There is a magical place that I have visited countless times. It is a beautiful city with all kinds of restaurants, galleries with the most inspired paintings, ancient theatres where plays are played every night, cafes, museums, bars and clubs. In its centre by its glorious flower market which smells of lavender, jasmine, roses and all the flowers a person can think of, one can find one of the most fantastic opera houses in the world. In the centre of the centre there is a river, by its banks the most interesting and colourful festivals are taking place every day of the year, bands playing all sorts of music and stands selling food from around the world, the smell of the spices can take you on a journey around the globe and back. Its parks have tall, ancient trees and gorgeous flowers, they are full of children laughing loud and singing and people enjoying the calm and beauty of nature, each other’s company, the warmth of the sunlight and occasionally an ice-cream from one of the several ice-cream carts that can be found everywhere. The climate there; is always mild and it never gets colder than 12 degrees, apart from the 24th and 25th of December every year when it snows. A small drive outside the city will take you to the desert where you can watch a million stars fall every night. Travelling towards the opposite direction will take you to the most beautiful blue beach, at its edge there are the ruins of an ancient temple right beneath the old light house. Its water is crystal clear, its sand golden and warm and in the distance, deep in the sea, you can see dolphins dancing. In case you are trying to guess the name of the city you have another second… Well, it’s gone. 😊 This city only exists in my imagination. It is a creation of mine that I have been visiting for many years. Initially it only had the beach, the ancient ruins and the lighthouse. The rest of the things and sights kept on being added throughout the years, the latest addition being the desert, inspired by the desert I most long to see, the Atacama Desert. This place was created by instinct, long before I ever heard about Guided Imagery or any method like it. It was a way I used time and again to feel relaxed and at ease when I would feel stressed by the reality around me. There are periods that I don’t visit it for years and others that I go there every day, I think of sitting on a bench by the sea, listening to the waves, drinking a very cold lemonade and inhaling the fresh air. Fairly recently I found out that it is a popular stress management technique, the picture does not have to be a place, it can be a thing, a place or a person that makes you feel more relaxed. You can make a detailed picture or mood board of it at a time when you do need to use it, study it, make sure it serves its purpose (it relaxes you and helps you release stress) and keep it for when you need it. You should remember that all senses are used so try to imagine exactly what you are doing, what you see, what you taste, smell, touch and hear? For instance, you can include images of your favourite ice cream or drink, a photo of the cover of your favourite music album, the image of your favourite perfume or that of the flower you think smells the best, I have found that having all the details gathered helps me get to that place easier. The benefits of this form of meditation are shown by research to include lower anxiety and pain levels, lower cholesterol and hemoglobin A1C levels in the blood, as explained at healthjourneys.com. Several audios for guided meditation can be found on YouTube and I would recommend to anyone trying this out. For me apart from a great way to reduce stress it has also been a way to travel far away when it is impossible to do so in reality. Two great guided imagery meditations I would recommend to anyone wishing to give this ago can be found on the following links https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rliAH9ewHEU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipNBQd3W_qw
I really hope that what has helped me through very hard times can help as many people as possible. The times we live through are definitely going to be spoken about in history classes of the generations to come and the uncertainty everybody feels for everything is an undisputable fact.
I hope you enjoyed the read. Peace and Love x