Can we talk?

There’ll be 144 packets of ten minutes in the next 24 hours.

Would you consider spending one of them with me?

Let me explain.

During the last year, I’ve poured a ton of time into learning as much as possible about the process of guided imagery.

This is where you’re encouraged as a listener to create pictures and experiences in your mind in response to words and music, aimed at bringing about some kind of positive outcome.

The process is also sometimes known as guided visualisation.

The claims for its effects are impressive.

It’s used to promote relaxation, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress.

Among other things, it also seems to help if people want to lose weight or stop smoking, for example.

Guided imagery can also be used as a way to manage pain and boost healing.

It therefore seemed to me that it might also have potential as a promoter of mental well-being, and that’s why I’m inviting you to join me for just one of your 144 ten-minute blocks today.

I think I’ve created something unique.

Clicking on the link below will take you to a short ten-item questionnaire. Check in with it, then you’ll be directly connected to a guided imagery session tailored to your answers.

It means I can give you pretty individualised support.

Now I know this kind of thing won’t necessarily suit everyone, but why don’t you at least give it a try?

You’ve nothing to lose except ten minutes of your day.

And you do have another 143 of those at your disposal.

One small request, though.

Guided imagery definitely works best when you relax as you listen to it, so you’ll need to be somewhere comfortable, where you can close your eyes, and not be disturbed.

You and our other Moodnudges readers have been completely brilliant at engaging with my many emotional well-being experiments over the past few years.

I do have a strong feeling that this one might just be particularly significant, though.

Let me know what you think of it, please.

Let’s get you started.

59 thoughts on “Can we talk?

      1. Hi Jon,

        I tried the guided visualisation and got the cards on the beach one. I did have an image of myself dancing freely on the beach after the cards blew away.

        However, especially when the music carried on for a long time, I did find my mind going over the details of things I regret, telling me it wasn’t as simple as just letting them go, that I had to acknowledge where I’d done things wrong etc etc!

        I had a mixture of feelings afterwards – a bit lighter but also guilt that surely it couldn’t be that simple to be free of regrets. Hope this makes some sense!

        Best wishes

  1. Thank you, this is very interesting. I’m not very good at this sort of visualisation- I find it difficult to “switch off” all other thoughts. I’ll see how today unfolds.

  2. Hi Jon,
    Thank you for inviting me to try the guided visualisation. I have used this technique for myself and others before for relaxation and help with anxiety and getting to sleep.

    From my answers I was given ‘cards on a beach’ for Self-acceptance and forgiveness. I hadn’t expected that and it to drew me thinking about very old stuff that I’m holding on to. I find I’m ok with the recent stuff. I did my best to follow through with each item …

    For those big ticket items I rather feel I’d need slightly bigger cards than I was holding and a little less wind. In this way each card might take a little longer to disappear, allowing me to consider them a bit more and acknowledge that they serve no further purpose in my life. Maybe I need to repeat the exercise a few more times or maybe I’m overthinking it.
    Ps I was on a very windy Shell Bay in Poole, Dorset!

    1. I love that image of bigger cards and less wind, Mary.

      Interesting to ponder on either repeating the exercise, or perhaps avoiding over-thinking.

      By the way, I have a particular fondness for Shell Bay. As a very small kid, I once set off to try and walk there from Studland beach without telling my parents where I was going. Panic ensued.

      1. I will repeat the exercise and think about one regret to let go each time. I’ll calm the wind too.

        I love Shell Bay and was there a couple of weeks ago — it was very windy and kite-surfers were zipping, turning and sometimes flying alongside us. So I guess that’s why it was that day that came straight to mind.

        Your parents would have been frantic I’m sure!

      1. I found it very emotional, and do feel lighter. I love this sort of guided relaxation and visualisation, can completely lose myself in them. Thank you Jon!

  3. Hi Jon,

    I’ve been on a very windy beach in Wales trying to rid myself of regrets on cards…I’ve left a response but it hasn’t been accepted on the sound cloud thingy whatsit….so not sure what I’ve done wrong! Lol!

    I’ve managed to give myself a sound cloud account in the process…why hey!

    My feedback, if the other message I left has disappeared, is that I like being able to relax and hear your voice.
    I got lost in the music.

    I struggled to get rid of a big regret. I don’t think I have forgiven the other persons within the regret…so maybe I cannot forgive my part in it.

    Thank you for your continued MASSIVE efforts on our behalf!

    Karen

    1. I love the thought that this has taken different people to different beaches, Karen. You were in Wales, Mary was in Dorset… Nice to be getting around. Thanks for experimenting with this.

  4. Thank you. A very relaxing experience. I feel calmer and more able to face the day.

    I’d definitely like to do this on a regular basis.

    1. Thanks, Ingrid. It’s a pleasure to work on a project like this when it results in such positive feedback.

      I’m definitely picking up on your “regular basis” idea, and am thinking about how this might work.

  5. I’m with everyone who has left a response here in thanking you Jon for the brilliant contribution you continue to make to our mental health.

