Below is the script I used for the guided meditation. With background music and appropriate pausing, the meditation was about 15 minutes. Please feel free to use the script below as you wish.
GUIDED Gratitude Meditation Script
Close your eyes. Relax. Settle in to your body. Let go of all the things you have to do, everything on your to-do list. Right now, you are here, with us, safe, with nothing to do. Just to be.
Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Take another breath in and feel your lungs expand. Let it out and feel your lungs contract. Again, slowly expanding and then slowly contracting. Now allow yourself to breathe at your natural pace.
Your body is a perfect silent machine knowing how to perform vital functions without your conscious thought. How blessed we are to have these bodies that serve us so well.
Now, I am going to ask you to think of a few things from your life …to bring into your awareness some other blessings we may have forgotten about.
I want you to think of one simple thing that you are grateful for. You may not recognize the value of this thing often, but let’s hold space in tonight’s meditation to honor this little gift. Maybe a warm spring breeze on your face or the sound of a child’s giggle? Maybe the sweet scent of your favorite flower or the way grass or sand feels under your feet. What is that simple joy that enriches your human experience? How does it make you feel? What emotions does it inspire within you? Express gratitude for this simple thing that reminds you that you are alive.
Next, I want you to imagine a place where you love to be. Maybe it’s a place that gives you peace and quiet. Maybe it’s a busy family kitchen. Maybe it’s somewhere in nature. What does your place look like? Imagine it in your mind now, every detail. What colors do you see? Are there people there or are you alone? What does it smell like? What can you touch? What sounds do you hear? How does being in this place make you feel? Be thankful you have such a place that you can come back to in your mind whenever you wish.
This next one may take some thought. Think of an event in your past that changed your life for the better. It could be a big event. Maybe the birth of a child? Or meeting your partner? Maybe graduating college or landing that amazing job. It could be a small event like a quiet decision to start practicing yoga. What’s one thing that completely changed the course of your life? Nothing was the same after this happened. Imagine all the details that had to fall perfectly into place for this one thing to be happen. Express your gratitude for many smaller events that led up to this one. It’s like … it was all meant to be.
Now, bring to your mind’s eye, a person who is very special to you. Visualize this person’s face. Their eyes, their smile. Why are they special to you? What role does this person play in your life? Think about how you met them. In what way did they come into your life? Remember a happy memory with this person. Think of the sound of their laughter. You’ve been able to share so many great memories together! Feel the feeling now that you get when you’re with them. Feel it within you. Let it rise up from your heart and extend outward, so that your whole body is filled with that amazing feeling of love. How blessed are we! How much we have to be grateful for! Relax into this feeling of love and gratitude. This is yours. Any time you want to remember, you can. This feeling is yours. Enjoy it!
It took me a while to slow down long enough to not only recognize, but appreciate, the great order to the universe. For a long time, I thought I was unique, apart from, separate, different. I lived my life according to my own rules, controlling and manipulating to have the world work as I thought it should. Of course, it never did, and I’d be left feeling hurt, lost, depressed, and angry. I was either mad or depressed for most of my life.
I knew the sun came up every day and set every evening. I was aware of weather patterns and seasons. I recognized there was a high tide and a low tide. I knew the earth and solar system ran on some kind of power to make all these things happen. But I never saw myself as part of it.
It was when I had lived in anger and pain long enough, when I had created my own world of chaos and destruction, when I had tried over and over to set things right and was met with continued failure, that I finally started analyzing the Universal order with more curiosity.
Somehow, the Universe kept moving forward. The earth kept revolving around the sun. The moon kept revolving around the earth. The Santa Ana winds came every fall. June was always gloomy. The trees always started blooming again. The hummingbirds all started coming out each February. The moon would be full every 28th day. I could count on these things. They were unmovable. I started to appreciate their consistency. I realized that all these things would carry on if I were on this planet or not. I, no matter how hard I had tried to fool myself throughout my life, was not running the show.
Even more, I realized this outside force that was taking care of the rest of nature was taking care of me as well. I realized that I AM nature. I am a part of this great tapestry of life. I’m not apart from it at all. My life is woven into the very fabric of the Universe. How assured I could be realizing that to the animals of the air, water, and earth, I belong. I am one with all of it. And whatever is running this whole thing has got me as well.
I don’t have to fight anymore. I go with the flow, knowing that nature will take its course. Yes, there is destruction in nature. There is violence. There is brutality. But there is also the unstoppable force of life. With every forest fire, isn’t there a brand new forest that begins to grow from the released seeds? With every hurricane, is there not plant life that thrives from the blowing of seeds and saturation of rain? Even concrete poured to cover the earth still bears dandelions in its cracks. Life is unstoppable.
There is the never-ending process of death and life, chaos and order, destruction and benefit. Is it not the same way in our own lives? If we look hard enough we can always see the good that came from the darkest part of our lives. But we must choose life. We can’t actively block it with our own ideas of running the show. We submit to life. We submit to the natural order of things. We accept. We adjust.
It’s not the strongest that survive. It’s the most adaptive that survive. Life comes. We let it. We adjust. I stop trying to control life. It is my place to adapt, not control. That is the natural order of things. That is my place in the world.
