Guided Imagery Meditation into your thoughts and fears
We all lose touch with ourselves at some point in life — it’s normal. Whether you’re middle-aged and facing the reality that your kids are leaving for college; or you have young kids and are just realizing that somewhere in the midst of being a parent, you’ve lost yourself; or if you’re facing the breakup of a marriage; or you’re leaving an abusive and oppressive marriage; or maybe you’re living the life set out for you by someone else — your parents, perhaps.
Whatever the reason, if you’ve ever looked into a mirror and thought, “Who is this person?” this session is for you.
How The Hell Did I get Here?
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably asked yourself this question more than once in your life. It’s easy to get caught up in the way that life moves us, takes us on rides.
Sometimes we don’t even realize we’ve been on one of those rides until it comes to an end and, suddenly, we look in the mirror and don’t recognize ourselves. Or, we look around and don’t even recognize the lives we’re living.
Maybe the jobs we have aren’t what we hoped they’d be. Maybe years have passed since some important date in our lives and we haven’t accomplished what we promised ourselves we would by then. Maybe the relationships in our lives aren’t what we hoped they’d be. At some point, maybe it all just fell apart.
Maybe not. Maybe it all stayed put together really well. Maybe you are exactly where you wanted to be in your life plan when you devised that plan 5, 10, 20 years ago. But, perhaps your dreams or hopes have changed along the way.
Does any of this sound familiar?
In this chapter, you will work through your first guided imagery and answer some questions based on that experience. It may help to have someone else read the imagery aloud to you or to record yourself reading it out loud.
If you choose to read it yourself, directly from the sheet, pause between the imagery and the questions that follow it. Take some time to take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes. And try to drift into a bit of a meditation.
Guided Imagery #1 — How the Hell Did I Get Here?
I want you to imagine a bubble. It’s round, almost clear, but with a beautiful shine that glistens as the sun graces its spherical surface. Can you see it? See it in your mind’s eye. It starts out small sitting on the tip of your finger as delicate as only a bubble can be.
But this is no ordinary bubble at all. It isn’t delicate at all. It is strong. You can try to squish it with your fingers but it will not burst. You can try to blow it away with your breath but it will go nowhere. This bubble is safe and secure. This bubble goes only where your mind wants it to go and opens only when your heart wants it to.
This bubble is your safe place for this part of your healing journey.
Imagine, now, that the bubble grows larger. With your mind’s eye, see the bubble grow and grow until you are holding, on your fingertip, a bubble larger than your body. When you are ready, use the warmth of your heart to open a tiny slit in the side of this bubble and slip inside.
The air is clean inside. The temperature is just as you like it to be — not too warm, not too cold. You can comfortably sit or lie down here inside your bubble — safe inside its impermeable shell but able to see all that is around you.
This bubble will be your safety as you travel through time in your mind to answer the question: “How did I get here?”
This part of your healing journey may not be the easiest, but it will be worth it and you will be safe in your bubble the entire time.
Similar to the way that Scrooge is able to travel through time undetected by the people around him, you will also travel through time undetected in your bubble. No one will know you are there. Nothing bad will return with you. You bubble will keep you safe while allowing you to watch all that is going on around you.
Using your mind to fly your bubble, soar it up into the sky. Magically transport yourself through the ceiling of the room you are in, through the roof, above your home, above the city or countryside around you — up into the sky.
Feel how freeing it is to be up this high without any fear, knowing you are safe inside your bubble.
Pause here for a moment — looking all around yourself. What time of day is it? Is the sun bright overhead, rising or setting in the distance? Or is the moon above you? Perhaps it is night time but there is no moon at all.
What do you see around you? Are there buildings or trees? Are there clouds in the sky with you? What about birds?
What can you hear? Do you hear traffic and people bustling about, the sound of crickets and winds rushing through trees, or the tranquility of stillness and silence?
This world around you is a part of where you are, right now, in your life. All of the things that happened in your life — the things you experienced, the relationships you’ve participated in, the decisions you’ve made, the decisions that were made for you, the things you learned, the things you forgot — all of it brought you here.
