What matters the most to each of us defines us. For many, the pleasures that frame us surround us for all who can see to see, for all who can smell and touch to sense. One such pleasure may be to take one’s family and splash barefoot in the crystal clear waters of a naked stream, or to go unaccompanied to the depths of the ocean and discover the thousand ornaments of a coral reef.
Don’t you come across sights that stop you in your tracks and send you spinning in a wondrous glee? Visions perhaps of people frolicking in the tall grass of a wind-blown prairie, or others seen foraging left and right, deriving a reckless joy from glaring at something sprouting improbably from the midpoint of a rock.
Nature always helps me resurrect myself, thankfully, my soul picking up on that higher octave from within. Once it resonates in me, there is no turning back, and I wholeheartedly embrace the energy within me.
I was thus led to imagery, a therapy I use often when I feel stressed or uninspired. I don’t try to visualize myself on a beach or some other calm place like that, although those would be equally good medicine.
Instead, I focus on joyful episodes in my childhood. My visualizations are anything but quiet -they’re rather rumbustious, the smells of nature and the music of laughter still clamoring through time.
Do you recall the spirit we used to have as children? All the games we used to play? It was about adventure and exploration, mostly with our hands and feet, spending all the time that our parents would let us on sand, on grass, on dirt.
Remember how small the things were that used to give us most joy? Like building things out of gravel and clay, molding them into distinct shapes, garnishing them with leaves or whatever we could get ahold of, using little twigs for pillars, and lining up pebbles and stones to form tiny figures of fish or dogs.
Remember the scenes of romping by the riverbed, images of wild daffodils in bloom, their designs and patterns young and as-yet untarnished, their colors stunning, their scent hovering all around; glorious spring, the frogs croaking, seemingly caught up in the season’s festivities, the food so fresh and alluring.
We were uninhibited, abandoned to the task of discovering the physical world that we touched with our hands and bare feet; with our sensors fully engaged, we were unrestrained children at play, fused with nature’s pervasive radiance.
So practiced I am at this reverie that I can summon back the smells of the daffodils and the sights of spring’s clear blue skies. I can recite the imagery, much like a chant, and I can sense precisely how spirited our laughter was, how lively our stride, how full of grit we were, how unperturbed our play, a favored trance that has sustained me over the years.
My life, often intense and lacking in much playfulness, derives particular medicine from the laughter I hear in those little voices, and from nature’s graceful playgrounds on which they frolic.
Nature is the high-priestess of self-healing, renewing itself four times a year, despite all the abuse we throw at it.
And that in a nutshell is intuitive imagery, the practice of visualization, or what I like to call reverie -my medicine. When I summon my childhood, it comes to me in flashes of insight, sometimes as a meditative and peaceful trance, other times as a vision, or an ability to grasp an issue from new perspectives. It always lightens my load and brings me a sense of relief and joy; it takes away my tensions and fills me up with vitality.
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About Mike Takieddine, the author:
Mine has been a privileged life, first for having traveled all over as son of a diplomatic family, then for having had the opportunity to study at Oxford, and later for a gratifying career in business, in geriatric home care and finally in writing. I look forward to sharing in some of my experiences that could be of interest to readers.
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