[00:00:00] Welcome to Move With Deb. I'm Deb your friendly neuroplastician. And this is a podcast that explores the relationship between the body and the mind from a health at every size, judgment, free perspective. I teach you how developing a new internal conversation based on curiosity, self friendship and simple neuro-plasticity techniques can rewire your bodymind out of pain and emotional overwhelm to help you build the rich full life that you want to live. Disclaimer, this is not a replacement for medical care.
[00:00:50] Hello feelers and healers. This is Deb of the Move with Deb Podcast and I am here with a kind of a podcast with some imagery. This is a theme that came up multiple times this week with my clients and I just thought, you know, hey, if it works for them, I really, really want to share it with you.
[00:01:18] So one of the things that we know in mind, body healing and as well in in hypnosis, is that visualization is really important. And one of the things that I think people are not aware of if you haven't studied hypnosis is that we're actually usually visualizing things that we don't want. We're like subconsciously doing that all the time.
[00:01:45] And so when we talk about visualization, we're really just talking about choosing to think something or imagine something on purpose. But we are imagining things all the time. When we think about the future, we're just imagining things because the future hasn't happened yet.
[00:02:10] I hope that this helps you create a little bit of curiosity around starting to intentionally visualize things on purpose, to experience something different in your body, or at the very least, kind of interrupt these habitual patterns of what you are subconsciously automated in visualizing now, like these patterns of worrying and fear about the future and kind of running those scenarios all the time. Because what if you even just stopped running those fearful scenarios? How would you feel? Would your life be better?
[00:02:54] There is a strategy around this actually a therapist, her name is Dr. Claire Weekes, in 1969 wrote a book called Hope and Help for Your Nerves. So that's 53 years ago. How do I know that? Because I was born in 1969 and I am 53 years old. I have not read this book, but I've read about this book. It was on the t m s Wiki, people talk about that book, there's a bunch of articles so you can read and I'll post to some of them, but it's called the Claire Weeks Approach to Anxiety or Floating. It's honestly what it has become called.
[00:03:33] The idea is that the anxiety, the intense symptoms that come along with anxiety, the negative, felt sense of fear, worry, panic are the, the experiences that we don't want to be experiencing. Right, the aversion to feeling. And her theory was that we just let go. And when we let go, Let's imagine that letting go is floating rather than drowning, right? So the visualization is really important in this piece, that when we can let go and imagine floating, we let go of the struggle against anxiety.
[00:04:18] We don't have to fight it. Sometimes I use an analogy, like a tug of war. Well, if you drop the rope, there's no more tugging and maybe you technically lose. I've got like air quotes. But really don't you win because you're not fighting anymore and you're not having that back and forth struggle. So it came up, um, last week with a number of clients. We were doing some visualization, were soothing some anxiety and fear. I can't even remember kind of all the different themes that came up with, and they both started just inviting in this beautiful water imagery and they connected the. The floating, the idea of floating with self-trust. Even when I think of floating, which you can't even see me, my hands kind of immediately come out in front of my body as if I'm like holding a baby in the water, which I don't know that I've ever done that, but there's this like physical activity that I just immediately did, which is this hands out front of me.
[00:05:32] Floating, like I'm holding something in the water. And that idea is self-trust. Just this ability to believe that if you let go, the water will hold you, or if you let go, you will hold you. Right, just the youness of you, all of the problems that you have ever solved in your whole life. We reconnect with this sense of self-trust, this belief in yourself.
[00:06:10] And so floating was a thing that came up. We were talking about feeling held. Imagining the water holding you, imagining the sensation of the water against your skin, feeling that buoyancy and that feeling that you have, if you've ever floated in a pool or in salt water, whether it's been a flotation tank or on a kind of an ocean, or in a lake or in a pool. Whatever experience that has been, can you connect to that feeling?
[00:06:49] Another client, we were talking about taking a journey on a lazy river and this was their language, so that's also what's so powerful is sometimes I invite people in to explore a somatic experience inside their body, but they're the ones that come up with the construct and it can be anything.
[00:07:18] The other day I was talking to a client and we were mixing metaphors left and right. So we had some unicorns and then we had Alice in Wonderland, and then we had trees growing from the inside of your body. And then we had, I don't, I can't even remember. So all kinds of things. The most important part is to let go of it having to be real.
