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Golden Meditation for Self-Acceptance
I have always had difficulty with accepting myself and my own worth. From an early age I've looked to others to find self worth. Praise meant I was a good person – anything less was disaster.
This externalization of self worth has lead to a lot of pain. Eventually, the praise isn't good enough, not enough to validate anymore. While the effect of the praise withered and died the effects of the critisizm and doubt grew heavier.
Taking on the weight of all that self-criticism and doubt seemed to turn into this sludge in my soul, this creeping darkness that smothered any feelings of self worth. This bleak feeling can become a dark filter through which every interaction is funneled. Only the negatives – imagined negatives included – make it through the filter to fester inside.
The Golden Visualization
I've found the following visualization exercise useful to help with that self-critical voice that makes my chest tighten and everything I hear sound critical – including my own voice. You can call this a meditation or a visualization or just a breathing exercise, whatever works for you.
Give yourself from 5 to 15 minutes to perform this exercise. But if you want to take a longer time with it, that's great. Start by getting comfortable somewhere quiet or where there are some background noises that don't distract you too much. Then close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Ready? Let's begin.
Feel the tension in your body wherever the guilt, self-criticism, and negative voices dwell. For me that's the center of my chest.
Imagine a version of yourself lying in a fetal position surrounded by a thin oval of liquid, golden light. Around this light is a large swath of goopy, dark self-criticism, negativity, and doubt. Let the golden liquid soak into the smaller version of yourself. Then imagine it expanding outwards a bit, pushing against the dark goop.
After a while, imagine small holes forming through the critical, dark sludge. The golden liquid flows through those holes and your figure relaxes. Now she is lying comfortably as if she were resting in a safe bed.
Keep breathing. Surround your figure with soft pillows. If you want, embroider words on the pillows like “Good,” “You matter,” or “You're good enough.” Let your figure – your inner self – snuggle into the pillows and relax.
While your figure relaxes imagine the golden liquid bubbling and fizzing in the holes its made in the negative gunk. As it fizzes some of the gunk begins to hollow out and break away. As it does, the golden liquid grows larger and fills the gaps.
Self-Criticizm in Your Body
Where do you hold onto the negative energy and self-criticizm in your body?
Ending the Visualization and Going Back
When you're ready to end the visualization concentrate on just your breathing for a minute or two. Then open your eyes.
Keep going back to this visualization at times when you have a few minutes to yourself or at night when you're getting ready to go to sleep. Hopefully, as you go back, you'll find your inner self, your figure, has a little more room in her pool of golden liquid. Keep visualizing the dark negativity and self-criticism breaking away and dissolving.
Ideally, the negativity will eventually disappear and all that will be left is the relaxed, golden light. But even if you can never get to that place, you can give yourself some more grace and self-acceptance using this meditation.