Thank you for joining me, Clara on Your Sleep Guru Podcast, and allowing me to help you relax and fall asleep.
Because I am feeling excited about the new year, I am giving away an 8x11 inch 2021 Calendar to the first ten listeners who send me a direct message with their address. You can find Your Sleep Guru on Instagram and Facebook. The calendar is one I created myself and based on some of the past nature-based meditations.
Before the guided visualization, which is about the Collector's Cottage, I would like to invite you to completely relax with a simple exercise. Close your eyes. Breathe. Bring awareness to loosening your shoulders. Relax your face, your hands, your stomach, your legs and your feet.
The Collector's Cottage is set slightly back from the tree-lined street shaded and concealed by old oak trees with Spanish moss draping from the branches.
The collector isn't home now. He is shy and prefers solitude, but today he has kindly invited you to explore his house.
As you walk down the tabby path, small lizards dart away and disappear into the dense saw palmettos.
The house has a tin roof and constructed of weathered wood. The front door is slightly ajar.
When you open it, a slight fragrance of cedar wafts by you in the hallway.
On the wall by the entryway is a great wooden mirror. You catch a glimpse of yourself framed by intricately carved leaves, flowers, acorns, birds and squirrels.
Watery light filters through the windows into the main room that is filled with antique glass cabinets. The floors are covered with faded Persian rugs.
The glass cabinets contain rare shells from the ocean floor from all parts of the world. Exotic shells from the South Pacific, The Indian Ocean, The Gulf of Mexico. Shells as white as the surf. Some smooth and polished by the waves with delicate brushes of color. Others combed with spikes or coiling out into perfect rotational designs. While other shells have perfect combinations of all these attributes. Each shell is labelled. Names such as Japanese Wonder Shell, Pilsbry spider conch, chambered nautilus, Giant Tun shell. Imperial Harp Shell, Egg Cowrie.
In another glass cabinet is a fossil dinosaur egg as large as a small boulder. A washed-out label notes it was from the Jurassic Period 208 to 145 million years ago.
Several cases hold different fossils like ammonites, trilobites and pieces of amber with specks of ferns or parts of insects trapped inside.
All these fragments were hidden in the abyss of time until the collector, discovered and revealed them magically in the cases presenting you with a snapshot from millions of years ago.
The last glass exhibits are full of moths and butterflies. Your eyes are drawn to the case of a gigantic moth labelled "Saturnia Atlantica." It is tortoiseshell with a black banded body, two pairs of bold oval eyes on its wings, and long shaggy antennae.
You have arrived at the screened back door, which leads out into a narrow courtyard.
In the centre is a fountain with a pond. Several colourful koi fish gather inquisitively below the surface when they sense you gazing at them.
You walk over to a carved hardwood bench covered with a red velvet cushion under a fig tree. You lie down and look up at the sky through the branches. You feel yourself rest. Letting go of the past and any attachments to the future. Relaxing in this moment—a snapshot in time.
We will begin the visualization today with an Apache Blessing.
May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.
You find yourself in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.
It is winter here—the season of amnesia. The season to forget how hot the desert is in the summertime.
The stark landscape is surreal—sparse uncluttered.
You feel the harsh solitude of the place. Banks of clouds cast long shadows beneath them on the desert floor. You walk in and out of their shade.
The trail is well travelled and winds through a saguaro cactus forest. The cacti are otherworldly towering over your head, with large fleshy arms extending upwards. Most are in bloom with crowns of white flowers garlanding the very tops. Their trunks are pocked marked with holes, and you imagine the owls, lizards, snakes or other creatures sleeping inside who will wake up at nightfall.
Also along the trail are creosote bushes covered in yellow blossoms, buzzing with bees and a variety of butterflies. The creosote flowers smell vaguely like the earth after rain. Occasionally hummingbirds fly around too-small green jewels glinting in the sun.
The immense landscape rolls away, and your eyes are drawn to a daunting, impenetrable rugged range of mountains in the distance.
As you walk along, you notice track marks in the sand. They are large paw prints that could be from a coyote, or maybe two like they had been running and in places tussling together.
You arrive at a stand of low lying trees. They are ironwood trees and are also in bloom a dusky pink. You carefully follow the path through them, appreciating the oasis of shade they create.
When you reach the other side of the trees, the landscape unexpectedly opens up to a vast lake. The water is the colour of sapphire that contrasts with a steep canyon wall of red rock on the opposite side of the lake.
As you walk closer to the water, a wandering wind lightly brushes the hair away from your face.
Swimming lazily under the surface is a group of trout. While you watch them a bright red dragonfly skims the surface of the water.
You walk to the sandy beach where you find a smooth flat rock to rest on. Here you take off your shoes and dig your toes into the sand. You lie down on the rock, feeling the heat trapped there from the day on your back. You feel relaxed within the little oasis, and an overwhelming sense of peace fills your spirit.
Thank you for listening to Your Sleep Guru Podcast and allowing me to help you relax or fall asleep.
For our visualization today, you will need to bring an imaginary bathing suit, snorkel, mask and beach towel.
But first, have you ever thought deeply about your experiences with animals, whether family pets or unusual encounters with wildlife. Animals have a more significant meaning in our lives than many of us realize.
Interactions with animals can open a window to the soul and help with spiritual development. Animals from all stages of our lives, and even from the wild appear with messages that communicate their ancient wisdom which can inspire or help navigate our true purpose. Being aware of the importance of our interactions with animals can help heal parts of our mind and soul.
You find yourself walking on a wooden walkway carved through a high grove of palm trees and thick emerald green thickets of sea grapes. You can hear the soft calls of seagulls overhead, and the gentle sound of the surf somewhere in the distance.
The trail ends at a deserted beach. The damp early morning air has hardened the sand, but the sunshine has fixed the surface into a crust which cracks and crunches under your bare feet as you walk to the edge of the waves.
Someone has been here before. The word LOVE has been etched into the sand.
Here and there are a variety of broken shells, small pieces of coral and sea glass.
The colour of the sea is neon turquoise, surreal and otherworldly.
On the horizon, cumulus nimbus clouds cast shadows on the sea. Patches of sunlight touch down everywhere. White lines of seagulls fly near the shoreline.
You notice dark shadows shifting beneath the surface of the water. When you get closer, you see the inky dots are a group of stingrays congregating in the shallows. They have a roundish shape and are undulating their whole bodies in a wavy motion like large birds flying under the water.
You put on your snorkel mask and push yourself off into the water. The water is clear and warm, so it feels like you are jumping from air to air, and suddenly you are gliding through the water. Floating free of gravity, soaring over a dappled, powdery landscape. Your body is encased in silver bubbles that dance up to the surface.
You are deeply aware of your breath as breathe in and out. The sound has a hypnotic and calming effect.
Within a few moments, you are flying among the rays. They observe you calmly with their large, tender eyes on the top of their heads. The water is shallow here so you can swim near them. They are not afraid of you, nor you of them. Soon you are floating together, and you enjoy the sensation you have of being one of them. A part of the fever of Stingrays as they are known to be when in a group together. Occasionally you can feel their soft fleshy wings brush against your legs. Emboldened by their gentle communion, you reach out and stroke the wingtip of the ray closest to you. The skin is the softest and most delicate thing you have ever felt before.
After a while, you drift back to the beach. Carried in by the current. When you get out of the water, you take off your snorkel mask and lie on your towel. You feel peaceful and relaxed at one with the ocean as your breath matches the rhythm of the gentle waves.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.