Welcome to Joy Lab!: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Joy Lab podcast, where we help you uncover and foster your most joyful self. Your hosts, Dr. Henry Emmons and Dr. Aimee Prasek, bring you the ideal mix of soulful and scientifically sound tools to spark your joy, even when it feels dark. When you're ready to experiment with more joy, combine this podcast with the full Joy Lab program over at JoyLab.coach.
Aimee: Hello, Aimee here and I am here to welcome you to this heart opening meditation.
Henry will be guiding you through, so start to get settled into a comfy position. Henry will suggest an upright posture, but lay down if you need to. This meditation can really help you open up and notice those sensations that come along as you do that.
It's also a powerful practice to brew up some more gratitude. As we talked about over the last few episodes with our See, [00:01:00] accept, choose process. This meditation is a bit of a taste of how we work in the Joy Lab program.
Taking these elements of joy and seeing how they shift our body-mind system, how we can feel them, apply them, and build them in our lives in ways that makes sense for our unique selves. I really hope you join us over there for the program. So do enjoy this meditation. Open up to all the good that is around you.
See it, feel it, and let it move you. [00:02:00]
Henry: Begin by sitting quietly, upright, relaxed, holding yourself in a way that feels dignified.
Allow yourself to feel the support of the chair or the cushion or bench as you let your body sink into it.
Turn your awareness to your breath, letting yourself be present to a few [00:03:00] cycles of breathing.
[00:04:00] Now invite your awareness to be directed toward your heart center. This is in the general area of the physical heart. Not exactly the same, but right around the central area of the chest. So just above and below the breast bone. And if it's helpful, you can place one or both hands right on top of the breast bone, to help direct your attention there.
First, just notice whatever you are experiencing at this moment without judging or needing it to be any certain way. Just noticing what is.
[00:05:00] Generally when the heart feels open, there is a sensation of expansion or movement or warmth.
And if the heart is closed, it often feels constricted or dense, or just a lack of movement. So again, just notice.
There's no need to judge it one way or the other. Just experience it as it is.
Now as you continue to observe with part of your mind focused on your heart center, [00:06:00] with another part of your mind, invite up an image or a memory of some time recently when you felt moved or touched by something, or someone. So as if you could go back in your memory banks and, and pull out a little video clip, see if you can observe whatever this was that moved you, It might be some encounter with another person, some kindness that you witnessed or experienced.
Or maybe it was a story you heard, a book you read, even a movie that you saw.
Whatever it was, just go back in your mind's eye. [00:07:00] Let yourself remember as though you were reliving that in as much detail as you can.
Who were the people? What were the circumstances? And what were you feeling as you observed or experienced this?
So as you go back over this, just notice what, if anything, changes now in this heart center.
[00:08:00] [00:09:00] So just staying with this practice for a time.
Observing, experiencing what is in your heart now, and you can invite a little bit of opening.
Just keep breathing into this area, observing it, and inviting it to open.
You [00:10:00] might say a phrase to yourself, something like, "Welcome, you are welcome [00:11:00] [00:12:00] here."
Notice where your awareness is now, and if it's drifted off, just know that that happens and bring yourself back.
So bring yourself back to awareness of[00:13:00] your heart as it is right now. If you've drifted off just coming back gently. And experiencing what is. See if you can release any need for it to be something different.
[00:14:00] Bring yourself back now to an awareness of your breath, letting that ground you again in this moment,
no matter what this experience has been like for you, allow yourself to be grateful.
Remember, there's no need for it to feel any certain way.
Simply the act of placing your attention on the heart center is helpful. It helps open, [00:15:00] create a sense of welcome or warmth, it prepares you to be able to connect, to deepen, to embrace your life. .