Statuesque. This was the very first working title of my memoir and promptly discarded by my editor. I was attempting to refer to how I check in with my inner self - what I have dubbed my Statue.
You see, when I was still a teen and suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and family upheaval, I was having a tough time. Upon waking one morning, I envisioned myself as a cement statue and I saw a jagged crack running from head to toe. I took it to mean something. I took it to mean that I was broken in half; no surprise since my parents were divorcing.
As the days, months and years went by, I checked in with my Statue and sometimes she had an arm or leg broken off, sometimes teetering back and forth, other times, crumbled in big or small chunks and spread over the ground. This was my daily 'thermometer' and gave me insight into how I should take care of myself that day.
For many years the Statue stood strong and straight and I worked and played as much as I liked. When cancer and catastrophic illness struck, my Statue was dust. But as a daily reminder of my well-being, I still check in and see how the Statue appears to me. In its daily image of strength or weakness I have a good sense of what activities I can do on any given day.
This morning, for example, my Statue stands calmly erect on its pedestal with its arms down at its sides. Its wrists are turned inward a bit and - not surprisingly - that is where my recent fibromyalgia pain is most pronounced. It's a good image, though, and means that I can move forward with writing, working on my website and meet up with a friend later this afternoon.
I call it imagery. Others in the medical profession call it an innovative "health-patterning modality viewed from the perspective of Rogers's science of unitary human beings and Barrett's theory of power derived from the Rogerian paradigm." Phew!
Further, innovative imagery is described as a unitary, nonlinear practice approach whereby patients are helped to go beyond the given to realize freedom and experience imaginative creativity. It is a science-based method for one to participate in the creation of his/her own reality including health and healing.
I guess I stumbled onto something.
At the bottom of this post are two links to describe what these world-wise nurses were thinking when they developed a model for improved health care dating back to the 1930's. Imagery or using other non-medicinal tools to tap into our own potential to help guide, soothe and promote healing may not be for everyone. During my own cancer treatment, I was told that Hodgkins Lymphoma cells look like little owls and I was to imagine clouds of white (healthy white blood cells) erasing the owls in my body.
I hate owls.
So whether you listen to guided meditation recordings (I do), practice yoga (I try) or have a Statue-like 'mini me' of your own, I hope you will consider using any kind of imagery tool you might like or create. Some people close their eyes and go to their 'happy place' - a little bit too trite for me but if it works for you, please go for it!
I also enjoy taking long walks in the woods, something my father and I did together when I was a child and where I find peace. And sometimes my Statue lumbers along beside me. Whatever works for you, my friends, whatever works.
Rogers Science of Unitary Human Beings
Dr. Elizabeth Barrett