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What Does It Mean When Guided Imagery Makes You Feel Worse?

18 Oct

We got this question from someone who attended the awesome Healing Beyond Borders conference. 

She’d had an uncomfortable response to a guided imagery experience that I’d introduced to the whole room. Where most everyone had a positive, healing, sometimes deeply moving experience, she “came back” from the altered state cranky, irritable and troubled. She wonders what that was all about and how to deal with it.

Question:

Good morning! I wanted to thank you for your presentation at the HBB2016 conference. What a great weekend.

I had specific question about one of your guided meditations; I believe it was the second one. I had never experienced guided imagery and thought maybe I had fallen asleep. A woman seated next to me told me I had not fallen asleep because I came to when you asked us to begin to move.

I remember thinking, if I hadn't slept, then where was I? Lunch was soon after and I noticed that I was extremely tired and very agitated. I told my friends that for some reason everything was irritating me and that I sort felt angry.

I also skipped two more presentations because I really needed to rest. So, with that being said, yesterday, here at home, I had a Asyra energy scan follow up, and the 'tester' asked me if I had had an energetic clearing of some sort in the last three days, because in my field was an unresolved anger energy.

I told her about my experience and she said that I must have gone very deep into the guided imagery and brought up some issues with anger and forgiveness! Her concern was that it was still in the field and feels I need to clear it.

Wow, huh?

So, I guess my questions for you are, one, what were the meditations that you used, and two, what meditations would you recommend for me to clear the unresolved anger?

My history with breast cancer and inflammation are a concern of mine and obviously your guided imagery has great effect with me personally.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

In love and light,

Becky

Answer:

Dear Becky,

That recording was Heartbreak, Abandonment & Betrayal.  It's about the hurt of being left, abandoned, let down or betrayed by someone important, and summoning inner resources (images) of strength and stability to help get past it and feel whole again.   

Crazy as it sounds, if you've got the energy for it and aren't heading into a stressful time, it might make the most sense to go back and work with that same imagery, because it will continue to move that energy through your system.  It might take a few times, and it would be good if you could also get some cleansing and balancing help with massage or Healing Touch or some counseling, or journaling or perhaps some ritual... just to speed up the process and to support you as you do this.  

You could complement it with the General Wellness imagery, which is all about cleansing and clearing.

This is likely something old and deep, something that is under the anger.  It wouldn't be about anger per se - that's the surface reaction to pain and hurt. Beware of defining it too early!!  Let it move along as it's ready to. Your body knows the timing.

But, as I said if you've got daunting days ahead of you, you may want to wait a bit before taking this on.  On the other hand, it may not take much more time... could conceivably be just one or two more listens. You may want to work with the momentum that got paused.

Hope this helps.  Whatever is surfacing, it's important and your psyche decided it was time to move on it!!

Best wishes with this,

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Belleruth 

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award