You may want to do this exercise seated upright in a chair with a straight spine or lying down on a flat bed. The goal with this exercise is to let go of tension that is causing you pain in your neck and back. You can record yourself reading this meditation out loud and play it back to yourself or have someone read it for you. Try practicing this brief guided meditation two to three times a day, as the consistency will help give you the best results.
Close your eyes and then see yourself floating in warm ocean water. Feel the sun on your face and feel the soft sand just below the water’s surface. See yourself with a calm and relaxed smile on your face. Now you decide to move onto the warm white sandy beach and lie on a big fluffy towel. As you feel yourself lying on the towel, bring your attention to your fingers. Let your fingers become loose and curl naturally. As your fingers relax, allow the relaxation to move up from your fingers to your wrists, forearms, biceps, and shoulders. Feel your shoulders become heavy as the sun dries the water from your skin. Now relax your forehead and your face muscles. Allow your head to be heavy on your soft towel.
As you lay on the beach, you hear the distant lapping of the waves on the shore and the occasional seagull as it flies by. Feel the rise and fall of your chest as your breath enters and leaves your lungs. As the sun warms you, begin to feel your lower back release, then your middle back muscles completely relax, followed by your upper back muscles. Now feel how heavy your body has become as it sinks into the earth.
Visually see a basket sitting next to you. There are small objects around the basket. Choose some of them to represent things that are stressing you right now. As you place them in the basket, see that all the negativity you feel about that situation is completely held in that object. Once you have placed all your stress symbols in the basket, place it in the ocean and allow it to float out into the sea. Ask the earth to heal your fears and doubts and feel the release as you watch them float away. Realize you now feel much lighter and are smiling ear to ear.
In the distance, you hear a drum, a group of smiling people are dancing and coming towards you on the beach. They are holding hands and invite you to join. You feel an odd sense of familiarity with them and you are all laughing as you feel the beat of the drum in your chest. You feel as though you are remembering a great inner joy and finding the healing you have been searching for. You have found your tribe, you realize you are home. They walk you to your home and show you your room with a beautiful golden canopy with white pillows. You lie down on the bed which has flowers on each side. As you drift off to sleep you remind yourself to come back to this place, that it will always live inside you, the joy you felt today is real and the release you experienced is real too. Now see yourself fall asleep, knowing that when you wake you will feel relaxed and hopeful.
Slowly open your eyes. You may want to wait a few moments before you get up. Whenever you start feeling stressed, in your minds eye, put an object into your basket and send it out to the sea. Find music that makes you feel happy and uplifted, and before you go to bed, remind yourself you will feel wonderful when you wake up. Thank you for using your imagination today to experience real emotions. Know that emotions can be generated by pointing your focus on happy things. For more guided imagery please visit The American Chronic Pain Association at www.theacpa.org or look for Luis Hay’s guided meditations for healing online at www.hayhouse.com.