Question: 

Hi Belleruth,

I have been using your guided imagery audio for pain for several weeks now.  I love it!  Thanks so much!  I have one issue, though.  Although I am greatly soothed by your voice, I find myself distracted when you are talking about what my “special place” might be, as I have identified it and go there easily.  Do you have any suggestions? Should I just put on the music (which I also purchased and absolutely love) and attempt to do my own imagery without your wonderful voice? That would seem so less “guided.”
Thanks!

P.S. I have used Steven Mark Kohn’s music accompanying my acupuncture and it is perfect.

Dear Chris,

Thanks for the kind words.  I’ll pass them along to Steve. 

What you say about all the choices for the special place is something we've all heard before.... so much so in fact, that I've cut down the number of options on recent recordings. 

But maybe after I explain why they were written that way, it won't bother you as much.  Here's the thing:

Every time someone imagines something super-sensory - like the feel of waves lapping at ankles and sand squishing between toes - they go deeper and deeper into the kind of altered, super-relaxed, immersive, right brain state that you want to be in, in order to get maximum healing impact for the subsequent imagery.  

So that string of different images you hear: the smell of peat moss in the woods;  the feel of slippery pine needles under your feet on the forest floor;  heavy sweetness of meadow grass;  ozoney, crisp, ocean air; sitting on a nice, warm rock in the sun... etc etc... that's not to help your left brain decide on a place – most people   already have that choice made.  Rather it's to let each sensory image gently nudge your right brain into sinking deeper and deeper into immersive, healing, altered state. So all you have to do is let your attention rest lightly on each suggestion and then move on.  It's a matter of exercising your sensory and imaginal muscle, to ready you for the more targeted imagery to come.

If this is impossible for you to do, then you could either give yourself permission to just ignore that part;  or you could start the CD where that section ends, using a counter so you know the exact spot; or you could just use the music alone, as you propose.

But, really, I think the problem could simply be coming from your notion that you're supposed to be using those suggestions to help you decide on a place, rather than its true purpose, to help you get into the optimum, right brain mind state.

I hope this helps.  Please let me know what you decide!
All best,
Belleruth