An embodied contemplation from Nicky Temple
A time to come out of our head space and into our bodies.
Today we’re going to connect more intentionally with our bodies and give space for them to speak to us.
Also a way to connect more deeply with ourselves through the body – which often has more to say than we realise.
Sit comfortably, but attentively in a chair. This mediation can also work if you’re lying down.
Take a few moments to come to stillness.
As a way to begin to come out of the mental space, we bring attention to the breath.
If you find during this time that thoughts come, gently bring awareness back to breath.
Take a few deeper breaths. Be aware of the movement of air, the inhale and the exhale. Expand lungs and belly sending oxygen to fingers and toes. At the end of the inhalation take a small pause before exhaling, take another small pause before repeating. Repeat this deep wide breath two or three more times keeping attention on the breath.
Bring attention now to being in the chair. Allow your body to be fully supported trusting yourself to be held. Allow the chair to take your weight and to hold you. Allow yourself to sink down, shoulders dropping.
In that place of being securely held bring attention to the feet. Be aware of the connection between feet and ground. How the ground sustains and supports us. Bring attention to toes, the ball of the foot, the heel connecting with earth. Be reminded of being held and supported by the earth.
We move up through the feet through the lower legs to the knees. Feel the legs sink down into the feet being fully supported.
Travel across the knees into the big upper leg muscles connecting with the chair and being held.
Be aware of the hip joints where the body meets the legs. Bring attention to the legs and areas of tension or tightness and breathe into that allowing a loosening to come.
Coming into the torso, up through the spine. Imagine going step by step through the spine, bone by bone. Imagine the natural curve though the spine and the way it supports the body. Come through the spine to where the ribs join and wrap around to the front of the body. Be aware again of the movement of breath under the ribs and the beating of the heart that brings life and keeps the blood flowing.
Now to any places within chest, stomach or back that feel tight or out of kilter. Acknowledge and observe them and as you breathe into them allow them to loosen.
Travelling back through the ribcage into the spine, continuing up to the shoulders and across them down through the arms through the elbow joints, wrists and hands. Be aware of the hands resting in your lap. If they’re tense or grasping allow them to relax as a gesture of letting go and allowing what is to be. Welcome a gentle and loving acceptance of what is in this moment.
Back up the arms into the back through the last few bones of the neck – be aware of any tension or gripping in neck or shoulders. Breathe into this space and allow tension to fall away.
Travelling up into the head through the back of the neck. What does the head feel like? Is it tense? What needs to let go? Is there anything you’ve been pondering, thinking of or obsessing over that in this moment you’re able to let go? To trust all will be well and that you can surrender what’s been travelling through and through.
Now, though the top of the head into the face. To the eye sockets. Allow the eyes to be heavy and relaxed. Releasing tension from cheekbones and mouth, relaxing the face completely.
Breathe into the throat, releasing tension and letting go. Letting things fall away. Allow rest to come.
Know that in this place you are seen, held, known and loved.
Allow the love of God to hold, support and carry you in this moment letting go of anything you’ve been carrying or grasping. Letting the Holy Spirit take the weight, lift the burden and carry you.
Ending with some words from Teresa of Avila (A 16th century Carmelite Nun)…
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing upset you.
God alone is unchanging.
With patience all things are possible.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone is enough.