Before we begin our visualisation which will be from Ireland this week, find a comfortable and relaxing place where you can lie down. Gently close your eyes.
Let's take a few moments to connect with your breathing. Take some deep breaths in and out. Feel your lungs expand and contract.
Move your right hand to your collar bone, and use your fingers to gently massage the muscle area underneath it, then around your shoulders and your neck. Notice any knots or tightness and spend a little extra time on those areas. Then go back into your relaxed place, and then take your left hand and do the same thing. Use your fingers to gently massage the muscle area underneath your collar bone, then around your shoulders and your neck. During the week, try to incorporate this in your regular bedtime routine.
You find yourself on a small lane in the middle of Connemara in Ireland. It is a bright, warm sunny day.
You are on a narrow lane, lined with ancient stone walls that were made long ago made by hand. The walls are overgrown with dense hedges of pink and purple fuschias, thistles and other wildflowers.
As you walk along, you notice a herd of sheep in the distance. Some lambs are lying down in the grass while their mothers graze nearby.
A white horse is in the field next to you. As you pass by, it walks over as if to greet you. The horse has blue eyes and a pink nose. You stroke its face, and it gently brushes the back of your hand with its lips.
The lane ends abruptly at a footpath that leads through another field. As you continue along, you disturb some hares who dart quickly away.
You come to the end of the trail, and you are now overlooking a small rocky bay. From your vantage point, the sea resembles the turquoise colour of the Caribbean, but you know the sea is much colder here this far north.
You follow a narrow track probably made by sheep. It clings to the crumbling hillside despite some storms that must have tried to lash it apart over the years.
After you have scrambled down to the shore, you find yourself on a pebble beach. The pebbles that have been worn smooth by the force of rolling around and around in the waves.
You walk on the shingle beach toward some giant rocks at the very tip of the bay. As you continue along, you pick up some of the small stones and notice many have perfect impressions of circles on them. You cannot fathom what force of nature could have made them this way. Soon your mind strays, and you decide you are in an enchanted bay and mysterious energy that has created all the small circles.
When you reach the end of the bay, you discover the boulders are massive dark green marble chunks. They have all been carved into soft, smooth shapes by the wind, the rain and the Ocean. Where the tide has receded, you notice some of the large stone slabs have been worn hollow and formed tidal pools. The pools contain small fish, seaweed, colourful sea anemones, sea urchins and sea shells.
The sun is starting to set, and in an instant, the landscape around you looks like it is glowing.
You sit down on a smooth rock that somehow shapes your body perfectly. You watch the sea. You notice some birds nesting in the cliff wall nearby and some other sea birds flying out to sea. Your eyes feel heavy. You close them and drift off into a deep, deep sleep.
Before we begin the visualisation this week, let's start with some simple relaxation exercises.
Find the place you feel most comfortable like your bed or a favourite chair or even on the floor with a pillow.
Gently close your eyes.
Breathe in and out.
Press your head back gently into your pillow.
Tilt your head down for a few moments, breathe in and out. Slowly tilt your head gently to the left. Breathe in and out. Now back to the centre. Breathe in and out. Now tilt your head to the right. Breathe in and out. Let's repeat one more time.
Press your head back gently into the pillow. Tilt your head down for a few moments, breathe in and out. Slowly tilt your head gently to the left. Breathe in and out. Now back to the centre. Breathe in and out. Now tilt your head to the right. Breathe in and out.
As you breathe, release any emotion or thoughts that don't serve you well.
Our visualisation this week takes us to the rain forest in Costa Rica.
You are on a path in the middle of a jungle. The trees almost meet overhead, so you feel like you are in a vaulted building or tunnel. The air is full of the aroma from the dense vegetation, and the stillness of the forest is broken by the sounds of insects, tree frogs, birds and many other unusual noises you could not identify.
This forest is an old growth one and has been supporting the tropical ecosystem for thousands of years. The trees are massive, towering high overhead, each one vying for the precious sunlight. Long, thick vines drape down from the tree canopy. Exotic ferns, orchids, bromeliads and carpets of moss cling to the tree trunks. Bushes of large-leafed tropical plants crowd all the shaded spaces above your head. The abundance of greenery diffuses the light so much you feel like you are in twilight even though it is the middle of the afternoon.
