26) Guided Meditation for Anxiety & Stress - Meditate Now
Video Version - Guided Meditation
Audio Version - Guided Meditation
Written Transcript of the Guided Meditation
Well, welcome to the Meditate Now Podcast. We're going to hang out here for a little while. I'm going to share some insight and wisdom about the topic then we will do a short little guided meditation. Then for those watching live, I'll hang out and share some more words.
So, what is the topic today? Oh, I think it was guided meditation for stress and anxiety or anxiety and stress.
Anxiety and Stress
To speak a little bit about anxiety and stress, one thing I want to point to is a recognition that so often as we live our lives and we experience things like stress and anxiety or lots of different emotions, we have so many stories that we can tell about these emotions.
"I'm stressed because of this, I'm anxious because of that, I'm happy because of this, sad because of that." And a lot of these stories are subtle attempts to avoid the real issue.
It's like throughout your week you can experience lots of different stressful experiences which we could just say are stressful stories. But the sensation of stress, it's always the same, maybe in varying degrees, but it's just like the same kind of energy.
There's something happening on the inside— an agitation. Then we blame that agitation on things not going how we think they're going to go or worried that they might not go how we want them to go.
But I think in the meditation today, we're going to get in touch with the visceral sensation of stress and anxiety and see what's really going on there and not run away from it in our stories.
So often, in our adorable humanness, we're constantly trying to manage the stories of stress and anxiety. We're trying to manage the narrative of our lives rather than just coming home to the heart and holding space for ourselves and coming home.
Come Back to the Present
Naturally, you know there's that quote, I forget who says it something to the effect of "if we're experiencing anxiety, we're living in the future, if we're depressed, we're living in the past." Naturally, the invitation is to come back to the present.
As I mentioned numerous times in this work that I do, I feel that one of the greatest misunderstandings about the human experience is the emotional experience, where we assume that our emotions are responding to what's happening in life rather than recognizing that our emotions are responding to how we perceive life.
So, if you see yourself as incomplete and unwhole, you will get an emotional response that reflects that. Most commonly, we think that we feel inadequate because of circumstances, we feel stressed because of circumstances. Rather, it's how you're perceiving the circumstance that is ultimately showing you that how you're perceiving it— if it hurts— isn't true.
There are so many recorded talks of me diving into this and you can probably find it somewhere.
Listen To Your Emotions
This is a great invitation to see this because what I'm inviting is not some sort of solution to fix the anxiety or to eliminate the stress.
My invitation is to understand what actually is happening and to see that these emotional experiences are actually there to help you. They're actually there to point you home to what it is you really want.
But yet in our confusion and in our misunderstanding, we're so determined to get to that future thing. We've got such an intensity of belief that we need something to happen or we need something to not happen, that we just see the emotional experiences in the way.
So often in our seeking where we're asking "how can I just get rid of this emotion?" Rather than, "how can I listen to this emotion?" So I invite you to see if you can discern that your emotions are showing you how you perceive something, rather than "my emotions are responding to what is or isn't happening."
Kind of like you could lose a job and you can experience stress and anxiety. Now, is it the loss of the job that's creating that emotion? Or is it because of what you think it means now that you don't have a job?
For one person, they may say, "oh, no, I'm so worthless." And they experience anxiety. Another person says, "oh, thank God, finally! Now I can go do something that actually resonates." They have completely different emotional experiences.
One way, the painful way, is to perceive yourself as less than and undeserving of love. It's not true, and because it's not true, it's going to hurt.
The other one sees your inherent value and in some way interprets that what's happening is for you. That's a perspective of wholeness, so that's going to feel great.
So if you're experiencing a painful emotion, the invitation is to see "what is it that I think is happening? What do I think this means? Is that really true?”
So let's dive into the meditation and see how it goes.
Start of Guided Meditation
Be Here, Right Now
All right. Let's just get naturally comfortable. No need to find the perfect meditation posture. We can just relax into the moment.
Wherever we are, we can acknowledge any tension that might be felt in the body.
Just in recognizing it, it invites a little bit more ease and naturalness.
