Deep in the center of my mind there is a place of pure love, and everlasting peace. This place of beauty is whole, protected and easily accessible. In my minds’ eye I see a lake and trails that wind through the forest surrounding this body of water. I can enter this scene by reaching for a thought, sometimes for just a quick glimpse, other times for a limitless state of tranquility.
I am strong and grounded, understanding that everything good comes from love, and that I can return to love, any time I choose to. Taking a deep breath in, my mind is clearing the path to access my sanctuary. After exhaling completely, my lungs naturally draw in the pure air needed for my journey. Pausing everything else, I continue to breathe. I can now visualize the first glimpses of the place in my mind that embraces my natural haven. I can draw on this feeling wherever I am, and in whatever situation I may find myself. Standing at the top of the hill that leads down to the pathway, I am motionless. I continue to focus on my breathing, inhaling a slow deliberate expansion of my thoughts, exhaling any negativity that has been holding me back. I repeat this process until I feel like all the darkness I was storing has been released.
My breath is deep and intertwined with thoughts of pure gratitude. I am appreciative for all of the days of my life. I know that each moment has served me in some way. I remember that in every situation, I can choose to return to the lake, my quiet church. My place of reverence is only a thought away.
The branches of the trees display leaves that are bright with the colors of autumn. Bursts of green, red, orange, and gold reach my vision before the calm blue water that lies serenely behind the trees. The still water calls to me, reminding me of the stillness of my soul, renewing an assurance in my being that all is well in my world. When the sun is bright, diamonds appear to dance across the water, shimmering and vibrant. There is an awakening. My thoughts are alive and creative. These thoughts continue to transform, this time morphing into solid inspiration to guide me while fulfilling my life’s purpose. Encouraged, I take a few more moments to focus on my breathing. I visualize in great detail all that I aspire to achieve in every area of my life. I visualize happiness and harmony for everyone close to me, and for those I will never meet. Holding myself in this place of service, I feel blessed. I know that it is in giving that I receive.
When the sun is hidden behind the clouds and the water appears grey, my thoughts turn inward for a time of deeper understanding and reflection. I recall a situation in my life where I would have chosen to respond differently. Examining this situation, I release all guilt and criticism, instead looking only for the lesson to help me better understand the circumstances. I think of the other people involved in this scenario, and I forgive them and release them. They were doing the best they could, with the understanding that they had at the time. This is a place for growing, a place for healing, and ultimately a place for forgiveness. In the releasing and forgiving of the other person, I am able to forgive myself and release all undesirable patterns that have formed around this circumstance that now, only exists in the past. Love exists here now. I can move forward with peace.
I am sheltered here. The trees provide protection from the wind, the rain and the sun. No matter what storm surrounds me, I can trust myself to return to this place and to know that I am safe here. When I am ready to contend with the storms of life, I can do so with love, and with words so gentle that they calm even the most torrential storms. This is my place of strength, my place of renewal. The beauty of nature fills my innermost being, creating a warmth in my soul, lightness in my step, and love in my heart.
I can see signs of destruction and loss of life around me, but my vision is divinely guided allowing me to only absorb what is honest and true. I naturally see the good in, and expect the best of every situation. In this way, unhelpful paths can be replaced by passageways so magical that they consume my senses. Love is bountiful and effortless.
A burst of fresh air blows across the lake and reaches me. This air is so alive it feels wet in my lungs and awakens the energy inside me; an energy that recognizes that I am part of something more. I continue to expand my lungs, breathing in and out slowly and methodically.
The trail, which can be wet and difficult in one season, and dry and hard in another, is padded with leaves that have fallen from their home above and are now providing a soft cushion on which I walk. I tread lightly through my life, leaving a legacy of goodness for all who share my path to enjoy and partake of. My steps are soft in this great forest, it is as if the ground beneath me is rising up to meet me, to welcome me, to support me in my journey through life.
