Sometimes, we get into a self destructive rut where we have a fear that we cannot control, and in trying to quiet the fear, we end up doing other damage to ourselves. Sharon Salzberg, Buddhist teacher has a great blog about exactly this phenomenon at https://onbeing.org/blog/sharon-salzberg-a-standing-meditation-for-self-care/.
The following meditation exercise comes from Sharon's blog and will help one with regaining self love.
Standing meditation to take a stand for self-love
I recommend doing standing meditation barefoot, as you will have a greater sensitivity to your sense of balance and the micro-sensations happening in your muscles and skin. But if it is more comfortable, wear socks or comfortable shoes.
- Stand upright with your back straight but not strained. Close your eyes gently and relax the muscles in your face and jaw. Note the feeling of the earth beneath you supporting your weight. Make deliberate contact with the floor by pressing through your big toe mound on each foot, and feel how the floor presses into the soles of your feet. If you are standing on a rug or carpet, notice the sensations of the fabric. If you are standing on a hard floor, notice the temperature, the texture. Take in these sensations.
- Once you have established a sense of how the posture feels generally, try experimenting with your stance. Make micro-adjustments to your balance by subtly shifting your body weight from side-to-side. After shifting your weight from leg to leg, experiment with rolling each foot from side to side, loosening your ankles and stimulating the sole of the foot.
- The next part of the meditation focuses on experimenting with your posture, and the ways that your bones stack up on top of each other. Start with your knees slightly bent, and slowly straighten them as you strengthen your quadriceps muscles, imagining them moving back toward your thigh-bone. Make sure your knees aren’t locked, but that your legs feel extended.
- As you feel your legs in this extended position, notice the angle of your pelvis, and how it is lifting your spine to its straight position. Then, pull your shoulders back and down as you feel how they connect to your spine. You may notice that this posture feels easier on your back, as it elongates the body by removing pressure on the lower spine. As you experiment with straightening your spine greater and lesser amounts, modulate your breath, seeing how it feels to inhale and exhale more deeply as you stand taller and stronger.
- Continue making these adjustments and enjoying the rhythm of your breath. Visualize this ritual as an opportunity to take a stand on your right to be happy.
Remember, the information in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider for a medical condition.