exercise: leaves on a stream
start by getting centered and focus on your breathing. just notice the gentle rising and falling of your breath in your chest and belly. theres no need to control your breathing in any way—-simply let the breath breathe itself. allow your eyes to close gently
then for a few minutes, imagine that youre sitting next to a small stream on a warm autumn day. as you gaze at the stream, you notice a number of large leaves of all colors, shapes and sizes drifting along, each at its own pace, one by one, in the slowly moving current. allow yourself simply to be there for a moment watching.
when youre ready gradually bring your awareness to whats going on inside you. as you do m gently notice and label each experience that shows up—thoughts, feelings, sensations, desires, and impulses. pay attention to whats happening in your mind and body and then label whats going on. perhaps one of those thoughts is ” i dont have time for this.”
as each thought, feeling memory or impulse comes along into your mind, notice them and gently place them one by one on each large leaf passing by. observe as each leaf comes closer to you. then watch as it slowly moves away, drifting along as it carries the contents of your mind and body out of sight downstream. return gazing at the stream waiting for the next leaf to float by. continue placing each thought, feeling, memory, or impulse on its own large leaf. watch each one as you let them just float away downstream.
when youre ready, widen your attention to take in the sounds around you. open your eyes and make the intention to bring gentle allowing and self acceptance into the rest of your day