I would like to share with you a powerful visualisation that I did today while out walking. It wasn’t that I had anything specific to shed that I felt I was being burdened by; I think my awareness was just on my ‘back’ today as a friend did some massage work on me today that focused on my back and I got to thinking about all the things that we carry around on our backs.
I actually found the whole process liberating and beautiful; I think we all have some stuff that we need to throw away; so if this feels like you please do join the exercise. I know these visualisations can feel fluffy and tree hugger at first; just once try committing yourself to the exercise and see how you feel. Please share your feedback and experiences :-).
Imagine you are sitting on a harbour wall. Overlooking a beautiful bay on a warm sultry rare Irish summers evening. (Ok you may need to imagine quite hard, however today’s heat wave may have inspired you! I am using Ireland as an example as I believe no where is more beautiful and tranquil than here when the sun shines, and no where that I have travelled has that same hum of nature in the evening as the sun dips than our beautiful country).
Sit still a while and soak it all in, the calm lapping waves, the sea birds busy in the evening sun treading the shoreline; the odd bee meanders by and the distant sounds of families in their homes and animals moving in the fields waft on the breeze. There is no one around; just the quiet buzz of the summer’s eve. You can hear the gentle hum of life slowing down as the evening slinks gently in. You sit still with yourself and completely relax into your body; you have nothing to do and nowhere to go. Your breathing is still and deep, your shoulders drop into relaxation and you feel peaceful.
Close your eyes and image you have a sack made of rope on your back; similar to that of a fishing net.
You become aware of this sack on your back and you can feel its weary weight; it is so heavy that it has been pulling you back and restricting your breathing. It might even be catching you around your chest or hurting your back. It has been slowing you down and you feel weary; now and again you get sick of carrying this sack and you feel bursts of anger, frustration, fear, or depression. You say things, you blame people, you carry a mind full of self-hate and beat yourself up. You are tired.
Breathe again and see in your mind’s eye the bright yellow-gold-orange sun as she starts to descend in the sky; you can still feel her warmth on your body. It is warm on your chest. You imagine this warmth merging with your heart.
Now imagine the rope sack on your back. It can be as giant as you like. It is full; but not completely full. It is filled with the burdens of life that you have carried around with you. Imagine that you take this sack off your back; you lift that heavy load and place it in front of you. There is more to put into the sack. So you start to fill the sack with people; people who have hurt you, angered you, abused you, controlled you, not listened to you, not loved you. Anyone at all that you feel should be placed in the sack; put them in the sack. You place present and past emotions in the sack; fear, sadness, anger, loneliness, guilt, shame, rage, whatever emotions have paralysed you, place them in the sack. You place situations, bad memories, events, anything in the sack that you wish to get rid of. You place body hate, mistrust, self-doubt, disdain, self-control, boredom, fear of the future, diet books, that goddamn awful job in the sack. You place words that you heard as a child or youth, or in a relationship that cut right through you and played over in your head and stole your self-belief in the sack. Everything and anything that has been holding you back, you put it in the sack.
You slow down now and contemplate all the beliefs and values you have been living by, handed down to you from an early age by your parents, teachers and peers. You examine all these habits and beliefs that you now hold about money, work, the ideal career, relationships, parenting, health, aging, appearance, religion, politics, and death. Are these your beliefs? Do they still resonate with you? Do you still wish to live by these, or do they no longer feel true to who you are? If these rules, should do’s, and beliefs feel like a burden in your life, chuck them in that sack!
You now look really deep within and ask yourself are there any habits within that are pulling you down that you are ready to throw into the sack? Is there anger, judgement, blame, criticism, ugly words such as put downs, gossiping and negativity? Are you getting caught in patterns such as procrastination, avoidance, and controlling? Are you stuck in ‘being’ ill?
You step back and look at the sack and think to yourself. Is there anything else that I choose now to clear from my life that has been holding me back, creating regret, guilt, or shame or that has been preventing me feeling happy, content, and present in the moment? Is there anything that I am holding onto, or blaming others for? Or that has squashed my ability to dream, laugh and believe in myself? EVERYTHING goes in the sack; keep adding what you feel should be in the sack; stuff it all in that sack.
Then you say to the sack, and all its contents, in a calm and peaceful manner (remember you already placed anger in the sack), thank you. I am releasing this sack now. And you throw the sack out into the sea. You imagine the contents dissolve through the net into the blue-green depths, the still waters of the summers eve. You visualise all the energies and emotions contained in the sack becoming part of the energies of the sea. Imagine them moving out in waves to become again part of the cycle of nature, gentle waves that will eventually lap the sun bathed shores.
You hug yourself and feel so light now this massive load has gone from your body. You breathe free and deep, and feel light in your heart. You may even shed a few tears. Release everything; it feels so good to finally be free from all these emotions, and words and hurt and people. They are gone.
You feel the evening sun with all its yellow-orange-red colours bath your heart in colour and warmth and you feel part of the energies of life. You make an agreement with yourself to accept and love yourself, to remind yourself every day of what an astonishing miracle you are. You take responsibility for your life now, yes just here and now, there is no point in thinking about the future as that is just speculation.
You hug yourself and know that deep within there is an inner strength; it has protected you thus far. Know that the universe supports you. Breathe it all in and let your mind wander. Start to day-dream about your dreams and desires and imagine what it feels like…. And sit with it for as long as feels right. You feel grateful that today; you took back control of your life….
“Your past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future…..
Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom”