Cindy Tincher


The Journey of Three Bridges — Metaphors for Change

I enjoy envisioning journeys across rivers for several reasons. The very act of making a journey implies taking steps toward a destination, or goal. Each step can be a deepening of one’s trance state, moving more and more into altered states where change occurs on a very deep level within the subconscious. Each step in the journey can also signify moving away from old behaviors or thought patterns, while moving ever closer to new ways of thinking, and feeling, believing and behaving. Furthermore, water is a popular metaphor and dream imagery for the subconscious mind, so crossing those waters to reach the shores of your dreams and desires is powerfully effective imagery.

Before going into trance, imagine the path to your goal, objective or desire as a journey across a river. Imagine standing on the shore of that river, and wanting to reach the other side. This other side can be the attainment of any goal you have in mind, whether it is love, prosperity, the perfect career, an ideal weight, living free of destructive habits, scoring high on that upcoming test, or some other objective. The important thing to remember is that your subconscious mind will be looking for every opportunity to bring you closer to your goal. It’s not necessary to dictate every action needed to obtain the goal. Your higher mind already knows all the steps it needs to make along the way to get you where you want to be.

All you have to do is…take the next step.

So now, relax, and find yourself on the bank of a large, deep river. You are looking for a way to cross, when you notice a couple of isles in the river, each interconnected by bridges, with the final bridge reaching the far shore.

Imagine walking to the first bridge. Are you following a well-worn or paved path, or do you have to make your way through the woods along a narrow deer run? Are there obstacles – shrubs, bushes, brambles, boulders, rocks, stumps or fallen trees?

What about the river itself? Is it a fast moving current, or a slowly winding type of river? What color is the water? Is it clear, deep blue, green, or muddy? Is the water surface choppy, gently rippling, or are these some of those "still waters that run deep"?

Arriving at the first bridge, take note of the type of bridge it is. Is it a stone bridge, or wooden? Is it a suspended bridge, or perhaps a covered bridge? Does it have handrails, or solid sides to peer over? If so, take a moment to notice how the rails or sides might feel against the palm of your hand — smooth or rough, sun-warmed or cool.
Just take some time to notice the bridge, and imagine your steps taking you deeper relaxed, and —
Away from anger, and ever closer to calm, and peace.
Away from fear, and toward understanding.
Away from discomfort or dis-ease... and into health and wellbeing.
Each step taking you deeper and deeper relaxed

I wonder what you will find on that first isle.

Perhaps a beautiful garden with a hedge labyrinth at its center! Labyrinths, of course, are a type of maze — but a maze free of any wrong turns or dead ends. A maze where every step you take brings you nearer to the center of the labyrinth. Oh, it may seem like it twists and turns, getting closer to the center and then leading you away again, going around and around, in and then out again…but each step does indeed take you to the center. Until at last you arrive, to find a wonderfully refreshing fountain. You can trail your fingers in the water; allow the water to pull all the cares and concerns from you, so that you can journey lighter and freer. When you leave, each step you take carries you back out to the world with renewed centeredness, calm, and inner peace.

And then you arrive at the second bridge in your journey. As you cross it, note colors and textures of the bridge materials, the sound your feet make in walking upon it. Is it an old bridge of solid rock? A wooden bridge that makes hollow sounds or creaks with each step you take?
Each step takes you deeper relaxed, and —
Away from loneliness, and into love.
Away from sadness, and into joy.
Away from darkness, and into light.

I wonder what you may find on that second isle.

Perhaps a bed of oysters on the shore? Perhaps you see one oyster slightly open, revealing a lustrous pearl within its folds. You know, without some pain, some grain of discomfort, that pearl would never have been possible. Out of adversity, something rare, precious and beautiful was formed. So like in our own lives, when we make the commitment to change things in our lives, knowing it may not be always pleasant or comfortable.

Or perhaps you see a bench beneath a large, shady tree, and decide to rest there a moment. You look up into the branches of the tree and see squirrels scampering along the branches, and hear birds singing. You notice the leaves gathering up the sunlight, and then look down to see the large roots burrowing into the ground to gather up water and nutrients from the soil. You notice knobs and scars on the tree where it has lost branches, weathered the storms of winter, perhaps even a mark where it has survived turbulent flood waters. You realize we are much like trees, needing to be grounded even as we reach for enlightenment and growth. We often shelter others in our love and nurturing, much as the tree offers shade to travelers or shelter to birds and other wildlife. We, too, bear the scars from the storms and cold winters in our lives. But we are so much more than trees — able to love, to embrace, to speak and sing and share with others, and to move.

And so you begin your journey over the third bridge to shore of your dreams and desires.
Note the colors, sounds, textures of this third bridge in your journey, this bridge to that once far shore, now so near.
Allow each step to take you —
Away from anxiety, and into peace.
Away from weakness, and into strength.
Away from helplessness, and into empowerment.

Until at last you stand on the shore of your dreams and desires. Look back at where you traveled from, amazed at how you can’t see from here, all the brambles, briars, boulders and other obstacles that you had to get around to reach the crossing place. How different it all looks, from this different perspective.

And then turn around, and take some time to enjoy where you are now — to enjoy and experience this new place and space, its serene places, its secret gardens, its quiet deep pools.

Take time to connect once again with those inner places of solitude, tranquility, peace...and bring some of those feelings back with you, as you begin climbing a gently rising path to a state of full awareness, returning to your conscious awareness feeling relaxed, refreshed and re-energized.

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