I had a chat with my subconscious recently (I’ll tell you how in a mo) and it told me I needed to ‘hibernate’. More time doing yoga, walking in nature and generally chilling out. Less time in front of the computer – job searching, working…and blogging!
It told me all this via an image. This might sound slightly barmy, but I spent most of last year studying for a Hypnotherapy Diploma and learning how our subconscious speaks to us using images and body feelings. So I’m a big believer in using imagery to tap into our subconscious.
The trick of course, is to listen to what it’s trying to tell us. Which is easier said than done.
Luckily I have Dina Glouberman’s brilliant imagework book Life Choices, Life Changes on my bookshelf. So a few weeks ago I went through one of the exercises designed to help you understand where you are and what you need next in your life.
(I’m going through some big changes in my life – moving home, finding a new job, finding a new partner – so I figured it would be a good idea for my subconscious and I to have a little conflab, to check we’re both in agreement as to how things are going.)
Here are the instructions if you fancy giving it a go:
Step 1: RELAX!
Forcing your subconscious to tell you things doesn’t work. It gets pissed off and refuses to cooperate. So the first thing to do is release any tension in your body along with any expectations of what may or may not be about to happen.
Step 2: Allow an image to emerge of an animal, a plant or an object that somehow represents who you are or what you need to know at this moment in your life.
Note: You are not actively thinking up an image that best represents you. You are letting it come to you. And this image could be ANYTHING. It doesn’t have to be realistic or, at first glance, particularly relevant. When I did this the first image that came to mind was a puddle of water. I wasn’t too chuffed with this; surely I could come up with something more impressive?! But then I remembered it’s important to use the first image that comes along, no matter how bizarre it seems. So I went with it. (If nothing comes up, Dina says it will probably pop up another time when you are using less effort.)
Step 3: Take a good look at the image.
Explore the image from every angle – what do you see? At first I just saw a puddle of water on a road. (Big deal! I was slightly put out that my brain had come up with something so mundane.) But when I looked a bit closer I realised there was a body of warm water beneath the puddle’s surface, and that curled up in this calm, loving, womb-like fluid, was a baby, all safe and snug. Hmm…
Step 4: Ask yourself, ‘What’s next? What’s the way forward?’
The final step is to ask ‘what happens next?’ and then stand back and let your image do whatever it wants. I know this sounds a bit mad. But it’s important to wipe your mind of any preconceived ideas. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of THINKING this through rather than letting things happen by themselves. It’s not up to you to decide what happens next (that’s your conscious talking). So ask the question and then relax, sit back, and watch what happens.
In my case, something tried to get out of the puddle! Several times the surface rose and stretched to the point of bursting but each time it collapsed back down again. Like something was struggling to get out but was too tired to keep going. It was really frustrating to watch and it occurred to me that I was forcing things and thinking too much (much like I do in life itself). The second I thought this, the puddle effortlessly vaporised into millions of tiny particles which then came together to form an image of me standing on the road.
And that was that.
Call me Einstein but it seemed my subconscious had spoken to me loud and clear. And what it told me was that I needed to relax, nurture myself and be patient (three things I have not exactly excelled at in the past)…and that if I do this, things will happen naturally and effortlessly, of their own accord. In a sense, I will be ‘reborn’. But it won’t be through trying and striving. It will be a direct result of being kind to myself, letting go, and allowing things to happen when the time is right.
So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. And that’s why I’ve been a bit quiet lately. (Interestingly, during this period of ‘hibernation’ I came across a perfect little home to rent on the south coast and I will be moving there on November 30th. So one dream – to live by the sea – will soon be ticked off my list! The new job and partner? Well maybe they’re in the post…)