By: Leslie Davenport
Publisher: Celestial Arts
Publication Date: February 2009
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: February 2011
In a word, Leslie Davenport has created something truly inspirational. The concept of Guided Imagery, which is what Ms. Davenport has been bringing into the mainstream of the medical world, is based on a very simple premise of imagination, and the fact that all of us are, in fact, storytellers and our visualizations and images of life can offer us all a chance to heal. Since 1989, this author has established guided imagery programs in five hospitals – programs that help dynamic, effervescent people who have recently had the rug pulled out from under them get back on track. With this program, people are able to find a way into their private sanctuary and listen to their own hearts in order to live happier, more fulfilled lives.
Humans have a history of setting ourselves up at a very early age for “Happily Ever After.” We somehow always “know” what will fulfill our lives on the job-front, home-front, marital front, etc, and even though we understand that life is an ever-changing thing, we still get very upset when the apple-cart overturns and we have to head in a new direction.
In this fantastic book, Ms. Davenport offers up stories from eleven different people and how they were able to use Guided Imagery/Eyes Open Imagery in order to help them through their individual crises. Roselyn used a dream remembrance from her youth of a mother cat bearing kittens, and was able to find a clear path to deal with her cancer treatments. Readers also meet Evelyn, who uses tree/nature imagery to come to terms with her hospice care and the guilt and stress she feels over leaving her grandson behind. We enter the life of a go-getter in the corporate world who witnessed his father live the same life, and has to find a way to deal with the stress that has brought on a heart attack. From marital issues to absolute fear of cultural issues and financial difficulties, all areas of human stress is covered, explained, and then put to the test of Guided Imagery techniques in order to solve peoples’ problems and concerns. One of the most heartening examples is a woman who has it all – friends, job, a happy life, health – yet she has a deep intense ache in her heart that she just can’t seem to explain or repair.
Ms. Davenport looks at many different cultures throughout history that have used a form of dream imagery in their daily lives. From citing Buddhism to poetry – meditation to religions – she separates the myths from the truth and offers people a poignant way to stop the stress and change their lives for the better.
Becoming programmed by the world around us is an absolute truth. But our hearts do contain pictures, images, symbols – some present-day and others passed down from natural, ancient sources of wisdom – that we can use to re-direct our own paths. One of the most interesting techniques is Liminality. Liminal is Latin for threshold which, in a nutshell, means exiting the “old” to then be able to clear space for the new images to appear. People in the “arts” are a bit more familiar with the concept seeing as the “clear space” is really the birthplace of creativity where the actor/writer forms the ideas that will lead them into a new reality.
This book is not “hooey,” which I know is something that a lot of individuals think about when hearing words such as meditation and inner wisdom. This is a proven technique that truly allows a way out of the fear, stress, tension and pain that life delivers. The old adage ‘Mind Over Matter’ is still accepted in today’s world, but what if the mind – and our preconceived notions – could be overcome by the heart?
A line that will echo in readers’ minds after reading and putting to use this amazing work is when Michelangelo once said the words: I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
Quill says: A fantastically written book that not only supplies new techniques to make us all happier and healthier, but also backs up these ideas, thoughts, and philosophies 100% with proven cases. A must-read!
For more information on Healing and Transformation through Self-Guided Imagery, please visit the author's website at: www.lesliedavenport.com