Mind-Movie Muse

By Stephanie Bianchi

I call this exercise Mind-Movie Muse. It is adapted from a method I use in my Music Therapy practice called The Bonny Method of GIM (Guided Imagery with Music). If you’re feeling blocked, uninspired, or just need to bust out of the cognitive box, this exercise can help you reach new levels of expanded awareness and creativity in an interesting and unexpected way.

To prepare for this experience:
1. Plan a 25 to 30-minute (or more if you desire) chunk of uninterrupted time and space.
2. Download one (or all) of these pieces onto your mp3 player or other music-playing device.
3. Cue the song(s) (or make a playlist) so all you have to do is hit “play.”

Part 1 – Induction:

1. Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. Close your eyes and for a few minutes act as an observer of your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Just notice without judgment what is in your mind and body.
2. After you have observed what is there, draw your attention to your breathing, gently slowing down, elongating your exhales. Do 8 full breaths inhaling deeply on a slow 4-count (1-2-3-4) and exhaling thoroughly on an 8-count (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8). Count the breaths on your fingers if you need help keeping track.
3. When you have done 8 complete breaths, return to your normal breathing.

Part 2 – Mind-Movie:

1. See or sense in your mind’s eye you entering a theatre, sitting down, and watching as the lights dim and the screen lights up.
2. Press play on your music playing device.
3. Letting the music guide your experience, watch the movie that unfolds in front of you. Do not control or judge what comes up, simply watch.
4. After the music has ended, you may want to stay for the “credits”.

Part 3 – Movie Review:

1. When you are ready to come back, slowly open your eyes and review the mind-movie you just “watched.”
2. Either write a synopsis of your experience (in a journal perhaps) or draw pictures of the main scenes of the mind-movie so you don’t forget it later. Sometimes the best parts are in the details.
3. If you have thoughts or ideas about any of your mind-movie, now is the time to review their implications.

Recommended Music:

For Exploration:
• Ottorino Respighi – “The Fountains of Rome”:
o I. Valle Giulia at Dawn, II. Triton Fountain at Morning, III. Trevi at Midday, IV. Villa Medici at Sunset
o https://music.apple.com/us/album/respighi-pines-of-rome-fountains-of-rome-debussy-la-mer/305779169

For Emotional Processing:
• Johannes Brahms – Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major for Piano and Orchestra:
o I. Allegro Non Troppo & III. Andante
o https://music.apple.com/us/album/brahms-concerto-no-2-in-b-flat-major-for-piano-orchestra/260833336

For Expansion:
• Ralph Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, followed by Symphony No. 5 in D Major – III: Romanza, Lento.
o https://music.apple.com/us/album/vaughan-williams-tallia-fantasia-fantasia-on-greensleeves/1440737329
o https://music.apple.com/us/album/vaughan-williams-symphony-no-5-in-d-major-fantasia/74709852

For Activating Blocked Energy:
• Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 – IV: Allegro Con Brio, followed by Alexander Borodin, “Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances”.
o https://music.apple.com/us/album/beethoven-symphonies-nos-5-7/880709749
o https://music.apple.com/us/album/borodin-polovtsian-dances-symphonies-nos-1-3-string/951659478

The pieces I have listed are just suggestions to get you started. If you have favorite pieces or songs that you know evoke imagery or inspire your imagination, try it with your own selections! I hope you enjoy breaking out of the cognitive box and letting your subconscious muse guide you!

For more information on The Bonny Method of GIM, click here:

For more information on Music Therapy, click here:

For more information on my private music therapy practice, click here:

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