By: Noelle Sterne
Visualize the Changes with Affirmations
“Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” ― Tia Walker
Lucy came into the Bible study group looking radiant, happier than I’d ever seen her. She couldn’t wait to tell us what had happened. The previous week, she’d worriedly related the details of the upcoming custody hearing for her daughter. After Lucy’s recent divorce, her ex-husband was attempting to undermine her character by allusions to her former alcoholism and depression to sway the judge for custody.
But now, Lucy was transformed. Maybe, more accurately, triumphant. The hearing was very short, she said, and the judge saw through her husband’s tactics. Lucy was awarded custody of her daughter. After the hearing, to Lucy’s astonishment, her ex-husband said to her, “It’s probably for the best.”
The group members congratulated Lucy and shared her joy. Two of us commented on the astounding change in her. What caused it, we asked. She told us of a process she’d discovered for meeting challenges like these that stemmed from her study of A Course in Miracles.
Make Each Day Positive
When we affirm our positive visualizations, they are more likely to create a better outcome. Lucy named these actions, “Send Love Ahead” and shared easy steps for making them work.She described how it works and, at the next group meeting, gave us all a typed summary of the method. Click To Tweet
Here it is:
- Sit quietly apart from everything.
- Close your eyes and take some slow, deep breaths.
- Visualize the event that fills you with dismay. See the room or setting, where you’ll be appearing, working, sitting, talking. If you don’t know the specifics literally, imagine them.
- Been resisting the situation? Telling yourself, “I wish I didn’t have to do this”. Then just admit it. Rage if you must.
- If you’re afraid, admit that too. Lucy said that she was so fearful in the days before the hearing that she couldn’t eat and shouted out loud at home, “I’m afraid!” Often when you admit you’re fearful, it dissipates. (As someone else has said, “Name it to tame it.”)
- Do your homework. If it’s a presentation, speech, or call, write it out. If you need to, research the contents. List the steps necessary to complete it, if it’s a written or other creative project,
- If it’s a defense of something, make notes and practice your points. Lucy wrote out all the positive reasons she should be awarded custody (and without maligning her ex-husband).
- Mentally go back to the place or situation, whether it’s an office, auditorium, meeting room, judge’s chambers, or your own study. Fill the physical space with love.
Affirming Positive Situations and Outcomes
- See the room shining with light.
- Picture yourself and every other person involved smiling, extending hands to you, nodding “Yes.
- Feel the light and peace envelop you and radiate out from you.
- Gently imagine how you want to emerge from the situation. See yourself afterwards in a favorite, comfortable and comforting environment, like a reward.
- Think about how you want to feel after it’s over. What do you want to have accomplished or settled? What direction do you want to know you’re next going in?
- Write down your answers to these questions. Writing them down is stating your affirmations. Record as many specifics as you can. Don’t be shy or modest. You deserve all the rewards and blessed outcomes.
- See every other person involved leaving feeling satisfied, fulfilled, happy with the outcome, and ready to take the next constructive action.
- Say to yourself: “I surrender all to God. I feel only Love here.”
When Something Works, Repeat It
Repeat these words every time you feel anxious about the situation or tempted to visualize something less than perfect.
- Sit quietly feeling this Love.
- Practice these steps at least twice a day.
A week after Lucy told the group about this method, I used it for a difficult administrative meeting on behalf of a client. With Lucy’s principles and steps, I prepared the materials beforehand and practiced my opening statement aloud and in an increasingly strong voice. Then, several times a day, I visualized the office where the meeting would take place. I saw it and everyone in it filled with Love, illumined. I projected Love to each person I knew would be there.
Visualize Positive Outcomes and Feelings
Then I made a list of how I wanted to feel afterwards. My adjectives: “knowledgeable,” “reasonable,” “professional,” “peaceful,” “strong,” “satisfied with the outcome,” “understood,” respected,” “listened to,” “having accomplished the task,” “achieved the perfect administrative decision for my client,” “knowing the next direction.”
I visualized too relating the positive outcome to my client, and both of us feeling very good and congratulating each other. On the day of the meeting, as I drove, I kept saying “Love is here. I feel only Love.”
Yes, I was nervous, hands clammy, stomach feeling hollow. But I knew I’d prepared, practically and spiritually. My hands gradually warmed and my stomach stabilized as I repeated, “Love is here.”
The meeting started on time and went smoothly. I said what I had to with confidence, listened attentively to the others, and responded in even tones. Afterwards, driving home, I glanced at my list. To what shouldn’t have been my amazement, every one of my positive outcomes had been fulfilled. And more—the individuals on the other side assured me of their total cooperation to resolve the matter speedily. I felt great gratitude—to Lucy, to the Course in Miracles, and to the Creator.
What Do You Need to Visualize?
When I related my experience at the next group meeting, one of the members referred us to Lesson 349 in the Course in Miracles Workbook, and I recommend it for similar situations:
Today I let Christ’s vision look upon
All things for me and judge them not, but give
Each one a miracle of love instead.
In any difficult situation you may face, especially one you want to run and hide from, think about this lesson and Lucy’s steps.
Use them before a thorny phone call, a meeting you dread, an exam you’re scared of, a project you don’t know how to start, a presentation that terrifies you, a creative session you cringe at plunging into, thinking about tomorrow.
Sit quietly, take a few deep breaths, do your homework, and visualize the absolute best outcomes. You deserve all of them—as you send love ahead.
Adapted from Noelle Sterne, Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams (Unity Books, 2011)
Author, editor, mainstream and academic writing coach, writing and meditation workshop leader, and spiritual counselor, Noelle has published over 400 writing craft articles, spiritual pieces, poems, essays, and short stories in print and online publications and anthologies.
Publications include Author Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Children’s Book Insider, Funds for Writers, InnerSelf, Inside Higher Ed, New Age Journal, Pen & Prosper, Ruminate, Story Monsters Ink, Textbook and Academic Authors Association, The Write Place At the Write Time, Two Drops of Ink, Unity Magazine, Writer’s Journal, The Writer, and Writer’s Digest. She also contributes monthly articles to several online literary blogs.
With a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Noelle helps doctoral students wrestling with their dissertations and publishes articles in several blogs for dissertation writers. Her book, Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams (Unity Books) has examples from her practice, writing, and other aspects of life to help readers release regrets, relabel their past, and reach lifelong yearnings.
Noelle’s book Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2015) further aids doctoral candidates to award of their degrees.
In addition to her own expression in writing, Noelle’s mission is to help others create the lives they truly desire. Visit Noelle at http://www.trustyourlifenow.com/
A Chicken Soup for the Soul podcast (May 16, 2017) featured her story “Time to Say Goodbye” from a 2013 volume: https://chickensoup.podbean.com/e/tip-tuesday-why-you-should-remove-toxic-people-from-your-life-and-how-to-do-it/
© 2018 Noelle Sterne
Writing, and recovery heals the heart