The pressures of modern times are vast. And while we’ve all experienced them in one way or another, members of the LGBTQIA community may feel these and different pressures acutely, at times feeling a sense of isolation that those outside of the community would struggle to relate to.
“At least 36% of older men report hiding their sexual identity through their lives, and 55% of young LGBT students say they have experienced homophobic bullying”.
Acceptance from within
While childhood affirmation, self-compassion and an unwavering sense of identity are all key to wellbeing, these are very dependent on others at an early stage. Here at Me & Me time, we stand with and by the LGBTQIA community. Whether you’ve had the best start in life or a shaky one, you matter, you’re with us and more to the point, you’re amazing from the very building blocks of your being to all the things you feel, think and do.
When you’re ready to embrace your wellness journey, why not check out these three meditations to encourage self-love, acceptance and confidence.
CONFIDENCE MEDITATION for Pride Wellness
(15 MINUTES OR MORE)
1. Start by making yourself comfortable. Sit on a cushion on the floor, on a chair or even upright in bed – the choice is yours. Keep your back straight but relax your posture and shoulders.
2. When you’re ready, gently close your eyes. Take a deep breath slowly through your nose and breathe out through your mouth with an audible sigh. Relax and feel any tension in the body ebb
away. If it helps, try placing a hand on your stomach to feel it rounding and deflating with every breath. Try and breathe from deep within your stomach instead of from your chest.
3. Reconnect with your body for a moment. Do you notice any tension or discomfort? Breathe in through the nose gently and envision the breath reaching and soothing any areas that feel tight. When you breathe out through the mouth, imagine the breath carrying the tensions in your body with it, leaving nothing but pure relaxation behind.
4. You may have noticed a random procession of thoughts pop up during this process. This is totally fine and natural – very few of us have mastered being able to make our mind a blank slate during meditation.
5. Imagine your mind as a blue sky that these thoughts drift across, like clouds. Be an observer by not engaging with the thoughts either emotionally or physically. Give these passing clouds a label. For every thought, think “thought”. For every feeling, think “emotion”.
6. Keep repeating these steps and maintaining the gentle rhythm of your breathing while controlling your view of your thoughts and emotions.
7. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and with one final deep breath and stretch, return to your day.
This technique will train your mind to strip these fleeting thoughts and feelings of their power and empower yourself with the ability to step away from them. Just let them drift past and out of view of your mind’s eye.
STRESS-REDUCING MEDITATION for Pride Wellness
(15 MINUTES OR MORE)
This method is known as a submodality technique. The technique is based on research that changing the qualities or ‘submodalities of an emotion – its sound and shape, for example – can alter the way you physically respond to it. Use this technique any time things get a bit too much.
1. Again, start by making yourself comfortable. Whether you’re lying or sitting down, keep your back straight but relax your posture and shoulders.
2. When you’re ready, gently close your eyes. Take a deep breath slowly through your nose and breathe out through your mouth with an audible sigh. Relax and feel tension in your body dissolve. Keep the breath coming into and out of your belly by placing a hand on your stomach and feeling the motion of it.
3. Breathe in through the nose gently and envision the breath reaching and soothing any areas that feel tight. When you breathe out through the mouth, imagine the breath carrying the tensions in your body with it. Feel increasingly at peace with every breath.
4. Now, picture any stress or anxiety you may have. Give your worry a size, shape and colour, whether that be large, round and red, small, blue and spiky or anything else your mind conjures up. Now feel where that anxiety is located. Is it in the pit of your stomach? Perhaps it’s in your chest. See it in your mind’s eye clearly, really take time to visualise it and how it makes you feel. It’s okay, you’re safe and protected and you have your worries in your line of sight.
Continue to breathe deeply
5. See your worries clearly, change the consistency of them into something soft and malleable, like coloured dough. They’re not so scary now, quite the opposite – they look like something you’d want to play with. In your mind, take the dough shape into your hands and feel how breakable and pliable it is. Imagine breaking bits of the dough off and letting them crumble out of sight between your fingertips. Now, breathing all the time, keep doing this until eventually, there’s nothing left.
When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and with one final deep breath and stretch, return to your day.
See. We told you you’re amazing!
SELF-ESTEEM MEDITATION for Pride Wellness
(15 MINUTES OR MORE)
If you believe in spiritual energy and the need to redress the balance from time to time, this meditation is perfect for creating a mental space you can use for self-affirmation. Inspired by meditations used to realign the sacral chakra, or the area around two inches below the naval that acts as the seat of your self-esteem, this meditation is best carried out with a bit of preparation.
1. Burn some incense or essential oils and obtain a candle, preferably an orange one. When you’re ready, get into a comfortable position on the floor and light your candle.
2. Use a soft gaze to stare into the flame of the candle. Keeping your back upright but comfortable, breathe slowly and deeply through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this seven or eight times until you feel a wave of relaxation wash over you.
3. As you gaze into the golden light of the flame, imagine energy coming from it and wrapping itself around you. You are being held, supported and at one with everything around you.
4. Close your eyes and allow your breath to deepen. Feel your breath as it flows into you and follow it as it moves through and around you. Repeat this mantra three times, ‘I am filled with positive energy. I am at peace’.
5. Imagine the inner workings of your body. Imagine the life-giving rush of blood within you and encourage the flow by imagining your vessels opening like rivers and letting water flow through. Repeat this mantra three times, ‘I am whole, I am nourished, I am free.’
Continue to breathe deeply.
6. From the base of your spine, imagine energy spreading from the base of your spine to your pelvis. Open your pelvis and imagine the waters running deep into your sensuality, creativity and emotions. Repeat this mantra three times, ‘I am grounded, I am strong.’
7. Imagine the energy of these waters rising inside of you, gradually enfolding you in an embrace. These waters are life-giving and healing in equal measures. Repeat this mantra three times, ‘I am cleansed. I am nourished. I am healed.’
8. Continue to breathe deeply and smile. And when you’re ready, gently open your eyes and stretch.
You did it. You took control of your anxieties and turned them into something you had full control over. Take pride in that, feel a sense of relief in that and tell yourself you can use this technique any time things get a bit too much.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”Harvey Fierstein