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Meditation and Visualization, for those who can’t simply sit and still the mind

Meditation, we all know its beneficial and we all know how amazing it can be for bringing harmony and a centredness back into our lives, but do we do it? Nope, or not enough anyway. I certainly don’ do enough of it.

A few weeks ago a saw a blog someone had written about meditating on forgiveness and I fully intended to give this a go. Did it happen? No. Well yes and no.
I made an alteration, and here’s how and why I found meditation plus visualization works more effectively for me.

Since returning from travel, Marcus and I have been starting a business, looking for work, paying off debts, living with parents and so yes we’ve had some stressful and worrying times and this has affected our moods and outlook.

But last week something changed. I couldn’t be bothered, I was tired of this game of negativity circling around us so when a bad mood came, I refused to give in.  Of course the worries were still there and, being me,I awoke at 5am, thinking.

As I laid there in bed, I decided I would attempt this meditation.
I closed my eyes and remembered the idea of meditating on forgiveness and I tried, but it didn’t click. So I thought more deeply.  Suddenly a saying sprung to mind, something about holding on to hot coals only burns you…

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So I combined the two.
I visualized a hot coal in my hand and this coal was something needing forgiveness I quietly whispered why blame was useless, I whispered forgiveness and I let the coal go, it felt great.

I then repeated the process for each little thing, forgiving each mistake I had made, each thing Marcus had done which annoyed or hurt me, and I forgave the universe for all the unlucky things that happen.

I spent a little time then being grateful and allowing the positive things to flow back into my mind. To remember all the things negative thinking had displaced.

Afterwards I lay there, half asleep, I had a dream/vision of goddesses, welcoming me back.   I visualized the norse goddess, Freya, Luna of the mooon,  Gaia the earth goddess, and others I do not even know, supporting me and becoming me, it was a most enlightening experience.

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Now I’m not saying these goddesses actually graced me with their presence, but maybe each is a mere reflection of a part of myself I had lost. I imagine Freya to be my strength, she brings to my mind a feminine power and hardiness. I imagine Luna to be my calmness and togetherness, and the other divinities t represent other aspects, my belief and faith in the future and in love, my connection with the earth and grounding, my wisdom and my energy.
I felt renewed and for the first time in so long I can barely remember, I felt myself. My actual self, not the version of myself I had recently been, not the weak, self pitying part of me, lacking in confidence and power.

I’m not sure if I had just reached a point where I was ready to find inner strength, whether the meditation was so fantastic or whether the full moon fuelled my enlightenment and I really don’t care what it was, it worked and when Marcus awoke and I explained my experience, he also seemed lightened. Like the weight of my negativity was also lifted from his shoulders.

It has been such a blessing and I feel so much more confident and happy, Marcus seems to have picked up on some of this as well and we are having a much more positive time, even though nothing has changed. The things which worried and stressed us are still there but they are not coming between us and our happiness. My being lighter and freer, seems to have really benefited Marcus almost as much as me. Its win win!

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Life at Aio Wira retreat!

Upon arrival, or collection at the train station you are greeted with a big hug and an open, kind-hearted face. Di, the coordinator is a lovely woman who, from her attitude and spiritedness in life, you would never place at almost 70 years old!

The centre itself is situated not far fro Swanson, about an hour by train from Auckland, south Island and is hidden away amongst a multitude of plant-life. It is surrounded by bushland, which means forest, trees as far as the eye can see, total lushness! At first the weather was wet wet wet, this area is rainforest after all and catches most of the water supply for the whole of Auckland, but eve in the downpours there is something magical about this place.

The air is clear, there is a feeling of freedom, of letting go of the restraints of civilization as we know it, you are getting back to nature, partaking in activities specifically designed to help you reach inner peace, a higher place inside yourself. It is a place for self discover and self improvement and of course, it is fun. The people you meet here are all incredibly open minded and positive, you can literally feel the positivity radiating from the walls themselves.

The bedrooms are cosy, there is a big communal kitchen, dining area, sitting room and big relaxation room along with a little sanctuary in the meadow and a hot tub and sauna. It is very cosy and, although I am not a person suited to living communally in the long-run due to my need for lots of personal space and alone times, I still saw and felt the benefits of having interesting people around the place, the wealth of experiences and information was incredible and I have already learned a lot from my stay here. The whole place has a very welcoming, homely, cosy feel to it.

And then the sun comes out and a whole new lease of life is bestowed upon you. Although there are places to explore and a certain fondness does arise for getting out there in all weather, it is an altogether enchanting experience to be here when its sunny.

All doors and windows are open, the only sounds you hear coming in is from the animals, the birds, frogs and bees, it is tranquil, peaceful and beautiful. The light glints off the plants and flowers showing their true lushness, you can almost feel the life, the nature and the power resting in the natural world just slipping in around you on the lazy breeze. The great thing is there is nothing really here to sting, bite or prick you (apart from mosquitoes) so you can walk barefoot through the forest, feel the earth beneath your feet, get to grips with nature and you know, its incredibly enlightening!

To be working here is a blessing, although it can be tiring chopping veg and washing up after guests, its not so bad and particularly at the moment there are no guests, the place is quiet, the work consists of a little gardening, washing, tidying up ready for the next guests later in the week, there is so much time for exploring, walking, swimming in the river, or just sitting about with a good book.

For me one of the best parts is the knowledge here, I am learning more about yoga and meditation here than I could have hoped for, not only from guests but fro the library of books on everything from meditation, self discovery, and fasts to faith, tarrot cards, runes and everything else in between! There is so much to learn, and all of great interest.

The centre itself often hosts events such as group fasting for 3 or 10 days, meditations for long weekends and a multitude of seminars as well as anyone wanting a few days at the retreat to unwind, relax and get centred.

Of course there are a few points which are not so positive, maybe you read my last blog, ref the German exhibitionist, but they are minimal in the grand scheme of things.

Below are pictures from my time here so far:

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