What would it take for you to feel calm, secure and at ease in this very moment? In other words the feeling of just being yourself, just as you are. Perhaps these qualities are already present right now? If that is the case notice the sensations and feelings in the body that accompany these qualities. Press your ‘save’ button so that you can recall this sense of calm for a moment when you are being challenged or feeling disconnected. If you are feeling on edge right now, perhaps anxious, fearful, overwhelmed, vulnerable or unsafe in any way you may wish to take a moment and tether yourself to the feeling of calm and safety as an inner sanctuary, haven, island or ‘Inner Resource’ as it is known in the iRest® Yoga Nidra practice.
I’m offering a free 5 minute meditation below to guide you towards what this might look and feel like for you.
Everyone’s Inner Resource will be different and personal. It might be a place in nature, perhaps a special room, an object or a symbol that reminds you of the feeling of calm. You might invite in the memory of a safe place that you have actually experienced, it may be from the long distance past or somewhere you have been recently. For many of you perhaps you don’t connect with the word ‘safe’ and so I would encourage you to think of a time or place where you felt okay just as you are.
Personally I have found the Inner Resource to be an incredible tool to call upon in many situations. I like to think of it as a little island of calm. At first I had to regularly and actively meditate upon it and build my own picture of a particular place in nature that feels very potent for me. My safe place reminds me of the sense of being and the feeling of life force simply pulsing and living through me. I had practiced it so much that when I found myself in an extreme emergency situation a couple of years ago when my son had a horrible accident causing a life threatening head injury, I was surprised that my Inner Resource found me. I didn’t have to call upon it, it arrived in it’s fully somatic sense as a ground of support upon which I could ride the days, weeks and months of recovery that he went through.
Another beautiful example of how an Inner Resource might work in an extreme situation is referred to in the heart wrenching novel ‘What is the What’ by David Eggers which describes the life story of a Sudanese man who was forced to leave his village at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers and wild animals. A slightly older boy leading him and other kids on their journey tells them to bring forth their favourite memories and piece together the best of days. “Now create in your mind the best of days and memorise these details, place this day at the centre in your mind, and when you are the most frightened, bring forth this day and place yourself within it. Run through this day and I assure you that before you are finished with your dream breakfast, you will be asleep…. “
But you don’t need to be in an emergency to require this tool. Most days there will be some challenge or another, a tension or difficult emotion that might benefit from being paired with the felt sense of your own little island of calm. Visit it often.