Transforming Problems Self-Healing Visualization

Transforming Problems Self-Healing Visualization
©Copyright 2006 Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw

Transforming Challenges Receptive Visualization
by Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw adapted by Craig Mackie 
“You can never solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”
-- Albert Einstein
What you resist persists, what you accept begins to change or heal.
To gain a new perspective on or insight into a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual problem and your reactions to it.
To draw on the visual, sensory and emotional channels of the brain/mind to allow for new understanding to your problem.
To transform and find new meaning of your challenges or uncomfortable issues you are experiencing in life by connecting with your inner strength, wisdom and compassion.
How it Works: Through mindfully applying your own inner wisdom as you focus on a specific problem, and can affect the underlying psychological factors contributing to it and your reactions to it. Imagery is effective as it can cut through the stories we have built up around these challenges, sending messages to the core of the whole person, to their negative thoughts, limiting beliefs and unconscious assumptions. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we create images to help us get through the day; we create images that reassure us, give us hope and remind us of our self-worth. 
This is a three step process, with an optional fourth step. 
Step one – turn towards and explore how challenges are held, felt, and manifest in the body and mind 
Step two – connect and ask for help from your highest sense of self – whatever it is – compassion, wisdom, love, strength
Step three – observe any changes
Step four – integrate, forgive and develop insight around the root causes of this challenge 
Since the body and mind are so connected, when we change the image or the metaphor in our mind the emotions and body begin to respond to the transformed new image. Our body awareness often cannot distinguish between a vivid imaginary experience and actual physical experience. Shifting how we view and hold physical, emotional and psychological suffering can integrate memories, past experiences and current challenges in such a way that we can still be aware of them but they no longer have a negative effect.  
Before using this exercise, you need to gauge whether a problem is something you can handle. This exercise is not intended to replace professional medical or psychological help. If this does not begin to transform your experience of a physical disturbance or pain, seek professional medical or psychological help. Don’t take the risk - use emergency numbers if required. 
You can read these instructions as you go along or better still, read them onto a tape or have someone else read them. After doing it a few times, you will not need the instructions.
Optional Documentation: 2 sheets of paper and crayons, pastels or paint.
Sit comfortably and gently relax yourself focusing on your breath or sounds of nature and breathe deeply into your belly. Take 5 deep breaths and with each out breath let go of your busyness and tension. Allow yourself to be present in the moment doing this exercise. Now gently focus on breathing normally.
Ask internally and identify a situation that you feel disturbed by; it may be a physical or emotional discomfort, pain or illness. Next, allow your focus to move into your body and scan your body looking for a point of tension, pain, heat or discomfort. Just ask where this pain or discomfort is sitting in your body. Allow your intuition to direct you to an area that is most appropriate. If there is more than one place, just ask where to focus first, and trust your intuitive answer.
Once you focus on that area, ask it to show itself to you allowing this to present itself to your mind as a symbol, colour, feelings, sounds or words. Ask the following questions and let it show you more detail.
Is that area of feeling close to the surface or deep inside?
What size is it? How much area in there does it cover?
Is it flat or three-dimensional? What shape is it?
What colour is it? Light or dark? Specific colours?
Is it solid or transparent, spongy or liquid? What is its density? If it were made of something, what would it be?
What is its texture? Rough or smooth?
What temperature is it? Hot, cold, same as the area around it?
If it had its own mind or feelings, what is it feeling - anger, sadness, fear, etc.?
How old it is - young, old, or ancient?
When it was first put there, it most likely had a job to do that helped you then. If it did, what has its “job” been? How may it have benefited you in the past? Do you still need it in the form it is presently taking?
There is a chance that it is carrying some wisdom. What does it have to say to you?
When you are ready draw or document your image, and write key words for what it feels like. Take as much time as you need.
Bring your internal focus back to that feeling in your body or this image and check if you, and that area, are willing to let it change or transform in a way that benefits both it and you. You only need to be a little willing for this to happen. It is like an open door; whether is it wide open or only 1 inch, it is still open. If you’re not, let that be OK. Know that this isn’t the right time, and you may be ready later. Just recognizing and being aware of it will begin a change process. Be gentle with yourself.
Ask for help from your inner wisdom or highest sense of self. The part of you that most knows and is connected to Love and Compassion. Allow it to come in whatever way is appropriate. Don’t limit it. Simply ask for help.
Let go and observe responses. Stay receptive. Relax, and begin to observe it like a video. All you need to do is allow the image to change in shape, feeling or colour. Notice if anything comes into this inner picture, etc. You don’t have to do anything except listen, and watch for change, for words, whatever comes. You may simply begin to feel differently. Stay open and allow it to take whatever time it takes, if it wants to change. If at any time you feel stuck, ask for help again and let go. If it changes, once it has changed as much as it wants, familiarize with how it feels now. Does it have anything to say that might benefit you now or in the future?
When you are ready, draw or document this new image and write a few key words for how it now feels.
