The wonders of Christmas represented through lit up Christmas trees are a delight for children and adults. Yet the reality is that the festive season is also a time of great distress for hard pressed parents and children in need. To dissipate the angst felt by many at Christmas this simple meditation works well.
A simple exercise for children (and parents) who are overwhelmed is to think of a tall tree being hit by a violent storm. The winds make the tree top sway dangerously and branches may break off. Yet low down on the tree trunk there is very little movement. The lower trunk of the tree remains steady, in spite of the violent storm. Dear young friend, now think of yourself as that tree and the violent storm as the upset and despair that overwhelms you at times. If you stay in the tree top with your mind and your reactions, then surely something will break. This is dangerous. You will lose it, say and do things that can harm others and yourself. Now remember the lower trunk of the tree that remains steady in the midst of the violent storm.
Place your two hands flat on your belly, below your navel. As you breathe in, say to yourself:
“I am aware of breathing in deeply to my belly.”
As you breathe out, say to yourself:
“I am aware of breathing out slowly from my belly.”
Do this for ten to twenty breaths and feel the calm settle in, and notice that the storm of strong emotion or frustration is not so strong. You are now in a position NOT to act with violence and malice towards others or yourself. Do try this the next time you feel overwhelmed. Do NOT then take the step to bring harm to yourself or to others. Stop. Chill. Put your hands on your lower belly and breathe in and out with awareness that your hands are placed on the lower trunk of you, as a tree.