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Mindfulness: Part Three

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The past few weeks, I have been offering mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Today is no different, this time, I want to offer a guided imagery. This type of activity helps us to slow down and learn to relax. This is a little more challenging to attempt online in a blog but bear with me. As with before, begin by getting as comfortable as possible...

Take a few deep breathes to get relaxed. After reading each statement, close your eyes and try to picture the situation in your mind and read this script slowly, as you follow in on each statement: Imagine yourself on a tropical island. You can return home any time you wish, but you can stay and enjoy the serenity of the island as long as you care to. You begin your journey by walking on a beautiful stretch of white sand beach. No one else is in sight. The beach is all yours. The sun is warm on your face...notice a gentle refreshing breeze coming off the water. Listen to the waves flow rhythmically onto the sand. You hear seagulls calling over the powerful ocean. Their voices sound distant compared to the roar of the surf. You lie in the warm sand to enjoy the peacefulness of this place. The sand is warm and soothing to your body. You close your eyes to the pleasant sun overhead and relax for a while in the comfort of this warmth...as you inhale deeply, you enjoy the fresh smell of the ocean…

Once you feel rested, you notice a grove of palm trees you have never seen before. You start walking toward them...as you get close, you can hear the large palm leaves rustling in the breeze overhead...you find a path entering the grove and follow it...it is much cooler and very refreshing to be in the shade of these trees. As you continue, your path leads you into a tall, dense thicket of tropical plants...it is impossible to see where the path is leading, but you are curious about what lies ahead and also strangely hopeful about what you will find… After a while, you hear rushing water and see daylight up ahead. You emerge from the thicket and step into a clearing. From a cliff high above, a silver ribbon of waterfall cascades into a pool of water at your feet. The sunlight reflecting off the pool dazzles your eyes...You climb up on a rock at the edge of the pool...and look down into the clear water. The water is the color of sapphires and so deep that you cannot see the bottom. You look up at the waterfall and notice vividly colored flowers growing out of the rocks along the cliff—blue flowers, lavender ones, red and yellow—all offset by the lush green ferns and moss-covered rocks. As you begin walking toward the waterfall, you come upon a glade of trees covered in orchids.

You have never seen so many of the beautiful flowers together. They hang from the trees, forming an enclosure with soft, fragrant walls...now you see things moving among the flowers—crimson and yellow butterflies flitting busily from place to place. You sit down in a sunny spot in the middle of the orchids and butterflies, amazed at the peace and beauty that you alone have discovered… The sun is warm on your back, and you notice that the sunlight seems to energize the iridescent butterflies as they flutter in and out of it. You, too, begin to feel a sense of renewed energy...and a renewed sense that if you look hard enough, you can find peacefulness and beauty in the world...after today's journey, you also feel a little more adventurous, more willing to take a path you have not been on before...and less afraid of what lies ahead. It is now time to return. You can bring the experience of peacefulness and beauty of this tropical paradise with you. Any time you desire, you can close your eyes, breathe deeply, and return to this place.

How was this moment? Was it peaceful and relaxing? Is your mind at ease? There are many similar guided imageries, like this one online. But I also recommend talking to a counselor or pastor, as these professionals are often trained in more specific types of guided imageries. There are Christian based ones and others focused on healing pain/traumatic experiences. It is also helpful to meet a professional, as they have experience at reading these scripts slowly and helping you process after the script is completed. So now, take with you the most pleasant and peaceful thoughts. For some people it will be laying on the beach and listening to the waves for others it will be sitting on the rock and looking at the wonderful waterfall. Each of us are different and enjoy different hobbies and aesthetics. So when stress or negative things happen to you this week, think upon the imagery that gives you peace. If you have some free time and want to re-read this entire script, please do so or as suggested earlier, find other imageries that are pleasant to you.

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