Although we are spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual beings, our lives often demand that we focus on one of these areas to the detriment of others. For example, work may require hours of intellectual energy in front of a computer, challenging situations with family and friends may overburden our emotional circuits, a variety of situations may require prolonged physical energy expenditures, and all of our material-world demands may conspire to make us feel without spiritual support. It is easy to fall into the habit of depression or anxiety when we meet one of these basic needs at the expense of others.
Living each day in balance by acknowledging our spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual needs creates a reservoir of joy and resilience that will see us through the endless uncertainties, minor hiccups, and outright tragedies of life. A simple daily practice in the shower, on the sofa, on a morning walk, or during the commute to work, will help to knit these four human needs into a beautiful pattern symbolizing the balanced, powerful, resourceful beings we truly are. The following Four-Leaf Clover Meditation is such a practice. To experience the balancing power of the meditation, read the description through once and then follow the instructions.
Four-Leaf Clover Meditation
Step One: Begin by imagining a four leaf clover. Rotate the clover until you have two leaves on its vertical axis and two leaves on its horizontal axis. Now imagine that the four-leaf clover is a symbol of human wholeness. See the upper vertical leaf as our spiritual reality, the lower vertical leaf as our physical reality, the right horizontal leaf as our emotional reality, and the left horizontal leaf as our intellectual reality. The leaves have individual characteristics, but each is integral to the magic of the whole. How we imagine this four-leaf clover will be similar to and different from others imagining a four-leaf clover. Our similarities and differences are part of the meditation. We are similar to and different from one another, but we are, every one of us, spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual beings.
Step Two: Once we have our clover in our mind’s eye and have it lined up on its vertical and horizontal axes, imagine a pulsing dot of energy at its centre. This pulsing dot represents an ever-present, always accessible energy source that helps to maintain balance among our four different ways of being in the world. First, see the dot travel up the right side of the top leaf, around its curve, and back to centre, then around the bottom leaf along its right side, around its curve, and back to centre. By tracing this pattern, we have created an energetic infinity symbol. If you are unfamiliar with this symbol, think of a figure 8.
Step Three: Trace the vertical infinity pattern around the upper and lower leaves and, after completing the bottom loop, imagine the energy circuit moving to the right leaf, energizing the upper side first, curling around the curve, tracing the lower side, returning to centre, then moving to the upper side of the left leaf, curling around its curve, and then tracing the lower side and returning to centre. Imagine this pattern of traveling energy a few times so that you have the image of the energized four-leaf clover as two overlapping infinity symbols, one vertical 8, and one horizontal, sharing a common centre.
Step Four: After we have successfully imagined this energetic version of our four-leaf clover, we imagine the top leaf as our spiritual life, the bottom leaf as our physical life, the right leaf as our emotional life, and the left leaf as our intellectual life. Imagine the energetic source at the centre traveling around the leaves a few times; see the energy travel around the upper leaf, around the lower leaf, around the right leaf, around the left, and back to centre. Each time we trace the upper leaf, we acknowledge our spiritual needs. Each time we trace the lower leaf, we acknowledge our physical needs. Each time we trace the right leaf, we acknowledge our emotional needs. And, each time we trace the left leaf, we acknowledge our intellectual needs.
Step Five: When we see that one of our clover leaves is either bigger or smaller than the others, or when we feel that we have neglected meeting our needs in a balanced way, we then close our eyes, recognize the imbalance, and replace the out-of-balance leaves with the image of a perfectly symmetrical and energized four-leaf clover. After this process, we may be guided to light a candle and sit quietly or simply sit at our desks with our eyes unfocused and our minds empty in order to meet our spiritual needs, go for a vigorous walk in order to meet our physical needs, do some relationship nurturing (with our selves or others) in order to meet our emotional needs, or open our minds through reading, listening, thinking, and/or reflecting in order to meet our intellectual needs.
Symbol or Image Meditations: Four-leaf clovers have been in my awareness as potent symbols for wholeness and balance since my childhood. I was blessed with an artist mother who had the extraordinary ability to spot a four-leaf clover in every kind of outdoor location. Without looking at the ground, she would suddenly stoop down, pick a four leaf clover, and hand it to whomever she was walking with, giving her walking companion both love and good fortune.
The natural world is full of symbols that help us to unplug from our human agendas and return to the wholeness of our material and non-material reality. Trees reaching down into the ground to receive earth nourishment as they reach up into the sky to receive sunlight – a potent symbol for spirit – teach us to balance our human physical and spiritual experiences whenever we spend time with them. In a similar way, a four-leaf clover reminds us of our needs for spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual nurturing.
EFT and the Four-Leaf Clover Meditation: Using EFT with this meditation helps us to discover any unconscious beliefs that keep us from balance. These beliefs may convince us that we are overly emotional and incapable intellectually, exclusively physical with no spiritual dimension, intellectual without emotional sensitivity, or spiritual at the expense of all our physical needs. Unconscious beliefs are often why we feel powerless to change – our conscious minds decide its time for change, but our unconscious minds believe something very different . Once we make our unconscious beliefs conscious and release the emotions attached to situations in which we learned these beliefs, we are free to adopt beliefs that more accurately reflect our empowered human reality. It is much easier to be the change we want to see in the world when we feel whole and balanced. We also attract similarly balanced people, a wonderful bonus that allows us to experience the joy of community.
I hope you will try the Four-Leaf Clover Meditation and share your experiences with it on the blog. If you are unfamiliar with EFT, take a look at the EFT educational materials on the winter blooms website. This information will help you to make an informed decision regarding whether this energy psychology tool is appropriate for your current situation.
Until next week