I shared this guided meditation this week in my "Finding Your Joy" Series class. I created it based on a memory I cherish from a long time ago. I pray this blesses you today in some way.
As I ran down the red dirt road during the warm West Texas Autumn, I was able to slowly take in my surroundings from my comfortable 9-minute a mile pace. I noticed how the sun began to become lower in the horizon which cast a new color over everything. The dominant colors of gold, orange, rust, bronze and sunset pink highlighted the wide expansive Texas sky and tinged with blue they changed and danced in the light of each moment.
The dirt road meandered through fields and farmland, still yet untouched by mass development or the hand of many men. There were only single old farmhouses or a barn every few miles and wide fields of hay and grasslands, grazing cattle or horses to catch my eye and the glint of the sun’s fading rays.
In one distant field off the road in a sea of swaying golden grasses waited a single ancient oak tree. It’s trunk was at least four arm lengths in diameter, even the best tree hugger wouldn’t be able to wrap their arms around this ancient and holy member of this field. The tree’s low hanging branches called to me as I neared closer and closer.
Sun and sweat drenched with a hint of fine dust covering my flushed skin, I was feeling the runner’s high, the endorphins coursing through my being, bringing with them a feeling of lightness and joy in each step I took. I caught the faint smell of leaves burning in a pile near the farmhouse and felt the wind change and begin blowing a refreshing and cool caress from the North as an autumn cold front began to make its way towards me. As I neared the tree my playful inner child took over and in a series of steps and hoisting and climbing I made my way up the kind branches of the tree and settled into the palm of its hand feeling held by the very fingers of God.
I found a comfortable nook and reclined, embraced by this ancient finger of a giant. I rested and took in all the light and all the love and all the nourishment of that moment. And then I heard the tree say to my heart, “I am about to show you how beautiful a letting go can be” and with that the North wind blew again and the tree relinquished its yellow and brown leaves clearing more space for the sky to appear before my eyes. The leaves made their way across the fields and happily danced upon the tops of the hay stalks and grasses. Gratitude fell on my heart like a soothing balm and all the worries and anxieties of my day, all of my mistakes and failures, all of my fears of the future and ghosts from the past, all of the pain, trauma and scarcity simply blew away like the falling leaves, in the goodness of that moment.
As I continued watching the clouds make pictures in the sky, their wispy fingers telling me of the cool weather to come, I breathed out a prayer of thankfulness for my life, for my breath, for the hope, for being held by something so ancient, so good and so grounded in the earth, being held by something much bigger than me and understanding my place in the world all over again. I understood my infinite importance and yet my smallness and helplessness. I understood to live this life most authentically, I had to be as rooted to my purpose and calling as this tree was rooted in the earth. And I understood that sometimes I just needed to be held and sit in the arms of something bigger with my unanswered questions. I understood that letting go of the things that are not serving my highest purpose would only open up the space for more light in my life, for more of my purpose to shine through. I understood I needed to be rooted in this moment, which is the only time we are given, this very moment right now. As I slid down its gentle trunk, I thanked the tree and the creator of the tree for all they had taught me in this brief moment. And as I breathed in again, I realized I could return to this scene at any time by just stopping, closing my eyes, focusing on my breath and surrendering to the present moment.