This exercise can be done alone, or you can work with a partner. When working with a partner, your hand holds the heart of your partner, while their hand holds your heart. One person leads the guided meditation by talking you through the different steps. It is important not to rush through this exercise so that you have time to truly appreciate the wonderful being that you are.
Sit or lie quietly with your eyes closed. Take several deep breaths into your lower abdomen, letting each one out slowly. Place one of your hands over your heart. Let it rest there lightly. As it rests over your heart, spend time scanning the body from the head to the feet, front to back, in gratitude for your skin and all that it does to protect you.
Shift your attention back to your hand. Imagine that the little finger and ring finger move slowly and gently into the body in a cupping motion. Again, scan the body from the head to the feet, front to back, in gratitude for the muscles, ligaments, and tendons and all that they do to help move the body gracefully, and to help you as you move through life.
Shift your attention back to your hand. Imagine that the middle finger moves into the body to join the other two fingers in the cupping motion. Scan the body from head to the feet, front to back, being grateful for the skeleton and all that it does to help support and move your body and to the system of blood vessels that help to oxygenate the body and to keep you alive and well.
Shift your attention back to your hand. Imagine the ring finger joining the others in the cupping motion around the heart. This time the image should be that the fingers are cupped against the back wall of the heart. As you scan the body this time, be grateful to each of the organ systems in the body and each of the special things they do to help you maintain good health.
Shift your attention once more back to your hand. Imagine that the little finger moves into the body, creating a picture of the heart sitting in the palm of your hand. With the heart sitting in the palm of your hand, appreciate the core of who you are – all of the natural kindnesses that you perform, the loving presence you are to those around you, the joy that you bring to yourself and others, and most of all, the special niche that you offer to the oneness of all things.
Smile at your heart and begin to imagine gently and slowly removing your fingers from around your heart. Let your hand come to rest in your lap. Take several deep breaths into the lower body, with the focus on the bottoms of the feet.
When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.