The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel.
Guided Imagery has been around for quite a while. I’ve read a few how-to books, myself. I was unaware that this practice has been used in hospitals and other healthcare institutions as a powerful healing technique for many years.
In the book, Healing and Transformation Through Self-Guided Imagery, Leslie Davenport explains the relevance of incorporating this form of meditation. She equates it to a kind of meditation that taps into one’s heart space to ask questions/seek answers to any scenario in your life. Many refer to the heart space as your inner being, your internal guidance system, or your divine self, etc. During any form of meditation, often the goal is to be still and quiet the mind. Once you achieve stillness, you can ask a question or questions, and then answers will arise in the form of words, phrases, images, sounds.
I’ve experienced this first hand. Sometimes, as I’ve written before, it is nearly impossible to get the hamster on the wheel to stop spinning long enough to still the body and hear the messages that come through. However, using techniques in self-guided imagery help give one a focal point and aids in concentration. It provides the mind with something to do and is useful in replacing the hamster on the wheel.
First, you need to find a peaceful, quiet place. Close your eyes and breathe. I always follow Eckhart’s rule to take “one conscious breath.” The rhythm of your breathing is up to you.
Some people breathe fast; some more slowly, I just breathe at a soothing rate and try to center and still my body and mind. Once, I’m there, I imagine someplace lovely. Often, it is on the beach. The beach is one of my favorite places and is the easiest for me to form an image. I imagine sitting on the warm summer sand and digging my toes into it. Then, I become aware of the air, the breeze, and the ocean’s smells and sounds. Then, I think of one word that would describe my focus for receiving help. For example, maybe it’s “decisions.” Some people might need guidance with their health, so they would put “health” out there.
As you relax and focus on your surroundings, an answer may arise. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not. Hang on to the word or the image. More will emerge, usually. Whatever comes through, try to remember it. After a few minutes, thank your heart for the message. Open your eyes and record what your message was. It may or may not make sense, but eventually, it will piece together like a puzzle. When I’m able to focus and make this a consistent practice, it almost starts to happen by default.
You can be still, present, and pray anywhere. Eventually, you will receive answers. None of them will be “right” or “wrong;” they will just be. As a result, you will feel more peace in your life regardless of the challenging events that may be taking place. You will realize that the things that we view as issues or problems are just life lessons that lead to our spiritual advancement.