It’s been almost two weeks since the Camp Fire broke out in Butte County.
This experience has been an absolute rollercoaster, witnessing heartache, devastation, and loss alongside resilience and compassion in my community. Seeing the strength of survivors, first responders, and volunteers.
California’s deadliest fire. It’s still so surreal.
I have been feeling every emotion, and have also experienced the feeling of disconnecting from my body, of wanting to float elsewhere. Numbness and shock come in occasionally, and heavy waves of grief.
One thing that has been helping is to do short daily meditations. These are the four meditations that have been getting me through the week, so I thought I’d share them.
My hope is that they bring some peace and grounding your way, whether you’ve been directly affected by this fire, another fire, or you’re watching from a distance what’s happening in California. Sending strength!
Meditations and Movements for Getting Grounded and Feeling Your Body
Meditate on Centering
Stand tall. Scan your body, starting at the top of your head and working all the way down to your feet. Notice the feeling of your arms, your legs. The front side of your body, then the back side of your body. Notice the navel point.
Take your right hand to your left shoulder, then draw it down across the center of your chest down to your right hip. Then do the opposite: take your left hand to your right shoulder, cross over your chest down to your left hip, like you’re drawing an X. Do this for 2 minutes, alternating sides.
Picture the two sides of your body waking up, connecting to each other, being in balance. Picture a beam of white light at the center of your body, along the spine. Breathe into this space. Find center.
Meditate on Releasing
Sit comfortably (cross legged, kneeling, whatever feels good in your body). Take three deep breaths, the deepest breaths you’ve taken today. Place your palms face down on your knees, or one hand over your heart and one on the ground, palm face down. Picture in your mind’s eye all of the heaviness and heartache and struggle that you’re going through— picture it gathered up— then send it down through your body and into the ground.
Picture letting go of every lit bit that you need to let go of. Set it down. Give it away.
Let it fall out of your body. I’m done with this. I cannot carry this. I release it. I release pain. Though pain may return, I release what I can right now.
The movement that goes with this one is to dust off your body, little strokes down your arms and legs, off your shoulders, the top of your head. Dust off your body. Small, quick strokes; dust off your chest, the sides of your body, the tops of your feet. Dust off all of the things that you can’t hold any longer. Shake off the dust. Once you’ve completed this exercise, take three more deep breaths, breathing in new energy and light.
Meditate on Lung Health
Sit or lie down comfortably. Place your hands over your chest and close your eyes. Picture your lungs, bringing an image of them into your mind’s eye, noticing their shape, texture, and weight. Go inward and feel your lungs.
Now, as you breathe, picture a golden light surrounding your lungs, filling them up and surrounding the space in the center of the chest. Draw the energy of strength, courage and health into your chest.
Vibrate the mantra, I am healthy, my lungs are strong. My body is healthy. Continue in this way for 3-5 minutes, envisioning all negative energy or sickness leaving your body as you exhale, and drawing in pure light and healthy energy as you breathe in. Picture releasing toxins on the exhale, and inviting vitality on the inhale. My body is healthy, my lungs are strong.
Note: if there is a different part of your body that is feeling heavy or weak or sick, you could apply this meditation toward that part of your body. Focus your attention where it is most needed and send power and strength right there. This is a very powerful exercise. Simply by doing this, you are boosting the healing abilities of your physical body. Trust that.
Meditate on Compassion
Find a comfortable position, whether that’s standing, sitting, or laying down. Come into awareness of your heart, the center of your chest, your ribcage. The space beneath the sternum. Take three deep breaths into this area. You can vibrate the mantra, I feel my heart.
It may feel comforting to tap the sternum; use the pads of your fingertips on one hand to tap right on the center of the chest. Ten taps, feeling the thud of applying this tapping to your chest. Feel that vibration. Take a breath or two, sensing your own heartbeat.
Now, with the attention on the heart space, welcome in compassion. Welcome all of the love and support of those around you. Welcome the energy of lightworkers and healers that is being directed at Butte County right now. Tap into the energy of strength that has been sent our way since November 8th, 2018. Welcome the support of those praying, those volunteering, those making sacrifices to ensure YOUR safety and security. Welcome the love of those in your life who care about you, who are here for you. These loved ones are holding you.
Welcome compassion and gratitude into your heart. With a deep breath, let this feeling emanate through your entire body. Let it fill you.
If you are inspired, with a few deep breaths, send this love outward. Share it with your neighbor, the others around you who are suffering. Sense the oneness of this compassionate energy, the way it links us. You can tap into this energy at any time. During your meditation or elsewhere, walking down the street, if a wave of grief hits you. Vibrate the mantra, I am love, I am safe, I am held.
Lifting you up, Butte County friends. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one meditation at a time… we will get through this.