Cindy Tincher

The Forrest Gump Relaxation Technique

I enjoy the Forrest Gump imagery for relaxing into a trance state.

Remember the feather that floated willy-nilly while the credits ran at the start of the film, until it finally settled on the box of chocolates in Forrest’s lap?

We’re going to use imagery like that, except we are going to imagine instead a leaf, the last remaining leaf of autumn, high upon the highest branch of a tree.
What type of leaf would it be? Maple? Oak? Sycamore? Elm?

What fall color would it be? Yellow? Orange? Red? Brown? Still somewhat green?

Once you have it clearly visualized in your mind, let the wind move it around, then break it loose from the tree. See the sky behind it.
Is it a clear blue sky, or are there clouds? If there are clouds, are they wispy, or large billowy clouds, or small, high clouds?

Follow the leaf as it circles around and around,
and down and down.
Allow yourself to relax with each swirl and twirl downward.

See it go to and fro, back and forth,
drifting down,
and allow yourself to drift deeper, relaxing as it drifts.

Then, maybe it gets caught up by a gust, and you feel your awareness lift back up,
and then the leaf starts twirling and swirling down again, and you feel even more deeply relaxed as you drop with it.

Then, imagine it drifting down to a stream, or brook, or lazily moving river.
Watch it settle gently, tentatively, on the water’s surface,
drifting, floating,
slowly spinning, in lazy circles.
Watch it as it drifts on the current,
sometimes twirling in an eddy, other times bumping against the shore, until a ripple catches it and carries it along.

If you were in miniature, say, the size of an ant,
what would you put on that leaf before letting it sail down the river, and out to the sea?
All the old destructive foods that used to weigh you down?
An old destructive habit, like smoking?
Just pile all the butts and ashes on that leaf-boat and let it sail out of sight.
How about some of those old destructive ways of thinking and feeling about yourself that keep you tethered, unable to strike out for the shores of your distant dreams and desires?

Imagine all those tiny boxes of cargo, loaded up on that leaf, as it drifts further and further away,
down that stream or river,
carried by the current, until it is carried around a bend in the river, or simply gets smaller and smaller,
until it…just... disappears.

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