Tea, Food and Community

Tea, Food and Community

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Simple Meditations on Love and Acceptance

This February let’s talk about love, let’s talk about inclusiveness, and let’s talk about acceptance. Personally, I’ve been feeling ungrounded lately in the current political atmosphere of upheaval, and intolerance. It can be hard to know what to do and easy to fall into fear and negativity, or get angry and point fingers at others. It’s times like these that we need love more than ever. We need to mindfully bring it inside ourselves, and offer it out to others-- even those who challenge us. 

A good way to start, is with ourselves. Simple meditations and acts of self-love help build our reservoirs of love over time. I like to start my day off gently, allowing time to integrate dreams and meditate. I find the morning to be an easier time for meditation because my mind is calm and less full of thoughts and preoccupations from the outside world. 

The meditation I return to again and again, especially during times of strong emotion or stress starts with a simple body scan. I close my eyes, take some deep breaths and allow my consciousness to travel inside my body on an inquisitive journey toward my emotions. Our emotions tend to manifest in the same locations in our bodies, and when we see and feel them where they are we can shift energy and allow them to dissipate. For me, sadness and fear tend to sit in my solar plexus like a timid bunny. It helps me to imagine myself holding that bunny of emotion and offering it consolation, protection, and love. As I scan through my body, I offer my emotions this mantra, “I see you, I accept you, I love you, I let you go.” At the close of my meditation I bow to myself offering and accepting gratitude and love. This meditation helps me feel more grounded, empowered, and attuned for the day. 

This meditation can be expanded to our thoughts and actions toward others. Remember we are all connected, and we have the power to make or break someone’s day. When we make others feel good, we feel good. Choose to offer others the same mantra of acceptance in your thoughts toward them. When you are feeling challenged by someone, take a deep breath and say “I see you, I accept you, I love you, I let you go,” silently in your head. Take the time to shift the energy and disengage from negativity, offering love instead. This can be difficult because it asks us to be vulnerable in the face of others, but there is great power and strength in vulnerability. 

Throughout your day seek out love, notice joy, notice kindness around you, and seek out the positive. I don’t know why, but it seems like it comes more naturally to notice the what’s difficult, frustrating, or upsetting, and to engage in negative thoughts. When we make a commitment to be aware of the positive, we may catch ourselves falling into negativity over and over again. When we catch ourselves and shift our attention to what’s positive we are training ourselves to navigate challenging times with greater ease and lightness.

Remember to "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" (Ian MacLaren), including you. When we feel overwhelmed and helpless, we must remember what a difference a little kindness and love can make. Offer yourself love, and let that love expand to the world at large, making it a better place for everyone. 

By: Kerry Newton