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I had 10 seconds of complete freedom.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by James59, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. James59

    James59 Well known member

    I haven't moved freely for several years. My muscles are usually stiff and often lock up. It often takes me 2-3 tries to get out of a chair. My manual dexterity is also limited. Between these things it typically takes 2-4 times as long as it should to perform even the simplest tasks.

    But earlier tonight my wife and I were watching Stephen Colbert (so wonderful to have him back!). She was stretched out on the couch, and I was eating at the dining room table directly behind the couch. I looked up and saw a big black spider slowly descending towards the couch. Suddenly I jumped out of the chair, ran to the kitchen cupboard to get a jar labeled "Bug Ketcher." I rapidly unscrewed the lid as I ran back to the dining room and trapped the spider just as it landed on the back of the sofa. Then I took it outside.

    The time between the moment I first saw the spider and the moment I trapped it was less than 10 seconds. During that time I was as limber and agile as I was as a teenager. As soon as the crisis had passed, my body stiffened right back up again. But the experience really drove home the point that my problem is mental, not physical.

    Question: How can I take advantage of this experience to regain my freedom full-time?
    SunnyinFL and IrishSceptic like this.
  2. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    I would visualise the whole spider scenario as much as possible, as that will strengthen that neural pathway. Remember the brain can't distinguish between real and imaginary. It will take some time, but I think you will notice a difference in yourself.
    SunnyinFL, Lizzy and JanAtheCPA like this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great story, James :-D I agree, visualization is very powerful. Also, making this incident into your personal affirmation. Say "Remember the spider" and give yourself a big smile when you say it.

    You are living with conditioned responses and need to find a way to unlearn those. Have you done much meditation?
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ack! I forgot to watch Stephen last night! I better get Tivo on the job!
  5. James59

    James59 Well known member

    I have one concern with that idea. In the spider situation I was facing a strong sense of urgency. I was in a version of fight or flight mode. If I repeatedly visualize it, won't that also reinforce and perpetuate the sense of urgency in my mind? Won't I begin to associate freedom with a sense of urgency? I think that would be counterproductive.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ah, I think that what Zumba and I have in mind is visualizing the way your body felt during those ten seconds. Because of course, in hindsight, you know now that it was just a spider (never mind it was aiming right at your unsuspecting wife).

    Athletes do this all the time - they take the best of that revved up state and mold it to suit their purposes. Everything that your body can do, it's there for you to do at will. Eventually. With a certain amount of practice.:)
    SunnyinFL and Lizzy like this.
  7. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    As Jan said, visualising the way your body felt during those ten seconds, but changing your perception from fight/flight, to calm. It is just using your imagination in a good, creative way. You could visualise yourself in that ten seconds listening to soft music, seeing the whole scenario in the colour green, thinking what a gift of movement that spider has given you. I hope you get the picture. You can imagine anything you like in that original ten seconds that banishes fear, and replaces with calm.
    Practice, practice, practice, till this neural pathway becomes the norm for you. It is basically NLP.
    SunnyinFL and JanAtheCPA like this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, James. You experienced what others have in a fight or flight situation. Some people reportedly have lifted a car off someone underneath it.
    Your spider experience is a wonderful "mind over matter" situation. I like Jan's and Zumbafan's suggestions, to visualize how good you felt after dealing with the spider. Keep in your mind the "happy" or calm feeling.
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  9. SunnyinFL

    SunnyinFL Well known member

    Hi James,

    Wow - that experience must have been powerful for you! Based on the suggestions I've read from Doctors Sarno and Schubiner, I try to use every "little" success (similar to the experience you shared) as a confidence booster and fear buster and to reprogram my brain.

    For example, if you're keeping an evidence list or a list of helpful affirmations, you could add things like:

    - "Look, I was fine - I just proved I can jump out of a chair"
    - "I am healthy - look, I just ran to the kitchen - look how limber and agile I am"
    - "I am healthy, I am agile"
    - "I am healthy, I am limber"

    For me, the more often I repeat these types of affirmations, the more re-programming occurs in my brain. I literally say them over and over and over again, day after day, and then the changes come as the affirmations soak into my subconscious brain. I find that these affirmations are much more powerful if I can base them on the evidence of a specific experience that just occurred (in contrast to just saying them as a "think positive" PollyAnna).

    So, in short, to answer your question about how to use the experience to regain your "freedom," keep repeating affirmations about what just happened to reprogram your brain.

    Hope this helps! Sunny
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Neuroscientists are now telling us that this is real.
    So simple, so powerful. Not necessarily easy, but only because doing this contradicts a lifetime of oppositional programming. You have to make a conscious choice to believe that this works, and to have faith that it will work for you.
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  11. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Zumba and Jan, I kinda see what you're saying, and I've tried to apply it. I've tried to separate the feeling of freedom from the sense of urgency as I repeat the scenario in my mind. Sometimes I can do it, other times the two stay linked.

    Sunny, that is helpful.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep, that sounds about right. It's frustrating, but you don't have to be hard on yourself. Just remind yourself that you have a lifetime of negative conditioning to overcome, but that it can be done!
    SunnyinFL and James59 like this.
  13. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    I echo what Jan says. You proved you could do it. Keep up the good work. If you are a perfectionist, like I am, congratulate yourself for any improvement. It is something to celebrate. I am amazed how a spider has helped you!
    SunnyinFL, JanAtheCPA and James59 like this.

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