I've had hypnotherapy and trance sessions from my brother-in-law and Dan Russell. During one session with my brother-in-law, he asked me to call to mind what my safe or happy space might be. Immediately I thought of a walled garden with citrus trees and patios stones warm to the touch from the beautiful sunny day. As I've meditated over the years, this imaginary place has become more detailed as time has gone on.
I walk down the cool and shady granite steps into the garden, holding my hand up to shield my eyes as I acclimatise to the warm and bright sunlight. The ginger cat is in its usual place, laid out asleep on the stone bench and my cat is waiting for me, greeting me with a chirrup and and a sideways tail swipe. Running my fingers through her silken fur, it amuses me that she has followed me through from reality to this imagined world with no cat biscuits. I I take off my boots and wiggle my white toes on the warm stones, luxuriating in the heat and feeling of freedom after walking home in the cold and rain.
Years ago, I used to spend my time here sharing the stone bench with the cats, but my imagination has now created inviting blue-striped hammocks suspended over soft and verdant grass. I slide into the nearest one and gently close my eyes, letting the workday fade away in the heat and warmth of this sacred place. Sometimes it's completely silent here, and I let the absence of sound rejuvenate me after the cacophony of everyday living.
I wait for my husband. He walks out into the sunlight smiling and I run into his arms. His eyes are bright, incandescent with life and energy, and I weep with joy and relief to see him whole once again.