Creating Personal Sanctuary – We all know how good it feels to have a vacation coming up on the calendar! We like thinking about it, or maybe daydreaming on a stressful day.
Fantasy has the power to change how we feel – it works because the part of the brain which influences mood is turned on equally by a real event or a vividly imagined fantasy!
That’s why ‘Creating Personal Sanctuary’ has the power to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the brain that can calm us down when we feel stressed, angry, or fearful. We can use this mind/body connection to alter our own blood chemistry – stopping the production of stress chemicals, and starting the flow of substances that calm and sooth, like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.
These feel-good neurotransmitters can be deeply relaxing, contribute to clear thinking, and also improve the health risks of stress by streamlining our bodies health systems, including digestion and immune function.
Remember that the more often you use this process for ‘Creating Personal Sanctuary’, the more effective it will be. Morning or evening are good times – setting the tone for your day, or helping you relax in the evening.
To listen to a Guided Meditation for Creating Personal Sanctuary, click on the link:
The script for the meditation is printed below.
Take a minute to move or stretch, and then find a comfortable position to sit or lie down.
Give your mind and body permission to relax and unwind.
Take a moment now and see if you can adjust your position slightly to give yourself just a little more comfort.
Close your eyes and let your breathing quiet down naturally.
Relax your mouth and jaw, and feel your body settle in.
Imagine that you’re walking along beside a lovely babbling brook in a beautiful tree-lined canyon when you notice an opening in the rock wall and a gentle set of steps leading down into the earth. The stone sheds a warm glow, inviting you to enter, and if you choose to explore, lights your way as you descend deeper.
At the bottom, the steps give way to a path that opens onto an enchanting meadow under a blue sky dotted with white clouds.
You can stroll through the grass and wander over to the dappled shade of an old oak tree.
If you like, you can stretch out, and sink into the warm grass. As you feel your body relaxing, and let go of your thoughts, a peaceful feeling washes over you.
The sun on your body feels pleasantly warm and a slight breeze caresses your skin.
The honeyed fragrance of nearby flowers wafts through the air.
You can hear the soft trilling of songbirds and you fall into a peaceful reverie, completely at home within yourself.
Feel the rise and fall of your belly as your breath deepens, becoming slow and effortless.
A gentle feeling of warmth spreads through your body and you feel comfort and peace, as though you are being held and embraced by the whole of nature.
At the center of your heart something opens and you feel a deep gratitude emerging. Be with the feeling and let it fill you. Be open to whatever other feelings may come, and let the gratitude spread there, too.
Linger, and savor the connection.
At last, feeling refreshed and renewed, see yourself getting up and slowly strolling back through the meadow and up the stone steps. As you retrace your footsteps, you look forward to coming back here often.
Take a moment now and feel your breathing body as you open your eyes and become present in the room.
Take in whatever you see, hear, touch, taste or smell.
As you get up and move about, stay in touch with your breathing body, bringing the feeling of relaxation and peacefulness with you. Enjoy.
©2016 Coach Peter Parker/Mindfulness-based Coaching and Training