Archive for August 4th, 2010

Reflecting on the importance of visualization coupled with positive thinking brought a flood of memories, two of which I would like to share with you. Each illustrates the role of visualization in achieving success in our endeavors.

For a time, I lived in Austin, Texas and worked in the Neonatal Center there. Our patients were premature infants, some as young as 26 weeks, most of whom required ventilator oxygenation while they continued the maturation process outside their mothers’ bodies. In order to check the effectiveness of their oxygenation, the Neonatologist drew random samples of arterial blood for analysis. Ventilator settings were adjusted, based on blood gas results, for maximum benefit. Let us appreciate the magnitude of this blood draw. These babies were tiny, with the entire child not as big as your outstretched hand. That means, from head to foot, the little baby was teensy-weensy. That meant, of course, that their arms and hands were also teensy-tiny, with their little veins and arteries no bigger than little threads. If that were not enough, these little kids were feisty. They kicked, they screamed, they thrashed, they rocked their bodies, and were so flexible that they were quite capable of pulling out their feeding tubes with their toes and flinging them 10 feet away. Impressive, to say the least; inconvenient when it was time to for the Neonatologist to draw blood from their teensy-tiny arteries.

Even then, in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s, I had a reputation for being a bit “different”, so when I told the Neonatologist that I always helped him with the blood draws by picturing him being successful at them, he looked at me pitying, smirked a bit, and said nothing. I rattled on about how I “saw” in my mind’s eye his holding up the syringe with red (not blue, that would be venous) blood in it, or putting a full syringe successfully onto the ice. Still not saying anything, he just looked at me owlishly and kept at his task. For months, I visualized his being successful with every blood draw, as he needed to accomplish it. He said nothing, just smirked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears, headed for the loony bin. Finally, one day, I had had it. “Fine,” I thought to myself, “he obviously doesn’t believe me. From now on, he’s on his own.” So, when it came time to draw blood from the infant for which I was caring, I aided him in every way except in visualization. He poked, he prodded, he pried; to no avail. He could not access the artery. After nearly twenty minutes of this, he jerked his head up, looked me in the eye, and snapped, “Are you visualizing this?” To my credit, I did not laugh, just “saw” him holding up a syringe full of arterial blood. Immediately he was successful. Neither one of us said a word, but our understanding continued and never again did he have difficulty with the blood draws, as long as I aided him with visualization.

The June 7, 2010 post, “Expand your Belief”, addresses my desire to buy the property that had been connected to mine, but which a previous owner had sold to the neighbor for a mere $500 in 1983. It had been my fondest wish to reclaim this very small bit of land, since my neighbor had parked a rusting hulk of an antiquated tow truck right in my line of sight. Day by day, I was treated to the privilege of watching those tires slowly lose air and sink ever deeper into the grass, while the rain, wind, snow, and hail chipped away at the paint. Year by year, the truck looked less and less appealing to my esthetic sense, but what could I do? The man was not about to sell. Yet, despite the “obvious truth” that my neighbor would not sell that land back to me, I went outside often and looked at that piece of property, visualizing it empty, the truck gone, a new stone wall ringing it, filled in, with grass and shrubs abounding. I visualized being able to walk behind the garage without falling in the hole. I visualized my cats chasing chipmunks who lived in the stone wall. Mostly, I pictured it being mine, with the satisfaction that ownership brings. Day in, day out; year in, year out, I visualized these things, completely without stress or frustration, just idlely passing the time, visualizing the property as mine. The accumulation of all those visualizations must have had an effect because, one day, seven years later, my neighbor actually sold me the property! If you knew my neighbor, you would know what a monumental decision he would have had to make to part company with that tiny plot of land and how completely out of character this action was. It was nothing short of a miracle. Of course, I paid through the nose, but never mind, the Universe had arranged this successful deal and who was I to quibble at price?

So much for “obvious truth”, eh? In the realm of the possible, it has been my experience that consistent, persistent visualization will trump “obvious truth” every time. I cannot wait to read your own visualization stories, dear readers!