There is a sensation that many animals are watching you from secret places. You can see many kinds of small butterflies swirling around. They are all colours, and then you notice some you have only ever seen in books or display cases in museums. The iridescent blue morpho butterfly, it flies slowly through the trees, you watch it until it disappears from view.
As you walk along, you brush against the large leafy plants growing alongside the path. Some of them are wet with dew.
You notice a large cluster of deep purple orchids flecked with white growing from the stump of a fallen tree.
Overhead you hear some howler monkeys calling loudly to each other.
You keep walking. In the distance, you can hear the sea.
The path breaks free from the forest, and you are now standing in a small grassy clearing. In the middle of the field is a bamboo hut on stilts with a palm roof.
You climb up the small wooden staircase to a room. The front side of it is entirely open with a colourful hammock hanging from the rafters.
From this vantage point, you can see the Pacific Ocean in the distance. The ocean is tranquil, with a slight mist on the horizon.
You climb into the hammock which immediately cocoons you, and rocks you gently. Some yellow birds fly around the hut, and in the distance, you can again hear the howler monkeys.
The sun is beginning to set.
You feel peaceful and relaxed.
You close your eyes and drift off into a deep, deep sleep.
Please make sure you are lying down or sitting in a comfortable chair. Press your head gently back into your pillow close your eyes. Breathe slowly in and out. Feel your lungs fill with air, and breath out. Draw attention to your toes, your feet, your knees, your thighs, your pelvis, your heart space, your neck, your mouth, your cheeks and your eyes. Take a few moments to be still and relaxed.
The guided visualisation this week takes place in a secluded part of the Appalachian mountains.
It is a sultry day, and you are standing alone by the side of a dense forest.
In the middle of some trees nearby you see a path which you decide to take to escape the sweltering heat.
As soon as you enter the woods, the trees shroud you in their cool shade. A soft breeze gently moves the leaves overhead. In places, you glimpse the blue sky through them.
Although the area is remote, the path you are on is well travelled. It winds through the trees. Here and there you notice tangles of tree roots growing over the track. Occasionally alongside the trail, you see clusters of small red or purple flowers blooming where the sun has found a way to shine through to the forest floor.
As you travel along the path deeper inside the woods, the air becomes more and more refreshing. You breathe in and savour the green and earthy aroma of the forest floor. At times large black and yellow swallowtail butterflies flitter alongside you as you walk.
Here and there you also see rocks covered with thick green moss.
You walk carefully now as the path begins to descend gradually downwards.
You begin to hear the sound of a creek.
The trail has levelled out now, and you have to cross over the stream.
A kaleidoscope of blue butterflies is in the sunlight on the ground by the bank on the opposite side.
Someone has built a cairn to mark the trail.
You cross over the small stream. And you find yourself in a lush clearing covered with ferns that are about as high as your waist. Their delicate leaves capture the sunlight making them appear illuminated from within — neon green.
After you have been walking through the clouds of ferns, the trail turns back and into the forest. This part of the woodland is different. You see large, wild mountain laurels with clusters of white blooms, and brilliant orange flame azaleas — their bright flowers stand out in contrast to this shaded part of the forest.
In the distance, you can hear a woodpecker.
The trail starts to descend again gently. You have to weave your way around giant boulders which have been weathered smooth over millenniums.
At the bottom of the incline, is a carved sign next to a wooden staircase that says "Skinny Dip Falls". The stairs lead down to a bridge which crosses over a group of massive boulders to a small waterfall. The waterfall tumbles over the rocks into a deep emerald green pool.
You cross the bridge and sit down next to the pool on a flat worn boulder. Rhododendrons frame the small lagoon with their leathery leaves and white blossoms.
