Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Place of Refuge - Visualization

In my month of mindfully grieving I have found meditation and visualizations technique very healing.  I often meditate to YouTube guided meditations and visualizations.  However, sometimes I find that the grieving meditations on YouTube don't fit my needs for grieving a child I did not know outside of the womb.  So in the next few weeks I will be starting to make my own guided meditations and put them on YouTube specifically for parents who are grieving over pregnancy and infant loss. 

Today I am sharing my adaptive version of a visualization I use at work with my clients.  I have found this meditation helpful in creating a place of refuge.  When I set out to create a place of refuge this month, I thought I needed to create an actual physical space, but after re-reading The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin describes her place of refuge as a place within her mind, that she can create, and always visit.  So today I leave you with a guided meditation called A Place of Refuge.  In a few days I will post an audio version.  Enjoy.

A Place of Refuge - Visualization    

Sitting in a relaxed comfortable position.  Put both feet firmly on the floor or lie on your back.  Begin by taking a few deep breaths to calm your body and mind.  Focus on your breath and let it fall into it's natural rhythm.  Use your breath to bring you to the present moment.  In this moment, release the tension in your muscles, letting your shoulders drop and your face soften.

Now begin to visualize a place or space where you can be at peace.  You can imagine a familiar place or you can create a new one.  This is your unique space.  A space for healing.  A space for calm.  This place of refuge could be a sandy beach, a path deep within the woods, a quiet library, a large sitting room with a fireplace, or a relaxing bathtub.  Whatever place or space you create is fine, as long as it is a healing place.  A place for relaxation and rejuvenation.  This is your safe place.  Your place of refuge.  Your sancutuary.

As you imagine your place of refuge, enter into your sanctuary with your entire being.  Choose to take a seat in your space, or stand there, or explore it.  Look around and take in every detail.  You do not need to create the details of this place.  They are already there: allow them to come into focus in your mind.

Notice the sites (the trees, the sand, the books, the flames, the bubbles).  Begin to notice the sounds (the waves crashing against the shore, the wind rustling the leaves of the trees, the crackling of the fire, the rushing sound of the water from the faucet in the bathtub).  Notice the smells (the salt of the ocean, the rustic smoke of the fire, the fragrance of the flowers, the aroma of the soap, the crisp smell of old books).  Imagine touching the objects in this space.  Feel (the sand between your toes, the water soaking into your skin, the softness of the couch, or the feel of the grass under your feet).  Simply enjoy your place of refuge as long as you want allowing it to become more tangible and develop beyond what you initially noticed.

If you would like, invite your loved one you are missing into this space with you.  Spend time with them here if you like or use this space to be alone.  Remember you carry this place of refuge inside of you.  You carry it wherever you go.  Your sanctuary is unique and personal.  It will reflect who you are as a person.  This is your place.  Your safe space.  Your place of refuge.  This is your place to heal.

Adapted from   


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