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I come back to this meditation whenever I feel depleted in some way—from what’s happening in the world or on social media, or if I simply haven’t been able to cultivate the energy I need to get through the day. With this exercise, we remind ourselves of all the things that bring us joy, wonder, and awe. I hope you enjoy it.
First, find a comfortable seated position. Notice how your body feels, connected to the earth, in whichever way you choose, and allow yourself to be here, in this moment, in this breath. How does it feel to be here now? It may feel scary or uncomfortable or just right. Allow it to be without judgment, without shame. Notice how the present feels in your breath. Allow your breaths to be short and shallow, or long and deep. And as you breathe, notice if you have space for a little bit more air with every inhalation, perhaps drawing in and out through your nose. Give yourself permission to take in a little bit more air, and release it. Allow your breath to fill in through your nose, through your lungs, down into your belly, and then out again, exploring all of the space and capacity that you have.
Fill yourself with breath and then gently let it go. See if you can give yourself more time, allowing for a few more seconds to slow your inhalation and exhalation, making the most of each magical moment of breath.
Now with each inhalation, allow your body to fill the space around you, drawing up through the crown of your head, breathing into the widest parts of your shoulders. Allow your chest and belly to expand into the room. And with every exhalation, connect more deeply with the earth. Relax your muscles, soften your bones, and let the earth hold you a bit more with each breath out. Take a couple more breaths here. Allow your breath and body to fill the space inside and around you. Let this space help you to expand. If at any point you notice yourself thinking about tomorrow, or yesterday, just come back here, if only for a moment. You deserve every inch of this present space. Take a deep, full breath in and let a long, slow breath out. Again, take a big breath in, fill the space inside and out, and then exhale.
On your next breath in, think of something or someone who makes you feel full, rich, and whole. Imagine this person or thing in your mind, and notice how it makes you feel. Breathe it in. Draw it into every part of your being. Let it fill you from your chest to your belly to the top of your head and the sides of your shoulders. With every exhalation, let it sink in and move through you. If this feels good, take a few more breaths, allowing your body and breath to move with this experience, with the emotions. Let them all move through, savoring every second, right here, right now. Let each breath fill you like golden honey from a cup, your sunshine on a warm day. Draw it in with every breath, allowing it to settle with every exhalation. Take all the time you need here. Let yourself overflow. Notice how it feels to fill every part of you, even spaces that might feel empty or left behind.
At your own pace, slowly begin to move the parts of your body that feel ready. Perhaps wiggle your fingers, your toes, or your shoulders. Notice the sounds you hear. Notice if your body or breath feel different than they did before. Allow yourself to continue in the present moment, full and at ease.
About our expert
Nicole Cardoza is a nomadic yoga teacher, social entrepreneur, wellness-reclamation pioneer, and nonprofit executive director. She travels the world building platforms that make wellness more accessible. In 2017, she made the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for her work in education. Find more meditations at nicoleacardoza.com.