Published by MLR Press

In a world fraught with daily tension and crippling strife, we often need a place to which we can go for inner peace. And if we carry the added burden of self-identity issues, we may even need to live there.

You may be surprised to know that such a place is easily found — and Christopher Stone and Mary Sheldon have created a guide to finding it– within minutes.

The LGBTQ Meditation Journal is a remarkable collection of empowering exercises aimed primarily at a segment of the population that has gone too long without solace and recognition of self worth.

If you’re in the LGBTQ community, you can, through these sensitive, inspirational meditations, finally quiet those inner voices of self-doubt and self-esteem — the ones keeping you from telling the world who you really are. Here’s an example of what you’ll find in these pages:

“’Is being gay or bisexual normal? Are they mental illnesses? Am I gay or bisexual? And what if I am neither completely heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual? If my fluctuating sexual orientation falls between the cracks, what then? Will I spend my life on the fringe of society? Will my family and friends disown me?’”

The authors go on to offer empathetic advice and encouragement, wrapped around easy meditation drills.

“We need to understand that in the eyes of the Universe, we are unique and perfect spiritual beings,” the authors explain, “(We are) beloved, supported, and worthy of everything wonderful.

“You must love yourself right now — just the way you are. Use the meditations … to help in that regard. For those without self-love, they may help you to cultivate what you lack. For the already self-loving, the meditations can assist you in building upon existing self-love.”

In Part Three, the authors speak to friends who may know someone in LGBTQ pain, afraid to “come out.” To these folks, they offer a unique visual exercise:

“Envision this friend standing in front of you, and explaining why he is afraid to come out. Perhaps he believes his family/friends would reject him. Perhaps he feels it would have negative repercussions in the workplace. As he speaks, visualize his every word becoming a silky strand of gossamer the moment it leaves his mouth. As your friend continues to talk, watch the strands begin to wind themselves around him, trapping him, until finally, he is encased in a large cocoon of his own fears.”

They then go on to explain in vivid detail how you can help this friend cut away that cocoon to emerge with a glad heart and clear future.

Finally, in Part Five, they suggest a novel exercise that can help deflect ridicule from small-minded, hurtful bigots. Here it is:

“First, you need to think of a small movement or gesture that is easy to do, innocuous and unobtrusive. It can be touching a special talisman, such as a ring that you always wear. It can be putting your thumb and third finger together, forming a circle. It can be putting your hand up to your ear for a moment. Whatever you choose, this will be your Magic Gesture.

“Second, think of an affirmation to accompany your Magic Gesture. Two possibilities are: ‘I am rising to a different level; nothing can hurt me.’ Or ‘I am Love and Positive Energy; I am completely safe.’ Come up with something that will proclaim your willingness to soar to a higher level and your acknowledgment that nothing on a lower level can hurt you.”

Five stars to The LGBTQ Meditation Journal. These are sensible, practical exercises that can deliver incredible dividends on the time spent in doing them. Follow them, embrace them, and live them each and every day until you, too, can come “out,” and see what it’s like to experience a fully transformed life.

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