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Veronica Varlow
  -  Magic Monday   -  Magic Monday: How a Story Saved My Life.

They were loading me into an ambulance.
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By that time, I had already had a seizure and I was hyperventilating.
My lungs felt like they couldn’t take air into my body.
I couldn’t breathe.

I remember that people were panicked.
I could hear them moving fast around me, talking loud and nervously.
I felt like I was floating somewhere else. I was slipping away from reality.

I was in the middle of the worst heat stroke of my life.

And then she showed up.
I wish I could describe her, but I could never open my eyes to see her.
I only heard her voice.

She calmly told me a story about white snow-capped mountains. She told me to look for them. She described the pointed tops and the ridges covered in snow so clearly, I felt like I could see them in my mind. She talked about a lake in front of the mountains. The lake had cool, crisp water in it and she asked if I wanted to go swimming.

I wanted to, but I couldn’t respond. My brain gets messed up after my seizures. I squeezed her hand and in my mind, I went. She described the the soft green grass patches leading up to the cool lake. She asked me to look down at my feet and see my bare feet walking in the lush green grass. She then told me to look up and see the blue sky with fluffy clouds, and birds sailing across the sky. One by one, the birds landed in the lake and I joined them. I took a step into the lake and felt the refreshing water, then I took another step, until I dove in and got my head under the water. The water from my wet hair, dripped down to my shoulders and down my back and I felt relief.
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At that time in my life:
I had never been to a snow-capped mountain.
I had certainly never swam in a lake at the bottom of this mountain.
I had never seen the exotic birds that the woman described flying across the sky.

But I went there in my mind, as easily as if I was going to my Grandma’s house, or the store.
In fact, I can still see it in my memory as if it exists someplace real.

And something spectacular happened…I stopped hyperventilating.
As I traveled to this place that the woman described to me, I was so taken by the images that it calmed my breathing.
This woman’s story was able to bring me to a cool, refreshing lake, even as I was surrounded by steaming hot asphalt and temperatures soaring to 100 degrees.

There is magic in our minds.

Right then, I realized that it was so important for me to be aware of the stories that I tell myself and others. These stories don’t just affect my mood and my attitude, it affects my body and my heart rate.

Stories in our minds can change what actually happens in the world.

Have you ever told yourself a story before and been able to create it?

Just last month before my first solo ukulele/singing debut, I walked out of the back of the theater into a garden 5 minutes before I went on. I picked the chords for my song and imagined the crowd going wild. I imagined sliding out and grabbing the mic. I imagined singing in a full voice that took over the theater and dazzled the audience. I imagined not missing a single chord for the song and then getting crazy and smashing the ukulele into a billion pieces as the crowd went wild.

My thoughts were interrupted as someone came to get me because I was on next. And when my name was announced, I walked out with the confidence of a chick who just slayed the audience with her skills and then smashed her ukulele all over the floor.

Dude. This was totally me.
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….in my mind.

What stories have you told yourself in the past? Where have you let your mind take you? Share an experience in the comments. Curious to know.

And then create a story for this day
and live it.


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