in: Mindful Moment

Mindful Moment #56 – You (feat. Creature)

Take a deep breath
Welcome to the Creature Feature
In the small, quiet moments of solitude, wondering what new *thing* is going to appear on today’s horizon, the temptation to just turn inward is overwhelming. The songs on the radio are invitations to forget, to remember, to mourn, to celebrate, to shake it off, or to turn it up. The skies are great scrying mirrors where you can watch an ocean of clouds scuttle and storm while you peer into the future. Maybe the aurora borealis is visible where you are, dancing like a fantasy highway to elsewhere. Maybe it’s the Milky Way’s broad swath of stars on a moonless night that tells you there is something else besides the limitations of physical reality on this little blue planet.
But outwardly, spring is springing all over the place, and I want to join in with the other creatures. The crickets and ants are back. The snails weave iridescent trails on the front walkway overnight. I haven’t seen any bees, but the junebugs are beginning their bumbling dance in the evenings, swooning around my back door. The swallows have made another nest this year. It is precariously perched in a narrow corner of the porch roof. The bad news is that babies keep falling out of the nest. Last year was a sad year for baby swallows. This year we put an old seat cushion on the ground below the nest to make the landing softer. We scoop them back into the nest like clumsy bears. After three days of falling babies, still weeks away from flight, we hung up a basket full of grass clippings to make them a “subnest”—a soft place to fall just a foot below the actual nest. It seems to be working. We are hopeful they will survive this year. We try not to snoop, hoping the parents keep coming back.
Long, slow rains have come in waves this season, making the lawn grow shaggy too fast and too wild compared to the neighbor’s yard. Wild onions volunteered for the first time out front. Dandelions rule the back. I keep waiting for our compost pile to form a jungle of tomatoes and cantaloupes, but a racoon has been spotted taking the best scraps away into the night. The neighborhood cats sleep on our cars when the sun is at the prime angle of warm, but not hot. Our beagles, too, enjoy a good sun nap in the tall grass back by the shed.
I just want to remember that I am a part of this existence as a creature who can enjoy the small pleasantries of lazy sunny day naps, the sound of rain on the roof, or wild onions in my dandelion salad. If we can stay connected to these kind of “creature comforts,” maybe we can feel more connected to being fellow creatures together.
For today’s meditation, let’s get connected to our inner creatures. If you can do this outside, please do.
Find a comfortable place to sit. Relax your shoulders and jaw. Soften your face and let your hands rest in your lap. Breathe deeply, expanding your chest and your belly. Hold the breath for a count of five and release. Repeat at least three times. Continue to breathe deeply as you meditate.
I want you to give your imagination permission to play in a free form kind of way. Choose a creature you might commonly see outside of your home. It can be anything. You might choose something as small as an ant to something as large as a…whale? 
How does your creature move in its world? Can it fly, run, swim, slither, or dig? Choose how you want to move in this creature’s body. Imagine embodying the physical characteristics of your creature. Feel yourself extending your creature’s body, limbs, spine, tail, nose, or antennae. Imagine moving around as your creature.
Where is your creature? If you are small, notice how huge everything is. Blades of grass are like giant trees far above your head. If you can fly, where are you flying to and from? If you are bigger, how has your perspective changed? What can you see from your creature’s perspective?
Imagine now what you might smell, taste, or feel. Enjoy those sensations with the satisfaction of feeling satiated and comfortable in your body. Where might you settle down for a nap? Find that cozy place and relish how being there feels relaxing, peaceful, and rejuvenating. The wind is gentle, the sun is warm, the water is perfect, the tree is sturdy, the burrow is the perfect bed. Feel how embodying this space is like home.
When you are ready to wake from your nap, find your creature community, and participate in whatever activity they may be doing. If you are a solitary creature, explore your habitat. What stands out to you from this community? How does your habitat feel as you discover its hidden secrets? Take note of how your creature belongs to and in this space.
Find a place to part ways with your creature, send a thought of gratitude, and return to embody your human self. Take a moment to fully feel your own body again, breathing deeply, and holding on to that sensation of belonging.
As you end your meditation, I invite you to carry whatever aspect of perspective your creature was able to give you. Take that perspective into your day and see how you may feel differently in the coming hours, days, or weeks.
May your weekend be blessed with peace and perspective, friends. Revel in the magic of spring.
As always,
Amy Barth-Morales


We’re feeling inspired by these incredible and thought provoking pieces:

  1. Napping may boost creativity, study finds Investigators set out to answer two main questions: Does napping indeed supercharge creativity, and can that nap-induced creativity be shaped and enhanced by adding audio-guided suggestions? 
  2. Psychedelic inspires discovery of two new drug candidates for depressionResearchers have found ibogaine-inspired compounds effective in treating depression and addiction in mouse models.
  3. Researchers treat depression by reversing brain signals traveling the wrong wayA new study led by Stanford Medicine researchers is the first to reveal how magnetic stimulation treats severe depression: by correcting the abnormal flow of brain signals.

That’s all for today, y’all – remember, taking time to focus on you is an act of love.

We hope you found this helpful – don’t hesitate to reply with any feedback on how we can improve future Mindful Moments! We can’t wait to hear from you.


See you next time! 


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