I keep this image on my meditation altar. Right next to the Buddha and other meditation iconography. All those kindly saints inspire me, but this is the image that wakes me up and reminds me what meditation is all about. Yeah, I know we need to be gentle with ourselves, but sometimes I need more of a push, someone to say "SHHHHHH. Stop thinking! Stop catastrophising! Just calm down, girl. You can't woo your soul if your mind is making so much noise."
I meditate to woo the soul. That kind of language appeals to me more than some of the more detached and dry language of meditation. Here's what I do to woo my soul:
Sit tall and still. Close your eyes, drop your shoulders, soften your belly. Breathe. Now, tell your overwrought mind, shhhhh. Breathe, shhhhh, wait. You may have to wait for quite a while, or it may happen in a flash...There! That quietude you feel, that relaxed presence, that openness, that peace. That is your soul. Even if you sense it for a split second, even if you have to wade through restlessness and boredom for that one taste, even if you barely believe in what you are doing, it is wise to woo the soul. To learn her language. To let him guide you.