Sarah Lysne: The joy of visualizing success

Published 6:03 pm Friday, November 11, 2022

Lately, I have been visualizing myself physically pushing away anything that gets in the way of my goals.  I am not sure why I have started to picture this in my mind, but it is a good reminder to me to keep working to do all of the things I want to do despite my physical disabilities.

About 15 years ago I learned how powerful visualization could be.  I went to see a therapist because I had a fear of driving in big cities.  My therapist told me to plan a day trip to Minneapolis and to visualize myself being successful with each part of the trip that I found challenging. My biggest concern was merging into the traffic when getting onto the highway.  After several trips to Minneapolis, I got over my fear, but it wasn’t easy,  I had many trips where my heart was pounding, and my fists were clenched tightly around the steering wheel.  Despite the stress of it all, I kept at it with one goal in mind, independence.

The success of my hard work brought many rewards. I loved being able to drive to the Twin Cities to spend time with family while attending the theater, shopping, going out for dinner or visiting a favorite coffee shop.

Now with my ALS diagnosis, I have new goals.  This week I am concentrating on my writing skills. I am always trying new pens or markers that might make it easier for me. Because of the muscle weakness in my arms, my palms are more comfortable when they are facing up which makes writing difficult.  I have a goal of being able to write a short note to a friend and address the envelope. 

I have a splint that helps support my wrist that I am anxious to try.  If all else fails, I can type my notes and print them on some pretty paper.

I am finding that having difficult challenges, and succeeding in overcoming them, brings me great joy.