Compare the first and second drawings or images. Notice the changes. Does the second feel more comfortable or less comfortable? Does the second image feel partially or completely healed? If you feel there is more to heal, then repeat this exercise once more in a week to allow the next level of healing to take place. 
What do you now know? Any insights? Any next steps? Anything else linked to this area/image/feeling that could use healing or attention? See also Optional Self-Forgiveness step.
Integration and Follow up
Optional: Imagine yourself giving the changed symbol or metaphor to the situation or person who caused the problem. This is a final form of forgiveness and letting go - a step that helps to complete the transformative process.
Drawing and displaying the drawing of the transformed image on the wall for a while helps reinforce and integrate the new perspective and healing.
Allow yourself up to two weeks for this to integrate. When you store these things in your body, then change them, it induces natural healing. It is like removing one file from your ‘database’ or mental continuum, and then replacing it with another. This has been done on a spiritual/mental level, and will then move through to your emotional level, then your physical level. Trust that your mind has done its work and give yourself permission to release or detoxify whichever way is natural for you. Detoxification can happen on different levels. You may feel up and down, light then sad, or you may even grieve. This is because, although the old situation was uncomfortable, it was more familiar than this new one. Toxins and chemicals stored in your body may need to move out physically. This could be crying, sinuses discharging, sweating, and elimination through urine. Drinking a lot of warm water will make this a graceful process. Don’t worry - this is a good thing! Just let it out. Allow it to happen.
Decide whether you can literally bring this new symbol into your everyday life for a couple of weeks to subconsciously remind you and to replace the gap that the departure of the old symbol has left. You can use this new symbol to induce and integrate a new response or wellness. This can be done by putting the drawing on the wall, or obtaining the symbol in some way. It is a good idea to throw out or file the first image you drew or wrote about.
You can do this technique every week, especially if you feel the final image is not a complete healing image, and needs a few more steps to feel completely whole or good. You can do it “formally,” the way you have just done it now or “informally” whenever you are faced with an adverse reaction in everyday life. With practice, it can take the same amount of time to transform this as a trip to the washroom, or a coffee break at work.
Optional: Share your experience only with someone who can support you otherwise the power of it may disperse. Best not to share it with someone who will question the authenticity of your experience. 
Optional self-forgiveness step: Use this when your second image or information indicates that there is no more change needed.
Take your focus back in and notice whatever it is you are left with and see if it feels like is complete today. Notice if it feels complete and has all the healing it needs, or if it feels partially healed and that there is more to or, notice if you don’t know.
Ask to be shown if there is person, people or situation that may have been part of the condition or that may have influenced your problem in the first place. Who or what would that be? Trust whoever or whatever shows up in your mind and imagine that person or situation in front of you. Notice whatever is there. It may even be a symbol.
If it feels appropriate, allow whatever your partial or fully healed image or the feeling you were left with after the shift, to be replicated in a way that it could be offered as a gift to this person, group or situation. Again just ask for help, then notice what happens. Your image or symbol may change or remain the same. 
If it feels appropriate, again ask for help to offer it to this person or situation. You can offer it to them directly or you can leave it for them to receive. Notice whether they can receive it. Notice what happens. It’s not necessary for them to receive it, just offer it, that’s what is important. 
Take whatever time you need and if like you can, document it on a sheet of paper. 
Check in with yourself to see how you feel now?
There are many different ways you can experience this. All are valid and there is no wrong way to do this.
Trust your experience. Here are some possibilities:
At any time during this process the first image or feeling changes and becomes a more positive or healed image or feeling.
The first image changes, and the second (new) image is less comfortable, perhaps even stronger and more painful than the original image. This means you have accessed something perhaps more true to the cause of the problem, more honest. For example, the second image may be very angry and outraged, whereas the first image was one of slight frustration. Simply repeat the exercise with the second image and feeling as the starting point, and you will probably experience a major shift.
There is resistance to letting the first image change. This is common. Instead of feeling frustrated, or thinking that the exercise isn’t working, shift your focus to the resistance and where that feeling seems to be in your body. Transform that area first, and then recheck the initial area. It may have changed already, or you can focus on that area the next time.
Instead of an image or feeling that changes to another, you may find yourself in a new situation, or experience it as a journey from the first to the second, like watching a video. The important thing is to stay open. 
You can also use this exercise to focus on a strong or positive quality or situation you have, and enhance it. This is great, and strengthens the healthy areas you have in your body, or positive attributes and confidence.
You need to gauge whether a problem is something you can handle. If this does not begin to transform your experience of a physical disturbance or pain, seek professional medical or psychological help. Don’t take the risk - use emergency numbers if required. We are very interested in the results of your use of this exercise and your stories of transformation. Please email us at

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