Photo of a book of poetry.

Guided Imagery for Courage: You Are an Ember

In Mindfulness & Meditation, Self-Care by Courtney Archer6 Comments

In epic stories, when people start to falter and their courage starts to wane, someone always manages to come in with some inspiring words to save the day. Myths and legends are rife with epic poems and songs to spur people onward. This guided imagery for courage was born from the idea that words move people, and words with a rhythm move people even more.

Think about it–why are poems from Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickinson still relevant today? These people lived in the 1800s–they are not exactly our contemporaries. And yet their words live on and continue to inspire people today.

Part of it is undeniably the words they wrote, and part of it is also the rhythm to their words. There is something about poetry that stays with us in a way that ordinary sentences and paragraphs do not.

We are going to delve into what makes poetry such a great mindfulness tool in the article below. At the end is a poem I wrote to help build you up and move you forward.

Guided Imagery for Courage: You Are an Ember

Guided Imagery as Poetry

Poetry is not for everyone, but chances are pretty good that if you are here, it is for you! Think for a moment on what your favorite poems are and what themes run through them. One of my favorites is Hope by Emily Dickinson. This performance of it by Mairin O’Hagan is phenomenal.

Shel Silverstein is another classic poet with some great poems to move you forward. Like Dr. Seuss, many of his works are geared for children, but that is part of what makes them relevant at every stage of life. One such is “The Voice.”

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

Some other favorites of mine are W. J. Lofton, Amanda Lovelace, Rupi Kaur, and J. R. R. Tolkien. The last might not strike you as a poet, but if you have read Lord of the Rings you know the man’s poetry game was as strong as his epic-novel game.

Poetry comes in many forms, whether on Instagram accounts, poetry books, or novels. It also hangs out in your favorite songs. We are drawn to the messages it tells and the way the rhythm of it sticks to our souls.

The poem at the end of this is one that I wrote, which just goes to show that you can make your own guided imageries. Often the words we want most to hear from others are the ones we need most to hear from ourselves. Do not be afraid to write those words out for yourself.

Guided Imagery as Music

Listen to your favorite song and really focus on it. Let the world melt away as you experience the rhythm, lyrics, and the way it moves you no matter how many times you listen to it. Meditating through music, especially uplifting and encouraging music, is a great way to get an extra dose of mindfulness in your life without having to do anything special or take a lot of time.

A great mainstream song that you have probably heard a time or two if you have ever turned on the radio is Rachel Platten’s Fight Song. From the upbeat tune to the never-quit lyrics, it makes a great meditative experience.

Another song that I turn to when I need some soothing is How Can I Keep From Singing, originally by Robert Lowry. Whatever the arrangement, this song that was written in 1868 still resonates in our present-day world. These words stand out as the ones that are my own personal guided imagery for courage through song (full lyrics available on Wikipedia):

Thro’ all the tumult and the strife

I hear the music ringing;

It finds an echo in my soul—

How can I keep from singing?

For a more contemporary, non-pop option, try out Queendom by Aurora. If you have not already heard of it, give it a listen. The lyrics will blow you away.

Of course, you do not have to take any of my suggestions! You know what songs move you forward and make you feel strong. Choose one of those and make it your own personal guided imagery for courage.

How to Prepare for This Guided Imagery

When preparing for guided imagery, generally you want to be as distraction-free as possible. Typical distraction-free places tend to be bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets. Sometimes even vehicles can be a good place to try some mindfulness if it is pretty simple.

This guided imagery is less than five minutes and is a great one to read or listen to. Because it is so short, you can do it pretty much anywhere. As with all mindfulness, the more you are able to focus the more it will benefit you.

Of course, it is always better to do it in a less than ideal environment than to not do it at all!

When you are ready, take a few deep breaths to help settle your mind. If you can, straighten your spine so that you are not slumped or slouched. Close your eyes, or focus your vision on one spot so that you are not distracted by the world around you. Breathe, breathe, and begin.

Guided Imagery for Courage

You are an ember.

A crackling, burning,

Reminder of warmth,

Seeking to remember your truth.

You are an ember.

A glittering, gleaming,

Dream of a fire,

Ready to spark to a flame.

You are an ember.

A sparkling, smoldering,

Seed of the sun,

Forging your way through the night.

You are an ember.

A living, breathing,

Memory of life,

Glowing to brighten the dark.

You are an ember.

A soothing, calming,

Presence of hope,

Guiding lost souls to the light.

You are an ember.

What are your favorite poems and songs that move you forward? Please share in the comments so we can all learn from each other! 


  1. Hello! First and foremost, I want to express appreciation for this website of resources as a whole and for this piece on Guided Imagery. I am a licensed professional counselor, and I love to find and promote great resources. I wanted to ask if the appropriate person/people would consider allowing me permission to record the Ember guided imagery for one of my clients with whom I’m working to build on her internal resource of courageousness. Never hurts to ask. 🙂 Thank you for your time!

    1. Author

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! You can absolutely record it for one of your clients. Thank you for asking!

  2. Thank you for this lovely guided visualisation.
    Here is one of my favourite poems by Marianne Williamson
    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.