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wisdom of dogs, Issue #021 -- Year of mindfulness
July 21, 2021

I love visualization, not as a form of meditation, although some people use it that way.

I use it as a stress reducer.

Stress Buster

An upcoming event can provoke intense anxiety in me.

My recent travel plans for example. I worry over all the plausible what ifs. This is not a bad thing, it is good to be prepared.

But then my brain creates more and more disastrous (although less likely) what-ifs.

My brain can take a two-hour layover in the Atlanta airport, toss in a missed connection, and suddenly I am in an alternate future where I live out my days as a homeless person on the streets of Atlanta.

I mean, it could happen? Right?

Redirecting my brain

I cannot make my brain stop imagining. So I direct it into more positive pathways. Instead of burrowing deeper into implausible rabbit holes, I visualize everything going right.

What if I made all my travel connections?

What if the planes were on time?

What if I enjoyed a vigorous walk in the Atlanta airport and never became homeless?

All those things did happen on a recent trip - even the planes on time. Not that everything was perfect. I totally should have spent more time visualizing the stopover hotel I stayed in.

But whatever.

I can’t say visualization was responsible for my good fortune. But it helped me chill out and enjoy my trip more.

Unhappy Sandy

Sandy was not happy about my travel plans. There was a great deal of moping and drama when I pulled out my suitcase.

Perhaps my leaving triggered some old scary memories for her. new_family.html But she survived the ordeal. Her second favorite human - my son - stayed with her. She was fed and she had companionship.

I returned and all is right with the world again.

The Future

I will continue to use visualization in other areas of my life: goals that I want to achieve, the future I hope for. It will continue to be my go-to anxiety-buster.

Sandy will continue to use her emo-powers to induce guilt in me.

Visualization for Mindfulness

Visualization is not mindfulness since it takes you out of the present.

Taoists often use it to ease into mediation. They visualize healing light or serene energy. Zen followers consider this a distraction and strive for total clearing of the mind.

But if anxiety and an overactive imagination derail your attempts to meditate, perhaps visualization could be the back door into peace and serenity for you.

Maybe even into mindfulness.

Happy Tail Wags,

Suzanne inspiration-and-entertainment-blog.html

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