Step into a starry night and let your imagination take you to a place of calm and stillness in this guided visualisation from Judy Darley
The room is quiet around you. You’re sitting in your favourite chair within sight of a window. You’re wearing familiar, comfortable woollens and socks, and perhaps even have a blanket tucked around you. Notice the soft textures and how they feel under your fingertips. A beloved book lies within reach – maybe one you’ve re-read with pleasure many times before.
Breathe in deeply and inhale the green smell of pine and tingle of spices you associate with the festive season – nutmeg, cinnamon or cloves. Pay attention to your diaphragm as it expands and contracts with each breath, in and out.
A Christmas tree is just to your right or left. It stretches towards the ceiling, filling its space beautifully. You’ve strung the tree with lights that glow gently, mirroring the shimmer of stars outside. Baubles gleam among the branches like exquisite berries. You can see ornaments that bring to mind happy moments, some from your childhood, yes, but also representing places you’ve visited and people you’ve met throughout your life. Is there anyone among those people you want to reconnect with? Consider what you’d like to say to them now.
A sweet aroma lifts from the lit candles gathered on a windowsill. It’s up to you whether they’re perfumed or not, and if so, what by. Maybe the fragrance evokes some nostalgia within you.
Although you are perfectly warm, when you glance out of the window you can imagine the inviting scent of falling snow. Trees are laden with its weight. As you watch, a small squirrel leaps from one to another, shedding a shower of sparkling snow and freeing the branch to dance upwards. A robin alights on an ivy-covered fence-post, then flutters away. In the distance, the gentle ‘tooo-whit’ of a tawny owl duet ripples.
The whiteness looks almost turquoise in the darkness. The trees cast long shadows over the untouched snow. Looking more closely, you spy a scattering of tiny prints that reveal a shrew has scurried by.
It’s up to you whether you choose to stir from your restful spot and venture out. If you do step outside, pause to consider the boots you’ll pull on and lace securely, and the hat and gloves that will keep you snug. Enjoy the contrast of the cosiness inside and invigorating cold outside. Anticipate the way the chilliness will enter your body with every breath, and then dissipate. Inhale while thinking of all the things you’re thankful for. With your out breath, exhale your concerns and anxieties. Repeat this several times. If you’re outside, your worries may hang in a frozen cloud of mist before evaporating.
The snow gives slightly underfoot, creaking softly. That sound and your own heartbeat is almost the only noise. You lift your face to the sky and close your eyes for an instant, paying attention to the clean, icy air on your face. Snowflakes settle gently on your skin. When you open your eyes, gaze upwards until you feel all traces of gravity drop away and your body seems as though it could fl oat. Allow the tranquillity of the winter’s night to absorb you.
High above, the stars shine.
Join the Planet Mindful community and make a pact to prioritise your self care – try an issue here for just 99p!