One way to grow your spirituality and to build connection with God is to build connection with yourself.
One way to do that is to work with your emotions, begin to understand what they are, how they feel, and understand yourself a little bit better.
Because as you work with challenging emotions that might cloud your vision and you’re able to welcome and meet them, there’s a way that you can then be more free and less cloudy and more available for your relationship with spirit, with God, with the divine.
So in this practice today, we are going to work with emotions. Wherever you are, if you can, find yourself in a lying down position. This is Yoga Nidra so it’s a guided relaxation practice. I’m gonna guide us through working with a specific emotion. When we’re able to name and feel it in our bodies and then actually have a dialogue with it, we deepen our connection with ourselves and in turn others and in turn with God. Okay, let’s get started. So find yourself in a lying down position and just relax. You don’t have to do this right. There’s no particular way this needs to look. This is simply exploring your emotional landscape in order to gain better understanding. Begin by following your breath in and out. So you don’t need to control it. Simply notice as you breathe in what you feel. Breathing out. So you may see that your chest or belly rises when you breathe in, falls when you breathe out. You’re simply noticing your breath. As you do so, can you allow the cares and worries of the day to fade into the background for a moment? You’re breathing, you’re lying here. And take a moment to connect inwardly. Notice, is there a specific emotion you’d like to work with in this practice? It may be something like fear or worry, disappointment, loss. It could even be something like joy. What emotion comes to you as the emotion you like to work with in this practice? See what comes. And if nothing comes to you, then try to think of an emotion that you had lately that is familiar to you. And choose that. Again, bringing your attention back to your breathing in and out. And can you feel your whole body rested here on the surface that supports you? Feeling your connection to the ground. Set an intention for this practice that you would like to work with this specific emotion, and then we’ll get into the practice and see what happens.
We’ll begin by doing a little body sensing and breath work to connect with our inner landscape. Sense the soles of both feet. Sense the palms of both hands. Sense both shoulders. The back of your head, neck, and the crown of your head. Sense your chest and belly as you follow the breath in and out, and both legs and feet. Can you feel yourself? It’s as if your body is breathing itself, there’s no control. You’re rested here. Sensing your entire body from head to toe. It’s as if you have your attention on your entire body globally, so not one specific place.
You may find that your eyes relax and rest. So you may close your eyes, they may already be closed. And you feel this 360 feel, the global sense of being here and breathing in and out. Notice any thoughts that may be coming and going. But even as you notice the thoughts, can you rest back into this sense of feeling your body and noticing your breath as it comes and goes, the simplicity of meditation. Now let’s begin the practice of looking at this emotion that is present. We’re gonna do this from a place of self kindness. Meaning we’re not welcoming or looking at our emotion so that we can push it away or fix or change it. We’re actually being with it as it is. There may be a kindness or an inner smile that you bring to your face or your heart so that this is where we’re starting from. So bring to mind this emotion and name it inwardly.
Disappointment, anxiety, grief, joy, peacefulness something that you’d like to explore, work with. You may feel blocks to feeling joy. You maybe feel overwhelmed sometimes by certain emotions like anxiety, frustration, whatever that emotion is. Can you, in a way as if it were a welcome guest, can you allow it to be here in this moment? So we’re not wanting to flood the system or overwhelm ourselves. We’re just welcoming a little bit of the feeling, of this emotion. And we’re saying it’s okay to be here. So as you welcome that emotion in, notice how do I feel in my body when this is front and center? Perhaps there’s a contraction somewhere in your body like your belly, your shoulders. Perhaps you find that your posture changes when you consider this emotion. But can you allow yourself to attune to the felt sense of what this emotion is? Tight in my chest, heavy in my belly, tight in my shoulders, whatever that is, begin to inwardly name and understand this emotion that’s here. And can you do so nonjudgmentally? Ah, it’s anxiety and it feels like a racing heart. It’s frustration, it feels like sweaty palms.
Whatever it is, this is the first step in working with this emotion. As you welcome it to be here we’re going to do an experiment. We’re going to open a door in your mind’s eye to a peaceful room that you’re in, and you’re gonna welcome this emotion to enter the room with you. You may find that it is a younger version of yourself coming into room. You may find that it’s a cartoon or a color. It doesn’t have to look a certain way. Our inner wisdom is there. So we’re just being creative. As you open the door and welcome this emotion in, what does it look like? Who is it? Let the wisdom of your body shine through as you meet this emotion. And can you allow it to feel just how it feels? So it may be a younger version of you that’s kind of shy or upset.
So just notice what happens as you welcome this emotion in. No judgment, just being with, being near this part of yourself. We’re gonna have a dialogue with this emotion. Allow yourself to feel, how do you feel being near or in proximity to this emotion in this room? How is it for you? Can you draw near with compassion to this little one or this color, whatever it is that’s here before you? Continuing to feel and welcome it, but seeing it as something that’s in front of you. If you can, we’ll ask a few questions and listen to the wisdom of the body as it responds. The first question is, what do you want?
If you could ask this question gently, what is it that you want? Perhaps asking anxiety, joy or frustration. And then just listen for the answer. No agenda to fix or change. You’re simply welcoming, allowing, listening. What is it that you want? And receiving the answer, there may not be a verbal answer. You may simply be with this emotion and just noticing how it appears to be moving or feeling. That’s enough too. But just really listening and taking in the answer. What do you want? The next question, what is it that you need? What do you need? Really asking, you’re feeling it in your body, you’re seeing it in front of you and asking, what is it that you’re needing? If you are a messenger here to tell me something, what is it that you need? I’ve heard what you want.
Now I’m listening for what is it that you need. Again, same practice, being with what arises.
Allow this to unfold in your mind’s eye, staying connected to your body, to the ground. You may feel something here as you interact with this. And can you allow that as well? It’s the process of welcoming and meeting your emotions is something that’s here for you to lean into. As always, you can come back to your breath if you need if something feels too much. But we’re gonna go to the third question, the last question here as we dialogue with our emotion. Is there an action I can take to give you what you need? So we’re listening, watching, being with. We’re listening, watching, and being with this emotion. And we’re asking, is there an action?
And we’re asking, is there an action I can take to give you what you need? And just listen to the response. No judgment, just allowing whatever’s here to be here. You may hear perhaps something like, I want you to listen to me when I visit you, or I just wanna be okay to be here. Or maybe there’s something more specific.
As you listen to the request for the action, just notice what wells up in you to say or do as you’re with this aspect of yourself, this emotion. And now take one more moment with this emotion and feel the whole scene. Is there a commitment that you’d like to make to this emotion right now? Or perhaps you’d just like to feel a little bit longer the welcoming aspect of being with this that’s here. You’re welcoming the emotion without refusing it, trying to make it go away. You’re inviting it in, dialoguing with it, befriending your emotion. Eventually you may see your emotion as an ally, delivering a message. Allow yourself to now let go of this inquiry practice with this emotion, making any necessary commitments that you’ll return to it when it visits you. And then let yourself simply rest here. Open, grounded, your breath coming and going, feeling your whole body 360. So really this means allowing your mind to rest and just sensing, being here, breathing, connected to yourself, connected to God, rested. Take the next few cycles of breath to rest here. Allow yourself to slowly return from the practice, letting your eyes open, perhaps wiggling your fingers and toes. Returning back, maybe even drawing your knees in towards your chest and rolling off to one side. Notice how you feel. And close the practice any way that feels right to you. Thanks so much for meditating with me.