Mind games can alter our perceptions and help us endure things that might otherwise be too challenging.
Welcome to Week 8 of 2016, and the Enchanted Key of the Month, #2-Altered Perceptions. I debated about this post and decided to use the mind games to alter my concern about your perception of it.
As your Enchantress, I’m always reminding you that I don’t expect you to venture out anywhere that I haven’t been myself. Those of you who have been on the journey for a while (and there are several of you and I thank you!) you know that I also don’t pretend to live a charmed life, free of stress and strife, skipping in bokeh bubbles in the forest. I’m in the trenches with you, keeping my Enchanted Key ring close at all times.
This past week was no exception. Many of you may remember three years back when, shock of all shocks, I had to have a lumpectomy, following a Stage 0 breast cancer diagnosis. Certainly nothing in my lifestyle, nutritional habits, or attitudes would ever indicate that. Nor would genetic testing. I knew it was a life-altering reason and so it was.
I’ve vigilantly maintained my health, self-disciplinary practices with regard to no sugar, no dairy, no soy, no simple carbs and only quinoa and kasha for grains. Yes, it has been challenging, but worth it.
So you can imagine my shock last week when I was sent back to radiology following my (every six months) routine mammogram to have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. WHAT??? Then I was scheduled for a core needle biopsy for this week.
How perfect to be focusing on Enchanted Key #2 to Altered Perceptions. By the way, thank God, the Angels, powerful prayers of my dear family and friends and all of the loving forces that exist, that ALL IS WELL and what was observed were benign deposits from the previous scar tissue.
But I’m sharing because I believe that you might be able to plug in application of this key to your own situation or to help your friends and loved ones whether it’s a Dragon of health crisis, relationship breakup or a job related stressor.
Here are some of the ways I applied the Altered Perceptions Key to get through it. It’s the key that reminds you to look at things differently than you are and/or usually do.
- I stayed in the present moment. (since I already had the Key to Mindfulness.) I’d catch myself running into the negative “what ifs…” and would flip it to, “What if they are being extra cautious because they care about me, and it is just calcification, some debris from the previous surgery, etc.?” I’d remind myself that I didn’t have any information beyond each present moment and to stay focused on that.
- I reached out for support. I acknowledged, to close family members and a few friends, that I was scared and planned to keep it quiet so I could privately have my feelings. I journaled about it (with Enchanted Key #3 Journaling) and realized that I needed as much support and as many prayers as possible. I posted it on Facebook to my peeps and they swarmed into a love circle around me.
- Trusted people to help. Last time I feared being a burden to my wonderful family and so made a few meals in advance so no one would have to cook for me while I healed from the procedure. They had expressed wanting to help me when I needed it so this time I didn’t do any of that and I haven’t missed a meal.
- I changed my story about my experience. This was the toughest challenge. A young student of ultrasound technology was being trained in an internship situation during my procedure. The doctor was giving her graphic blow-by-blow descriptions of what he was doing and observing. I’m a very visual person and some of those descriptions had me fearing I’d pass out, throw up, run out of the room, etc. A few times I offered, completely unsolicited, the words, “not something a patient wants to hear, by the way.” I thought: How can I alter this perception through mind games that empower me? I came up with: 1-it’s for the higher good because I’m part of an experience that is helping to train another and elevates her experience and 2-instead of my vulnerable, scared, patient self, what if I lead with my scientific self who is fascinated by the process and information? As soon as I thought of that, I felt strong and empowered. Painful moments were still painful and a few tears were still my tears, but I allowed myself to experience it also as a learning session and that made all of the difference for me.
To be able to view the hidden image of the magic eye, soften your gaze at the center of the image. Relax your eyes as if almost falling asleep (like if attending a boring lecture.) After a moment or two, part of the image will come forward, while the rest recedes into the background.
Please share this with others and post a comment on The Enchanted Blog about a time that you used the Key to Altered Perceptions to flip your experience OR the image you see revealed.