On the 24th of May of this year and every Wednesday morning hereafter, you and I started an inward journey to celebrate our humanity.
We began our quest by tackling the inner dialogue which is chattering happily away inside our minds. We noted that this inner babbling- particularly when it is negative, incapacitates the ability to find peace, contentment and happiness. We then set about stilling the mind through the practice of progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and mindfulness. We even considered methods of forgiveness, which is no mean feat and often the accumulation of our life’s work here on this Earth and at times, it is an impossible thing to do without Divine intervention.
I, like my Irish mother before me, believe that we need Divine intervention in every aspect of our daily lives. When I speak of the Divine I am not referring to a particular doctrine or set of religious beliefs, but rather to a spiritual experience that allows us to be part of, and yet detached from, all the hustle, bustle and hassle of this world. Of course, I am unable to explain who or what ‘Divinity’ is, such intricate matters are far beyond the comprehensions of my simple human mind. However, when I practice meditation, focused attention and gratitude, my heart open up to ‘The Presence of the Divine’s Transformational Love’.I do not always get it right. Sometimes I stumble and fall. I eat too much, drink too much. I become anxious and negative. But here is the good news when I wake up in the morning it’s a new day and a new chance to start afresh. For me, gratitude works every time. Mindfulness and meditation comes later bringing with it the stillness and peace of mind.
Keeping a diary and affirming all the good things in life is an effective way to practice gratitude. These exercises which I like to call- ‘Effective techniques for Love Transformation;’ have evolved over the years through my own journey and through helping others with theirs. So many excellent authors have written a great deal on gratitude, that it is impossible to attribute these exercises to one source.
But before undertaking them however, I would like you to do a particular meditative reflection utilizing the medium of art called-Who do you think I am?
Who do you think I am?
This reflection, like many other exercises previously explored in this blog is divided into three parts, the preparation, the exercise and the discussion and it is very similar to the one we did way back on Day 1 of our journey together.
For this, you will need:
- Paints or colored pencils -I like to use the soft pastels because they can run in together, but it is not necessary
- Paper to draw on — the plain white variety is best.
It is a good idea to set time aside for this experience. If you are busy with small children or work, do this first thing in the morning, before the children get up, or late at night when they are in bed. Take the phone off the hook and turn off the radio and television. This is your time for you. It is a healing exercise that has nothing to do with how well you think you can, or cannot draw!
- Start by drawing a body outline. This does not have to be accurate or correct. Some people like to draw themselves as curved lines or circles, while others prefer stick men or some other symbolic representation of how they see themselves. Try to let go of any negative messages you may have about your artistic ability.
- Next, close your eyes and place your hands, palms down, on your painting. Visualize all the colors of the rainbow flowing in and around and through your body. Keeping your eyes closed, imagine different life situations. If this situation you were a color, what color would it to be? If this situation was absorbed by your body, where would you feel ‘its’ energy?
- When you are ready, open your eyes. Pick up the pencils or crayons and color in around the body outline. Feel free when doing this part of the exercise. Play with the colors. Slowly allow yourself to pull away from the painting. Close your eyes once more and relax by concentrating on your breathing and the gentle rise and fall of your chest as you remind yourself that you are inhaling energy and light and exhaling any tension from your body.
- Then bring yourself back to the exercise by gently placing your palms on the drawing and hold them there without thinking. Allow yourself to be open to whatever feelings come your way. Which of these adjectives best describes you at this moment — happy, sad, surprised, fearful, anxious, distrustful, curious, doubtful, betrayed, or confident?
- During this time of reflection, allow your mind to connect to something greater than you — a loving, compassionate Life Force that is cradling you softly and gently, in the palm of an outstretched hand.
- From this safe place, look at your drawing again and consider what it is telling you about yourself and your beliefs. This would be a good time to ask yourself if you are willing to listen to the whispering’s of your soul to open your heart to Real Love.
Opening our hearts to Divine Transformational Love is made possible through the practice of gratitude which we will look at in the next few following posts.
These gratitude awareness exercises – including Gratitude Awareness Diary, Affirmations, and Heart-Warming Gifts, foster a more holistic approach to life- one that embraces thoughts, actions and spirituality.
Spirituality, by its nature, does not adhere to any one religion; however, most religions assume that we are ‘Loved’ by something that is greater than ourselves. Developing a spiritual, intellectual and emotional state of well-being allows optimum energy, healing and growth.
Note to self
So stay tuned my friends, as your life and mine – with God Grace, opens up to the gifts of courage, knowledge, wonder and awe, right judgement, wisdom and understanding
And above all enjoy the experience.