Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Visualizing A Vacation

I first learned about visualization as a healing technique when my dad had cancer. I read Getting Well Again by Dr. Carl O Simonton, a pioneer in guided visualization. I later learned more about the subject in one of my favorite books on healing, Love, Medicine & Miracles by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D. While I often use visualization as a technique to think of happy times or to relax, I just want to introduce it here. In another post, I'll explain how to do it and where you can find more information.

This morning when I awakened in a low-energy mood, I looked at my Wellness Activity Book, a binder in which I've got more than 50 activities I utilize on a regular basis. I only had a few hours before I had to drive my son to school. So what would I do this morning to feel better? I decided to "Visualize a Vacation."

Because the weather is sort of downcast today, I wanted a sunny location and picked Maui. I was there with a friend more than 25 years ago. I wasn't interested in recreating the trip. I just wanted to remember how much fun we had.

The way I start recreating my virtual vacations is to "google" images. Today, I began by picking a fancy hotel where I might like staying. Because I am tired, I decided that a resort with all the amenities would make me smile. I picked the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui. I have no idea whether it's truly a wonderful resort hotel and sometimes I'll actually go to Trip Advisor.com and look up the info from other travelers to make this more real.

Then I picked a photo of a waterfall because I remember a great hike that my friend and I took. As I looked through photographs, I visualized how I felt when we hiked. I was in good physical shape. We started early in the morning and easily walked for a few miles when the sun appeared. We were in a good stride and I remembered feeling strong and proud that I could hike mile after mile without losing my breath.

I visualized the feeling of the sun against my face and how it warmed my entire body. I remembered thinking that the sun in Hawaii feels differently than sun anywhere else on earth. It not only warms your body but your soul. When we finally reached the waterfall, I remembered how refreshing the mist was as it sprayed our faces and bodies.

That night, after an afternoon nap and a shower, we dressed up and ate dinner at a terrific restaurant. In celebration of our accomplishment, we shared an expensive bottle of wine. We ordered fresh fish and steamed vegetables. And for desert, we ate an amazing chocolate concoction. When I went to bed that night, I felt happy and satisfied.

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