Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
In my first article on homing, I talked about those times that you want to remember forever – whether it be a trip, a certain experience in nature, or your memories of a simpler past. Whatever this experience was for you, it conveys a sense of life, magic, innocence, or pure joy. That moment made you realize that you are more than the daily routine. You are alive.
Connecting to Your True Self
This desire to remember is a part of “homing” – of reminding ourselves who we are created to be in this world, all the while longing for the Perfect Love that abides in Heaven. Think of a time when you felt most alive, free, wild, and at home in your skin. Sometimes even a smell can bring us back to that time.
We all need ways to “get away from it all” in order to stay connected to that wild part of us, that soul space within us. But what happens when we cannot physically get away? I want to offer an exercise that you can practice right in the midst of a busy, stressful day. It is called “Peaceful Place.” Practice it with me now.
An Exercise for when You Cannot “Get Away”
Find a comfortable place in your home or office, or even outdoors during a lunch break. Close your eyes, or soften your gaze by looking downward, and pay attention to your breath. Simply breathe in and out for a few moments, noticing where you feel your breath. Gradually deepen those breaths by filling your diaphragm, with your stomach rising on the inhale and falling on the exhale. Make sure that you are not taking shallow breaths that you feel only in your chest.
Once you are breathing deeply, start to picture a peaceful place in your mind’s eye. What colors do you see? Are you indoors, or outdoors? Surrounded by trees, or spaciousness? What do you see around you? Spend a few minutes seeing what you see.
Next, what sounds do you hear in your peaceful place? They may be the sounds of ocean waves, the wind on your face, horses in the distance, sea gulls… Whatever it is, pay attention to those sounds as you continue to breathe deeply.
What do you smell? Salty sea air? Freshly cut grass? Popcorn popping? Coffee brewing? What smells do you breathe in while you are at peace in this place? Take some more deep breaths as you breathe in that sense of peace.
What do you sense in your body as you take in this place? Are you walking? Leaning against a tree? Lying on the grass or sand? Are you alone, or with others? Simply imagine what your body feels in this peaceful place. And continue breathing deeply.
What tastes are associated with a peaceful place? Coffee? Tea? Chocolate? Salty chips? Whatever it is, savor that sense of peace and continue breathing deeply.
When you are fully immersed in your peaceful place, with every part of you, take a few more deep breaths.
Gently come back to this present moment by paying attention to what you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste right now. After taking a few more deep breaths, slowly open your eyes. Look around you. Utter a prayer of thanks for this moment, this day, and all the goodness that is in your life.
An exercise like this can calm you down, remind you of the gift of simply being alive and one of God’s children, and allow you to summon up strength to re-engage in the tasks that lie ahead of you. This exercise can be practiced at any time. And this Peaceful Place is yours. You imagined it. Any time you feel stressed, exhausted, sad, lonely, or worried – remember this place.
Christian Counseling to Return to Your True Self
If you would like help dealing with overwhelming stress, feelings of hopelessness, or lack of purpose, please consider calling a Christians counselor. You are created for so much more. You are alive – you are loved.
“Bench Silhouette,” courtesy of Nick Page FCC (CC BY 2.0); “Sunlight Pleasure,” courtesy of Splitshire.com
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