Dr. Cynda Hylton Rushton, the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics and Professor of Nursing and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics and Schools of Nursing & Medicine, invites us to welcome whatever feelings are present right now and to trust what we discover in body and mind without judgment.
A 12-Minute Meditation to Reconnect with Yourself
A 12-Minute Meditation to Reconnect with Yourself
- As you settle into your chair (or wherever you are at this moment), invite your breath to be natural. Notice the inhale and exhale. See if you can detect the sensations associated with breathing. Notice if your breath is uneven or shallow, smooth or something else, to bring your awareness to the feeling of inhaling and exhaling.
- On the next inhale, invite your lungs to fully inhale, feeling the sensations of the breath filling your lungs. And once your lungs feel full, slowly exhale. Notice that feeling of release, of letting go.
- As you settle into your body, take a moment to scan through your body and notice any areas of ease or tension. Trust whatever you discover in your body today, notice what emotions are present, and welcome whatever’s true without judgment. Welcome whatever emotions are present right now.
- Notice the quality of your mind in this moment. Perhaps it’s scattered or distracted. Maybe it’s very focused and calm. Whatever is true, just notice the quality of your mind. And if it’s feeling a little distracted or scattered, you might try focusing your attention on your breath. Or if that’s not available to you, notice the sensation of your feet on the ground, finding a way to gather all the threads of your attention and focus them in this moment.
- Take a moment to be with the sensations in your body, your emotions, your thoughts, without pushing them away or censoring them, just welcoming whatever is true. See if you can connect to a feeling of spaciousness. Or if that’s not possible right now, notice whatever is happening in your body. And if you’re able, rest in the spaciousness of this moment. Let your mind ease your breath and ease your heart open.
- Remember who you really are. Notice thoughts that arise as you remember. Invite your mind to be at ease and gently hold whatever thoughts are there. See if you can connect to the essence of who you really are. Not your title, not your identity, not your role, but your essence. Connect to your basic goodness, your moral core. On the next exhale, connect to the feelings that you associate with this.
- Notice what arises. Notice the sensations in your body. Notice any emotions that arise. Rest in the space of really remembering who you really are. And from this place of remembering, see if you can recall a time when you were able to make visible who you really are. It could be a moment of connection with someone. A moment when your values were made visible in your words or actions. A decision that was aligned with your moral core. See if you can bring that experience into your awareness. What do you notice? How is your body responding to this invitation?
- As you exhale, drop into the body. See where you can perceive this awareness, this place of wholeness in your body. Take a moment to investigate that awareness. Where does this memory live in your body? And as you investigate your body, investigate the wisdom that your heart reveals. What are the feelings that arise with this memory? What are the thoughts that accompany it?
- Connect to your memory of being whole, of being aligned with your moral core. The place of being whole and undiminished is really our home base. It’s a space of ease. It’s a space that we can return to over and over again, especially when we find ourselves confused, conflicted, or uncertain. So take a few moments to connect to the feeling of being at home in your body, in your mind, and in your heart. And if it doesn’t feel accessible right now, just notice that without judgment, without attaching any story to it. When we’re able to allow our mind to rest, our body to be at ease, and our emotions to be balanced, we have the opportunity to really strengthen our connection to our wholeness. And that wholeness becomes a resource to us when we need a compass to guide us in the face of adversity.
- Let’s end this practice with a few phrases to carry with you: May I trust the wisdom of this moment. May I have the courage to see things honestly, clearly, and without judgment. May I be willing to let go of what no longer serves. May I invite a wise hope for the future to emerge.
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