Everything you give attention grows. If you give your chronic pain attention all day your pain will grow.
A good friend of mine told me:
Everything you dream or can think of is possible.
Everyone knows this, but we tend to forget this.
-- P.P. de Ruiter --
How the universe works
The universe works with pictures and emotions. The more clear and compleet you picture is that you imagine, the quicker this goal will come to you.
The stronger the emotion is that is attached to this picture, the faster it will come to you.
The more attention you give this, the more attention it will get, increasing the speed to accomplish this situation.
The universe however doesn’t know the difference between positive or negative emotions. Only the strength of the emotion counts.
If you want to loose weight, you should create the picture of yourself when you have reached you ideal target weight. If you can’t imagine that and you see yourself on your scale weighing 200 kg with a very strong feeling of dismay, disgust and dispair. The universe sees the picture of you with a weight of 200 kg with a very strong emotion and sends this to you. Or in better words: this is what you will attract.
Chronic Pain Patients (including myself) often do the same:
We create the picture: I am free of pain or I do not have pain anymore.
The problem is that the picture we are painting is: PAIN, with a very strong emotion of frustration, anger, hopelessness, depression etc. So the universe sends more: Here is more pain, with compliments of the universe.
How can you change this? Very simple: Create consciously the right goals!
You can start with ONE goal. Personally I like to create 7 goals (yearly). One goal for the following themes of my life:
- Relaxation / Hobbies (personal time)
- Contribution to the world.
Use the I’m special system as a checklist to check if your goal (s) are formulated positive enough. Then you can’t go wrong.
Always make sure you have I in your goal. Start with it if possible. For years I wished a swimming pool in the garden.
With a beautiful picture of the swimming pool I desired on my vision board. My wish came through. Since the end of May 2015 my neighbours have the long desired swimming pool in their garden. Only 5 meters away from our garden, separated by a fence. Even though I was disappointed that the swimming pool was in the wrong garden, I understand the fun of the universe. I celebrated that this goal was realised and I set a new goal: “I have a swimming pool in MY garden”
After looking at swimming pools it turns out we have no agreement on the shape and size of the pool, nor the place where it should be located. So this swimming pool is probably not coming any time soon, and I am happy to leave it at that for my passion is not in it anymore. But maybe one day, I will get the swimming pool after all.
Built yourself a MEGA POSITIVE picture of something that you cannot do right now, but what you can do if your pain is gone. My picture was play and frolic with my partner in the swimming pool or the sea.
We both love swimming and making fun of each other in the water. I would try to submerse him or sneak up to him under water to pull his feet from under him. But he is much stronger than me, so he can catch and hold both my hands in just one hand of his. And if he pulls me over or lifts me up I have no footage left. He can do anything with me. He used to lift me up and throw me away in the water.
When I was in pain that wasn’t possible for years. Inside or outside the water I would scream in pain and despair if he touched me, even with just one finger. So the picture of my pain-free-goal was: being able to frolic in the water.
It didn’t have to be rough like in the past, but it was my wish that he could touch me again without thinking. That I could swim in the water and tease him without worrying that I would make a wrong move and hurt my back again. This picture was the picture that we could enjoy each other and our love for each happy and carefree.
S(pecific or Stepping stones)
Please be specific in what you want. If you can add numbers, please do so. Numbers amplify your wish.
And if your goal feels big or far away: create stepping stones.
These are small goals of milestones that show you that you are closer to your goal.
In my case my training goal was swimming. I started with just two laps. Getting undressed and dressed again was part of the exercise and it was the heaviest part of swimming for me.
But I remember the frustration, hanging at the edge of the pool feeling completely exhausted.
I had to remember myself this was just the start. It wasn’t about big steps (and falling back) it was about tiny,
continues steps forward.
And so I did. When I could I would add just one more lap. And I kept swimming that amount until I felt I could increase with only one more lap. I remember celebrating ten laps. I was so proud of myself.
After that I celebrated 15 laps and 20 laps etc. Now I swim 60 laps and have coffee and a chat with my
swim buddies when I am done.
Always write your goal in the NOW. Not in the past and not in the future.
Example: I have a swimming pool in my garden.
Not: I want a swimming pool in my garden (you already reached that goal).
Get excited about your goal. Set your goal in such way that it really makes you happy. Also, make your goal big enough to make you happy (if it's too easy to reach your goal, your brain won't feel the rewarding feeling of reaching your goal. It's better to make your goal too big than too small.
Can't remember what enthusiasm feels like? Think back to the best achievement in your life. Your best experience. The happiest moment of your life. Visualize this feeling of happiness and success and connect with this feeling. Then change the image of the happiest moment of your life with your new purpose. Repeat until you can feel the joy of the past when you think of your new goal.
Celebrate all your successes. Not only when you have reached your goal. Celebrate every step that brings you closer to your goal. Even the small steps (especially in the beginning).
Celebrating even the smallest steps forces you to look at a positive situation instead of negative situations and feelings (we chronic pain patients usually have a lot of them).
Focus on success!
Keep moving forwards. When you set your goal you have taken the first step. Congratulations: this is the hardest step to take. Now all you have to do is keep taking the next step, no matter how big or how small that step is. Even if you don’t know where to go or how long it is going to take you to reach your goal.
- The questions Brian Tracy asked me can help you too:
“If I could only do ONE thing today, what would help me reach my (primary) goal?” Do this!!! This is what you start your day with. And then celebrate the result. Only then you will go to the next question:
- “If I could only do two things (and I just did one), which step would bring me fastest to reaching my
goal?” Do this!!! This is the second thing you do today. And celebrate the result. Only when you have time and energy left you ask the next question:
- “If I could only do three things today (and I just did two of them), what step would help me most to reach
my goal?” Do this!!! This is the third thing you do today. Celebrate the result.
By starting your day with these 3 questions you reach and celebrate 3 successes in no-time. That gives self confidence and the courage to keep going.
Integrate all your senses. Imagine how your goal feels, smells, tastes adn sounds. The more senses you add, the
clearer the picture and the faster it will come to you.
For example: if you are housebound and you want to take walks in the forest imagine how your feet will walk on the forestfloor, how you see the sun penetrating through the trees. Smell the scent of the needles of the pinetrees. Listen in you mind to the birds that are singing in the forest.
Treat your goal as a LIGHTHOUSE: a beacon, a direction. You don’t have to hit the bullseye of a target.
It can happen, as you walk towards your goal, that is wasn’t exactly what you meant. No problem. Just change it to what you want.
Your goal is like a lighthous: you see it from afar and it gives you the direction you want to go to. But it doesn’t tell you what road to follow. It doesn’t give you a roadmap or tell you which vehicle to take to reach it. Feel free to change your route to get to the lighthouse. Feel free to change the landschape the lighthouse is standing in. And, as written above, feel free to change the lighthouse itself.