In 1968 my daughter Eva was born in Santa Monica Ca, in 2007 she was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer. In 2009 a seed was planted and in 2010 I started The Guided Imagery Collective in order to play a significant role in her recovery and to help others learn about cancer and the power one has in managing their own healing through relaxation, breath and guided imagery. I knew I wanted to turn up the volume on the entire field of guided Imagery and that’s where it began. A dear friend Michael Rey who is as committed to the service of imagery and design as I and works with non profit cultural institutions and a children’s hospital got on board and we formed the Guided Imagery Collective under the banner of his Intersection +, a division of Intersection Studios in Venice.
Unlocking the mystery
Timing in bringing alternative modalities into the sciences and medicine rarely favors the patient client and shifts in embracing new modalities often require a generation. A journey of 40 years between 1968 and 2010 has been years where many experienced new models of healing and trends in wellness - some quietly gaining a foothold and not so quietly impacting our culture.
What has been a semi-quiet revolution is now emerging as a new paradigm of mindbody healing. The large ripple in the medical scientific pond began back in the late 70’s when the lock on research and cellular biology was opened and significant studies validated what the quiet revolution knew all along but never successfully argued its merits scientifically, that a messenger molecule of the immune system that signals white blood cells to attack pathogens and cancer cells can be switched on or off by being influenced through a variety of forms of mind-body communication (The ability and power of the mind to help influence the body in healing.) Most of us don’t know of these discoveries let alone the implications that they have on our own recovery. Some find out too late to engage in finding paths that breakthrough or in some instances alter the devastation of life threatening encounters with illness regardless of the outcomes which is what happened to a dear friend Jay who’s primary caregiver his wife Jana steadfastly worked to switch on that communication only to lose her husband in the end.
Battles aren’t always defined by wining and losing but by gaining ground. Jay influenced this ground breaking through Jana’s gift of the book Cell Level Meditation (see reviews in resource section) referencing Candace Pert’s Molecules of Emotion. Ironically my own path of 40 years as a guide of inner work and healing and a professional in the design arena only opened the window of possibility. The door was pried opened for me when the dots began connecting through the new sciences and biology. Now I had a new ground and new tools to remedy my daughter’s painful experience with her treatments. Eva and I started working together using guided imagery.
Turning up the Volume and the digital shout
Revolutions don’t happen simply but are intersections of convergent events. The mind-body complementary model is no exception. In this case it’s the convergence with the digital revolution’s web ecology, the other New Paradigm story, which heralds technology and its morphing of the information society, giving everyone new freedoms of choice. It is this new freedom of information and knowledge in self-care management that is the shout of humanity and is beginning to be heard. A shout that has become the essential calling of the The Guided Imagery Collective (GIC). GIC will participate in this broad landscape of the web ecology and introduce guided imagery to larger segments and to offer tools for everyone who needs them, for everyone who wants to work with them and for everyone who wants to pioneer them as the revolution gains momentum.
In the web world the traffic on the Web for medical information, is the second leading reason why people use search on the Internet. This revolution wants to be felt and by making information more accessible demand will follow. If we can create a commons, a collective that is a repository for what’s the best of these tools and have compassionate donors sharing them then the voice of the revolution gets louder, stronger and our communities become more enriched.
A value curve
Technology is no panacea; our task is in utilizing these tools and to stand in this light of self-empowering guided imagery gifts. To act as trustees and share both our victories and struggles paving the way for more Eva’s to journey into their own dance of wellness. We have the tools, the values and compassion to collectively evolve into creating new patterns of healing. Every time someone connects with the collective the collective grows and the voice for guided Imagery gets heard and healing will take place. The revolution is not new it is our collective vision – a call to serve to guide and be guided; and to take care of our loved ones. Beautiful minds, creative energies, visionaries are all small links into expanding the compassionate circle through the flow of evolving forms of right livelihood and self care. New research findings will continue and new tools crafted and more beings will find their calling to participate in their healing. That’s the play we are all acting in, some sooner others later. From 1968 to 2010 mine seemed like a dress rehearsal as I honed my talents for this journey but the heart is the guide. It is our time to engage and to act, to enter the Guided Imagery Collective.