When Words of Assurance are Not Enough

The magic of meditation and the power of affirmation

“But Mom, what if I fail?” My heart sank. I dread hearing this question because the same thought occasionally crosses my mind each time any of our children have an important test, race or any sort of performance evaluation. Admittedly, I do not always know how to dispel my own concern and worry. Tonight, I sensed the usual diatribe of dismissive words or throwaway phrases of assurance “Oh don’t be silly, of course you won’t!” would not do the trick. Neither would the motivational speaker routine and lecture on self-belief cut it.

I stood instead holding her in a complete embrace. We held each other in silence. I could feel the temperature of our bodies equalise and our breaths starting to sychronise. A minute passed with no words exchanged. We met each other as beings of emotion with no judgement. When I felt her breaking from this embrace, I engaged her with my eyes. I opened my mouth to let the words out slowly and in the most calm and measured voice I could muster. While I shared her feelings anxiety and empathised, I gently pushed away these unconstructive emotions, welcoming instead strength, calmness and assuredness.

“Would you like to do some visualisation?” I asked. She shrugged her shoulders, tightlipped, with doleful eyes looking downward. She didn’t say no. And so, I took that as a yes. I held her fingers lightly and led her to my side of the bed. She lay down and let her legs and arms fall to her side. I dimmed the lights and deliberately breathed in and out deeply and audibly as I sat down on the floor next to her. And I began speaking these words, slowly:

“Close your eyes and find a comfortable position. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. With each inhalation and exhalation you find yourself feeling more and more relaxed. As you wiggle around to find a comfortable position, be aware of your breath and feel your body sinking deeper and deeper into the bed. When you are ready, try to be as still as you can be, let that busy feeling in your mind, slowly fade away.

You see a beautiful golden light over your forehead. Picture this light filling your mind and thoughts. Feel this golden light traveling down your head as the light touches your eyes…. ears …. nose …. cheeks ….. Let your mouth relax and open a little as you feel all the other muscles in your face loosen and relax. This golden light moves down your throat and your neck, your shoulders and arms, right to the tips of your fingers. Picture your lungs filling up each time you breathe with this beautiful golden light from Source, as it travels down your tummy, hips, legs and right to the ends of your toes. You are now feeling relaxed and calm.
You are the light. You are pure energy and love. Stay with this feeling of pure love.

Now imagine a room….”

I continued for a little longer, guiding her through imagery. Relieving her anxiety with positive affirmation.

Her eyes sparkled in that special way I have noticed each time after a meditation sitting. She lay still for a few more moments. After rubbing her eyes with her knuckles, she sat herself up. “Thank you Mom. I feel better.” to which I replied, “You’ve done a great job with your preparation, you will do your best tomorrow and enjoy the experience. It is just that, an experience.” We exchanged a quick hug and goodnight peck and she skipped up the stairs towards her bedroom.

This was the night before her first violin examination, one hour after I had put her to bed but she lay awake, unable to fall asleep.

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