Leaves on a Stream: A Mindful Visualisation Ritual
Featuring Sacred Knowledge from our Sacred Space collection.
We can feel a little overwhelmed by the world sometimes.
Traffic buzzes around us as billions of people on this little blue planet rush about; engines hum; machines whir; phones ping; and the all-consuming bustle can be deafening.
When the world becomes a little too loud, it’s important to make space for peace.
This mindfulness exercise is known in the psychology community as a form of ‘cognitive defusion'.¹
We humans have a tendency to become overly-attached to our thoughts and fuse ourselves to these beliefs, which can lead to maladaptive patterns of thinking and vicious negative thought cycles. Cognitive defusion, a technique from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)², encourages us to realise that thoughts are merely that: just thoughts, and this empowers us to take a step back and detach and de-fuse ourselves from negative self-talk.³
As we learn to acknowledge our imperfect thoughts, we learn to practise self-compassion, and in doing so surrender to the flow of unconditional self-acceptance and self-love.
Elevate this ritual...
While this meditation can be performed at any time and any place you need, we recommend you ritualise the meditation to truly immerse yourself in a sacred mindfulness practice.
Settle into a peaceful environment.
Sit somewhere comfortable and cosy, perhaps with a blanket or a pillow, so you feel nurtured and safe.
Dim the lights, and play soft, calming music gently in the background if that helps you achieve a more restful state (see our Mindfulness Spotify Playlist for inspiration), or simply listen to the quiet, hush sound of your diffuser.
Sacred Knowledge is an introspective, spiritually-awakening blend of black spruce, lemon, vetiver, petitgrain, Atlas cedarwood, basil, sage and white frankincense pure essential oils. The forest-like freshness and crispness of this leafy-green aromatic blend provides us with the strength and courage to fully accept our imperfect thoughts and imperfect selves, as well as enhancing our cognitive awareness.
Once you’re ready, begin the meditation below…
Leaves on a Stream Meditation
Picture yourself sitting on the bank of a bubbling brook.
The sun is warm against your skin, the mossy bank is cool on your feet, and the breeze lifting from the water settles the heart and brings a sense of resounding peace. There are leaves floating down this gently-flowing stream. The air is fresh and the scent of this forest stream evokes feelings of renewal.
As you sit there, take notice of every thought you have. Whatever that thought may be – pleasurable, painful, neutral – you gently place it on a leaf on the water and watch it float away. Recognise that this thought is just a thought, you do not need to hold onto it, nor feel shame or guilt for having it. Simply accept that you had the thought, and make the conscious decision and commitment to let it float away.
Continue this meditation for as long as you like – we recommend you take three-to-five sacred minutes to practise this mindfulness technique, and make sacred space for peace in your life.
¹ University of Sydney. Cognitive Defusion. Retrieved Feb 18, 2021 from University of Sydney Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) https://www.sydney.edu.au/content/dam/students/documents/counselling-and-mental-health-support/cognitive-defusion.pdf
² Courtney E. Ackerman, MSc. How does Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Work? Retrieved Feb 18, 2021 from Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/act-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/
³ Laura K Schenck, Ph.D. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Cognitive Defusion in a Nutshell. Retrieved Feb 18, 2021 from Mindfulness Muse https://www.mindfulnessmuse.com/acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/cognitive-defusion-in-a-nutshell