You have been staying in a rustic cabin in the middle of an old-growth forest.
Inside on the wooden floor of the main room is a soft, delicately woven carpet of magical patterns and designs.
You walk over and sit cross-legged on a sunny spot in the middle of the rug. The fabric of the carpet feels soft, warm and velvety under your bare feet.
When you relax and close your eyes, the carpet begins to levitate. At first, you think you are dreaming. When you open your eyes, you see you are indeed floating in the air. But you feel uneasy, so the carpet descends to the ground. When you relax again, the rug floats back up into the air. Now you are hovering in the room above the sunny place on the floor. Yet, almost as if the carpet senses your uncertainty, it lowers you back down. After a while, you have an understanding that the more you let go, the longer the rug floats above the ground.
With a leap of faith, you decide to go with the flow, and when you do, the front door of the cabin carefully opens, and you glide through.
The perspective of your world beneath has changed. You see the small cabin where you were staying nestled in the woods and the narrow rugged lane that leads to it. The higher you climb, the more the landscape opens up. You are flying above the forest. The trees look so little from up here. Soon you are hovering over verdant green fields that resemble thick pelts of fur that move like the sea in currents of air. In amongst the fields are white specks of sheep. — scars of fences, hedges, walls, roads.
That speck is someone walking their dog.
Now you see a small village. A sudden tailwind makes the carpet go even higher. Up here, away from everything you are familiar with the world is peaceful. The only sound is the lullaby of the breeze.
You are bending the laws of the universe defying gravity, feeling the gentle wind in your face and soaring among canyons of white cumulus nimbus clouds. You love the sky. Here and there brilliant shafts of sun spotlight random features of the landscape, while the clouds cast patterns with their shade. Your shadow also follows you, fleeting across the fields below.
A few birds fly in and out of sight like short-lived punctuation marks.
Now you are soaring over a mountain range snow-capped and spired with mysterious turrets which touch the clouds. The magic carpet flies close to the cliff face enough for you to feel the crisp air, and you hunker down for warmth in the velvety folds of the fabric.
The carpet swoops down and flies slowly along a steep ravine, and then in between the walls of a canyon. A bright azure ribbon of a river meanders along the valley floor.
On the horizon, you see the river meeting the sea. Before long, you are soaring over the waves and beyond over the indigo water.
A small island that looks like a jewel appears covered in tropical vegetation. It seems so tempting! The carpet reading your mind descends slowly, and within a short time, you land smoothly on the sandy beach under the shade of a palm tree.
What a perfect place. You don't even have to move. The sound of the waves lapping on the beach, the palm fronds gently swaying in the wind, the soft magic carpet. All you want to do is close your eyes, relax and breathe.
You aren't sure how you arrived at this place, but as if in a dream here you are on the longest night of the year.
The sun faded in the west some time ago. It is night, and there isn't a cloud in the sky.
You are standing on a vast steppe surrounded by low rolling hills which are hugged by a ghostly white shroud of snow. An otherworldly emptiness of the landscape brings with it a calm that stills your soul.
Nestled comfortably behind you in a crook of one of the hills is the yurt where you have been staying. The warmth and the comfort of the yurt beckon you back inside, but despite the bitter chill, you start walking out into the peaceful night.
All the scents have been sucked out of the air, leaving only an icy crispness. Nothing burns like the cold, but at the same time, nothing purifies like the cold either.
The icy air makes your breath hover around you in a strange slow-motion cloud.
The stars illuminate one by one. In the clear air, they are brilliantly bright. Soon you can gaze at the whole grand firmament of stars and constellations, and you can imagine what you cannot see-- infinity.
You start walking towards a small lake to your left. An indigo sheet of ice covers the lake, and it gleams and reflects the glimmering stars under the night sky.
All the stones on the edge of the lake are encrusted with a rime of ice crystals.
Suddenly without any warning, an unseen hand switches on the aurora borealis.
They appear like rippling, green neon evanescent waves swirling, inward and outward.
Now in another part of the sky, they are pulsing like ribbon streamers then shifting and whipping into thrashing quick, jerky movements with shreds of lights sifting into green, yellow and purple.
The waves of colours hover downward almost touching the hills, then whirl aloft again into remote regions of the atmosphere.
The glassy surface of the lake exquisitely multiplies all the beauty before you.
You are transfixed and spellbound for a long time by the flickering dance.
Then finally the shimmering dissolves leaving only the dusty trail of the Milky Way.
You feel you have been as close as you have ever been to paradise.
You breathe deeply, grateful for the experience, and now intensely aware of the cold, but with a warm heart, you turn around and head back to the warm comfort of the yurt.
You wake up in the room of a small, rustic log cabin.
The embers from last night's fire are still faintly glowing in the hearth of the woodstove.
