With my younger than springtime friend and co-author, Mary Sheldon, and her now grown, eldest daughter, Lizy Dastin.
I’m as playful as a doggy in the window,
I’m as feisty as a sailor on a fling.
I’d say that I have spring fever,
but it isn’t even spring.
Forgive me, Rodgers and Hammerstein, for paraphrasing your wistful State Fair lament.
I can’t help myself. As February morphs into March, and even though the rain just keeps on coming, I am nonetheless filled with springtime-like senses of renewal and regeneration. Borrowing again from the Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein, I’m a “Cockeyed Optimist.”
Ongoing feelings of renewal and regeneration, along with a “hope springs eternal” optimism are hallmarks of my personality.
Yes, despite horrific news reaching me from DC, from all over the globe, and even from outer space: remember the meteor that missed Earth by a scant two million miles, several years back? I always expects the best to happen. More often than not, expecting the best to happen, it does. I believe, “Beliefs and the expectations they generate coalesce to create one’s personal reality.” After all, that pesky space rock kept its two million mile distance from Terra-firma, didn’t it?
Although the calendar still reads winter, and my favorite TV Weather Woman giddily reports that Los Angeles has already received several inches more than its average seasonal rainfall, with more to come, my focus is upon sunshine and April flowers.
An optimist, oh, yes, but I am also very young at heart, too. My limitless enthusiasm for life is the kind most commonly associated with the very young.
Gratitude is another hallmark of my personality. I am grateful for every day, every one, and for all of my multitudinous blessings. Gratitude is the subject of most of my prayers.
Not surprisingly, my love of life is heightened at springtime. Even though the calendar reminds me that winter is the season – the way I feel argues that it might as well be spring.
A Meditation for Renewal
In the spring of 1995, I found myself needing massive physical regeneration. When Mary Sheldon asked me to co-author a book of guided meditations, I did not believe myself physically capable of doing so. I was in healing mode, and not a creative state of mind. But for a book author, a contract proffered by a viable publisher is an irresistible lure – and I hate disappointing friends.. Against my better judgment, but with the best of intentions, I signed aboard.
As it happened, the writing process became a catalyst for the healing that I required. To my delight and surprise, the resulting hardcover book, The Meditation Journal, Dove Books, 1966, was a huge success, sold in Costco and Target stores nationwide, as well as in traditional bookstores. It spawned two successful sequels, giving me two more precious chances to work with Mary Sheldon.
That brings me to you: the person reading this Point of View Blog. What kind of regeneration and renewal do you require? Please take a moment to silently ask yourself; What in my life most requires healing? Your need may be something of a physical, mental, or spiritual nature. It may be relatively minor, or massively major.
With your specific need in mind, assume a comfortable position in a quiet, pleasant place; then close your eyes. Imagine that the muscles in your scalp and forehead are becoming very comfortable and relaxed. Now your eyebrows relax, the area all around your eyes relaxes….the tiny muscles of your eyelids relax, and the relaxation continues to flow….
Let the relaxation spread deep into the back of your throat, deep into your head and neck, deep into your shoulders….
Now your arms relax…first the upper arms, then the lower. You feel the relaxation spreading across the tops of your hands, sinking all the way through the palms, down the fingers…
At this point, Return your attention to your relaxed neck and shoulders. Let the relaxation flow into your chest and lungs. your breathing is easy and gentle. Feel yourself becoming more deeply relaxed with each gentle breath. All outside sounds are unimportant.
Now let the relaxation spread deeply into your back. Feel it flow down the small of your back, warming and loosening wherever it touches.
The relaxation spreads into your sides, your stomach. Feel the muscles of your stomach and hips relax.
And now your legs relax. The relaxation flows into your thighs and knees. Your calves relax, your ankles, your feet…the heels of your feet relax. And finally, even your toes relax.
With your entire body at peace and relaxed, allow your mind to consider the specific healing you require – you identified it earlier.
Whatever its nature, take a moment to mentally define it, and then take another moment to visualize the need as having already been met, metaphysically speaking. Doing this is exactly what made it possible for me to successfully co-author The Meditation Journal.
If you have endured the Winter Blues, then visualize that your disposition is as sunny as a perfect spring day. See yourself as being cheerfully animated, with the love of life oozing forth from your every pore.
If you have broken your foot while skiing, then visualize yourself with feet as fleet as Mercury’s. Hold the image; suspend disbelief, claiming your healing as real and present.
Whatever your need, take a moment to visualize it as being actualized in the moment.
Finally, take a few deep, healing breaths; open your eyes, and spring back into your life – knowing that the regeneration and renewal you require is coming, as certainly as spring follows winter.