A wonderful calming exercise is to create a meditation visualization to use as an anchor for later recall whenever you wish.
Simply enjoy a beautiful moment, be it lazing on the beach, sitting among nature, watching a sunset, observing animals or anything that brings you deep and peaceful relaxation. Employ all your senses to heighten the experience to assist you in later recall. If you fully immerse yourself in the experience you will be able to close your eyes and transport yourself back to that beautiful moment whenever you wish. In addition to the senses, note colours, textures and oddities and explore the 5W 1H of reasons that the moment is special to you.
Once you have remembered your meditation visualization in all its incredible beauty and detail think about how you can deepen and enrich every single one of your present moments. You can do this by raising your awareness of the moment, fully involving all your senses and reducing your thinking as you go about your day. Consider your thoughts, your body and your surroundings – that is; enquire what is happening on the inside and on the outside.
Below is an example of a meditation visualization I use with the recollections I have of the moment; often the recall is only brief, yet it is enough as a reminder to help feel instant calm.
What and where
Watching squirrels and birds eating nuts and bread in a quiet picnic area in the woods
When, how and why
Eating lunch, drinking coffee and chilling out
A warm day, sunlight and shadows, light pouring through tall trees yet still a cool shade and slight breeze. Rustling leaves; the loudest sound, insects airborne and on the ground, birds busy and squirrels curious, coming and going, feeding at scraps on a picnic table. Main colours a mix of foliage; browns and greens, deep black eyes of grey squirrels. Predominant textures wood, both hard and soft, earth and fallen leaves and a backdrop of light blue sky with variety of fascinating shapes of ever-changing clouds. As the sound of the rustling leaves on the trees fades, silence washes over my body; the birds and squirrels dance lightly in the stillness. Soft bread sandwiches, rich aroma of coffee, mind quiet, world of nature shifting before my eyes without the need of words. Entire moment described in one single word: calm.
You can visualize the experience as a silent movie or you can recall events with an internal commentary. The moment of calm; your meditation visualization, is a relaxation snapshot – a moment in time you can revisit often. An alternative is to visualize one specific part of your meditation visualization such as the light through the trees or the squirrels making eye contact; a quick visual cue to return you to calm.
You can choose one meditation visualization or have many. With practice, you’ll start seeing the richness of every moment and notice the silence that exists beneath all events.
Treat your environment as an observation challenge; notice every detail you possibly can. Ask yourself questions such as these:
For the inside:
What am I thinking?
What am I feeling?
For the outside:
What is the biggest thing I can see?
What is the smallest thing I can see?
What is the most unusual thing I can see?
What is the predominant smell?
What are my deepest feelings of connection here?
What colour attracts my attention most here?
Where is the light and shadow?
What are the highest and lowest points?
What are the softest and hardest elements here?
The questions can continue in order for you to drink in your surroundings in full and vivid detail.
When you experiment with seeing each moment of your life as mini meditation visualizations; noticing within and without, you’ll enjoy greater moment by moment calm and presence.
Here are some handy links to associated mind maps and content to help with relaxation, meditation and thought reduction: