In today’s podcast, I decided to record a new guided meditation for Thanksgiving. As the world feels like it’s spinning faster and faster, I see the need in my own life to appreciate the small pleasures, reflect on my own blessings, and extend gratitude towards myself and others.
I hope this meditation helps you do the same. I’ve posted the transcript below if you want to read it.
Transcript: #305: “Gratitude Unleashed: A Quick, Calming Meditation for Thanksgiving”
Jillian Leslie (00:00:11) – Hello my friends, it is Jillian. For the past few years, during Thanksgiving week, I’ve been sharing a guided meditation on gratitude, and I thought this year it was even more important to do than in the past.
Because this year, at least for me, things feel like they’re spinning faster than ever. And sometimes I find it harder to make sense of the world. In fact, I’ve noticed my everyday stress feels a little more pointed, like I want to control things, and when I can’t, I feel more disoriented.
So I wanted to do this meditation to help myself. And hopefully you slow down a little bit so we can find our footing and focus on the small things that give us meaning, and usually the small stuff right in front of us that does this. Like the feeling of warmth on our skin or the scent of fresh flowers. A cup of hot coffee. That one definitely does it for me, or the smile of someone we love.
Jillian Leslie (00:01:22) – And these simple pleasures are like rays of light in our lives, especially when things around us seem overwhelming. And I know I tend to sometimes miss them because they speak in a quieter voice. So with that being said, I wanted to help make space for that quieter voice.
I’d love you to find a comfortable space to sit down and close your eyes. Or if you’re walking, just listen a little more closely to my voice. And let’s begin by focusing on our breath. So inhale deeply. Feel the air in your lungs and exhale slowly.
So let’s scan our bodies because they’re usually some extra places where we hold tension. When I mention a place, see if you can relax it just a little bit more. So let’s first focus on our eye sockets. Can you feel them relax just by focusing on them? And now let’s move down to our jaws. We tend to hold a lot of tension in our jaws. Oh. Feel it. Relax as well. And now let’s move down to our throats.
Jillian Leslie (00:02:56) – And to our shoulders. And to our solar plexus, which is that spot right under your ribs. Like if you got punched in the stomach, that’s where your solar plexus are. And just put a little softness there.
Let’s move down to our bellies. We tend to hold a lot of tension in our bellies. Let’s move down to our hips. To our thighs. And to our calves. Focus on your feet. Feel the energy coming in through the top of your head and leave through the bottom of your feet. Feel yourself grounded to the earth.
As we start to talk about gratitude, I want to invite you to open yourself up to receive guidance. Wisdom. Almost like you’re an empty vessel. And let’s start with the breath again. So breathe in. Breathe out.
Please repeat these words in your head and see what shows up. Ready? I am grateful for. What materialized? What popped into your mind? Give it a second. Visualize it. Is it a certain person, a pet, a thing, an event? Experience? Maybe a circumstance? Who? Or whatever it is.
Jillian Leslie (00:05:04) – Welcome them into your heart. Surround it or them with love. And give thanks for playing such an important role in your life. Then invite it or them to your Thanksgiving table.
So let’s do it again. Please repeat the words I am grateful for in your head. See what materializes. Was it another person, another pet or experience? Whatever it was? Welcome this person or thing into your heart. And invite it or them to also take a seat at your Thanksgiving table.
And let’s do it one more time. Please repeat these words. I am grateful for. And whatever pops into your mind, hold it and then put it in your heart. And invite them or it to also join you at your table.
Think of a challenge in your life that you’ve overcome. Could be an illness, a circumstance, a relationship. Notice your bravery for getting to the other side and welcome that challenge into your heart. Thank the challenge. Thank your strength. This has helped transform you. Helped you evolve. So invite this experience to your table.
Jillian Leslie (00:06:48) – Think of someone in your life who could use a little grace, a touch of kindness, a little bit of love and warmth right now. Who in your life is struggling and in your mind? Hold them tight. Send lots of love their way and invite them to your table.
Are there other people who might need that little touch of grace? If so. Invite each one to your table and surround them with love. And now, as our final act of gratitude, please welcome yourself into your heart with all your strengths and all your weaknesses, your fears, your desires, your foibles, your best qualities, your worst qualities, the whole package of who you are without any judgment.
Thank yourself for being uniquely you, for being on this path. Remember, nobody else is like you and thank yourself for hanging in there, even in the tough times. Thank yourself for showing up in whatever way you’ve been able to place your hand on your heart. Feel the life force inside you as you breathe in and out and in. And out.
Jillian Leslie (00:08:34) – Feel how alive you are in this mysterious moment. Sit yourself at the head of your Thanksgiving table. Look around at all that you are grateful for and those that you love. And please take this in.
So let’s breathe together. Let’s breathe in and out. Notice the abundance of people, experiences, challenges and notice the feeling of love. We all know life isn’t always easy or fair. A lot of times it’s messy and doesn’t make any sense.
And our job is to keep showing up through it all with grace, forgiveness, and compassion. For that, let’s give thanks and let’s celebrate this deep and beautiful mystery. We call life.
When you’re ready, wiggle your fingers and toes. Feel yourself coming back into your body. And when it feels comfortable. Open your eyes and notice the subtle shift that has taken place.
I want to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope it is filled with joy and lightness and love, and that you get to notice those special little moments that are right there in front of all of us, and that make life so beautiful.
Jillian Leslie (00:10:18) – If you have a friend or a relative who you think could benefit from listening to this, please share it!
And I will see you here again next week.
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