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The Campfire CauldronThe Campfire Cauldron

Below is an example of a visualisation to exercise your imagination and help you to relax mentally. It is best to read this when you are somewhere comfortable with nothing of importance to do for the next 10 minutes. Make the images as vivid as you can and at the same time, allow your body to relax by taking slow, deep breaths.


Imagine the flame of a candle, just flickering slightly in the subtle movement of the air, with the faintest wisp of black smoke rising in a wobbly line above the yellow tip of the flame. Focus on the very base of the flame now, below the bluish part to the point where the flame is colourless. Relax your eyes whilst staring at that flame in your mind, and begin to see a form taking shape within the clear part at the base. As you peer more closely, you see the image of a distant campfire at night nestled in a beautiful wooded valley. You somehow have the ability to draw closer to this scene, perhaps effortlessly floating there, so that the numerous fir trees there no longer obscure your view of the fire, they just form a natural frame to this image of the campfire setting.

Camp FireAt present there are no people by the fire, although there is a very comfortable looking log-bench which seems to invite you to sit down. As you do so you tilt your head up to admire the midnight sky poised silently above you. A thousand stars, scattered like diamonds sparkle against the dark velvet backdrop of the universe. One star is so bright it seems closer than the rest, as though hanging motionless by an invisible thread.

With a sigh of contentment, you gaze into the flickering glow of the fire and begin to realise that the flames are licking the edges of an object hung directly over the campfire. You wonder absently why you had not noticed this rather obvious detail until now, and curiosity compels you to lean forward to peer into what seems to be a cauldron. To your amazement, some kind of smoke or steam starts to billow out from the cauldron and waft around the edges, gradually dispersing into the night. You feel the warmth on your face as you struggle to make out the contents of the pot silhouetted against the brightness of the flames beneath.

Eventually, your eyes grow accustomed to the strange light and you can just detect the surface of some liquid inside, bubbling away. Slowly, the bubbles subside, allowing you to see an image reflected in the still water. An image of you, looking so happy and serene, a peacefulness radiating from your smiling face and relaxed body. You sense that this is a scene from your future, not long from now, at a time when you have discovered that happiness is a choice you make, a state of mind that is entirely within your control. You have claimed your own happiness and you’ve never felt so good.

And now you can just bring your thoughts back to the here and now, and any good feelings you have noticed can come with you. Spend a few moments now letting your mind return to full alertness (this could be done by counting the odd numbers from one to fifteen).

Catherine Blackwood
Essex Hypnotherapy

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