship, or finances, or work, or study. Engage in that feeling. Now deepen your awareness and find where struggle lives in your body. Where do you hold tension caused from this. Bring your attention to that place in your body. Imagine that it is a field of energy and you are focused in on it. When you are ready, exhale and feel all of the sensation of struggle leave your body. Once you have let go of struggle, let us bring in the feeling of peace and ease. Allow this feeling to take over in the space left behind. Take a few deep breaths here to wrap yourself in this new embodiment.
Next we will consider the feeling of expectations. What expectations are you dealing with now? What expectations do you have on being a good man or a good woman, on being a good husband or wife, on caring for others? What expectations do you have of the people around you, the experience you are having in life, in work, or in family? Find where these expectations live in your body and once you have focused in on it, exhale fully and release all of those expectations. Feel them leave your body. Once you have fully let go of expectations, replace it with the feeling of satisfaction. I am fully satisfied with what is. I am complete, whole and creative. Take a few deep breaths here to envelop yourself in deep satisfaction.
Next we will bring in the feeling of disappointment. In what ways are you experiencing disappointment? Find where disappointment lives in your body and with a full and complete exhale, release it. Let go of disappointment. Let’s instead bring in the feeling of gratitude. What can you feel most grateful for right now. Be in this moment entirely in gratitude. Take a few deep breaths here as well.
Next we will invite the experience of guilt and shame. Find where these are taking hold in your body and release them completely. Replace these feelings with acceptance and forgiveness. Allow yourself to be held in the knowledge that what is, simply is, and you can be at peace with it. You are at peace. Take a few deep breaths here.
Today we have released the feelings of struggle, expectations, disappointment, and guilt and shame. In its place we have brought in the ease. We have invited in satisfactions. We are steeped in gratitude. We are filled with acceptance and an endless capacity to forgive and be forgiven. Revel in this as peaceful being. Be as you are.
When you are complete, write about your experience and what you have noticed or taken away.