Sometimes in order to get to one place we have to think ourselves into another.
I remember a time when my younger son had had an accident and torn his inner thigh on barbed wire fencing. He would have been about seven years old. I was at an appointment and my friend Marica was looking after him. He was being his usual high-energy self – it was no surprise. Marica called me to tell me what had happened and we agreed to meet at the local medical centre.
When I arrived there she was with him in the treatment room and all was calm. He was lying on the couch and a nurse was cleaning the wound in preparation for stitching. Adam and Marica were in another place…they were enjoying an ice-cream in Disneyland. There was no anxiety about the deep gash or what was going to happen.
I stood in awe as the story continued and the nurse went about her work.
I haven’t got a particularly strong stomach, especially where blood’s concerned, and especially when the blood is that of my children. My own, I’m fine with…anyone else’s and I’m most likely to end up in a heap on the floor. I listened to the story and tried desperately to join them.
I was so incredibly grateful for my dear friend, for her gentle caring and her skillful distraction.
For other less serious, but no less effectives examples of visualising, I have voice teachers to thank.
There was the one who told me I should imagine my diaphragm as the skeleton of a galleon – with the air/water gushing in and out, and the frame remaining firm. Although this worked for a period, there are other metaphors that have proved better.
Then the ones who’ve said we must sing with uplifted and intelligent eyes and the jaw of an idiot – no offence intended.
And of course the one who said that in order to avoid any nasal sounds, we should imagine we have chopsticks up our nose!
Unfortunately all I can think of is Michael Palin in A Fish called Wanda.