In your bubble, float back down into your home for a moment to observe the way things currently are in your life.
Have a look around your home. What do you see? A neat and orderly space with everything in its place? A messy jumble of stuff tossed about without care? If you see a mess is it a dirty mess or just a comfortable one?
It is a typical day in your home. Find yourself inside. Where are you? Are you in the kitchen? The living room? Your office space? Perhaps you are in bed.
Wherever you are in your home, find yourself and take a moment to observe.
What are you doing? Are you cooking? Cleaning? Relaxing? Working? Taking care of someone? Being taken care of?
How do you look? Are you happy? Sad? Angry? Irritated? Bored? Excited? Maybe on this typical day you are feeling a mixture of emotions.
Take a moment to observe yourself, but do not interfere. You are safe in your bubble, just here to observe.
When you are satisfied that you have seen all you need to float back up into the sky in your bubble and use your mind to transport yourself through time to your childhood.
Pick any regular day of your childhood to observe. It’s OK if you don’t remember everything exactly as it was — what you are searching for here is the feelings you had as a child and the typical things you experienced.
It is a regular day in your home. Look around from the safety of your bubble. What do you see? Where do you live? How does your home look?
You see yourself in your home as a child. Is anyone else there with you? If so, who?
What is happening in your home? Are you surrounded by family? Is your family happy or sad? Are they angry? Do the people in your home show you love and compassion or are they mean and display anger? Maybe their actions fall somewhere in the middle. Or maybe it’s something different entirely.
What are the people in your home doing on this regular day?
Take a moment to focus in on your young self. What does your self look like? Is your self happy, sad, angry, or does your self look like he or she is feeling something different?
You know this younger version of you. You know what he or she is thinking and feeling. What does this young you hope for the future? What does this young you think the future will be? Who does this young you want to be?
Take some time to observe your young self for a little while longer, then float back up to the sky in the safety of your bubble.
For our final journey in this safe bubble (at least for right now) we will travel to a few different places.
Slowly and deliberately move your safe bubble through time and space to some of the most monumental moments of your life — those life-changing events you will never forget which helped shape who you are.
They might be good things like: important birthdays, coming of age moments, graduating, getting a prized gift, achieving something you worked hard at, witnessing a miracle, getting married, having children, facing a challenge.
Maybe they are unhappy memories: tragedy befalling your family, the loss of a loved one, a terrifying event, a world or local event that negatively impacted you.
Take a moment to travel to some of these moments — the moments in your life which stand out most in your mind.
Try to visit these moments in the order that they occurred — starting with your earliest major memories and working up through to the present moment.
Watch yourself as you age, as you experience these moments. How do you change over the years? Do you grow stronger, braver?
Do you grow weaker, more fearful? Do you begin to do less for yourself and put others first more often? Do you begin to shut others out and hide within yourself?
Do you begin to fall into negative patterns in your relationship or find positive ones? Maybe you go back and forth on some of these things — moving in one direction for a while only to have a new set of events set you onto a new path.
Take some time to wander around in your past. Remember that you are safe in your bubble. You can visit and leave moments as you wish, nothing is keeping you in those moments.
If you feel uncomfortable at all, just fly your bubble to a new space and time — or stay and remind yourself that you are completely safe. Your body remains here in the current moment, it is only your mind that is traveling.
When you feel that you have learned all you can from this voyage, fly your special bubble back to the current time and float down into your home or wherever you are and settle back into the current moment.
It’s important, though, that you answer the questions in written form that you actually see your thoughts and feelings on paper or a screen.
1. What was it like taking your first guided journey in this book?
2. When you looked at the current state of your life, how did it make you feel? What did it make you think about yourself?
3. What has changed between the self you saw in your childhood and the self you are now?
4. What was your home like when you were a child? How do think that has affected you and brought you to where you are today?
5. As you moved through the major events in your life, what patterns did you notice? How do you think these events and your reactions to them helped shape you into the person you are today?