Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thinking About Thinking

My daughter tried to contact her spirit guide after reading Sylvia Browne's Contacting Your Spirit Guide. But she wasn't able to. And she asked me to help.

First she wanted me to read a meditation to her1. But when I did that, she resisted so blatantly, I assumed she was just trying to annoy me. Here's how it went:

"You're on a beach. See the ocean and the blue sky...."
"I can't see anything."
"Just imagine you can see it. Feel the warm sand underneath you."
"I can't imagine it. And I don't feel any sand. It's just the floor."
"You've been on a beach before. Pretend you're at one now. Hear the waves splash onto the shore...."
"All I hear is you."

It wasn't working for her.

So she urged me to contact her spirit guide for her. She had total confidence in me because of how effortlessly I was able to contact my own spirit guide.

So I asked her to read the meditation to me. While meditating, I briefly saw this very old, short, shriveled woman named Esmeralda. But then she revealed herself as a young Native American girl named Running Wind, although she doesn't mind being called Sally. Sally is about the same size as my daughter, but she's a little leaner and a lot more athletic. Her hair is very dark brown, almost black. It's a bit short, and she keeps it tied in a pony tail in the back, while the sides hang down on either side of her face like the ear flaps of a hunting cap. She's dressed a bit scantily, like a Disney character meant to appeal to grown ups.

Anyway, I wanted to help my daughter understand how to imagine and visualize. I explained how I don't actually see things when I think about them (not exactly, but close). Instead I imagine I see them. Then I turned to Shakti Gawain's Creative Visualization for help. Shakti explains that visualization means different things to different people. Some people do see images. But others don't. Instead they get more of a feeling. She offers a simple exercise -- to imagine a room in your house.

So, while we sat in the living room, I tried to get my daughter to imagine that she's in her bedroom and to describe what's in the room with her. What's the floor like? What furniture is in the room? What color are the walls, and what's hung on the walls? She had a surprising amount of difficulty with this despite having the same bedroom since she was a baby.

It made me wonder how she could do so well in art and creative writing when she couldn't see anything in her Mind's Eye. I wouldn't be able to write creatively2 if I couldn't visualize the scene that I'm writing about, and hear dialog, and generally immerse myself. I visualize when I read fiction and even when I listen to some music. My daughter's inability to visualize is alien and frightening to me. It's as if she told me that she's blind. In a sense, I believe she is.

How do you visualize something?

1The book is sold with a CD of all the meditations. However, this was a library book, and it was missing the CD.
2Actually, I can't write creatively very well. What I meant was, "I wouldn't even try to write creatively...." And it would be impossible for me to record my dreams because I "play them back" in my Mind's Eye over and over.

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