So we're going to breathe into that ease to whatever degree that you can.
Take a big, deep breath... And another one.
As we just take a moment to breathe into this, can we just acknowledge the profound difference between the life you think is happening and just being here right now, the life that is?
Big, deep breath.
Just see that in the mind, there's all this noise.
"What about this? What about that? What about? What about? What about?" Then there's the aliveness of right now, there's a profound simplicity to right now, and there's great complexity in the mind.
Running around trying to fix something that's not even happening right now.
So this meditation is going to be an opportunity to connect with what's really happening.
As we can breathe into that space, we can find relaxation and kind of invite life to present a solution when it's time for a solution, when it's time for a solution.
Breathe Into This Moment
We're still taking some moments to breathe here. Whatever it is that might be going on in your life that you find to be stressful or anxious, I'm going to invite you to get real honest about something.
That is, whatever problem appears to be showing in your life, can you see that the real problem behind the problem is the fear that it means you're not enough? The fear that somehow you are or you will be unlovable?
Can you see that?
Whatever it is you're afraid of losing, can you see what the fear is really about? It's the assumption that "I might become unwhole or I might not fix myself," implying that you are unwhole. Then we tell all sorts of fantastic stories about that. "It's because of this. It's because of that. If only this, if only that.”
You see this pain isn't about this or that. The pain isn't about what's happening or not happening. The pain is in our fear about what it might mean or what we think it means.
If you can see that, I invite you to just let go of the circumstance because you see that that's not the real issue, and then let's connect with the real issue. You're scared, and we don't need to blame the circumstance for our fear.
We can see that our fear is because we don't see ourselves clearly. We think our worth and value are determined by what happens in the world, by what other people think when that's just not true.
If we believe that, then we start wanting to control how other people live their lives.
"Oh, I want them to do this, I want them to do that so that I can feel whole and complete" when they don't have anything to do with that.
So we're just going to loosen our grip a little bit on the circumstance and breathe into that space that comes with letting that go a little bit like, "oh, thank God, it's not really about that. It's not really about what they said. It's not really about what they did or didn't do. It's not really about what might or might not happen. Really, what it's about is I'm scared that I'm not enough."
At This Moment, You Are Okay
All of that commotion is taking place in the mind and so we come back to this moment right now, not your thoughts about this moment, but breathe into this moment, feel and connect with the aliveness of this moment.
Can you see that at this moment, you're actually okay? Can you see how the mind imagines monsters that aren't really there? At this moment, you're whole and complete.
It's only in the mind and its stories that imagine that you're not. Compared to this, compared to that, not looking at anything real, just looking at your imagination.
But what's real? What's true? Well, you are, as you've always been, whole and complete on a great adventure of being human getting lost in the dream of who you think you are and what you think is happening. And that's fine because we can take a moment and check in with reality here and now— you're okay.
Get Intimate With Life
This is the love that you crave, by the way, the love you're afraid of losing. It's really a love that you can extend to yourself by seeing what you really are, by removing the filter of brokenness that sees yourself as not enough and seeing that actually, you are everything.
Actually, you are intimately interwoven into the wholeness of life itself. There is the reality of you here and now and then there is the dream of you that's probably adorably trying to fix yourself in the world, and that's fine.
But just notice that at this moment, beyond the mind content, there's nothing broken about you. It's just a broken way of seeing yourself, wanting this, and wanting that.
This is an invitation to connect with what it is you're really looking for— love, peace, wholeness, freedom, compassion, and safety. All of that is here, but only right now.
And the more you can come back to right now, which is also the letting go of everything that is not here right now, then the more you will see that you have everything your heart desires. It has already been given. The question is, are you present enough to see it?
Get intimate with life, intimate with this moment. Let's just hang out in this space.
We can breathe together and just watch how the mind wants to run and run and run and run and run. That's fine. But it's just running in the imagination. It's not going anywhere.
Do you see how your mind can get captured by that mental content? It's really quite fascinating. It's like here we are right now and then all of a sudden you slip into a dream. That's fine. Just come home.
All right. Wonderful to hang out with you.
Thanks for meditating with me today.