"If you can see it...you can be it!"
~ Andrea Chervenak
With a greater understanding of the relationship between the mind and the body, comes an awareness of our own personal power, and the role our thoughts and what we focus our attention on, can have on our physical and emotional health.
It was during a particularly challenging time in my own life - having struggled with a chronic illness for more than 10 years - did I begin to realize that I was unknowingly perpetuating my suffering by keeping my focus on what was wrong in my life, rather than that which I wanted: good health, peace, and a sense of purpose. The wisdom of great spiritual teachers like Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Wayne Dyer enabled me to realize that if I shifted my thoughts and focus to what I wanted to attract, I could in effect, change the course of my life! And so I began using visutalization to help me to keep my focus on the what I wanted to think, feel and be...and found it to be a very useful and empowering tool.
The idea is to learn to release the thoughts that are weakening you, and replace them with what is is you do want to think, feel and be. Illness, especially when it is a long term, chronic situation, can have a damaging impact on self-image and self-esteem. Your entire thought process can become more negative and the illness can begin to define you. Thinking of yourself as “sick” negatively impacts your thoughts, as well as your physical body, and can feed what easily can become a downward spiral: illness = negative thinking = more negative thinking = prolonged illness.
Much like doing exercises to improve your physical body, mastering and seeing results from visualization may take a little time, but the results make the effort very worthwhile.
I know that some of these techniques may seem a bit strange at first, when you think "outside the box" that is often the case. But they have had a powerful and positive impact in my life, and have aided me in refocusing my mental and physical energies, resulting in some very positive changes.
PURPOSE: This exercise is helpful for releasing blocked emotion, pain, anxiety or physical symptoms:
- Sit or stand in a quiet place and imagine there is a cord that extends from your lower spine that connects deep to the center of the earth.
- Focus on whatever negative emotion or thought you want to eliminate.
- Take a deep breath in as you visualize the thought/feeling/emotion gathering up into the center of your body. As you exhale deeply, see the thought/feeling/emotion being released through the cord – leaving your body, and being released deep into the center of the earth. Do this until you feel as though all you have wanted to release is gone.
- Now envision a huge sun – a bright, warm, beautiful sun – that is sitting just above your head. This magnificent sun is full of all of the wonderful things you want to think and feel.
- Now imagine that this sun, so full of all of these wonderful thoughts and feelings, bursting and spreading all of its goodness into your body through the top of your head... feel it flowing throughout your body…from your head to your toes, you are filled with all of its good and wonderful thoughts and feelings!
PURPOSE: Releasing specific and/or vague thoughts, feelings and physical symptoms
This exercise is really quite simple:
- Draw in a very deep breath, through your nose and deeply enough so that you stomach expands.
- Imagine whatever it is you wish to rid yourself of is gathering into your upper body, by the very power of the breath you are taking in.
- Release the breath through your mouth and visualize the pain/fatigue/sadness(whatever you want to release) exiting your body.
- Repeat until you feel that whatever you needed to release is gone.
- Refocus your thoughts on the way it is you want to feel.
PURPOSE: Letting go of negative expecataion through awareness and refocusing your thoughts
Knowing you should think positive thoughts, and doing it are two very different things, especially when you are dealing with challenge in your life. It is easy to develop a pattern of self-defeating, negative thinking, that you are not even aware of. When you become an observer in your own life - by paying attention to the kind of self-talk that goes on within you are better able to recognize self-defeating and negative thought patterns that may be standing in the way of your healing, or ability to be aligned with a more positive energy. Observe your reactions to everything - from how you feel to the events that occur on a daily basis. Do you live in positive anticipation or in negative expectation. Every time something bad happens, do you think, "just my luck," or if you are dealing with illness do you find yourself thinking, "I'm never going to feel well again," because if so, this is self-defeating and counter to what you really want - which is to be feel well and attract good things to your life.
Thought replacement is not really an exercise, but rather a method of becoming aware of the negative thought patterns that may be interfering with your ability to remain positive. By refocusing your thoughts, you can help to break these negative patterns, and in a sense reprogram the brain to think more positively.
So what do you do when you begin to recognize your negative thought patterns? Simple: acknowledge what your are thinking/feeling, and consciously let it go. Make the choide to think positive and let go of negatitve thinking with a statement such as: “no negative thoughts or feelings are welcome in my body and mind…only good thoughts and good feelings are welcome here.” Use Grounding Cord/ Sunshine or the Breath Release Technique to actually see youself letting go of the negative thinking, and replacing it with what it is you want to think, feel, and be.
I had been ill for over 10 years, and had beocme so aligned with negative thinking and expectation, when I first started acknowledging and trying to let go of these patterns, I think I did this release/replace exercise dozens and dozens of times a day. Now it has become second nature, and I am often not even conscious of doing it..I have replaced the pattern of expecting the worst with one that allow me to more easily let go of the negative and and to refocus on the positive.
You will find more detailed information about the Release/Replace Exercise, and other exercises I have used to "retrain the brain" in my book, Heal With Hope: A Healing Handbook & Journal. Or contact me and I will arrange to get this information to you. Andrea@HealWithHope.com
PURPOSE: Protection for sensitive people
If you are a very sensitive person, and by this I mean that you really feel and/or take on other people’s pain and suffering, and seem to attract other’s negative energy - try this simple trick I was taught by a wonderful cranio-sacral therapist:
Imagine the edge of your entire body as having a very thin invisible shield…and when in a potential situation where you might be attracting a weakening energy, say to yourself, “Be defined” and visualize the protective coating at the edge of your body shielding anything harmful from penetrating your space. I know it sounds kooky – but it helps soft-hearted, sensitive people from taking on things you don’t need or want!!