Often clients have told me that they can’t do guided imagery because they “can’t visualize.” I find it ironic, because the truth is, we are all absolutely expert at what I call ‘negative imagery.’ Sending our bodies messages that they obediently respond to; “I’m clumsy, I’m fat (and I’ll always be fat!), I have a bad back, a sensitive stomach, that medicine will make me nauseous, I’ll never heal…” the litany of negative thoughts and negative imagery goes on all day.
So what if we could harness this ability we all seem to have and creatively use it for health and healing? What if the messages were positive and health-promoting, instead of critical and judgmental? What if we were actually kind to ourselves? Somewhere, most of us got the message that criticizing and judging ourselves would somehow make us better. It’s worth asking yourself these very important questions: What aspects of yourself do you judge most harshly? Who else in your life (parents, teachers, etc.) judged you for these things in your past? Do you really think they were right? Has the judgement and criticism ever helped you?
And what about kindness? Can you remember a kind word, a supportive comment, a vote of confidence that made a real difference in your life? How often do you give that to others? Probably frequently. And how often do you give it to yourself…
When we look at our self-talk, our imagery, our inner critic and ever-present judge, how kind are we to ourselves? How do we use the power of our words, our opinions and our judgments to perpetuate our pain and our dissatisfaction with ourselves? And how can we bring in the kindness and compassion we so easily muster for another?
I invite you to explore kindness. Kindness to your body – giving it the rest and relaxation, the nourishment and nurturing it longs for. Kindness to your heart – giving it companionship and the comfort of loving friends and the opportunity to expand in love and compassion. Be kind to your mind, don’t inundate it with negativity and violence and the depressing evening news. And above all, let your spirit soar with uplifting thoughts, words, music, company and the inspiring energies of love and service.
In compassion, Carol