The challenges of daily life often leave us feeling anxious, frustrated and drained. We all wish we had more energy, more calm, more joy in our lives. The Vibrant Life by Donna Thomson is a soothing, loving guide to achieve just that through simple, effective meditation. But this isn’t an ordinary book about meditation. It offers straightforward and convenient ideas that show you “how to have more of the energy it takes to accomplish what you want to do, to live the life you want to live.”
Thomson notes that our energy level is affected by our state of mind. She also points out traditional methods of meditation often “direct people to repress their imaginations.” Our minds want to wander, she explains, and we often spend a great deal of our energy fighting that. The techniques she offers “are intended to reawaken the imagination, arouse the energy lying dormant” within us.
There are over twenty meditation exercises in this small book that can help with everything from setting boundaries, reclaiming energy, and developing awareness to dealing with anger and fear, and working through emotional and psychological issues. There’s even one for those who may feel too overwhelmed to do anything that might help. Each meditation is designed so that you can spend a few moments or a few hours. It’s up to you. Thomson shows you how to weave meditation into your daily life, “in moments here and there.” And that’s what makes these suggestions so effective. They promote freedom and encourage creativity to find the best way for meditation to work for you. She states early on “there is no such thing as a formula that works all the time for everybody.”
Thomson makes meditation accessible to everyone, especially those who think they can’t. She dispels many of the myths about meditation, such as that it should be structured and lengthy; that you should continue to experience feelings achieved during meditation even when you’re not in a meditative state; and that if you meditate regularly, you should never get angry, scared or stressed anymore. By addressing these common misconceptions, she lessens the intimidation of meditation. In fact, she maintains, “there’s no such thing as bad meditation. You can’t fail at doing meditation.” This is a truly liberating concept.
The first exercise is a simple suggestion for becoming aware of energy — not in a scientific way but how to experience it. This is achieved by paying attention to your breath, letting your mind wander and returning to your breath “when you remember to do so.” Another helps to understand that our thoughts can give or take away energy. Thomson illustrates how to make “friends with your mind, getting to know your thought patterns, exploring them, and playing with them.”
She also addresses visualization, often an important technique in meditation, and one that many have difficulty with. She clarifies that visualization doesn’t mean you always have to hold a clear image in your mind. It “means to sense inwardly, to make real in your consciousness, what you want to experience” and can be done “with images, words or feelings.”
Thomson’s A Vibrant Life will help you see that using your mind — your imagination — is “a powerful tool” to help you build “a conscious self” and change your life. Her quiet, restful style shows you how to get that tool working.
From the opening dedication to the closing wish she offers to every reader, Thomson writes from her heart. There’s a gentleness that comes through these pages. Just reading this book is like sitting quietly with a caring and loving friend — calming, relaxing, safe. In your own style, at your own pace, it will help you find your way and experience “the abundant energy that is your essential nature.”
Donna Baker Church is a freelance writer and editor. Donna may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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