Last week my mother and I took her oldy cat Purdy to the vet because we thought she had rotten teeth. But preliminary blood tests showed she had late stage kidney disease, so we chose to put her down.
Before we knew about the kidney disease I practiced envisioning Purdy as tooth-healed, no longer in pain, happy and calm and eating easily. Envisioning a happy healthy outcome didn't stop Purdy from dying; but I would hazard to guess that being calm and happy around her made her last days calmer and happier than if I'd fretted and worried. We all pick up on non-verbal cues, after all. I would have been putting out vibes that said "There's something very wrong!!"
To be clear, I see a difference between empty fantasizing, and inhabiting the emotions. This is about conjuring how it would feel if we were at our ideal weight, or if we had our ideal job, or if we were published authors. For example, today I was weeding my mother's yard and the deeper I got into it, the more work I realized there was. So I said to myself: How would I feel if it were already done? Well, not discouraged or overwhelmed, right?
This technique seems to help in two ways: First, to reach our goals...
- I'm more likely to exercise because I already love my body and want to care for it;
- I exude confidence at an interview because I already believe I'm successful and valued;
- I hammer out my daily word count cause I know I'm talented, I'm a great writer, and writers write;
- I keep weeding instead of throwing in the trowel and heading indoors to watch Buffy reruns.
But there's a second effect of thinking this way: It makes our present happier. So that no matter what the outcome is, life will have still been emotionally satisying.
RIP little Purdy-girl
"I see the rainbow bridge! Ooh it really is rainbow colored."