[00:07:42] And again, I have real in air quotes. This is about connecting to the felt sense of whatever the experience is that you would rather be having. The sense of release and relief. I've been doing this with myself at night for bedtime. So one of the things that has happened to me in the past is actually when I put my phone down and then I get into bed, my mind wants to start thinking about tomorrow, all the things I have to do about tomorrow.
[00:08:22] Sometimes it evaluates my day and tells me if I did a good job, if I got all my things done, and none of these things bring me to a place of deep relaxation or feeling ready to sleep. The idea in sleep is that it is a time to start to wind down our alertness, and so one of the things that I've been doing is just quieting my mind. And sensing into deep relaxation and imagining that I'm floating in a pool and the air temperature is the perfect temperature, and the sun is flowing over my body, and it's warm and comfortable and safe in a place of complete trust. Sometimes even feel a little anxiety come up, and that's totally fine.
[00:09:21] And then I invite myself to come back into this feeling of trust and that little dance, that little titration is a part of the process. If you don't kind of get it right the first time, that is not a problem. Right. It is really useful to hold this idea that we are learning and hold this idea that we can try things and we'll see what happens and developing and flexing the muscle of curiosity.
[00:09:57] And so every time we come back in, You know, a little anxiety pops up because, you know, we've trained our brain that we need anxiety to, to tell us that we're okay if we don't do all the things that we think we have to do to be a productive human.
[00:10:18] The mind is an amazing world maker and if we're imagining a video game, I think I might have even talked about this before, cuz I have a, a client and we often speak about life in video games speak. So we talk about the screen that's in front of us and then the screen that's not yet rendered.
[00:10:40] And so when our attention is off screen trying to imagine what is not yet rendered, that unknown ness can feel very overwhelming. And so the invitation is to invite in that deep sense of relaxation when possible. And practicing doing it on purpose. You don't need your life to be relaxing, to feel relaxed because these are feelings and we can create them, we can connect to them, we can imagine them.
[00:11:20] We can feel things that aren't real. Right in front of us, just like we cry when we listen to music, it's evocative. When we listen to some music, we feel joyful. When we listen to other music, maybe we feel sad, maybe we feel angry. It's not even necessarily the lyrics or a memory. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it's the combination of the two.
[00:11:49] But we are human beings and we feel things, and therefore we are affected by the world around us, especially things that we can sense. My invitation to you is practice floating. Practice this experience of just remembering what it is like to let go. Maybe you have a memory of swimming in the ocean and feeling a little tired and then just taking a break and floating, right?
[00:12:20] Maybe like swim out past a break or past the waves and you get to that flat part, and then there's just this calmness.
[00:12:29] And we can just hang out there. And when you create space for your mind and your body to just float, that is a gift to yourself, to your nervous system, to your default mode network, to all the parts of you that are working so hard to survive. So this is a 53 year old strategy or probably more, but this is, My suggestion to you and I, I love how sometimes all of my clients end up talking about kind of the same metaphors each week, even though we're doing individual one-on-one coaching. So I love the synchrony of the universe sometimes. So that led me to think about this book and I will share these articles with you, but really you can read about it. But that isn't the same thing as practicing it. Challenge yourself to create some time to just practice it.
[00:13:38] Even if it's for a moment, just close your eyes, take a breath, and imagine yourself floating in a body of water in a way that helps you feel safe and relaxed. So if you feel like you need 18 floaties attached to you and are the most calm bathtub ever, that's fine. Make this visualization work for you.
[00:14:08] You can imagine anything that your imagination can create. That is the most beautiful thing about the mind is we can affect the body using our mind alone. So that's my invitation to you. Have some fun playing with it, and at the same time you're doing floating. You know, it's not that dissimilar from doing somatic tracking, but you know, one, one skill at a time.
[00:14:45] No need for perfectionism. Thank you for listening and if you are interested in having a guide in this process and learning how to use metaphor for your highest benefit for feeling better. If you're interested in hypnosis or hypno coaching or pain reprocessing work or just becoming a better friend to your own mind and body, please book a free consult call and I will share with you the ways that you can work with me.
[00:15:17] I look forward to connecting with you. Thank you.