The temperature adds to the stillness in the air. It is as though all time has stood still allowing me to behold all that is around me, and all that I am. I love and accept my physical body just as it is today. I know that it supports me perfectly. I am grateful and appreciative for all that it does for me, each moment of my life. I treat my whole self with reverence, releasing the need for and self-criticism or sabotage. My strong body and loving mind carry me forward to a spiritual place where I spend more and more time. It is as if I am alone in this mystical place, yet supported by all of creation.
I can clearly hear my own thoughts – included in them, a calling that there is something more than I can explain. A calling for something greater than myself, larger than all of us; a universal life force that brings us all together in an enhanced state of being. I consciously join my energy with that force. I am strong, I am independent, although I am never truly alone. It is impossible for me to be separate from all that is real and separate from love. I have a clear understanding that all good comes from love, and all disharmony comes from fear. I easily recognize and free myself from all fear-based behavior. I have become a witness, an observer. I search for beauty and find it effortlessly. Blissful living is my natural state of being.
I continue to examine my thoughts. I am relaxed and open to receive the gifts that are intended for me whilst I pass through this life. I am divinely guided to choose my thoughts, my words and my actions from love, contributing to the healing of myself and of the planet. All who walk this path with me are a part of my journey, and I am a part of theirs, we are one, we are all the same, we are all connected. Thoughts of gratitude open my mind to hear the beautiful symphony of creative concepts, philosophies, and forgiveness that are always available to me, just a thought away.
As I come around a corner, the fog sits low on the water. I feel my deepest losses here but understand them with clarity. I am grateful to everyone who has shared in my life. Those who have passed on, or have simply passed through my life, are often with me in this place. I see signs of them, a turtle, or a heron, a butterfly, or a sky that is dark and low. I observe the way the small vines and willows cling to the more mature trees, wrapping themselves around the stronger tree for support and stability. It is here I remember that there have been times in my life when I have been the more mature tree, and have used my roots to hold myself up and to encourage the growth in others. I remember the times in my life when I was the willowy vine holding tightly onto people whom I believed to be stable, depending on them for what felt like my very survival, putting my trust in them. I remember both of these times with gratitude, knowing that all that I have experienced in my life has been for my greatest good. Although I have been hurt, and put my trust in the people who did not always care for it as tenderly as I had intended, I know that the experiences helped my roots to grow deeper. Eventually I became stronger, more resilient and less impacted by the storms as they approached and eventually passed by me. I am deeply grounded in the knowledge of who I am, and what is important in my life.
As I climb upwards, the trails cut into the hills, and reach the summit. This is a place where the sun is always shining, warming the massive dark colored boulders that form the rock face to the water below. I sit on the heated dry platform for a few minutes of silent meditation. Again, I am focusing on my breathing, absorbing in the bright and powerful light of the Universe, and allowing it to flow through my body. I absorb inspiration and embrace an energy that is deeply insightful. Intuition flows freely as if the sunlight combines with the colors of the trees and the water, creating a prism of light that illuminates me from head to toe. This light opens up, clears each of my chakras, balances my soul. My eyes have been opened. The light is beckoning me to really see what life holds for me. It guides me to awaken, to know that everything I could ever desire is available to me, to know that I am enough just the way I am. I am perfect, I am ready to answer the call, I am willing. I continue to breathe in this healing light. I abandon all ego-based thinking and my thoughts become as clear as the clean mountain water. My senses are on full alert, my vision and my hearing no longer impaired by negativity. I hear nothing, and I hear everything. In the distance there is the whispering of something more that is building to a crescendo that can be heard by anyone who has opened their mind and heart to the call of serving others; all while living a gentle yet powerful life.
As I meander the winding shoreline I never have to search for my path. Somehow, I never lose my way as long as I keep moving forward. It is like the serene reflection on the lake resembles the quiet reflection occurring in my body, neither of us leading nor following. My mind and soul are faithfully trusting that I am continuously where I am intended to be, moving in the right direction, always safe, eternally protected.
My soul is full, overflowing with love and simple appreciation. I know that it is safe to give, because the supply of love knows no limits. I continue to advance on my journey, surrounded by faith, supported in the arms of everlasting love, strengthened by each step. And so it is.
Copyright 2018, Victoria Johnson, www.VictoriaJohnson.org