Easter comes with the spring, as the earth shakes off the final shivers of winter and the sun lingers a little longer every day. Color and warmth infuse the days again, beckoning us out of our doors and wrapping us in joy and beauty. A Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, this day can hold significance for everyone, no matter your religion or beliefs. It's a story that speaks of redemption, renewal, and grace - something we each long for and need more deeply in all of the corners of our lives.
The heart of Easter beats with a truth that we all crave, and we hope you will not miss the opportunity to hear its message for you this year. We've created a short meditation for you this Easter season, and we hope you will take some time to enjoy it today or this week. An exercise that can be done anytime anywhere, we recommend trying it out at the beginning or end of your day to quiet your mind and realign your heart –
1. Find a quiet space where you feel safe and undisturbed. Sit, kneel, or lie down, whatever is most comfortable for you but doesn't sweep you away to dreamland.
2. If possible, light a candle. A subtle detail, this little light can have a profound impact on your spirit, ushering in strength, courage, and hope. Even better, find a candle with a scent you love; a comforting fragrance can soothe many cares and worries.
3. Close your eyes, and begin to take deep breaths through your nose and out your mouth. Visualize each inhale you take as beautiful, piercing, cleansing light and each exhale as dark, toxic fumes full of negative emotions and thoughts that no longer serve you. Focus on this imagery and feel its reality. Slowly practice this cleansing breath 10 - 20 times.
4. Meditate on these words found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta –
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyways
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyways.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyways.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Read this prayer to yourself or say it out loud three times. The first two times, simply listen for a word or phrase that sticks out to you. The third time through, pay attention to any images that come to mind.
5. What words or phrases had an impression on you? Did any images spring to mind? Dwell on these things. What are they trying to say to you and what truth do they wish to speak into your life?
6. Gather what you've heard and end in a prayer of gratitude. Prayer is the language of the soul. Mahatma Gandhi said, "Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without heart." Prayer is conversation with God, any other power or deity you recognize, or simply a song of one's heart. Begin with thanks for this day, this time, and the message you were given. Offer up any anxiety and sorrow that is weighing on your heart today, and ask for guidance and strength to live more deeply into this truth for your life.