Think of a rosebud.
A delicate, graceful little shape, widening from its stem, then coming to a point. Please close your eyes and if you are good at visual imagery, see the lovely little baby flower. If, like me, you find that difficult, still hold the rosebud in your heart.
And each time you breathe in, the rosebud grows a little…
And each time you breathe out, the tightly wrapped leaves unfold a little…
Breathing in… and out… and in… and out…
And breath by breath, the lovely flower unfolds.
Breathe in the beautiful scent.
Those new petals are so soft and clean and delicate.
Now I would like you to think of a little white oval shape, attached somewhere to the rosebush. Inside is a little creature, all squashed up for now, but four wings are scrunched up, and freedom is calling, out there.
And a split appears, and beautiful golden sunlight penetrates, and the new butterfly emerges. The wings straighten, and their multicoloured beauty shines.
And it takes time for the wings to dry. Breathe in… breathe out… and the lovely little being is flying off to a new life.
You and I are rosebuds ready to bloom, butterflies ready to emerge. Breath by breath we grow and unfold… breathing in… breathing out… breathing in… breathing out.
And all the time, we gently move toward where we need to go… toward empathy… and decency… and kindness… and being the best humans we can be.
And whatever else happens in our life, this is all that matters.
Hold this feeling of peace and purpose in your heart, and when you need it, feel your petals, your wings unfold.
Now I am going to count backward from five.
Five. Feel the support under your body, and where your hands and feet are.
Four. Become aware of the sounds around, whatever you can hear.
Three. Once more, focus on your breathing.
Two. Move around to get the blood flowing again: hands, feet, head.
One. When you’re ready, open your eyes.