This article was submitted by Dean O’Shea, a client of mine who wanted to share his experience with RIM and the impact it had on him. Thanks Dean for this wonderful submission. If you would like to submit your experience for potential publication, please write to me at email@example.com ~Rebecca
I’m sitting in a forest on a stump and all is covered in a thick green moss, soft and bouncy. The wind and the light filtering through the treetops high above making the forest undulate as if alive, and the sound of rustling leaves and the whistling of wind between the tall trees is the only sound. In front of me, painted in a shaft of light, is a single purple flower, delicately drooping but majestically alive. In all the forest this is the only one, its heart and soul.
Really I’m sitting on my bedroom floor in a modern apartment in London, my eyes closed and my ears covered by headphones, the only actual sound that of my facilitator on the other end. She says barely anything and yet guides me through the maze of my subconscious to exactly where I need to be. The place that we’ve found is a memory, and this is the process of regenerating images in memory, or RIM.
This isn’t daydreaming or hypnotism as some people might believe, it’s simply allowing what needs to happen, to happen.
Unfortunately your conscious and subconscious minds speak different languages, one direct and rational, the other fluid and rich with meaning, but sometimes all you need is a facilitator to help these two neighbours understand one another.
All my life I had struggled with finding my purpose and finally at the age of 30 I decided to actually do something about it. So I quit my job, spent my life savings on coaches and mentors, online programs and Instagram followers, trying desperately to get my message out to the world, to be seen, to be heard and to make a difference. All I ever wanted to do was to help people overcome their darkest fears, but in the process I ended up suffocating in my own.
Day in day out I would throw myself at my task, forcing myself up at 5.30 in the morning, running around the block and then jumping in a cold bath to wake myself up, chanting affirmations in front of the mirror and trying to convince myself that it was all worth it. I dreamed of changing the world, but for all I’d strived, all I’d done, the world hadn’t even noticed.
After nearly a year of struggling this way I started to break down, mentally and physically. I would have bi-weekly mental breakdowns, get sick for a month, and a powerful depression would come over me from time to time, sinking me into the ground until I couldn’t even move. Eventually I realized that I felt more trapped – emotionally and physically – than I ever had in my previous life, and I was about to give in when I got a little help from a friend.
I’m standing on the top of a desert dune looking out over an endless expanse of red and blue. The wind whips up the sand in patterns, moving and shifting across the landscape. Somehow they seem to know exactly where they want to go and move with a quiet determination. It’s a lonely place, barren and daunting, and though the sun beats down from above, I feel cold. There’s something I want desperately, somewhere out there, a yearning for something far off and indefinable; but I can’t reach it.
Suddenly a desert fox appears on the horizon walking slowly towards me. It moves with a graceful ease, each step flowing like the wind, its course so sure, so true. It stops a few feet from me and sits down, it’s rich red and white coat speckled with black spots. It looks at me with wise eyes, saying nothing and yet meaning so much. It is my virtual resource, everything I need in this exact moment to give me strength, to help me face my fears.
This is how your subconscious communicates, not with words or logic, but with imagery and metaphor. This is one of the many tools in RIM, allowing yourself to receive the message your subconscious has for you and letting you know that you have everything you need inside to face it, if you simply allow it to be.
Just sitting there and facing that scene I know what I need to do, just as I did sitting in the forest watching the purple flower glow in the sunlight. They are a part of me that I need to express, things buried deep within that represent my heart and soul, they’ve just been covered over by layers of anxiety, fear and distractions.
To quote Shrek: “Ogres are like onions…layers.” We go through life with all this surface stuff constantly harrowing us, covering up who we truly are. You are not your job, you are not your bank account, you are not your relationship, but these things can seem like who you are because they’re always on top of you.
The process of RIM is a stripping away of everything that is not you.
When you take the time to go down through all the layers, leave all your worries and distractions behind and just allow yourself to be, then what you find is the real you shining out. Just like the flower, just like the fox.
In our normal lives we constantly try to fight our emotions, push them down so we can present this front of strength and togetherness, but what we’re really doing is burying them beneath more and more layers. Well what we resist, persists and until you bring it out into the light it will keep on nagging at you and bringing anxiety to the surface.
Imagine that your subconscious has a message for you and imagine this message is like the mailman at your door. If you ignore them they might go away for a time, but they’ll be back to deliver that message over and over again, constantly banging on the door of your conscience until you answer them.
But if, instead of resisting, you simply allow yourself to receive the message, then the mailman will go away, his job done, and he’ll stop bothering you. This is the same with all those feelings we supress, all those anxieties we bury deep down. They may seem scary on the surface, but if you keep resisting them, they’ll never go away.
Imagine that you have a thorn in your arm and you know it will be painful to remove, so you leave it alone, cover it up under some plaster. But things keep bumping into it and bringing back the pain, so you work around it, trying not to use that arm so it won’t get hurt anymore. Now you’re going through life with just one arm, but it still gets bumped about from time to time, the pain not going away.
So you build a complicated contraption around your arm so that nothing can bump into it, but now you find you can’t get the contraption through doors, so you decide to just stay at home so you don’t have to take it off. Now you’re trapped by the very defence mechanism you’ve built to protect yourself. You can’t use your arm, you can’t leave the house and this creates even more problems for you.
But what if you just pulled the thorn out? Well you might find that – even though it’s painful at first – the wound heals eventually, and then you’re free to do whatever you want. If you can see how ridiculous covering up a thorn in your arm with elaborate contraptions sounds then perhaps you can see how ridiculous it is to ignore your problems.
RIM gives us a unique opportunity to confront our problems in a controlled environment. Using your virtual resource and a huge variety of other tools you can have the strength to face even your darkest fears knowing that they can’t hurt you.
Yes, sometimes you might come across a scary door, and maybe you don’t have the resources to confront what’s on the other side just yet, but at least now you know where it is, and the more you face your fears, the stronger you’ll become. Then, when you’re ready, you can come back and face that scary door and once you shine your light inside it, you may realise that it wasn’t so scary after all.
Now that I’ve been through this process a few times I’ve discovered so much about myself:
- No I’m not invincible
- No I can’t save the world by myself
- No that’s not even what I wanted in the first place
- Yes I can face my fears
- Yes it’s ok to fail
- Yes there’s still time to grow
Since my experiences with RIM I’ve realised that it’s ok to take a step back and just be me. I’d been trying so hard to be someone else that I didn’t even realise I was resisting myself. Now I’ve started contracting for my old job again part time and because they realised how much they needed me, now they pay me double what they did before.
I work half the time and still get the same money, which allows me the time and financial freedom to pursue my passion without burning myself out. I’m not trying to save the whole world anymore, just helping one person at a time and I’m able to be so much more present without my other anxieties constantly knocking on my door.
RIM is a wonderfully versatile tool that – by its very nature – is personal to everyone. Your journey may be very different from mine, but I guarantee you that along the way you will discover the messages your subconscious has for you, discover the resources you already have to overcome your difficulties, and be more conscious of what you need in your life to become who you truly were meant to be: that inner light.