Author: Leslie Davenport
ISBN: 978-158761-324-1
Publisher: Celestial Arts

Until recently, Western medicine has been reluctant to accept guided imagery as a potent healer- a way to discover the natural, ancient source of wisdom within. Thanks to pioneers like Leslie Davenport, this ancient practice has now found its way into the mainstream practice of some primary care physicians as well as other health care providers. Furthermore, as we discover in Davenport's Healing and Transformation Through Self-Guided Imagery, imagery is so powerful that it crosses many disciplines. As Davenport states, not only is guided imagery useful in health related matters, but can also be applied to a variety of situations where life has pulled the rug out from individuals through an unanticipated crisis. Moreover, one of its most appealing features is that almost anyone can use it, when, where and how the user wishes.

All of this is clearly illustrated from the eleven case studies that Davenport presents in her book where we learn about a technique that generates an altered state, in which the mind is directed toward multi-sensory images that the body perceives as real.

As we discover, the power of the mind to influence the body is quite remarkable, not only as a self-help tool, but also a way of self-realization. Through these personal case studies, Davenport explores in simple language a variety of situations that illustrate how effective guided imagery can prove to be in treating cancer sufferers, diabetics, heart disease sufferers or dealing with individuals having financial problems, marital issues, cultural shame, career transitional difficulties, identity issues, and loss.

Although guided imagery may not be curative, it can be helpful in using images and other senses so that the brain communicates with other organs. After all, imagery is the most fundamental language a person has and everything we do, the mind processes through images. When we recall events from our past or childhood, we think of pictures, images, sounds, pain, etc. It is hardly ever through words. As Davenport affirms: "Guided imagery is a process that focuses our attention inward to receive the impressions, pictures, and dream figures arising from our true nature. These images are the natural expression of our intuition, unconscious mind, and deepest self."

There is often a reluctance to try guided imagery and this, according to Davenport, is due to several myths about the process. As she illustrates throughout her book, guided imagery is not some kind of magical power or extraordinary mental attribute that some have and others do not. Davenport goes on to dispel these myths and shows us the path to receive our heart's wise advice. And contrary to what some believe, guided imagery does not require a rarified state of consciousness. It is not necessary to stop your thoughts before imagery is possible. Guided imagery and visualization are not synonymous. It is not mind over matter and it is not for relaxing and forgetting about the difficulties of life. Finally, you don't need to believe in the power of imagery in order for it to be effective.

To help readers apply self-guided imagery to their own unique situations, Davenport presents in chapter four a six-step guided imagery process worksheet that can bring you to your heart's wise guidance in directing and controlling the images in your head. With practice and patience you will be able to visualize whenever and wherever the need arises. The worksheet is broken down as follows: what do you need guidance about: journey to your heart by traveling inward: discovering your inner sanctuary: bringing your topic to heart: receiving your heart's message and thanking your heart. There is a suggestion as to how long you should devote to each of these steps and a short explanation of how to proceed. All of the eleven case studies incorporate the principles outlined in the worksheet, as well as additional tools that are mentioned in subsequent chapters.

Learning to apply the principles outlined in this insightful and timeless book can be revolutionary, provided you approach it with an open mind. As I have personally discovered, this is a subtle and powerful technique that will help you deal with the painful twists and turns of life and to look at them through a different lens-one that leads to finding more happiness and satisfaction. In addition, as mentioned in the book, imagery is a wonderful companion to other meditative and growth approaches that can be weaved together that will have a synergistic effect. And before you next crisis finds you, be sure to get a copy of Healing and Transformation Through Self-Guided Imagery. Keep it by your bedside long after you have devoured it the first time. Trust me, it will prove to be invaluable in accessing the power of your intuition and imagination.

Click on: To Read Norm's Interesting Interview With Leslie Davenport

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