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Reunions with People, Places, Times, Self

25 Sep

Hello again.

I hope you’ll check out this week’s Hot Research page – it’s interesting in that the findings run counter to what a whole spate of recent studies have been showing about the efficacy of guided imagery for stroke rehabilitation.  I’d love to know more about the kind of guided imagery that was used in this study, and the protocol in general.  I’ll post that info as soon as I can go over the full article.

We’ve all been noticing a real upsurge in orders for our Panic Attack guided imagery, especially from men.  This makes us wonder if this is because there’s increased stress or just an increased receptivity to trying guided imagery.

I guess I’m at the age where I’m drawn to reunions.  Last year I attended my high school reunion, and had a great time visiting with old friends, co-conspirators, cliques and outcasts of yesteryear. 

As is usually the case, some of the class stars had led fairly ordinary lives, and some of the perceived “losers” had morphed into some very effective grown-ups.  Most interesting was the fact that neither scenario was especially associated with that great prize of late middle age, contentment.  On the contrary, contentment seemed to come from within, from some lucky, alchemical combination of temperament, psychology and philosophy. More power to the contented, I say.

The good news was that, in our late 60’s, we were pretty much past trying to prove anything, to ourselves or each other – whatever we’d done, we’d done – whatever we hadn’t done, we hadn’t done.  People spoke pretty honestly about the trajectory of their lives, their choices, their paths.  Rather than being there to show off or to settle scores, we seemed to have a real interest in gaining coherence and perspective, pulling together the disparate threads of our lives and taking the long view of what we’d made of them. 

There was pleasure and illumination in sharing this inquiry with those who knew us from those early days, when we were first launching (lurching?) into our horizons.  And of course it was revelatory to hear what they’d made of us back then – fun to hear about secret crushes and ancient fears - and on the other side, great to confess what was going on in our heads (or hormones) about our classmates.  And it’s always mind-boggling to hear about something you said that made a big difference to someone, and having zero recollection of it.  I’ve been on both sides of that one, many times.

All this came to mind when Caren Goldman sent me her terrific new book to read, Restoring Life's Missing Pieces: The Spiritual Power of Remembering and Reuniting with People, Places, Things & Self. She explores so much here, using her own life as a powerful teaching story (and what a life that’s been!), while providing a rich, profound, and wide ranging meditation on time, memory and cohering parts of the self, through the vantage point of who we are now.  Those powerful “R” words: regretting, remembering, reuniting, reconciling, reintegrating – get their due here. Check it out on Amazon, where you can open the book and leaf through the pages.   


OK, take care and be well.
All best,



 

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