Last week I shared an easy homemade recipe for a herbal salve for cold sores. Cold sores are generally triggered by stress. On this note – today I have decided to share a meditation that I practice when I feel like I am overwhelmed, and burdened, with the stressors of everyday life. It might be useful to read over, and then visualise it for yourself at the end of a busy day. I find if I do this for ten minutes before bed, I sleep like a baby. Just as an aside – before I sit down to write this, I am going to make a lovely stress-relieving chamomile tea, light a scented candle, arrange a pretty crystal by my desk, and really get in the zone! Hopefully I can transmute some of this energy to you!
Letting Go of Stress
Get comfortable and close your eyes. Picture yourself walking through the woods. Hear the crackle of dry leaves underfoot. The light wrestles with the canopy overhead and sends her scattered beams deep into the thick of the forest. The air is refreshing and cool and there is green as far as the eye can see.
Despite the peaceful setting, notice how you are feeling. You are carrying something heavy on your back. You have been walking for days now, your shoulders ache and your back is sore. Your feet drag and your eyes are strained. You are carrying a weight, a burden, far too heavy for one person to bear. Every little stressor you have encountered the past week has been piling up on your shoulders. A difficult job, or client, being stuck in traffic, missing the bus – in the rain, the $5 burnt coffee you couldn’t drink, an argument with a loved one, an unexpected bill, the late night, that chronic tired feeling, the chores piled up at home…every little stressor, big and small, has been condensed into a heavy stone, and placed in the back pack you carry on your shoulders, through the forest.
The straps are digging stubbornly into your skin, and you long to take it off. You keep walking, guided by the light. The sun is finding an easier time of illuminating the forest floor now. You reach a clearing, by a river’s edge. As you approach the river, the rustling of the leaves underfoot is replaced with the roaring of a waterfall. You finally stop and rest on a big, naked bolder, warm and smooth, by the river, right next to the edge of the waterfall.
You slowly free yourself from your bag of stressors, and it falls heavily to the floor. You reach in, and pull the fist rock out from it. Feel the weight of the rock as you hold it in your hands. Which stressor is this? Is this the missed bus? The difficult client? Or the argument with your partner? Give it an identity, and really feel the weight of it.
Now, fling the rock into the river, and watch it get picked up and carried by the rapids, till it flies off the lip of the waterfall. No rock is too big for these rapids, whatever the size, they will pick it up and carry it downstream for you. Watch as your stressor falls 100 feet to the rock pool below, and shatters into a thousands smooth, baby pebbles. Notice how much lighter you feel for just letting that one niggle go.
Do this again, and again. Keep reaching into that backpack of yours till you have pulled out each and very stressor that has been piling up over the last week. Acknowledge and feel the weight of each one, then release it without a second thought to the great river.
When you are done, give thanks to the river for washing away all of your burdens so graciously.
Turn back into the woods, you are now free to run, to explore, to have new adventures, without being weighted down by burdens no person should have to carry.
Hold this new feeling of lightness with you as you open your eyes again.
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