    What Mary said also chimes with me in that as I’ve got older, I’ve regretted less so it’s the bigger, more deeply buried stuff that came to mind whilst I was listening. These regrets, when you’re reminded of them, take longer to process before allowing them to disappear. I’d have liked longer to work this image through and less of a gap between your first and second talk.

    Hope that helps and please keep sending us these ideas.

    1. Thanks so much, Cate, especially for the more “structural” feedback. One thought is that a simple visualisation like this ought, perhaps, to tackle relatively smaller topics rather than attempting to deal with much bigger stuff.

      You’ve also helped me see that the rhythm and timing of a piece would benefit from more consideration.

  6. I have used guided imagery in the past, when training to be a therapist, and like it a lot. I got given the Cards on the Beach, due to my lack of self acceptance. It started really well, but when the music was playing, I simply couldn’t stop myself thinking of all the chores I have to do, so got quite stressed! I think maybe I needed a constant stream of instructions to tell me to picture things, as that part worked really well!

    1. Great input, Jenny. Thank you. I’m encouraged that my first go at this met with broad support from a trained therapist.

      Sorry you got stressed during the music-only parts, though. I can see how that would happen, when running through your to-do list. It’s so brilliant to be getting useful feedback from a range of different people.

      Thanks again for guiding me.

  7. Hi Jon!

    This experience was a great way to start my day. I have a big event tonight with a lot of responsibility (which can easily turn into “bad” stress). Although my reflection was targeting “letting go of regrets”, I was easily focusing less on specifics and more on regretting my lack of patience, quick to snap, lack of confidence to lead (without seeming bossy), lack of ability to enjoy in the moment. I will carry these thoughts as I move through my day, and hopefully everyone (including me) will have a great evening!

    1. Good luck with your event, Susan. It’s super to hear that you were able to adapt the experience into something that was more immediately relevant for you.

      Hope you have/had that great evening.

  8. Thank you for this, Jon. I’ve done other meditations that involve visualization and it’s been a difficult technique for me. I either have trouble letting the image form or I get lost in the details and miss the point. I found this one much easier and very pleasant. I agree with another comment that it might be good if the cards disappeared a bit more slowly, giving time to remember the regret and consciously let go of it. The one moment that was a bit jarring for me was the line “as you forgive others” because I don’t. It takes a lot for someone to get on my bad side, which is why people think I’m easy-going, but once you’re here, you’re unlikely to get out. Of course, nothing in the questions would have told you that, so it’s understandable that line was included. Other than that, there was one moment when it seemed your voice and the background music grew significantly louder and I found that distracting. Overall, a very pleasant experience and useful, I think, in dealing with regret. Thank you.

    1. You really listened to the visualisation in great detail, Carolyn, which is super helpful. Yes, I can see that the pace of the piece is crucial, and I’m going to work on that for future recordings.

      You’re quite right about there being a rise in volume, too. It shows that you were definitely paying great attention.

      I need to remember, too, that it’s never safe to make generalisations, such as my forgiving others one.

      Thanks for your really insightful feedback.

  9. Loved the music and found your voice very easy to listen to – something I don’t always find.

    I liked the idea of the cards on the beach, and of my many regrets being blown out to sea on (environmentally friendly too – that made me smile!) cards. I would need to do this a lot more if I was even going to start to believing in it. And personally I would need more time to read each regret written down on the card, think on it, realise why it is a regret and then watch each card get slowly carried away by the wind.

    I am now going to ‘research’ what you do more. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your helpful reflections, Alison. I’m glad the music and voice seemed to hit the spot for you. I feel it’s important that the sound of something like this shouldn’t be too “woo woo,” if you know what I mean.

      Nice that the environmentally-friendly bit made you smile. It did occur to me that when you do something like this, the last thing you want is to break the mood by having someone get cross about the encouragement of littering.

      Your point about pace and timing is, I think, shared by others, so this is something I’ll certainly be learning from.

  10. Thank you Jon.

    I found this uplifting & helpful. The ten minutes seemed like two. It has brightened my day I really appreciate it. Thanks Ruth

  11. Loved this: the music was just right and got me in the zone quickly. And actually I hadn’t realised that I did have regrets, until the tears came to my eyes… All was going swimmingly until the sentence about ‘they’re made of material that disappears on contact with water’ in case anyone was worrying about polluting the sea. And so now I’m laughing, which I’m not sure was the intention.

    I’d have liked a little longer to examine what my specific regrets were, but there was time towards the end. Agree with earlier comments about more time before the cards blew away.

    Did we all get cards blowing away??

    I hope that if I do it tomorrow with different responses (I did have a bad night of procrastination last night) then I might get a different visualisation?

    You have a good voice for this Jon. Not too Eeyore and the right amount of optimism. I look forward to more. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Yvonne. Not too Eeyore. Loved that.

      Tears and laughter are not necessarily a bad thing, I guess, especially in that order. It’s encouraging to hear that what’s effectively a simple recording can bring about real emotional change – so long, of course, that this is done responsibly.

