Life Coaching Watching her thoughts is like watching the clouds: they constantly move and shift. Occasionally some shapes and patterns may be detected, but as soon as the conscious mind projects a shape onto a cloud, that shape disappears. Likewise, as soon as the conscious mind latches onto a particular thought or emotion, that idea also disappears. Following the breath, and returning the wandering mind to the breath, are cornerstones of the meditation session. It may help the client to have some music playing in the background.
How would you construct a guided imagery session for a client? Create a real or fictional case study.
First, the client needs to choose an area of focus. In this case, the client wants to focus on prosperity with the express goal of achieving success in her career. Therefore, prior to starting the guided visualization, I would have the client speak or write down the overall goals.
Next, I would need to prepare the setting for the guided imagery session. There will be a background audio recording that has no intrusive elements, such as binaural beats. The client will select her preferred seating position: cross-legged on the floor with cushions or seated in a chair. I ensure that distractions are kept to the absolute minimum, including shutting off phones and other potential intrusions.
To begin the imagery session, I would first have the client focus on her body. This would involve several minutes spent imagining her breath moving up and down the spinal column, releasing all negativity, worry, fear, and anger on each outbreath with a corresponding image of surrendering the negative energy to the earth beneath her. Likewise, on every inhalation, she visualizes white light entering her brain and spinal column and imagines washing it clean. After several minutes of concentrated breathing, the client should place her attention on her seven chakras, or bodily energy centers. Starting with the crown chakra, moving through the third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sexual, and finally, root chakras, the client imagines the rainbow of color passing through her body.
Finally, we will guide the client to her goals through guided imagery. She imagines herself as she would like to be in her career. She sees herself surrounded by coworkers and colleagues who respect her and admire her. She delivers talks in front of thousands of people, because her energy and input is highly valued in her career sector. She has won awards. She interacts with key members of her professional community, and feels confident in a position of power. She sees her name written on a plaque on her office door, with the title of her position clearly written. Her office offers stunning views. When she returns home from work each day, she feels refreshed and alive, greeted by her loved ones.
How would you prepare and facilitate a ...
If the client is new to meditation, we will begin using the technique of focusing specifically on the breath at its point of entry and exit in the nose. Simply focusing on the sensation of breath and the cycle of breathing, the client notices how there is no beginning or end to the cycle of breathing. Breathing simply is. If the client struggles with concentration, we can use a pranayama (breath control) technique that encourages greater attention. For example, the client can breathe in to the count of four, hold the breath in to the count of four, breathe out to the count of four, and hold the breath out to the count of four.
Using my voice as a guide, the client remembers that all thoughts and emotions are ok. They rise and fall naturally, by-products of an active mind and body. Without trying to discover the root cause of an emotion or idea, the client simply returns the attention to the breath at its point of entry and exit in the nose. After ten minutes of mindfulness with a focus on breathing, we can shift to a new type of meditation if the client would like to work with rocking meditation or meditation with eyes open. If not, the client can remain with the breath and body, observing physical, emotional, and cognitive phenomena as they rise and fall. Facilitating the client's meditation sessions would also involve helping the client to incorporate meditation into her daily life and not rely on sessions with me. I would help guide the client to online or printed resources that can be helpful, including audio guides.
What might be the similarities and the differences?
The similarities between guided imagery and meditation sessions include the general tendency to be seated in a relaxed position with the eyes closed. Occasionally, I may introduce the client to other types of meditation sessions involving walking, rocking, or keeping the eyes open. Yet being seated with eyes closed opens up a wealth of possibilities for the client to become comfortable "just sitting," without the potential for falling asleep or being distracted.
Overall goals of meditation and guided imagery are the same: to achieve a mindset conducive to living well. That mindset may be qualified with words like inner peace, serenity, or clarity. Ancillary goals may include…
Watching her thoughts is like watching the clouds: they constantly move and shift. Occasionally some shapes and patterns may be detected, but as soon as the conscious mind projects a shape onto a cloud, that shape disappears. Likewise, as soon as the conscious mind latches onto a particular thought or emotion, that idea also disappears. Following the breath, and returning the wandering mind to the breath, are cornerstones of the meditation session. It may help the client to have some music playing in the background.
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