As you look down into the pool, you notice a shoal of speckled trout relaxing underneath the rock you are sitting on
The water looks inviting, so you decide to take some clothes off and go for a swim. You walk over to the place where the pool is the deepest near the waterfall, stand on a large overhanging rock and plunge in. The water feels colder than you expected, but after a while, your body acclimates. The water tastes pure and sweet. You imagine it has come from a spring deep inside the earth where it has been distilling in an aquifer since the beginning of time.
You float, suspended in the crystal clear water. The waterfall sounds soothing. You look up through the clearing above you and see the blue sky and puffy clouds and experience a deep feeling of gratitude to experience this moment of solitude in nature.
You get out of the water now. You feel entirely regenerated and restored by it. You curl up on one of the rocks now bathed in sunshine, and the warmth passes through you.
Soon you drift off into a deep, deep sleep.
Before I start the guided visualisation, I would like to give a shout out to my friend Smooth Groove who provided the music this week. You can check his music out at djsmoothgroove.com
Today, our guided visualisation comes from Portugal on the Iberian peninsula.
Before we embark our journey, please remember not to be driving a car or anything else.
You find yourself in a small white house that is isolated, perched high on a desolate cliffside above the Atlantic Ocean. The red tiled roof has weathered years of storms and days upon days of summer sun. The French windows are wide open, and a steady wind dreamily lifts the gauze curtains that hang there. The room is entirely white except for the floor which is made of tile too.
The home commands a magnificent view of the ocean. Today the sea is indigo and seems tranquil enough, but you can hear the waves angrily breaking on the beach far below the house.
After some time you decide to go outside to explore. You walk out of the pale turquoise coloured front door and down the garden path. The air is fresh and chilled, but the weathered flagstones have retained the heat from the sunshine which has beaten down on them all day. They feel smooth under the soles of your bare feet.
There isn't a cloud in the sky, late afternoon sunlight casts a golden glow and long shadows over the arid landscape.
Some low lying trees line the pathway you are walking on. They lean over dramatically to one side, their branches have been shaped in crooked, twisted ways from the powerful winds off the Atlantic Ocean.
As you wander slowly along, you disturb a small hoopoe who scurries away to hide behind some bushes nearby. The bird resembles a road runner, with a banded orange and black-tufted crest on its head. You hear it chastise you angrily for bothering it from some underbrush nearby.
The path abruptly ends at the edge of the cliff. Part of the cliff has eroded recently, and you can see the large, broken boulders lying shattered at the base of the escarpment.
Far below you can see a family on the beach under a bright red umbrella. A couple is in the water trying to swim, but the water is too cold for them, so they run back onto the shore. Their raucous laughter is carried up to you on the breeze.
Clumps of large deep purple thistles stand guard like sentries over the precipitous cliff edge. There is no way you could pass by them, not that you would want to. Their sharp blooms are the size of fists. Many of them have bumble bees diving inside for the orange pollen dust which is barely visible to your eye.
You turn around now and follow a different trail that runs gently along the top of the cliff. After you have been walking a while you notice the path leads to an elevated square pad of grass. You make your way over to it. The grass has been contained within a metal border which is raised about a foot above the ground and has recently been mowed. You climb onto the bed of grass, and sit with your legs crossed, enjoying the perfect vista of the sea and the sky before you. You close your eyes and breathe the fresh air in and out.
The sun is getting even lower in the sky now. You gaze at the horizon. Some seagulls pass overhead on their way somewhere to roost for the night, you also see many swifts circling around between you and the white house.
A big shadow passes over you. You look up and see a paraglider, riding high on a thermal overhead. The parachute is bright yellow, and the person sitting on the seat inside seems wholly relaxed. He whistles a tune which you don't know. Another one appears, with a rainbow canopy. The paraglider looks just as relaxed the other one as he speeds over your head. They seem to be chasing each other, then racing each other. Then you see them in the distance, and they look like they are in dance, catching the wind and swirling up on a thermal, descending and going up again. After a while, they disappear in the distance.
The sun is beginning to set. You can see a fingernail moon beginning to appear in the darkening sky. The sea below seems quieter, and you can start to hear the crickets. You feel incredibly calm in your body and your spirit. You sigh, and lie down on the soft grass, and drift off into a deep, deep sleep
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.