This past week I was thinking back to my days as a college volleyball player. Each week, the day before a match, we would meet with our team psychologist after practice to go through some mental exercises.
We would work first work on our breath, quiet our minds and then visualize ourselves in game situations.
In our mindeye, we would watch ourselves perform the physical skills we practiced each day; serving, spiking, blocking, and digging with perfection.
We would feel the angle of our arms, feel the spring in our jump, see the hole in the block… the exact spot we would hit the ball, or perfectly place our serve.
When we experienced it in our brains, our bodies didn’t know the difference between imagining it and performing it. And when we really focused and did the work to see it first, it showed up on the court.
When faced in a game with the same imagined situation, our bodies knew how to respond.
We decided and practiced ahead of time, to succeed.
Did you know you can do this very same thing with your life?
The power of visualization is incredible because you can literally learn, do, or become whatever you can see first in your brain.
For those of you who consider yourselves to be a little stressed out, this can be especially helpful, because sometimes just anticipating how we might feel in the future can be a huge source of stress!
If we think we might experience some pain or worry about a future event, we create it first, by visualizing it in our brains. And remember, our brains don’t know the difference between imagination and reality, so you can produce excruciating emotional pain, without any external reason.
Think about yourself.
Are you afraid of how you will react in a future event?
Do you wonder what will happen if you don’t like kid’s choices of spouses?
Do you fear celebrating the holidays if everyone can’t all be together?
Maybe you’re scared you won’t like your new boss, or won’t get along with new co-workers.
And here’s a big one, -What if it’s horrible to be alone with your spouse once the kids are gone?
This was a huge fear of mine and really what prompted me initially to do this work.
If you feel like this applies to you, I want you to know you’re not alone, but also that you have the power to end your own suffering.
Deciding ahead of time that things will all work out is totally an option for us.
We can decide that no matter who our children decide to love, we will love them too.
We can determine that no matter how our boss behaves, we will manage our minds to be happy and find joy in our work.
We can choose that no matter what, we will enjoy our holidays and be present with whomever we are with, even though we love and miss the other members of our family.
AND we can also decide, here and now, that the empty nest is going to be fantastic! We can choose to embrace a little more peace and quiet, get excited about more time alone together, and make plans to celebrate this beautiful rite of passage.
Create it in your mind first.
The emotions you generate from seeing yourself happy, relaxed, loving… will be the exact fuel that you need to create that reality.
See the way you respond to certain situations.
Visualize yourself being happy and enjoying whatever situation arises.
Watch yourself react with love and confidence and compassion.
This takes practice, it’s not a one and done… but if you’re serious about being the author and creator of your life, it’s important work indeed.
Anticipation is such a delicious emotion, when we are anticipating something wonderful. That’s why Christmas Eve is so much fun and why we don’t want the season to end.
On the other hand, anticipating pain can make us a mental wreck.
But do you see, no one can know exactly what the future will hold, so if we have the choice to anticipate pain or pleasure, why not choose pleasure?
Now, if this sounds good but you just can’t figure out how to apply this yourself, I’d be honored to help.
My husband’s mother passed away yesterday and it’s a bittersweet time. His mom was 95 and has been quite miserable for the past five years.
As I’ve loved on my husband and shared this time with him, I found myself saying, “Can you believe we get to be this happy together? How can we be so blessed and lucky?
But the truth is yes, we are blessed!
But it wasn’t luck that created our happiness together.
It was my decision about six years ago, to do the work and get the help I needed from another coach, just like me.
It was envisioning the future I wanted for us, and deciding to make it this way.
And YOU, my friend, can do it too.