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A woman realizes She’s Outgrown Her CD’s, Gets Help for Stress All by Herself. Thank You Very Much!

27 Jun

A woman writes on her blog how, unbeknownst to her, she’d been integrating her guided imagery practice into her whole way of being, and now no longer needed the external tools.  (This is very typical of how an immersive technique like guided imagery can sneak up on you, very subtly or incrementally and surprise you with a sudden awareness of completely integrated progress. It also has a way of sinking in and getting solidified while you’re taking a break from it.)  She describes her epiphany thusly:

I had a strange revelation while walking today. You see, for several years while I was stressed out and depressed, I took great comfort in my walks.  I walked year round. My walks along the creek were one of the few things that truly calmed me and brought me some peace of mind. For years I have always listened to a tape by Belleruth Naperstak [sic] (yes - her real name). Belleruth is a therapist who believes in visualization and has created a series of tapes/cds on a variety of topics. The idea is that you visualize where you want to be and this convinces your subconscious to head in that direction.

The tape I have been using for years while walking is part of a two tape Stress package to help you learn to cope more effectively with stress. One side has a "walking meditation" which she says is for people too stressed out to sit still to meditate. The other side has positive affirmations telling you that you are becoming calmer and more peaceful. I have loved using this tape. But, because we joined the Y last fall, I have been swimming instead of walking this winter. So, I haven't listened to this tape for months. And, here is my epiphany - I don't need it anymore!

When I listened to the tape while walking today I felt "well, I am there" when she talked about where I was heading. It was actually a shock! It sort of felt as I would imagine it feels when you are ready to move on to the Intermediate level after listening to a Beginner language tape. Belleruth, I think your visualizations have worked. Thank you! I don't think I will need your walking meditation any longer. How odd. I guess I just assumed I would always need to keep on using it for stress relief. I must actually be finding my own coping skills. Whoda thunkit?
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