Giving and Receiving: Guided Imagery for Positive Self-Image
It’s that time of year where the holidays remind us of gratitude, giving and receiving gifts and offering our talents, care and services.
Some of us find it easier to give than to receive. Some reasons are that what we received in the past was twisted with cruelty, expectations and/or manipulation. Many times this has led to a sense of poor self-esteem. When I am helping people heal around this issue, one of the things we speak about is learning to receive words of kindness and positive reflection. Rather than listening to the negative internal or external self-talk they are familiar with, I teach clients a process based on the digestive system. This process came to me years ago while taking an anatomy and physiology class. During this time I was also working with a client on poor self-esteem.
The process begins with repeating to yourself the words of kindness you just heard, such as: You are so sweet or I love your smile. Once you hear the words and repeat them in your head, consider if you want to take them in as a truth about yourself.
In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz states, “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.” From this perspective, it is key to decide if what you heard about yourself is something you would want to anchor in believing about yourself. When we are mirrored in life with negative statements that have become part of our self-worth, it is nice to start to transform the past with present-day mirrors of support and care. This support can come from a stranger, a friend/acquaintance or a family member. The opportunity is to begin to have a positive self-image, and if it is hard to think of yourself that way, borrow what others say.
I used this process by also looking in the mirror and looking into my eyes to take in a new self-truth, one that was kinder than the one playing over and over in my head. I hope it helps you.
Below is another version of the attached audio:
1. Think of the compliment as the most delicious piece of food you ever tasted.
2. Allow yourself to sense it, smell it, feel it, taste it and when you are ready,
3. Begin to chew on it.
4. Notice the flavor and allow your digestive enzymes to begin to break it down.
5. As you chew, notice it as it becomes a liquid and you begin to swallow.
6. As it goes down your esophagus, notice how your stomach muscles receive this and continue to break it down even more.
7. As it continues to go through your digestive process, be with it and notice what you wish to keep stays with you and becomes part of your circulatory system and integrates into the cells of your body.
8. For all that you choose to release and not take in, witness it moving through your elimination system. Witness it being released out of you.
9. Continue to breathe in and out, feel the warmth, the love and the compassion of this statement for yourself.
10. Sense the care of the person that took the time to speak those words to you and feel that gratitude as you continue to receive it.
11. And so it is.