Author Archive for Seantel Fetner

Visualization Tools for Meditation

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Absorbed in the images before me, I visualize my success. The page before me has on it the curled corners of magazine cutouts, stickers with encouraging phrases, descriptions of my future, and images I’ve printed with inspiring quotes. Today, I focus solely on my professional visions. Establishing a reputation in my field that allows the flexibility I seek. I visualize myself working abroad. Working with my child by my side. Working with individuals seeking similar futures in various fields. Working with vulnerable populations of people who are often barely reaching the lowest tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  I am the change for my clients. I am an inspiration for my peers, clients, and coworkers. I envision my mentors throughout my life showing me the way. Creating a vision that puts me in the mentor position. Dreaming of a life that touches others the way I’ve been influenced throughout my life. Empowering others as I’ve been empowered. It’s difficult at times to visualize these things to the magnitude I have done today. This is the purpose of my vision board. I know many who create their vision board, then do not use it. To use a vision board is to create the images, words, and feelings that you would have to achieve your goals if money were no object. The vision board should resonate with your current purpose. It should be an agent that assists with meditation for a specific or broad set of goals. Today, my vision board is fairly sparse, but it serves its purpose. I look at my vision daily and adjust as my heart desires. Today, my focus is empowering others, doing what I love, and recognizing that the beautiful life I desire is a journey, not an overnight miracle. The work is a daily process and the daily meditation on the topics I’ve included is a part of that journey. As my goals change, so will the images I choose to use for my visual stimulation. For anyone wishing to use visual representation to assist with the meditation process first choose an area of focus.

visualization tool

This can be as specific as career oriented growth as I’ve done, or it can encompass the collage of topics that include spiritual, family, career, school, health, personal growth, financial stability, travel, and social life. The emphasis can overlap or it can be separated, although I find that when narrowing the topic other areas find their ways in.

 

 

Once an area is chosen or the decision is made to mesh them together, answer the following questions:

 

  1. What does your life look like if money and resources are not a barrier in these areas?
  2. What character traits would you like to be known for?
  3. What have you always wanted to do, but have never had the courage to do?
  4. What do you wish you had more time for in your life?

Flow through these question for each topic and you’ll find yourself dreaming bigger than you might ordinarily. These visions of grandeur are an important part of building successes in your life. Building the vision without revisiting it, working for it, or changing it as areas become obsolete in your core is like visualizing the perfect meal and never creating it. Never going through the ingredients list, but never putting in the trip to the store. The perfect homemade loaf of bread did not bake itself. Nor did it gather the ingredients for its own fruition. Visualize. Meditate. Overcome the barriers you come across, and make it happen in your life. If you can think it, you can do it.

Everyday Mindfulness

An array of colored pencils lay before me as I find the exact shade to compliment the last. Doodling, nevertheless, but still strategic. The repetitive back and forth of the pencil on the page. The hushing sound it makes as it dispenses the color to the sheet. I notice the imperfect strokes. Some darker than others. No lines to stay in as I’ve doodled the images myself and I decide whether I pass through them or remain confined by them. I am in control. Liberating.

colored pencils ready to go

Pencils at the ready

I take in a deep breath noticing the taste of my spring water still on my tongue, which oddly has a different flavor than purified water. The thought that water has a taste is interesting. I take in the smell of the wood that encapsulates the sticks of color as I shave the edges off so my pencil is a perfect cone. The shavings spiral around themselves before dropping to the table. I brush the shavings from the page and feel the waxy lines I’ve made on the paper. Color strokes are finer and darker now with the polished tips of my coloring tools.

kid doodle, tangled, Rapunzel, sketch

By my 9 year old, T. Doodling for mindfulness is for everyone.

I notice the indentation the pencil makes on my right ring finger as I scribble organized chaos on the blank space before me. I adjust my posture as I feel my low back stiffen a bit. I hear the sound of the turtle’s tank filters trickling in the background as I switch colors and the pencils tap without order on the wooden table. The sound of glossy wood sticks tapping the polished wood table resonates with my mood nearly as much as the rhythmic scribbling. My mind wanders briefly through topics recently discussed at work. Then again to the trip we have planned. I wonder why we don’t do more nature-centered activities as a family. I notice that the table will need to be wiped clean before I leave my doodling alone.

Copy paper doodle

I refocus and manipulate my canvas realizing that the texture is thicker than the usual media on which my doodles find themselves. Copy paper doodles are seemingly quicker. A temporary reprieve from the daily grind. Today’s images have purpose.

busy, bee, doodle, lily, calla, flower, pollen, buzz

Doodle lily for a busy bee

Created in the essence of mindfulness. Thoughts come and go. They enter; I let them go. My focus at this moment is not to think about any one thing. Just this moment. The crisscrossed position of my legs. My hands’ hurried gestures. The breaths I inhale. Everything that is this moment. I don’t fight the thoughts that come through as I practice my mindfulness activities. They enter willingly and leave just as quickly allowing me to refine my attention to myself and what occurs around me.

colored pencil standing

Last pencil standing

A custom I’ve been practicing over the past month or so. First, settling into my calming, comfortable space. Occupying my anxious mind with simple, repetitive motions. Like the carnal form of a meditation chant. Following what I have come to know as the countdown. I’ve found my five things I can see, although some of them are my own creations. Noted four physical feelings I have throughout the exercise. Three sounds, two odors, and lastly, one thing I can taste, or would like to taste. The countdown to mindfulness has elapsed about 15 minutes of my evening. Something I aim for more frequently than I used to. I attempt to make time to practice mindfulness daily. If I haven’t found a period of time throughout my day to use my countdown, I use a space constructed for such a ritual to ensure I’ve gotten my daily dosage of anti-anxiety mindfulness. It was only recently that I had a realization that any act can become a meditation if only we seek to be mindful of the moment. Find peace within, rather than seeking it out. Namaste.

~ Seantel