RELAXATION: GUIDED IMAGERY “THE FOREST”— Are You Practicing The Exercises?

By , November 23, 2008 3:02 pm

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I am teaching Pre-Focusing practices of Relaxation, Meditation, and Guided Imagery as a way of “Clearing A Space Inside” of your body where you can then do a longer Intuitive Focusing Problem Solving session if you choose. But these exercises also stand on their own as a way to give your body/mind a life-giving few moments free from stress.

Kathy’s Experience of Falling Off “The Relaxation Wagon”

Well, you know (I know) that you have “fallen off the Relaxation exercises wagon” when, late Friday afternoon, your webdesigner says, “Now, may I suggest that you just relax!”

And, so I did. I lay down on the floor, stretched—and relaxed—three times, and took myself into a guided fantasy of being in The Forest.

It was harder than being at the beach—the Forest is more of a childhood memory. But, as I travelled, more and more memories, wishes, dreams came to mind and seemed to enrich just being there.

I took my shoes off, wandered through the dappled sunshine/shade to the side of the babbling brook. There, I found a beautiful moss-covered rock (nothing is richer than the green of water-side moss), and sat on it, dipping my bare feet into the water. I really looked at the brook rushing over the stones (reminded me of the cover of the Focusing (Bantam, 1981, by Gendlin) paperback. I noticed a turtle, and a frog, and then, oh so delighted, almost leaping off the rock to cup my hands around, I found a tadpole in the water.—

This reminded me of many childhood experiences of finding something so glorious and living in nature and transported me back to that playful, always-ready-to-be-delighted-and-surprised childhood state. And that —was very relaxing.

I saw a squirrel shy and chittering about its new-found acorn; a chipmunk more brave and chittering and scurrying; a fox slyly drifting behind the trees; an owl perched above waiting for night-flight—very relaxing.

And I came back into the room, finally, this week, having taken a few moments just to spend time inside and to relax.

From Creative Edge Focusing: This month’s Relaxation Exercise :

Week Two —“Ahhhhh….pause with me for ten minutes….and just relax!!! I will send this exercise each week as a reminder to pause…

Some people find it easy to drop all their stress and enter into an interior Focusing space. But, many people need easy first steps of practice for “going quietly inside.” And even experienced Focusers get caught up in stress and business and welcome a reminder to take a moment to….pause…..(sigh!)…pay attention to their breathing…….(ahhhhhh!)……and…relax…
The quiet time between instructions is an important time for just breathing—and relaxing.

You can lie on the floor or, for most exercises, sit in a chair. If you fall asleep, it’s okay! Means you need more rest! But you may also want to practice sitting up to avoid sleeping.

Especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses and enjoy relaxing in the imagery. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!!

Any of the Relaxation Exercises can be used at the beginning of a longer Focusing session, as a way of “clearing a space” inside, so notice which are your favorites you could call upon.

Guided Imagery: The Forest-Allow 10-15 minutes

These four weeks, we are doing our Relaxation Exercise in the guided imagery of The Forest. A change from The Beach, we will sink into the soft pine needles, listen to the bubbling brook and the scurrying animals. Find the exercise here in an earlier blog.

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Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

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