Mindful Metaphors Episode 7

Welcome back to Mindful Metaphors!  As we move into November of this year, I wanted to present a metaphor of compassion.  I see compassion as a natural result of mindfulness practice.  Through open awareness, we start to feel more in touch with ourselves and others.  As we do this, we naturally begin to want to alleviate the suffering of ourselves and others.

Compassion is a powerful practice.  My definition of compassion is the result of what happens when love meets suffering.  It is a well-wishing for yourself and others, especially in difficult times.  I continue to hear about more and more research that shows the positive effects of compassion on well-being.  From my experience, and the experience of those I know, this is true.  By practicing compassion for yourself and others, we start to nurture ourselves and being healing.

lagoon_flcikr

For this episode, I have a nature-based metaphor that is a compassion practice.  It is a powerful visualization and allows your heart to open.  Take a few long deep breaths and enjoy.

Imagine you are standing in the middle of a large lagoon.  You feel the warm water on your skin and see the green forest around you.  This lagoon is secluded and it is your own private lagoon.  It is warm and inviting to sit in the lagoon and relax.

This is your lagoon of compassion.  Everything that enters the lagoon is loved and cared for.  It has a magical property of healing and calming any fears.  It is peaceful and cozy.

Now, invite someone from your life into the lagoon.  Someone who would enjoy it.  Maybe a good friend or family member.  Watch them enter the lagoon and enjoy the calming and healing effects of the warm water.  Now invite someone else you know into the lagoon.  Let them settle in and let them be healed.  Invite all your friends in.  Invite someone you know who is going through a hard time.

Now invite someone you might be having a conflict with.  Allow them to enter the lagoon and be healed by the warm water.  Watch as they are nurtured by the magic of the compassion lagoon.

Continue to invite anyone you want to join.  Notice how the lagoon transforms them.

Now I want you to think about yourself.  Notice all the different “selves” that you have.  Maybe you have a “work self,” a “wife/husband self,” an “angry self,” a “sad self,” a “tired self,” etc.  What are some difficult moments that have brought about a hurt “self” that needs healing?  Notice all the different “selves” that you have as you go throughout your days.

Now begin to invite these different “selves” into the lagoon.  Invite the “sad self” to come in and enjoy the warm healing waters.  Invite the “stressed out self” to come in and be healed.  The lagoon can hold all your “selves.”   Allow them to come in and be nurtured by the compassion lagoon.  Watch as these different “selves” relax and are healed.  Pause for a few moments to enjoy this process.  Take all the time you need to enjoy this healing compassion lagoon.

Lovely.  How was that metaphor?  Compassion can be a powerful tool for healing and you have access to it wherever you go.  Keep this metaphor in mind when the difficulties within you or in others show up.  See if you can allow your intention of compassion to transform these difficulties.

Until next time, I hope you have a compassionate week.

Ellis Edmunds

Therapy for Anxiety and Mindfulness Groups in Oakland, CA.

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