Have you ever wanted to be a screen writer or movie director? There’s something exciting about creating a story and seeing it to fruition.
To become your own movie maker, follow this exercise (no worries, you don’t even need to get up from your chair). Exercise your imagination. Step out on a limb, and think about your own life as a movie – ME: The Movie.
Using creative license to portray your future in film, what does it look like? Think of the snapshots within the movie. Imagine yourself doing the things you’d like to do, and here’s the caveat: Imagine them as if you lived with no pain, no physical restrictions. Take some time to fully develop your snapshots. Make vivid thoughts of the scenes you’ve created. Imagine how you look, feel, and move. Are you happy? Agile? Worry-free?
Write down a description of these snapshots. Maybe you envision travel … grabbing your passport and seeing the world. Maybe you envision heading to the classroom; going back to school to get the education that interests you. Or, maybe you envision being more active with your family, playing sports, or simply having enough energy for daily life.
Each snapshot is YOU without health worries.
Now, I’d like you to pick one particular snapshot from your, ME: The Movie. Let’s say it’s a snapshot of you traveling the world. When you think of that image, go beyond what you see. What do you feel – and most importantly – what are your thoughts?
Take a moment to write down the thoughts that occur to you as a pain-free, worry-free person. What does it feel like to live within a healthy, strong body and how does that affect what you’re thinking? Do you have hopeful thoughts about your future? About your abilities and capabilities? Can you see yourself setting positive future goals?
Our thoughts and perceptions of who we are and what we’re capable of govern our every action. If you truly participated in the above exercise, you should have a list of thoughts and goals that come from the “hope-filled” rather than the “hope-less” part of your brain. Review them. Analyze them.
Let’s dig a little deeper. Again, using travel as a “for instance,” what is it about travel that interests you? Can you take part in any of that experience right now? What about renting travel DVDs? If you reject the idea because sitting on your couch isn’t the same as riding the Metro in Paris, you’re missing the point. Think of it from the “hope-filled” angle. You’re learning more about, and experiencing sights of a desired travel destination. The “hope-less” feeling comes from setting your own limitation. You DON’T know what your future holds.
I understand that planning for the future and setting goals when we’re concerned about chronic illness is difficult. But don’t forecast rain in your future based on today’s clouds. Changes we make today affect all of our tomorrows.
We often link the thought of “hope” with a miracle or some huge life-changing experience. But that’s not reality. Hope stems from the small steps we take each day. What if the healthier decision you made at lunch started a lifetime of healthy mealtime decisions? What if taking a walk instead of watching TV after dinner led to a changed nighttime routine and improved physical strength? What if these small but regular changes led to a healthier you?
Add up your small incremental hopeful actions and what do you get? The miracle you were looking for.
It’s now showtime! Grab a comfy seat, turn down the lights, draw back the red velvet curtain, and enjoy your own private premier of ME: The Movie.
Tell me all about it!