When we don’t feel safe, there’s a small part of our brain that works really hard to look after us. Unfortunately, it’s only really good at doing that in really dangerous situations and it can’t tell the difference between real danger and something else.
This can mean that when you feel embarrassed, hurt, sad, excited, cross, disappointed or some other emotion, this part of your brain senses danger and prepares to defend you by making you flare up in anger, get away as quickly as you can, become frozen or find some other way to make you safe again.
All of these defences make it hard for you to be connected with yourself and others and also makes it impossible to feel compassion, again for yourself or others.
So imagine you are somewhere that feels perfectly safe. It could be somewhere you know or somewhere that you’ve made up in your mind. Close your eyes and allow yourself to be there for a while, feeling completely safe and allowing your connection and compassion to unfold.
May my heart be kind, my mind fierce and my spirit brave
You are amazing. It might not feel like it sometimes, but you are. Without trying, you are amazing. This meditation is for adding a little to that. It’s about making a choice about how you want to be in the world.
There is always so much going on that we can forget that every moment is precious, especially now when many days are probably looking the same. In each moment, we have the opportunity to choose to be kind and think kindly, to be curious and interested and to try something different. Why not try it and see how you feel…
Don’t worry if thoughts appear. Your thinking mind is used to being in control and looking out for you. Each time you practise bringing your attention back to your breathing, you are strengthening your ability to do so. Welcome the thoughts into your ocean and let them bob there.
Repeat the word ‘trouble’ in your head over and over again for a minute. Notice what happens in your body.
Tune into what happens to your tummy, your heart, your breathing, your head, your shoulders and then other parts of your body. Sit with that feeling for a moment.
Now repeat the word ‘kindness’ in your head over and over for a minute.
Tune into your body. Do you notice any changes in your tummy? How about in your breathing? Do you feel your shoulders dropping and your body softening?
We all have a part of us that likes to keep us safe by pointing out trouble so we can protect ourselves, but sometimes that part of us looks too carefully for trouble and danger and needs to be gently encouraged to stand down. By repeating the word ‘kindness’ we can soothe that part and act from a place of love and openness instead of fear. Try it and feel yourself relax. It might take a lot of practice – that troubleshooting part of you likes to be the boss!