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Calm Gratitude

Melli O'Brien






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Calm Gratitude

In this meditation, we'll use gratitude and appreciation as a way to pacify our mind and settle back into deep rest and sleep.


[00:00:00] Hey there. If you're listening to this, you're probably awake in the night trying to fall back asleep. I can imagine that could be a bit frustrating. So I'm here to keep you company and to help you out. So how about we start by taking a deep, slow breath together. So breathing in deeply, breathing through the nose.

And breathing out through the mouth, and just really seeing any tension that you might be feeling in your body.

And just relaxing into the surface beneath you.

So a lot of the time, when we're up in the middle of the night, the frustration that we feel creates extra [00:01:00] tension in our mind and in our body. And we might start thinking about the next day or all of the things that might not go well. We're thinking about how we're going to be tired tomorrow and cranky, and we won't have enough energy. But just recognizing that all of these stories going through the mind are just that, they're stories.

We don't yet know how the day will unfold. What we do know right now is that we're awake. For whatever reason, the mind and the body decided that it's a good time to be awake. So we'll start by just meeting that reality instead of fighting it and trying to force ourselves to sleep, which never really works anyway.

So instead, let's just settle into what it's like to be awake. So you're [00:02:00] welcome to have your eyes open or closed.

And maybe just starting by noticing anything that you perceive in the space around you. Like the sounds.

Or the feeling of your body against the mattress.

Or the coziness of your covers.

Maybe noticing the subtle rhythm of your breathing moving throughout your body.

And even though you're awake, when you might have a wish to be asleep, [00:03:00] chances are it's quite pleasant because nobody actually needs anything from you right now. You don't have to make anything happen or solve anything. You get to just relax and be here in your bed.

And so if we step outside of the thoughts that say we should be sleeping right now and drop into the actual reality of this moment, just perhaps noticing it's a little more pleasant than you realized.

So just drinking it in.

Maybe there can be a soft awareness, a soft appreciation for this moment of stillness, of inactivity, [00:04:00] of quiet of being alive.

And just noticing the feeling of the breath as it moves through the body.

Noticing how the body is being rocked and cradled by this gentle rhythm of the breathing.

And with every exhale, just letting yourself relax more deeply into this moment.

[00:05:00] And if you notice that your mind is getting caught up in thoughts, perhaps about tomorrow or judgments about this moment or frustrations about why you're awake, we just smile at the mind. You could even just mentally say to the mind, hi mind, hi thoughts. And thank you for sharing your thoughts. And then just coming back again to just being here in your body, being here with the actual reality of this moment.

The mind can make an infinite number of stories, ideas about how tomorrow might unfold, but truly we have no idea. Tomorrow's a bit of a mystery. [00:06:00] All we do know is what's right here, right now.

And so we can relax into it, the here and now, And if the mind continues to stay awake, so be it. We're getting in some good meditation time, some good relaxation time. And that in itself is deeply restorative.

Then if we happen to drift back off to sleep, that's great as well. But either way, you're getting that deep restoration and relaxation. And so continuing now to follow this rhythm of your breathing, moment by moment by moment.

[00:07:00] And while we're really tuned into the softness and the rhythm of the breathing, seeing if you can, just with each exhale, just relax one more percentage point.

And even if you can't relax your mind or body, can you just drop into a relaxed awareness of whatever's going on? So just watching your thoughts moving through the mind. Noticing and offering kindness and compassion to any tension that might be in the body. [00:08:00] So we can't force anything to change. But what we can do is meet whatever's happening here with presence, with a gentle awareness and with compassion.

And we can just relax with this moment, just as it is.

And if at any point you find yourself feeling frustrated, see if you can shift your relationship to this moment to one of gratitude, [00:09:00] the simple recognition that you are alive right now. The simple recognition of that might be more than enough to feel gratitude for what's here in this moment.

And you also might feel gratitude for the coziness of your bed.

The breath moving through your body.

And just letting this sense of gratitude become your meditation.

[00:10:00] Just feeling your body breathing you.

And inviting any tension that's remaining in the body to relax and let go.

[00:11:00] And if you do notice that a certain area of your body really feels agitated, you can visualize that on the inhale, the breath is moving into that part of the body and enveloping that part of the body with kindness and care, like a warm blanket. And then with the exhale, inviting that part of the body to relax.

[00:12:00] And if at any point you find yourself getting caught up in thoughts, you can just come back to the mantra: just this breath, just this moment. Letting this mantra settle your attention and relax you back into presence. And just having a soft awareness and a gentle gratitude for this moment of aliveness.

[00:13:00] We'll soon be coming to the end of this meditation and as we do, just remembering that you're welcome to relisten to it if you'd like to spend more time practicing, or you can just let yourself drift off into silence, spending some more time just breathing and relaxing. But just remember we can't force ourselves to fall back asleep [00:14:00] and that really does just create more tension.

And so just see if you can meet this moment just as it is. Appreciating it and being grateful for it while you're awake and then letting that appreciation, perhaps soften and pacify the mind.

And as you meet this moment as it is and let that relaxation settle into the mind. When it's ready to, it will transition into sleep.

So I wish you a restful evening. Thank you for your practice and take care.

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