A muffled hush from the landscape outside presses up against and permeates the place.
You throw off your covers and walk over the cold floorboards to look outside. The frost overnight has etched patterns of crystals inside the windowpane.
A thick blanket of snow covers the landscape, creating a magical stark white dreamscape full of bizarre shapes and forms which glint in places under the bright arctic sun.
You put on layers of warm clothes, a soft scarf, gloves and thick boots.
You have to push the front door open firmly because snowdrifts have heaped up against it.
When you go out, it takes your eyes several moments to adjust to the white world outside.
As you walk, the crackle of your footsteps breaks the silence.
You pass a large stack of neatly chopped wood.
In the distance, snow-streaked stone peaks rise deep purple and jagged into the luminous blue sky.
You follow a path that goes through the forest.
Here and there you see the tracks that birds and animals have left in the snow.
The air is crisp with a slight fragrance of pine resin from the trees, and the lingering scent from last night's fire — your breath trails after you in pale puffs of smoke.
The drifts have banked up on either side of your way. The weight of the snow is bending the branches of the fir trees into unnatural angles, almost forming a snow tunnel over your head. Occasionally here, the snow underneath your feet is hollow and collapses.
The snow festoons last season's wildflowers like puffy marshmallows.
As the sun warms the snow, mini avalanches fall from the branches. In their wake, feathery crystals float and sparkle around you in the still air.
The path ends at a clearing. At first, you don't notice the deer on the edge of it — a buck with a massive set of antlers, but the stag has seen you. He turns away, flings up his white tail and glides noiselessly away into the forest.
The sun is just above the treeline, and the trees now cast a procession of stark shadows across your trail back to the log cabin.
A raven lands on the top of a tree nearby. His kaws echo across the treetops.
Now you are shivering in your coat. The bitter cold air is beginning to chill your fingertips.
You reach the log cabin.
When you get back inside, blue dusk has started to fill the room. Someone has added logs and relit the fire.
The tranquillity of the walk in the snow outside has been relaxing. The glow and warmth of the woodstove are inviting. You decide to make some tea and relax by the fire.
You are walking on a trail beside a tranquil river which perfectly reflects the long wispy filaments of clouds in the luminous blue sky.
The nature on either side of the river is primitive and dense with palmetto palms, saw grass and wild magnolia trees. You can hear birds and crickets, and other animals rustling in the thick undergrowth.
The path ends at a small wooden jetty.
The sea perfumes the air here.
You walk to the edge of the dock. When you look down into the water, you see islands of seagrass swaying in a soft underwater current.
The pier casts a shadow on the water. In the murky depths underneath it, you notice a dense school of mullet fish hovering immobile.
As it is a hot day, you decide to go for a swim.
You jump in, the water is refreshing and tastes fresh and sweet on your lips.
You feel relaxed as you float on your back and drift with the current.
Closeby, you hear something gently breach the surface of the water and exhale.
When you open your eyes, you see the whiskered face of a manatee.
The large grey creature moves deliberately closer to you. Now you can see the thick bristles around its mouth, reminding you of a walrus but without tusks. Its eyes are small in comparison to its massive body.
The manatee is not threatened at all by your presence and observes you for a short time.
After a while, the manatee slowly slips by you and swims away. As it does you notice the barnacles on its back break the water when it dives down underneath the surface with a broad stroke of its powerful flat tail.
You follow behind the manatee silently as it moves along the riverbank. As the water is shallow and clear, you can clearly see it grazing through the meadows of deep green seagrass that line the bottom of the riverbed in every direction.
After a short time, the manatee disappears through a narrow rocky opening. You follow it and find yourself in a sheltered cove which is like an oasis surrounded by palm trees. The water inside is pure aquamarine blue and has the clarity of glass.
You soon realize you are at the headwater of natural springs. Here and there the water bubbles and gushes up underwater through the sandy bed.
At first, you assume the darker shapes you see under the water are rocks. But when you see the shapes move, you realize you are in the middle of a herd of about fifty manatees.
The manatees appear to be resting. The cove is tranquil, with no sound but that of their soft exhalations when they occasionally stir from their slumber to surface for air.
Not wishing to disturb the manatees and this drowsy lagoon, you turn around and swim slowly back through the narrow opening out into the river channel.
As you leave, a mother and a calf pass closely by you, and then another larger one on their way to their secret relaxing spot.
You swim back to the pier and get out of the water.
You feel chilled, but when you lie down on the wooden jetty, your body soon soaks up the warmness from the sun.
You feel meditative and calm from the mysterious experience with the manatees.
Now the low slanting rays of the afternoon sun and the sound of the river lapping under the jetty create even more of a drowsy feeling. You close your eyes and like the manatees, drift off into a deep sleep.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.