Radical Self-Love

Radical self-love by paying attention to the body with care and compassion is a way to tap into our subconscious wisdom for guidance instead of being confined by limiting stories and beliefs the mind tells us. We end with this poem on Self-Love by e.h. (Erin Hanson).

Every heart’s a hurricane,
Each soul a starlit sea,
Every mind’s a meteor
Unbound by gravity.
And everybody’s wishing
They could learn to tame their tides,
When nothing more than nature
Is what’s echoing inside.
Every life’s a lightning bolt,
Yet everyone’s told no;
Bite back all your thunder
And don’t let the wild things show.
Every heart’s a hurricane,
Everyone a world within,
Every life too short for loathing
Any storms beneath your skin.

Guide: Noelle Lim
Duration: 20 mins
Image credit: Ludemeula Fernandes, Unsplash

Today Is Precious

If every day is precious, every moment is too. This practice is about taking the time to just be, to appreciate the preciousness of each moment as it is. To just sit without constantly living in the head, in our stories and plans. Finding the balance instead of striving or planning in the head on how to strive. Being in the being mode. 

Inspired by Days, written by Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate. 

Each one is a gift, no doubt,

mysteriously placed in your waking hand

or set upon your forehead

moments before you open your eyes.

Today begins cold and bright,

the ground heavy with snow

and the thick masonry of ice,

the sun glinting off the turrets of clouds.

Through the calm eye of the window

everything is in its place

but so precariously 

this day might be resting somehow

on the one before it,

all the days of the past stacked high

like the impossible tower of dishes

entertainers used to build on stage.

No wonder you find yourself

perched on the top of a tall ladder

hoping to add one more

Just another Wednesday

you whisper,

then holding your breath,

place this cup on yesterday’s saucer

without the slightest clink.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 19 mins

Image credit: Jeanie de Klerk, Unsplash

Staying The Course, Not Giving Up

Our thoughts could be discouraging, demotivating, compelling us to quit. This is a meditation of practicing staying the course, not giving up so easily. Inspired by I Bend, a poetry written by Selena Odom.

I bend but do not break.

I’ve been lost, but I’m not a loser.

I’m a wreck, but I’m not totaled.

I’m fractured but not broken.

I’ve failed, but I’m not a failure.

I’ve fallen hard but can get up again.

I’m isolated, but still I’m free.

I have been destroyed but will rebuild.

My heart is broken, but it will mend.

See, no matter how close I come to breaking, I just continue to bend.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 18 mins

Image credit Paul Hanaoka

What Will You Let Go?

The question of the day is: what will you let go of? Here is a meditation session of learning to let go of what upsets and weighs us down, recognizing that all our experiences, good and bad, are impermanent. Often thoughts and desires that accompany the feelings magnify our distress, the need for things to be in a particular way, like the need for us to stay calm and centered during a meditation. Otherwise the session feels like a waste of time. Actually the best time to practice is when the mind is unsettled. We’re cultivating accepting situations or reality as they are before deciding on the next best response. 

Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 20 minutes

Image credit: Dorothe Wouters, Unsplash

Responding To Negativity

It’s easy for negative thoughts or negative inferences to take root. They can be as subtle as “I can’t do this” to something extreme we won’t say to others like “You’re (I’m) stupid”, or excessive worry and downplaying ourselves or others.

One outcome of negativity is that it can lead us to a striving mode, needing to fix or improve ourselves. We sign up for a bunch of courses, throw ourselves into projects to shut off the pain, make ourselves feel like we’re progressing in life. A striving mode can also mean to deliberately avoid situations.

This is not to say we don’t do anything to improve our life outcomes or to purposely invite difficulties, but we want to be more discerning about what thoughts we want to act on and what actions are really necessary, lest we end up distressing ourselves further or shy away from living a full life.

In this meditation, we acknowledge thoughts as they are (just thoughts), and practice restoring a sense of being or balance. When we’re in a less driven-doing, judgmental mode, we can see our priorities and what really matters with more clarity.

We also use the poem Negative Thoughts (extract) by Murray Lachlan Young to convey the theme of the practice.

