Deep breath

Mindful Meditations

February, 2019

Guided Meditation

This month we have an Imbolc meditation that is meant to help you connect with yourself around the three areas Brigid governs: Hearth, Forge and Inspiration. So light a candle in Brigid’s honor and let’s dive in!

Find yourself in a comfortable position. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, close your eyes and begin to relax into yourself. See yourself walking down a path in a winter forest. Notice the quiet beauty all around you. As you wander through the woods, think about how this winter has been for you so far. Do you have the winter blues or do you love the peaceful quiet of the season? Have you felt isolated or have you been engaging with others? Have you been taking the time to rest? Arrive back in this moment, accepting yourself as you are right now. Notice there is a cozy home up ahead on the path. This is your sanctuary. As you approach the entrance, you notice there is a Brigid Cross hanging on the door, a symbol of safety, denoting this space is blessed by the Goddess Brigid. You enter the space, giving her reverence and thanks.

Brigid is the triple Goddess of Forge, Hearth, and Inspiration. The first thing you notice is the large inviting fireplace in the center of everything. The hearth is the center of your home life, it creates warmth and safety and provides the space to create nourishment. How is the fire burning in your hearth? Gaze into the fire and ask Brigid what can be done to increase the strength of your personal hearth fire. (Pause) Thank her for any insight you gained. Perk up the fire with another log and ask Brigid to bless your hearth and home this coming year. She is also the Goddess of the forge, which is what you create, the things you bring forth into the world. As you look around the cabin, you notice a work station. It is perfectly suited to help you do your craft. What do you see? What is it that you bring into creation? You see a candle on the station, so you take a stick from the hearth to light it. As you light the candle, ask Brigid to bless all you create. Take a moment of quiet with this flame to ask Brigid how you can be of service through your creation. (Pause) Thank her for any new insight.

You see a comfortable chair nearby, and you go to sit in it. The last aspect Brigid rules is the Inspired Heart. You close your eyes and cover your heart with your hands. What song does your heart long to sing? What truth wants to pour from you? See Brigid before you in your minds eye, holding a flame in her hand. Ask her to help you see your heart’s inspiration. (Pause) Brigid approaches you and offers forth her flame to your heart. Let her rekindle the flame within you. Feel the warmth glowing from your heart and spreading though your entire being. Feel the inspiration rising and thank her for her gift. She smiles and gives you a blessing that your heart may stay inspired, blazing and open.

Take a deep breath and feel yourself back in this moment. Feel the ground below you and take a deep breath, making little movements with your fingers and toes. Take these blessings and new insights with gratitude, and have a Blessed Imbolc.

***

About the Author:

Rebecca Coates is a Tarot reader, sound healer, fire dancer, massage therapist and witch who is based in CT but will be traveling around the US soon. Follow her journeys both internal and external on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube @GreenHeartHealingGuidance.

Finding Your Own Way

April, 2018

Chapter One in Our New Serialization…

Basic Relaxation Techniques


Relax!

A certain amount of tension is necessary for our lives. In fact, it is essential! Life requires tension, – as does every enjoyable activity that we can indulge in. There is a joy in handling even simple everyday tasks. There is a sense of achievement in pushing the limits of our strength, speed and endurance.

Even fear can be positive. It prepares us for action and helps us to think faster and act decisively in a crisis. Then, we relax. Everything rests and we return to a normal level of tension.

Or, at least we should.

Many of us don’t. We live in fear. What will my partner say if I work late again? What will my boss do if I do not finish this job in time? What if I fail this exam? What if I cannot pay my bills?

Childhood fears remain below the level of awareness. For some, the fear of hell-fire, or, perhaps separation or maybe the bogeyman that we imagined to be under the bed.

Unexamined childhood fears and traumas cause much of our feeling of unease and feed our tendency to worry about the future. I have noticed that people often feel an emotion first, and then, look around them for a cause to ascribe it to later. We justify our feelings by blaming the people and situations around us. As a result, we cannot fully trust our own judgement until we learn to relax and become more aware of our own habitual feelings.

This first exercise is probably the longest one in the book, – but it quickly becomes streamlined with practice. Just by learning to relax for a short period, we can begin to realize what a normal level of tension should be. Regular practice will quickly allow us to relax at our own command.

The effects are far-reaching, – allowing us to gain control of many situations in which we were previously at the mercy of our emotions, and the manipulation of others. It is also the first step in effective meditation.

Basic Relaxation

This exercise is best carried out, initially, in a lying down position. With practice, it can then be done sitting down. After a while, the reader will be able to relax totally in most situations with a single simple command to relax. A walk in the woods can become a healing meditation.

In the first attempts at relaxing, there is a risk that the reader may fall into a deep, healing sleep.

Make sure that there are no candles burning, or anything that may become a hazard should you do so. Also make sure that you are warm, comfortable and are not going to be disturbed. Turn off your mobile phone and inform anyone in the house that you are unavailable for a while. Wear loose comfortable clothing. Lie flat on your back in a comfortable place. Feel free to use a pillow if it is more comfortable.

Take a deep breath.

As you breathe in, tense your whole body.

Breathe out and say “Relax” in your mind as you let go of the tension.

Breathe in and tense… Breathe out and relax.

Breathe in and tense …. Breathe out and relax.

Repeat this a few more times. Each time, tell yourself to “Relax!”

Allow yourself to breathe slowly and easily

Now turn your attention to your body, starting at your toes.

Wriggle your toes and tense them. Then tell them to relax as you let go of the tension.

Then relax your feet. First one foot, then the other foot, then both feet at the same time.

Tense and relax.

Then your calves, each one, then both. Then tense from the tip of your toes to your calves and relax.

Work your way up to your thighs. Tense and relax.

Again, become aware of your body from your toes to your thighs and tell yourself to “relax!”

Work your way up your torso. Tense and relax.

Then up to your shoulders and down your arms.

Wriggle your fingers, then tense and relax.

Pay careful attention to your neck muscles. Tense and relax.

Then the back of your head, tense and relax.

Then become aware of your facial muscles. Tense and relax.

Then focus on your forehead and the top of your head.

Take a deep breath and tense your whole body.

Then, as you exhale say “Relax!”

Just let everything go.

By this time, you should feel very heavy as if you were melting into the surface beneath you.

Repeat a few times, depending on the time available.

This simple exercise often results in discovering hidden attitudes and fears which are held in the muscles as “memories”. It does this by releasing the habitual tension that holds the energies in place in our bodies. Regular practice can loosen the grip of unconscious negative expectations on our health and interactions with others. I would recommend keeping a diary and noting any dreams or reveries as well as day to day events.

I would also recommend practicing this until it becomes streamlined, before moving on to any of the other meditations.

***

About the Author:

Finding Your Own Way by Patrick W Kavanagh

Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

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Writer, poet, Patrick W Kavanagh was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over 40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds.

Also available at most retailers by Patrick W Kavanagh

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Distant Shores

From the Muse