      I’m happy to explain the “mechanics” a little more, since you asked. The version of the visualisation you received depended on the answer you gave, specifically, to one item in the questionnaire. So everyone, today, heard “cards on a beach,” but there were four different versions, ranging from “I’m 100% self-forgiving” to “I forgive myself for nothing.” Hope that makes sense.

      I’m kind of envisaging that, if you wish to, there will be a different visualisation every (day?)… Weighing it all up at the moment, and that’s what makes your feedback and thoughts incredibly helpful. Thanks again.

  12. I found this very soothing and calming. I agree with another responder that when the music was playing, I found my thoughts drifting to all the chores I had to do today. So maybe a bit more guidance to keep my thoughts more focused on the topic would be helpful. Thanks, Jon. What a great way to start the day!

    1. Sorry to have given you license to think about your chores, Tricia. But happy to hear that, on the whole, it was a soothing and calming experience.

      There’s been a common thread so far with people’s feedback that the quieter parts of the visualisation were when the other thoughts came rushing in. I’m going to learn from that. Thank you so much for your really insightful reflections.

  13. I was very keen to try this. I got the cards on a beach which surprised me. I didnt think that I had a lot of regrets but knew that I was beating myself up over a bad day at work so felt it would be useful. Unfortunately despite setting myself up on a beach in scotland, and trying to relax into it, I felt a bit panicked. Everything seemed to be happening a bit too quickly and I struggled to keep focus. It might be how I felt today and I want to try again another day to see how I feel. I am grateful for the effort you put into this and believe that it may work for some people, some of the time. I hope that may be me.

    1. Thanks so much for your helpful feedback, Lorraine. I’m sorry it ended up making you feel uncomfortable, which was of course very far from the intent.

      Yes, though, perhaps it might feel different for you on another day?

      I’ve explained above, but will say again, that in fact the overall theme for everyone was “cards on the beach,” – it was just the flavour of the visualisation that varied, depending on your answers in the questionnaire. I just say this to reassure you that you weren’t somehow targeted for having regrets!

  14. Love it, this has great potential, very calming and uplifting. I have not tried this approach before but would use this as another tool in my mental health toolbox.

  15. I too got the visualisation for regrets and came up with some major life ones. They did blow away and dissolve but I expect there will be a strong wind hurling them back at me to catch me off guard. I did really enjoy it though and found it powerful and healing. Like others have said I appreciate your dedication and creativity in helping those of us who have a tough time with our fluctuating moods. I still use Moodscope most days and am forever grateful. So glad you are coming up with new things.

    1. Thanks Marie. I love that you’ve even used the visualisation to imagine the regrets being hurled back again by the wind, although we can always hope that they aren’t. Maybe the wind will change direction in a more positive way.

      Fantastic to know you’re still using Moodscope, too.

  16. Very peaceful and calming. I found the combination of your familiar voice and the music very soothing. I wanted to do more. Your time has been well invested if this is the result. Thank you.

    Siobhan

    PS I was at home in London but thinking of Cromer beach with my niece & her new puppy!

  17. Thanks Jon! I guess I had something bothering me even more than I realized. I started crying when I envisioned that first card blowing away on the beach. You also made my headache go away. Thank you, again!

    1. Well, that’s brilliant to hear, Renae. The thing is, though, it was you who was doing the work. I was just there while you were doing so.

      Amazing to put paid to your headache!

  18. This opportunity to breathe, reflect, and work on letting go landed in my inbox at just the right time. Much needed and appreciated.

  19. I like the concept of this and particularly the environmentally friendly cards! I do agree with others on the rhythm and timing and for me, the forgiveness, especially of others, felt a little simplistic. I only wish it were that easy for the weight to lift from my shoulders, however much I hope it too. I’m also another long-term Moodscope user.

    1. I’m happy to hear your enthusiasm, Sue, and it’s also incredibly helpful to get your feedback on the content itself. I’m learning a tremendous amount, I can tell you.

      It’s great to know that you’re still finding Moodscope helpful.

  20. I think I tried the windy beach a couple weeks ago–as well as today. It works and I didn’t realize it. I have been beating myself up about my Mother and how I think I didn’t manage her care very well. A couple weeks ago I let that regret blow out to sea. Maybe a week after that, I was getting ready to beat myself up and I couldn’t find that thought. It had just blown itself out to sea and disappeared under the frothy waves.
    Thanks.
    What’s next?

    1. Well, two trips to the windy beach were obviously better than one for you, Marilu.

      Happy to hear it’s proving a winning strategy.

      What’s next? Watch this space. I’m thinking hard about next steps, so there may be another of those brief pause things. Hopefully really quite brief, though.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  21. I have now visited Skegness beach (it was always windy when I went as a kid lol) twice. The first time the change in volume made me jump, but this time I was concentrated more on letting the cards go so didn’t really notice it.

    My mood has lifted more since trying visualisation, but I do struggle a little to see the beach although the cards flew off quite quickly. I did smile when you mentioned that they are environmentally friendly.

    Thank you

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