Negative thoughts

Oh, they come and they go

And sometimes they come

A lot more than they go

Then do what they like

And say what they please

To stifle your life

With their negative squeeze

So why not breathe in

And exercise choice

Why not breathe out and say “No” to the voice

And say “I’m worth more much, much, more than all that

And that negative voices

Are uncool and old hat”

So why not decide

That it’s time to get free

And stand up to the (deeply uncool) voice

Of Negativity

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 14 mins

Image credit: Dim Hou, Unsplash

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I Am The Lake

This is an adaptation of the Lake Meditation written by Jon Kabat Zinn, founder of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). We are cultivating the qualities and energy of a lake – silent, merely reflecting back what it sees as it is, and returning to stillness whenever the wind, rain and storm pass. Visualizing ourselves as the lake. Like it, we can return to our original being of stillness and silence once unwelcome thoughts and feelings move on.


We end with this poetry There In The Stillness by Show You Love (extract).


There in the stillness, the whisper of angel’s wings

There in the stillness a place for beggars and kings

There in the stillness a fluttering of the soul

There in the stillness someone broken is being made whole


There in the rest a river of life overflows

There in the rest a fruitful garden grows

There in the rest I am anchored and secure

There in the rest is a joy so real and pure


Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 17 mins

Image credit: Redd, Unsplash

Be Like A Mountain

This is an adaptation of the Mountain Meditation, created by Jon Kabat Zinn, founder of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). We are cultivating the qualities and energy of a mountain – solid, strong, dignified, unmovable, and not apologetic for our presence. So like the mountain, we remain grounded despite experiencing strong emotions and intrusive thoughts. 

I am the mountain

Snow falls, gone soon after winter

Spring clouds, drift by not a matter

Summer sunshine, only a fair friend

Autumn leaves, fall with an end

Seasons come and go

Yet I remain unmovable, to know

Thoughts emerge, emotions arise

Winds come

Rain falls

I don’t turn them away

Come what may

Because I am the mountain

Guide: Noelle Lim

Poem written by: Noelle Lim

Duration: 18 mins

Image credit: Justinas Tessalis, Unsplash

Welcoming Change

Often what makes it difficult to accept change is the experiences that are triggered such as anxiety, sadness, fear of the unknown. Ruminating on it only compounds the suffering. This practice is about cultivating the capacity to welcome change, even those we don’t like, in order to ease into stepping out of our comfort zone and taking risks. Poetry for today is Change by Kathleen Raine.


Change 

Said the sun to the moon, You cannot stay. 

Change 

Says the moon to the waters, 

All is flowing. 


Change 

Says the fields to the grass, 

Seed-time and harvest, 

Chaff and grain. 


You must change said, 

Said the worm to the bud, 

Though not to a rose.


Petals fade 

That wings may rise 

Borne on the wind. 



Are you ready to change? 

Says the thought to the heart, to let her pass .

You will change, 

says the stars to the sun, 

Says the night to the stars.


Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 19 mins

Image credit: Malek Dridi, Unsplash

Being With Nature

The invitation is to accept our thoughts and feelings as how we would accept what happens in nature around us like the sound of birds, the rise of the sun, the four seasons. Inner experiences are after all the outcomes of the mind and body, and we are in turn the product of nature. Acceptance helps us meditate in peace.

Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s poem The Moment.

The moment when, after many years 
of hard work and a long voyage 
you stand in the centre of your room, 
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country, 
knowing at last how you got there, 
and say, I own this, 

is the same moment when the trees unloose 
their soft arms from around you, 
the birds take back their language,

the cliffs fissure and collapse, 
the air moves back from you like a wave 
and you can’t breathe. 

No, they whisper. You own nothing. 
You were a visitor, time after time 
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming. 
We never belonged to you. 
You never found us. 
It was always the other way round.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 19 mins

Image credit: Keanu K, Unsplash

Self-Love

Today’s Wednesday Pause is a practice of self-love. Cliche as it sounds, its really an invitation to be gentle with ourselves, meaning whatever that is arising, whether we like it or not or find it inadequately stimulating, we gently accept the moment as it is. This reduces the hold unpleasant feelings has over us. And if we find ourselves experiencing strong emotional energy be it grief and anxiety, we respond with gentleness without needing “to do something” to fix it and make it go away. It’s as if you respond with gentle energy instead of brute force, counterintuitive as it may seem.

Inspiration sought from Walt Whitman’s poem Song of Myself (1892, extract).

I celebrate myself and sing myself

And what I assume, you shall assume

For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you.

I exist as I am that is enough

If no other in the world be aware I sit content

And if each and all be aware I sit content.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,

But I shall be good health to you nevertheless

And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged

Missing me one place, search another

I stop somewhere waiting for you.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 22 mins

Image credit: Mathilde Langevin, Unsplash