There are so many ways we can be present to ourselves in the moment. Because most of us have well established patterns of disconnection, it can be helpful to bring in a variety of resources to help us stay grounded.
Do you have memories of a place where you feel completely relaxed and comfortable? It could be an actual place or something you visualize. Maybe it’s a beach or park where you go to take a breather or a quiet garden. It could be a cuddle with your dog or relaxing in an easy chair listening to a beautiful piece of music. There might be a specific person with you or perhaps you’re enjoying solitude.
The practice below encourages you to bring this experience to life using all of your senses. What do you see? Are there lovely aromas? Calming sounds? Maybe it’s the warm springy texture of your dog’s hair or the velvety softness of your horse’s nose. Bring your whole attention to the experience.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, just pick something to work with this time. Let yourself settle in and relax. Let your body soften.
One of the benefits of a practice like this is that with a quick visualization you can use all of your senses to feel grounded. Our mind and nervous systems work by associations and in a practice like this we’re putting that mechanism to good use. With practice, you can quickly bring yourself back into your body by using these tools.
If you enjoy being on a beach, you might feel the warm sand and the sun on your skin. Imagine the sweet scents of tropical flowers and the sounds of song birds. When we use all of our senses to bring ourselves “there”, it helps to counteract the mind’s tendency to wander.
Like in any relaxation practice, you can still work with noticing your breath and relaxing muscles. You can work skillfully with thoughts. This visualization can provide another way to stay grounded in the moment. Try it and see if it works for you!