You are standing on a stone platform surrounded by clear blue water in a gentle sea. You feel the sun warming you with golden light and smell salt on the light breeze. Seagulls call in the wide blue sky. You take three deep breaths and feel peaceful and content in the sun. Waves lap gently and in the distance you hear the soothing, rhythmic rush of the tide on a beach.
The platform is the top of a set of ten pale sandstone steps leading down into the sea. The fifth step down is submerged in the clear water. You can clearly see the bottom of the steps on the pale sea floor. You feel a layer of fine dry sand under your feet, and beneath that, the roughness of sandstone. A cool breeze on your face brings the smell of salt again. You close your eyes in the warm sun and feel the light soaking into you.
You begin to walk down the steps, placing your feet on the first step and feeling the fine sand, warm beneath your toes. You feel calm and at peace. Standing on the first step, you feel your shoulders soften, releasing and unwinding, letting go, along with your neck, your jaw, your brow. You feel compelled to take a deep breath, and let out a contented sigh, relaxing and softening your muscles.
You continue on to the second step down, and then the third, feeling warm stone and fine dry sand. As you descend, you become more and more relaxed. With each step you are more at peace, breathing in a sense of calm and contentment.
At the fourth step, you melt into a sense of complete relaxation. You feel any remaining tension drain away from your shoulders. As you step down onto the fourth step and dip your toes into the cool water, you notice in the softness of your shoulders that you are more relaxed than you have ever been before. The water is cool and welcoming. It laps gently at your ankles.
You feel profoundly safe. Seagulls call in the distance.
You climb down to the sixth step, and feel the stone step beneath your toes and cool water around your knees. At the seventh step, the water is just above your waist, and at the eighth, it's at your shoulders. You begin to feel lighter. The water soothes and drains away all worry and care. You are deeply relaxed.
At the ninth step you are fully underwater. You float down to the tenth step, and feel a sandy sea floor with your toes, but you let yourself float weightlessly in the water. You can see clearly and breathe easily. Your body is loose and flowing like the water. You are experiencing a sense of absolute peace.
The sea floor is clean, with a few corals here and there. A few brightly coloured fish sail by. You float blissfully for a while.
Looking around, you see a wooden chest on the sea floor, embedded in the sand, edged and studded with golden metal. You swim slowly down towards it. You reach out for the lid and begin to lift it. It has some weight but lifts easily on its hinges.
A bright, white light spills from the box and bathes you in warmth. The warmth and brightness surrounds you and spreads through you, soaking in to you. You feel absolutely and thoroughly loved. You are filled with a deep sense of compassion for your own tender heart, for your body, and for yourself as a fragile being in this world. You are filled with a powerful, unconditional love for the mind and body that is you.
The light warms the core of your being. In your heart you know with absolute certainty that there are vast reserves of power within you, and that you will use them to protect and care for yourself. You will give yourself all the kindness, patience, appreciation and forgiveness that you need.. You know that you are so much stronger than you ever realised and that you are thoroughly loveable.
The light soaks through your body to the tips of your fingers and toes and you feel charged with strength. Because you know that you are capable, resilient and strong, you surge with joy at the thought of facing whatever happens next. You know from the bottom of your soul that you can deal wonderfully anything that comes your way. You feel a glimmer of excitement at the thought of skillfully and peacefully addressing every challenge with skill and finesse, at fully feeling every difficult emotion, embracing every kindness and welcoming every joy.
You float for a while in the water, in this warm, loving, powerful light. The tide gently rocks you and you feel the light through your eyelids.
After a time you begin to swim gently back towards the set of steps, and place one of your feet on the tenth step. You climb the steps – nine, eight. With each step you take up towards the surface, you feel more alert. Seven, six. You still carry the light from the chest with you. You are fortified with strength and self love. Five, four. When your head breaks the surface of the water, you feel the warm sun on your face and hear the gentle waves and calls of seagulls. Three. Water cascades from your body onto the stone. You briefly feel heavier as the water drops to below your knees, but you wait on this step and the heaviness lifts. You find that you feel lighter than before. You feel brighter and more awake. As you climb to the second step, you are filled with confidence, and feel a surge of excitement at the thought of going out into the world. You feel serene and charged with energy. You step onto the fine, warm sand of the platform, buoyant and bright, and open your eyes.