This guided visualisation offers you an opportunity to ponder ways to live a slower, more intentional life, says author Judy Darley.
In this guided visualisation, let’s take a moment to consider some incremental changes that will allow you to live your life at a pace you control.
Hold this thought close as you sit or lie down and shut your eyes. Concentrate on the simple yet essential act of breathing in, breathing out. Notice how your diaphragm contracts to expand your lungs with each inhalation, and then relaxes. Imagine replenishing oxygen entering your bloodstream and being carried to each of your vital organs.
You may wish to picture a river or smaller tributary, perhaps with tumbling cascades that ring out as they meet and blend with pools reflecting the sky. Imagine yourself resting in the secure embrace of a grassy mountaintop where the air is sweet and clean.
Other peaks surround you, softened by distance, and the sun is just beginning to reach across them in ribbons of light that warm your skin. Perhaps a dipper, a little aquatic songbird, is darting over your river’s smooth pebbles, ducking its head in search of silvery minnows and other treats.
Maybe a buzzard or red kite glides gracefully above you as the sky melts from deep gold to palest blue. Think about the activities, or lack of activity, that bring peace into your days, and consider which of these you can welcome as a regular feature to foster ongoing strength and serenity.
Perhaps you can carve out half an hour to walk to the places you need to go rather than driving or catching the bus. As you stroll, however briskly, pay attention to any wildlife around you, even if that’s only a spray of bird’s-foot-trefoil pouring over a stone wall, or a rose-bellied bullfinch singing in a budding cherry tree.
Observe the vigour of your moving limbs and the heat of your blood beneath your skin. Alternatively, find the courage simply to say no to an unnecessary request or invitation and instead seek a few minutes or even an hour in your own company to centre yourself and gather your thoughts.
These are parts of your life you may need to safeguard in busy times. It can be difficult to remember the importance of quiet in maintaining your equilibrium. When work or family are demanding, we sometimes deprioritise these pockets of calm.
Focus as you inhale and exhale, consciously reminding yourself how much better these pauses help you feel. You and your energy are your greatest assets and whatever keeps you well and energised should be valued and protected.
By giving yourself space in this way, you’ll open up room for self-understanding and compassion to float to the surface. Look out for anything that soothes you or prompts happiness and note the details that gave rise to positive sensations and emotions.
These may be clues to pastimes and pleasures you can introduce or increase in your day-to-day life. Now, open your eyes and make your first intentional choice…