August 25th, 2005
I wrote an entry recently about the power of our minds. I want to expand on that, because the whole concept has played a large role in my own life and health. After having experienced some of the negative that my thoughts and belief patterns can produce in my own life (stemming back to childhood, but we won’t go there!), I am starting to experience more of the positive that can come from it, and it is both eerie and exciting.
I think back to 1998, a couple years after I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. My diagnosis came in 1996, after I experienced mild symptoms every few years, the worst being some vision problems. I was sent for an MRI to see what was going on. The MRI showed lesions on my brain, and the diagnosis followed. I was fine though… the vision problems went away, and by the time I met with a neurologist at the MS Clinic I was in remission and told MS would most likely never be a major factor in my life. Go home and forget about it.
So I did, for awhile. I would see commercials or ads for the MS Society, and my friends would say “does that freak you out?” and I’d look at them with a puzzled expression on my face. Then I would remember, oh yeah, I have that. Whatever. It didn’t impact me because I never thought about it. I don’t think I was in denial, I was simply focused on other things in my life like buying a condo, getting my first computer and email address (woo hoo!), and my new job.
Enter Annette Funicello featured on Entertainment Tonight. Oh sure, the interview was aired to show how brave she is for living with and battling this “horrible, incurable degenerative disease”. She is such an inspiration, and let’s all pray for her. Well, she was not an inspiration to me. She was (is) my worst possible case scenario, my greatest fear, and she terrified me. That interview scared the hell out of me and I started thinking “OH MY GOD that’s what I could end up like!!”. The more I worried about it, the worse I got. The worse I got, the more scared I became. The more scared I became, the more I turned to the MS Society and the MS Clinic for support, help and information and instead felt worse for it. (They’re not for me. I was actually told “you are most likely just going to get worse, so you might as well prepare for it”. Thanks for the vote of confidence!) I have not seen a neurologist since 2000 when I took myself off the drug they had me on, and I’m better off now doing my own thing, thankyouverymuch.
Anyway, I continued to get worse throughout 1998-2000, I believe, because I created it in my mind and so it happened in my body. Fear is powerful. Our minds are very powerful. Now when I meet newly diagnosed people or those who are scared and think they might have MS, that is the first thing I tell them: not to panic or get scared or think about “what might happen”, or they will make it happen. Stay positive and focus on other things in your life and minimize stress. Don’t worry about that which hasn’t, or may never, happen. Because then you’ve put it “out there” and you may draw that negative energy in and create that outcome.
Over the years I have done a lot of reading about the power of our minds, the health benefits from meditation, and how visualization and affirmations work. I have always been a firm believer that our thought processes and what we believe are the greatest influence on our lives. Authors like Louise Hay and Shakti Gawain have frequented my reading list. I recently saw What The Bleep Do We Know!?, a documentary which, aside from a few really stupid, useless scenes (that wedding? Hello?), made some very good points about how our thoughts and what we believe affect us. One being to discuss Dr. Emoto’s “Messages From Water” study. Dr. Emoto photographed drops of water after writing thoughts and feelings on the outside of each container. The water that carried phrases such as “thank you” and “I love you” crystallized with beautiful harmony. The water that had negative expressions such as “I hate you and wish you were dead” had a chaotic, dead, darkened look. Humans are, what… 80% water? If our thoughts can have that affect on a glass of water, imagine how they can affect US.
As I said, I have spent years learning about this stuff and believing it. I just never took the time to practice it. I never took even 10 minutes out of my day to sit back and relax, breathe, and meditate. Or visualize. Or say affirmations. I always intended to, I always believed it would help me, but continued to put it off for another day.
I have finally started. About a month ago I signed up for the free online course offered by Jose Silva’s UltraMind System (thanks Maggie for the referral!) This is truly for beginners, so it’s great for me. I listen to the audio every day and practice it. I have stopped whatever I am doing at least twice a day to sit back, breathe deep, and go to my center. Once there, I have been saying affirmations, positive phrases, and visualizing what I want.
So how has it been working… well, for starters, I am walking better. My left ankle, which has been a constant source of pain ever since I broke it 3 years ago, seems to have healed completely. I have not flinched in pain because of my ankle once since I started this, whereas it used to bother me several times/week, especially after walking. And I’ve been walking almost every day. My right foot is lifting up better these days too (don’t get me wrong, I still need my walker, but throwing that away is a part of my visualizations!). I have lost 13 pounds and stayed on my Weight Watchers program without faltering for the past 7 weeks (after trying HOW MANY times to get back on track with the weight loss in the past couple years??). I even visualized on Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon that I would see my WW leader write “1.2″ in my book for the amount of weight I lost last week, and that is exactly what happened Wednesday night (and my leader is not always the one I weigh in with, but she was the only one at the scales that night for the first time). Freaky. I wish I had visualized 3.2, but I wanted to keep it real!
I wanted to set it up so I could go to Toronto in October, and with the help of a certain business plan income I was able to book my flight a couple weeks ago. I started visualizing that I would have more money by then… both in the form of cash and a raised credit card limit so I wouldn’t have to worry about paying for the hotel I knew I would want for part of my stay. I figured I would call Visa in September and ask them to increase my limit, but today I checked my statement online and they have increased my limit by $2000 (!!!) without me even asking. I also have hundreds of dollars worth of new work coming at me like crazy in both the business planning and bookkeeping areas.
I think I am realizing that, on the man front anyway, sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. Heh. That one I am still trying to figure out. But, the visualizing did get me what (who) I wanted! I need to be a little more specific about some things, I guess. I should have a clearer picture by Monday, I’m hopin’.
I’ve also been feeling an overall sense of well-being and calmness. I haven’t stressed about things that would normally set me off. I’m just… being, instead of doing, for once. No stress or worry about anything is inside me right now for the first time in a long time, if ever. And if anything has come along to worry me, I meditate about it and come out with the answers and deal with that which is within my control. That which isn’t, I’m learning to shrug my shoulders at.
Bottom line here is, I am using the techniques I’m practicing to undo some damage and make positive changes in my life to improve my health and other situations, and it’s really working. I highly recommend it. I recently saw that Annette Funicello was about to be interviewed on another TV show, so I immediately changed the channel. I learned the hard way on that one, and I’m not going there again!