Going deeper with the Gratitude Meditation
Once you've tried the Gratitude Meditation a few times you can begin to explore ways to deepen your practise.
You'll have noticed that the four Elements reflect human qualities. Air is about imagination, creativity and communication. Fire is about passion, ambition and the drive to get things done. Water is related to compassion, empathy and love. Earth represents practical, grounded realism. To live as a fully rounded person, you need a balance of all these aspects.
As you practise the gratitude meditation you may notice that some Elements feel easier to be with than others. Do you find yourself spending more or less time with one Element? Or perhaps you sense you're over keen to move on from one particular Element. Maybe you find it hard to know what to feel grateful for with some Elements. That might suggest that you need to bring more of whatever that Element represents into you life. To start that process, simply give more attention to that Element during the Meditation. In my experience that can be very helpful.
Perhaps you are already aware that there's some valuable qualities you currently lack. If you don't feel heard for example, spend more time honouring Air. If you feel you lack confidence, focus on the confident energy of Fire. Maybe you feel emotionally blocked: If so, open yourself to the flowing power of Water. If you feel ungrounded or are having money issues, spend more time with the solid strength of Earth. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but go with that. It's like exercising to build muscle tone or strength: It gets easier and the rewards are worth it. Contact me if you have any questions or comments.
Using movement and sound
You might like to try using movement or sound to help you connect with each Element. Whistling or a singing a tone for Air perhaps; rubbing you hands together till you feel the heat for fire; holding you hands like a cup for Water; bending your knees to sense the weight of your body for Earth. Play with it: The whole Meditation can be done like a dance if you want!
The Elements can be very effectively used in coaching. I've done a lot of work with Integration Training, and this video introduces the 4 Elements Coaching approach.
If you know about William Bloom's endorphin effect, apply it to the Mediation. Just bring to mind whatever you really love that's related to each Element. This will stimulate the production of endorphins. You'll find the effect is wonderful; by the end of the meditation you'll have thought of lots of your most favourite things and be flooded with endorphins! I use Focusing to get a felt sense of the qualities of each Element and that deepens the practice. It helps to get my endorphins flowing and creates a strong embodied connection with the Element. I occasionally run workshops on the endorphin effect and Focusing, so do get in touch if you'd like to find out more.