It was November 4th, 2001. I was at home in Phoenix, sitting on the coach with my two cats curled next to me while I watched on TV the 7th game of the World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees.
My husband and one of our daughters were downtown at the ballpark, among the 49,589 attendees. I didn’t have the energy to join them in going to the stadium; five months of chemotherapy had sapped my physical strength and endurance. I did have enough energy, however, to jump up and down throughout the game, yell, and cheer when the Diamondbacks scored. Although I had been a Yankee fan in the past, my allegiance that night was with the hometown underdog.
Following the burst of team jubilation on the field after winning the World Series, a sportscaster interviewed then Arizona Diamondbacks’ manager, Bob Brenley. In a tone suggesting the answer would be no, she said, “Did you ever imagine this during Spring Training?”
Bob hesitated for a moment, smiled graciously and said, “Well, actually, yes. Yes, we did.”
“Silly question,” I said out loud to the interviewer –I had already been talking to the TV for the past few hours –“Doesn’t every team imagine winning at the start of the season?!!”
Yet, I understood the question. The Arizona win seemed unlikely. In existence only three years, the Arizona team didn’t have a history of success or much of a history at all. The odds were in favor of the legendary Yankees who had been in existence longer than Arizona had been a state!
Several months after that World Series, I had the opportunity to talk to Bob Brenley; much of our conversation was devoted to one idea: IMAGINATION.
“Imagination alone won’t create success,” he said. “In baseball, there are many other factors–skill, practice, determination. But, without it, there is no chance.”
He explained that at the start of the season, he evaluated his team. Taking into account all the variables, he felt that they absolutely had a chance of winning–despite their newness. Brenley said, “In fact, I felt that, baring injuries, there was no reason why we couldn’t win as long as all 25 guys held on to the vision of winning.”
Throughout the season Bob nourished his team’s vision of winning and use of imagination was how he did it. He repeatedly encouraged each player to see themselves and one another doing well. He urged them to visualize pitches, feel the connection of ball and bat, see runs scoring, hear the crowd cheering, smell the ballpark, and experience the joy of winning. At those crucial final moments of the last game, as each player passed him going out into the field, Bob said, “See it happen! See it happen! Really see it!”
I could relate to everything Bob said. For my healing, I didn’t rely on imagination alone – I used standard medical treatment and many complementary therapies. However, IMAGINATION played an enormous role during that crucial season of my life. Every day I made time to visualize healing happening. I was determined to release cancer and restore myself, to radiant health, well-being, and wholeness. I knew that there were some deep mysteries about life that I wound never understand, but, I also believed that, barring those mysteries, there was no reason that I could not heal.
One of my visualizations was inspired by computer features. The old monitor I had at the time had a “degauss” button next to the power button. When it was pressed, a swirl of color appeared then faded away, which released built-up electromagnetic energy.
I imagined that, like a computer, I too had “degauss” button. Throughout the day I imagined pressing my personal “degauss” button, which would release negativity, toxicity and aberrant cells – all “junk” – from my body that needed to be released… everything that did not serve my health and wholeness. I also imagined that, like the “refresh” feature on the top of the toolbar, I too had a “refresh” button. Likewise, throughout the day, I clicked on my “refresh” button and felt a sense of being new again, cleared and completely refreshed in the moment.
Another visualization was inspired by a toy I played with it as a child. Imprinted on a bright yellow piece of cardboard is a simple drawing of a smiling hairless man. His face, along with some metal shavings, is covered by clear plastic. Using a magnet stick which is attached to the board with a string, you lift and move the metal shavings onto the man’s face to create a hair style, a beard, a moustache, and eye brows. Perhaps it was because I too was hairless that this toy came to mind. The thought of it led to picturing a large magic wand being waved over me from head to toe – by a healing angel – drawing and lifting to its tip anything and everything that does not promote health and well-being. Unlike those metal shavings contained under plastic, however, there was no barrier around me. I visualized all those unwanted energies flung far away from me into the heavens where they were transformation then returned to Earth as beautiful wildflowers growing in a meadow. This visualization left me feeling as if all was right within my body and in the world.
The more I used these and other positive imaginings, the more healing scenarios came to me. In another playful one, I imagined that my immune cells were like life guards on patrol along ocean beaches. Wearing sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen to protect themselves, millions of these vigilant little cells sat on life guard stands throughout my body, watched their assigned areas and going to the rescue whenever needed.
Whether you are facing a health challenge or not, imaginings like these can strengthen your immune system and enhance your overall health. When we visualize healing happening in a way that feels true and comfortable for us, we create calm and confidence in our minds and bodies. This, in turn, creates natural chemicals within us that promote the healing process. Everything we think and imagine has an effect in the body. What kind of movies are you making in your mind at this time? Are you seeing yourself healthy and vibrant?
The Diamondbacks did in 2001 and look where it got them.
For reflection, journaling and discussion:
1. What are you visualizing about your finances, your work, your home, your relationships, and your dreams?
2. Consider these quotes:
Imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein
“Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to life.” – Adele Brookman