I’m sorry you are experiencing some pain right now. Life gives us all kind of experiences so we can feel the full range of human emotion. It really is a beautiful thing! Sometimes we lose sight of that while we’re in the pain, however.
I’ve heard it said that whenever we are disturbed by something or someone, it is usually some thing within ourselves that is the problem. I can’t give you advice, per se. But I know from my experience, when I have issues with people around me, I look for the answers within me. Is it my expectations that are out of line? Is it my behavior that is causing a negative response in them? Am I being understanding and loving? I usually find that somewhere, I am feeling pride, fear, etc. Maybe I’m not being honest and forthright with my feelings. Maybe I’m being too controlling, expecting those around me to behave in a certain way. I spend some time taking care of myself for a while - eating well, getting enough sleep, having fun in life, making sure my spiritual life is thriving. I try to find balance within myself.
One of my favorite quotes is this: “When I stopped living in the problem and started living in the solution, the problem went away.” Sometimes, I just need to start moving forward and stop dwelling on what’s keeping me down - even if I don’t feel like it. Things sometimes just take care of themselves :)
Unfortunately, sometimes relationships end or change. That’s a part of life too. We don’t always want them to, and we try to hold onto a relationship, expecting it to be as it always was. However, like life and everything in it, relationships change too. If you and your partner have expressed the pain points of these changes to each other and have tried everything in your power to grow the relationship into something new, and it still is not working, it may be time to have an honest conversation about the future of your partnership.
Remember, a relationship is a partnership. There is not one person making all the decisions. If something feels wrong to you, you must express it and give the other partner an opportunity to express themselves as well. Hopefully, you both are in a healthy enough place on your own to be able to honestly and lovingly address the state of the partnership and start working as a team to correct any issues.
That is why it is so important to take an honest look at yourself first - your health, your motives, your level of understanding. You want to make sure you are your best self before you try to tackle relationship problems.
All the best, my friend!
When they were able to pull the boy's hand out, they saw it was clenched in a fist around something. That was why they could not get it back through the neck of the vase. Curious, they opened the boy's hand to see what had been so important that he wouldn't let go of. They peeled back his fingers to discover a bright shiny penny. The boy had seen the penny at the bottom of the vase and had reached in to pull it out. And because he didn't want to let go of the treasure he thought he found, he lost the priceless treasure meant for him.
Question: What are you holding onto that it's time to let go of? The Universe has a priceless treasure meant just for you. What bright shiny penny have you been desperately holding onto that is preventing you from receiving it?
However, there is still such a big part that is hidden behind the wall I built around myself years ago. I believe it will be one of my ongoing battles, to slowly chip away at this stupid wall. It has protected me long enough, served its purpose long enough. It's time to be fully me, live transparently, not hold back, let free the hidden child that so desperately wants to come out and play. Of course discernment is important. I believe not everyone has the right to see me at my most vulnerable. Trust needs to be earned first. But I guess therein lies the struggle. Half of me wants to live transparently, while the other half hides behind the wall, evaluating if I can trust. It's a balance. Thanks for letting me get deeply personal here today. Maybe some of you can relate. How have you been able to tear down your walls to live more freely in the world?
3) If you are struggling in a situation, brainstorm at least one good thing that might come from the situation. If you can't find one, think of some time in the past when you were in a bad situation, and remember one good thing that came out of it. It will give you hope that there will be something good to come out of this one too.
Remember! Your feelings come from what you focus on. There will always be good and bad; neither lasts forever. It's about what we focus on that creates our mood for the day. Focus on the good!
Today, I try to follow the three rules of a proper apology - 1) I'm sorry; 2) It's my fault; 3) What can I do to make it right? - If I can follow these three rules, I give myself a great gift: the freedom of knowing I have taken care of my part. I do what I can to make things right again. I take the lesson of my mistake and hopefully don't repeat it. Then I let it go. It is up to the other person to forgive or not forgive. I can rest, knowing I've done my part, knowing that I may have failed, but I'm not a failure. I have a long way to go on this still. But I hope that as time goes on, and I learn more and experience safe places to be sorry, I can learn that it's okay to be wrong. Being wrong doesn't mean I'm a failure.
While seeing this girl during my meditation, I was filled with love and compassion for her. I realized how fragile she was, and all the while she had tried to be so strong and brave, trying to convince herself that she couldn't feel the pain. My heart broke, and I cried and cried. I wrapped my arms around myself and told that broken teenager that I was so, so sorry. I told her that it's done; no longer will I neglect myself and my needs. No longer will I treat myself or LET myself be treated badly. I told her I will take care of her now. I will no longer settle for 'less than'.
I urge you, if you have never done a healing meditation for your inner child, to set aside some time to do it. It is one of the most cleansing, restorative, loving things you can do for yourself. I talk about how to do this in my new book. If you need additional help with it, contact me. Lots of love, friends!
Are you holding onto a resentment today that needs to be cleaned up? Do you need to tell someone you're sorry and change your ways? I urge you to do what it takes to keep your conscience clear. After all... "A clear conscience makes the softest pillow." And man, how I love my sleep!
I'm just a traveler, a dreamer, like you.