Mindset Tool: Visualisation 

Don’t get me wrong, there were many moments where I balled my eyes out last year. Lots of sobbing, feeling overwhelmed & watching noughties telly in my pants for the entire day. 

But I also had in mind what energy I wanted to bring during my cancer treatment, overall. 

I decided that I got to define this difficult time, rather than letting it define me. I wanted to be defiant. 

I felt powerless in what was suddenly and shockingly unfolding before me, but I still had a choice in how I interpreted my diagnosis and how I walked through the fire. 

One thing that really helped me at the beginning was to visualise my “Higher Self” – aka New Age spiritual jargon for “the very best version of myself” – and tap into how she walked this path. 

But first, I needed some inspiration….

1. Research & Muses

I researched “lymphoma cancer” on social media like it was my day job, finding real-life examples of other men and women going through treatment.

I was drawn to the people who held their head up high, and kept curious & positive. Some danced through chemo, some started gardening projects to grow their own organic food, some raised tons of cancer awareness & money, some found spiritual/philosophical meaning in their suffering. I was struck by the grace in which they navigated the shitty hand they had been dealt with. 

And then there were the people I knew in real life. The ones who had already weathered the cancer storm – or were still doing so. Their strength and experience brought about a huge amount of humility and solace. You know who you are, thank you.

My mindset soon changed from fear to: “if they can do it, so can I !”

2. Create a Mood Board

I got crafty. 

I printed out photos of my muses (with their consent!) & stuck them on a big board.

Alongside them was a calendar with a countdown to my last chemo, loads of pictures of periwinkles (see my previous post on Re-Framing This Experience), letters of encouragement from friends, etc etc

On wobbly days I’d look at that board and it would make me feel less alone & less vulnerable. A reminder that my experience – sadly – wasn’t unique at all, and that I too would get through this.

I’m a visual person, so this might not work for everyone, but this genuinely was such a game changer for me especially in the beginning stages of my diagnosis. I’d call in the energy of all my muses, and it would genuinely give me a boost. 

I plan to do this moodboard thing for future challenges – EG. Childbirth (lol) 🤪🤪🤪 and in my period of grief now for my dad, I have also found myself looking to others for inspiration and solace who have also weathered the horrible waters of loss. Thank you Nick Cave and Ram Das in particular for their ideas and words.

Anyway, this is just a little thing that has really helped strengthen my mindset, which I thought I’d share on here. 

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