guided imagery
relaxation exercise
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Magic Carpet Exercise

Guided Imagery

This exercise is an example of "guided imagery" which can be very positive, uplifting and relaxing. This particular one was developed by the Behavioral Sciences Institute.  

I recommend you print this exercise and either have a friend read it to you or you can speak into a tape recorder and play it for yourself.

I remember doing this particular exercise myself a number of years ago. At that time, my life was extremely chaotic, I was very dysphoric and it was even difficult to focus on the exercise.

However, I did manage to do it and the picture I had painted of my own future looked so beautiful and so peaceful yet I was sure my life could never be that way.

Due to much of my own recovery, I now live the life I pictured many years ago. It is real, though you could not have convinced me at the time. You see, there IS hope even in the midst of what feels like a hopeless situation. My life is far from perfect but I am stable and at peace just as I had pictured.

Please make this a positive experience for yourself, only seeing positive beautiful things.

We are going to begin with relaxation so find a comfortable place in which to sit or lie, close your eyes and take three deep breaths, in—out, in—out. We’re going to relax our bodies starting at the top of our head and working down to our toes. Relax your scalp, relax your brow, relax your chin, cheek, ears, relax your nose, relax your eyes, eyelids, relax your lips; imagine them fat, full completely relaxed. Relax your tongue, the roof of your moth, your throat; relax all the muscles in your throat. Relax your neck, feel the tension leave your neck. Relax your hands, your fingers, feel the tension flow out of your fingers.

Enjoy the feelings of both arms being heavy, at ease, completely relaxed. Relax all the muscles of your back, spinal column, relax the muscles of your chest, your abdomen, relax the muscles of your pelvic area, your buttocks. Let the seat you’re in or the bed you’re lying on support the weight of your buttocks, then relax your thighs, your knees, the muscles of your lower legs, Relax your feet, your toes. Imagine all the tension flowing out of your toes so that both legs and both feet are heavy, relaxed and free of any tension. Relax your mind, your heart, your lungs and all your internal organs. Lie or sit there for a moment enjoying the feeling of total relaxation.

Now imagine yourself walking down a country road. Meadows and trees are around you. Completely relaxed—completely at ease. Walking, enjoying the beauty in front of you. Suddenly, in front of you, you see lying in the middle of the path, the middle of the road, some object. As you walk closer, you realize it’s a carpet. As you walk even closer and right up to it, you know it is a magic carpet.

With great confidence and peace, you walk on to it and you sit down, perhaps cross-legged. As you do this the magic carpet slowly rises, into the air and it starts to move forward, forward into the future, five years from today and it stops over your home. And you look down and what you see is very pleasing. Everything you’re looking at pleases you. You see the building in which you are living five years from now, and you see yourself in the building, in the home and you see yourself doing and talking and moving about in ways that are pleasing.

Look at the details of your home. The colors and the sounds. Are there other people in your home? People that would please you to have there. Who are they? What are they doing? What have you been doing or what will you do with the rest of this pleasing day in the future? Where have you been, where are you going? And look outside around your home. What do you see there that pleases you? Colors, sounds, people, perhaps a building?

What does the outside, the environment around your home look like? What things please you? Let’s go back into your home and we’re imagining it as if the roof is off and you can see right into the rooms.

Again, what are the people doing? Who are the people? What is the atmosphere? What sounds do you hear that please you? What colors do you see that please you? What words do you hear that please you? What are you doing that pleases you? If there are people around you, what are they doing that pleases you.

And now, take one last look at this picture in the future of what pleases you to see happening five years from now. And now you notice that the carpet is slowly moving away. Slowly moving back into the present, gently lowering you on that country road. Finally the carpet touches the ground; you stand up and you continue on your walk, content, perhaps with a smile on your face. You have seen what pleases you and you walk on down the road enjoying the beauty around you.

And now, when you’re ready, open your eyes and come back to this room, to this place, carrying the feeling of contentment and pleasing images with you.

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Guided Imagery for Self-Healing: An Essential Resource for Anyone Seeking Wellness


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