As an Occupational therapist, I often find myself using my yoga teacher skills and passions to engage my clients in self care. I am currently focused on nature based therapy and how we can access the benefits of nature even if we can’t get out into nature itself. Sometimes a visualization doesn’t have to be over complicated, it can just be imagining some sunshine shining over you on a beautiful spring day!
Please note that this meditation was a mixture of a bunch of different meditations I found online, but with modifications to benefit the clients that I have at my job. Each individual may be comfortable with something different, so feel free to change around wording as one size does not fit all! Often times the best meditations happen when you can connect personally to the words, so writing one can be fun and so beneficial! Happy meditating 🙂
Secret garden script:
You start off your morning with a deep breath. Fill your lungs with the fresh morning air, feel how it wakes your body for the day. You reach your arms up to the sky, stretching the sleep out of your body. Today is going to be a good day.
You get dressed and head downstairs to the kitchen. Before you head out for a morning walk, you decide to make something warm to drink. Imagine the steam coming off your drink as you breathe in the wonderful smell and feel a smile come to your face. What a way to start a morning. You grab your mug and head out the front door.
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, you feel totally safe, totally calm and totally at peace. You make your way down this path one step at a time. There is a soft breeze blowing and the air feels warm. You are feeling incredibly happy and peaceful.
Just ahead of you, you see a very long, very high wooden fence. Right in the middle of this fence at the end of your path is a huge wooden gate. We are going to make our way to this gate now. You are still feeling safe, calm and at peace. One step at a time we head towards the gate and towards our secret garden which is just on the other side.
You reach the gate and turn the large iron handle. You push the gate open and step through to the other side quietly pulling the gate closed behind you. As you look up and take a step forward you see in front of you your Secret Garden.
This is your secret place. Nobody else is allowed here but you. Take a look around. What do you see? Can you see flowers and trees? Do you smell the fresh peppermint? Is there a waterfall or pond? Are there fairies or dragons in your garden? How does the grass feel under your feet? Why not take off your shoes and feel the soft velvety grass between your toes. The sun is shining, and you feel totally safe, totally calm and totally at peace.
As you take a couple of steps forward you notice a huge oak tree at the end of your garden. I want you to make your way to that tree now. As you walk towards it, take notice of what you can hear in your secret garden. Can you hear birds or other animals? Can you hear the wind gently blowing through the trees? Can you hear the water trickling down from your waterfall or perhaps you can hear the frogs croaking from their lily pads in your pond?
As you reach the tree you are amazed at its size, you stretch out your arms and realize that its trunk is so wide you cannot even get your arms around it. You stretch out your arms and give it a great big hug before turning around and sitting at its base. Your back resting gently against the bark, knees bent to your chest with your toes playing with the grass underneath your feet. You take a deep breath in and breathe out. Perhaps you take a sip of your warm drink, enjoying the sensation as it moves through your body towards your stomach. You feel totally safe, totally calm and totally at peace. In fact, you have never felt this peaceful before.
Your secret garden is sprawled out in front of you and is made up of all the things you love in nature. Take another look around. Can you see anything different this time? You might like to add some butterflies or other animals you would like to see here. Breathe in and Breathe out. Take it all in. This is your secret garden, a place that is just for you. This is a place you can come back to at anytime you just have to remember what it looks like and feels like here. What can you smell here? Can you smell the flowers? The lavender flowing in the breeze from the beautiful trees surrounding you? Maybe you can smell the rain? Breathe in and breathe out.
It is now time to return back to where we started taking all of these precious memories and feelings with us. You make your way back towards the garden gate feeling incredibly peaceful. You reach the gate and take one last look over your shoulder. You smile as your remember how safe and calm you felt in this space You look back at the gate, turn the handle and walk through, quietly closing the gate behind you.
We are back on the path now and back to where we started,
5 more steps and we will be back in our kitchen.
4 wiggle your fingers
2 wiggle your toes
1 open your eyes and take a big stretch
Think about the secret garden you created in your mind – what did you see? How did you feel? How can you carry this with you the rest of your day?
You can practice this meditation whenever you like, allowing your imagine to take you on a mini vacation. I enjoy thinking of beautiful nature scenes when I am trying to relax, or when I am doing savasannah in a yoga class. Find what works best for you, and move away from the expectation of achieving something during a mindfulness meditation, and just allowing yourself to enjoy 🙂
For a recorded version of this visualization, click here for my podcast episode