‘HAPPY THANKSGIVING’ I hope you are all having a fabulous time. We don’t have an annual thanksgiving celebration here in the UK, perhaps we should? What a wonderful time to reflect and be grateful for all the abundance and beauty the Universe provides — do you know it took cancer to get a hold of me and give me a good shake before I really opened my eyes and ears to what lay before me! To be honest I see ‘cancer’ as a physical manifestation.…I believe my soul was jumping up and down to be heard, until I could ignore it no longer.
Forgive my spasmodic posts, right now much of my time is spent by my Mum’s bedside. She was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago, which returned in her lungs early March this year. She has very little time left in her present physical state, but I know I will ‘feel’ her presence in time to come and she will shortly be re-united with my Dad:)
In previous posts I have written to you about In Mind In Body, the organisation I have founded to help people with cancer and other debilitating diseases. You might me interested to know we are turning the site around right now so all our MP3 audio guided visualisation/imagery will be FREE to everyone. We are creating an optional membership for those who would like to help create our foundation — but more news on this later!
My second post asked you to contemplate the affect your ‘thoughts’ are having on your healing and well being, culminating in the benefits of guided visualisation/imagery (‘visualisation’ is the term we refer to in the UK, but I believe ‘imagery’ is more appropriate in the USA.). Today I am going to answer a few of your questions about guided imagery.
WHAT IS GUIDED VISUALISATION/IMAGERY?
Guided visualisation is when the mind is encouraged to focus purely on an internal perception of a multi sensory event (which may or may not have been experienced) so with practise, the body can perceive it as an actual experience and thereby intentionally activate the mind and body’s own innate healing wisdom and bring it into more conscious awareness.
In Mind In Body’s physical activity guided visualisations unite this innate healing with the benefits of participation in physical activity, to support and aid healing, with the intention to encourage people to move more.
HOW DOES GUIDED VISUALISATION WORK?
Guided visualisation uses a person’s voice to guide the listener into a deep state of relaxation, where an imaginary multi sensory (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and emotions) experience takes place.
WHY DOES IT WORK?
The reason it works is complex however simplistically put it works because of the body’s response to relaxation combined with the metaphorical understanding of the mind, places the whole mind body into a state of learning and receptivity for new information that is otherwise restricted by a ‘normal’ state of mind.
WHAT IS A ‘NORMAL’ STATE OF MIND?
A normal state of mind uses its constant link to everyday emotions and values to keep it streamlined with everyday functioning at its peak. We are only now beginning to understand the incredible power the link to those emotions and values have on our well being.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I LISTEN TO THE MP3’S TO GET THE MOST BENEFIT FROM THEM?
Try to listen to them at least once per day. If you find yourself becoming bored, this is usually an indication that it is time to try one of the other recordings and come back at a later date to the existing one. Try to avoid going more than three days without listening to a recording if you wish to bring about change.
WHAT IF I CAN’T DO VISUALISATION VERY WELL?
Repeated practise will help you to relax more and learn new skills. You already visualise whether you are aware of it or not, remember there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in visualisation, learn to trust yourself.
WHAT If I CAN’T ACTUALLY SEE IMAGES WHEN I AM LISTENING TO THE MP3’S?
This is more likely to occur with people who are either auditory (hearing) and/or kinaesthetic (touch) than visual (seeing), in the way their subconscious mind works. Accepting this, continue to relax and with repetitive use your visualisation skills will improve, as sensory processing is very much intertwined.
WHAT IF I FALL ASLEEP DURING GUIDED VISUALISATION?
Initially it is quite common to fall asleep during visualisation, especially as the body relaxes at the end of the day. Make a mental note to yourself to complete the recording and if possible try the alert version in the morning.
IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO IMPROVE MY ABILITY TO RELAX MY MIND AND BODY?
Practise, practise, practise and be patient! Deep breathing really helps. Often other thoughts will enter your head whilst trying to visualise, try to stay calm and do not give up, chastising yourself will not help. Simply acknowledge the thought and let them go, drawing your mind back to the recording when you can.
IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO HELP MY ABILITY TO VISUALISE?
Again practise, practise and practise. Sometimes sketching or writing down what you visualised helps to cement the subconscious mind with the conscious mind, making the visualisation more productive.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE TIME?
Guided visualisation does take time and it is important to make the time in your day if you wish to benefit from the recording. For this reason however some of the recordings are only between 8 –10 minutes long. Making time for yourself is EXTREMELY important; you cannot after all run on empty!
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FEEL STRESSED, ANXIOUS OR UNCOMFORTABLE WHILST LISTENING?
You should never feel this way during guided visualisation as you are only at peace with yourself. However if this should occur, listen to your body’s advise and seek further help from a professional.
I hope this helps. I look forward to sharing and interacting with you all again soon. Enjoy your weekend.