by Patricia Wagner
The Mind-Body-Spirit column introduces Visualization. . .
Visualization is a practice that is both meditation and prayer. It is contemplation upon all aspects of a particular quality or goal – a single pointed focus which will bring the object of your contemplation to your life.
In this and future columns, I am going to suggest that you see yourself as totally well, regardless of the supposed “facts”.
Why should you try this?
We are what we think. We are how we see ourselves. We attract to us those experiences that we expect, or live in fear of. You can believe this or not, but it is true. All the ancient wisdom and the most recent science points to this truth.
Not that you and I are not in exactly the right place and experiencing what we should be at this moment — I do not suggest imperfection in anyone who reads these words. Each and every one of you are fine just as you are. There is no reason for me to believe that you are not already whole. There is no doubt in my mind that each of you is unique and special. You need not change your beliefs or your habits unless you choose of your own volition. But if you would like to reach beyond what Western medicine has to offer you, in order to fully heal, I can think of no better action than to change your perceptions about your disease.
Recall that what we attract to ourselves, we do not do on a conscious level alone. In my case, it is quite possible that many of the feelings which I once experienced on a conscious level have been sublimated. It is also very possible that I do not consciously remember the subconscious programming which occurred in my earliest years of life, some of which may have been unhelpful. I’m sure that here and there I repressed those feelings and thoughts which caused me psychic pain, because I did not have the capabilities at the moment in which they surfaced to ameliorate or reconcile them. Our subconscious minds, which in fact extend to the very cells of our bodies, have no other recourse but to store such unresolved issues away until we are able to deal with them, and there they may well reside — locked within our organs, our sinews, and our bones, not to mention our hearts. For perhaps all of us, they will continue to remind us of their presence in the pains, and in the under or over performance of given systems, processes, and inner pathways, insisting that we address them when we are able.
I draw special emphasis to this important point: Who would ever consciously choose affliction over health? No one, of course. To condemn oneself for this, or allow others to do so, is entirely inappropriate. We are unaware of the silent movement of pain from the psyche to the soma when it is occurring.
Moreover, not all disease comes from mental or emotional causes. Pollution and other toxic environmental factors can serve as a catalyst to specific problems. Some of us may also believe that our misfortunes are due to karma, and must be lived through in order to achieve balance.
Regardless of how disfunction and pain has crossed our inner thresholds, I wish to convey to you, as one patient to another, that this end result can be reversed. It is possible to address these pains and fears and to replace them through positive imagery, with wellness.
In studies of patients who have had miraculous recoveries, there are several common themes:
- They are all extraordinary in their courage, their determination, and their belief that healing is possible
- They are willing to make a break with their past and begin anew
- They have supportive relationships, even if only with themselves, their angels and guides
- They have a sense that their behaviors and beliefs must first be healed before a physical resolution will be achieved
This is not to say that there isn’t a great deal of grace involved, as well. All those who have healed in miraculous ways have expressed certainty that their hopes and visions could be fulfilled only if and when it was God’s will. But as the story of the Prodigal Son illustrates, we, like the son, must first make the effort to return home and to reconcile with our circumstances. As you may recall, while the son is yet in the distance, the father has already begun preparing the celebration feast.
When they finally embrace, the father feels no need to forgive – he feels only love for his child. For father and son, healing is found in the opening of the heart to this love.
For us, as well, it is only within this blossoming of the heart that the inner sense of healing arises. Whether the signature of this inner healing is punctuated with a concurrent outward healing cannot be promised. Nothing can occur, however, if we do not take the first step of the journey of our own initiative.
There are no absolutes in this matter we now consider. We honestly don’t know why total healing doesn’t always manifest when one has held, in pure focus, the attainment of this. But we do know that without setting the goal of healing, one will remain in stasis, managing only around the edges and largely powerless, therefore likely to traverse the trail described by those patients who have gone before us, and reinforced by all that medical research into our disease tells us to expect.
I have personally made the decision that my subconscious will not be allowed to make any false assumptions such as these: this disease will cause pain and debilitation, endless fatigue, and a diminishment of one’s full capabilities; it’s progressive and may well be terminal. This familiar prognosis is widely shared by us, and most of us receive daily reinforcement of these expectations. These beliefs lie not only on the surface, but reside deeply within us.
As is said in Romans 12:2, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If you will join me in this, we will be replacing all of the aforementioned negative expectations with positive ones.
Did I hear you say, “But why should I get my hopes up only to be let down?”
Actually, no matter what belief system we adhere to, we can never know for certain if we are absolutely correct in it. We can make educated guesses, but ultimately must have faith in our decisions. To live in doubt is a terrible way to live.
Faith may be a placebo, but allopathic medicine tells us that a placebo can be quite powerful. So even if what I am suggesting to you seems illogical, remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The longer you focus on your goal, using visualization techniques, the more real it will begin to feel. If you persist, it may in fact become real.
I’m not kidding! Consider this: In studies conducted by Australian scientist, G.I. Moseley, it was found that when a control group of patients with chronic pain began practicing visualization exercises simply imagining that they were moving their painful limbs, within twelve weeks of this “virtual” therapy, pain had diminished in some and disappeared in half. How remarkable this is! These patients used imagination, not medication, and through restructuring their thinking they actually restructured the manner in which their bodies processed pain.
As Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. points out in Courageous Dreaming , it is necessary to reclaim your power to dream boldly and courageously, conscious of your journey through infinity. Otherwise, dreams will stall at the level of thinking, planning, and worrying too much. “To dream courageously, we must be willing to use our hearts.”
Willing to dream courageously, I choose to see myself as being totally well. In this sense I am no longer a patient. Others who have gone before me in this quest have had astonishing results. Why not me?
And why not you, as well? I hope that you will join me.
Next month we will discuss exactly how to begin seeing yourself as totally well. Blessings until then.
© Patricia Wagner and MPNforum.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patricia Wagner and MPNforum.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Comments on: "Mind-Body-Spirit (March)" (3)
There was never a doubt in my mind that you would find the opportunity to connect with humanity. Though missing your physical presence in SCC, I cherish the times afforded to us in the past. Your courage, words of pure wisdom and tenacity inspire me to live life fully in each moment. I “see you as the vibrant and loving soul that you are.” Please continue to manifest this wonderful journey.
Paricia………Thank you for the opportunity that you are making available to us. I am convinced you are right. I look forward to beginning the “HOW” of seeing myself totally well.
Even if I were skeptical, which I am not, as they say….”We have everything to gain and nothing to lose”.
Thank you for continuing the dialogue on the mind/spirit/ body interaction. I am trying to do some meditation/visualization daily but it is a struggle. I find the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn (U. Mass Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine) very helpful.
I am not quite at ease with your belief about the extent the mind contributes to illness. Nevertheless, anything that contributes to creating a healing environment – internal and external- promotes health and eases suffering.