The Natural Cat Excerpt
‘Affirmation and Visualization
Primum est, non nocere: Above all, do no harm.
This quotation from Hippocrates, the father of holistic medicine, is my first and guiding rule whenever I consider a therapy for a sick or troubled animal. Affirmations (repeating a positive statement) and visualizations (mentally seeing and experiencing a situation or thing) are so simple to do that there is virtually no chance of doing any harm to them. In addition, they are free and they require no extra time. You can design them while you’re driving, riding on a bus, eating – anytime at all.
They work on the philosophical principle that everything that happens must first be conceived of in the mind. Edgar Cayce, the great psychic, said, “Mind is the builder.” So we go to our mind, our own thoughts, and make conscious decisions about what it is we really want to conceive of and have happen. We do this by making up a sentence describing what we want or constructing a picture or scene. We’ve heard for many years now about “the power of positive thinking”. Affirmations are positive thoughts that we’ve chosen very consciously; visualizations are an extension of positive thinking and involve consciously visualizing in our mind’s eye the positive outcome we want.
Because animals pick up our attitudes, emotions, and thoughts, it is fairly easy to see the effects of this on cat behavior. In addition, scientific experiments have shown that the effects do go further to influence speed of healing and recovery.
When I first began to practice affirmations and visualizations, my attitude was: “It doesn’t sound logical to me, but wiser heads than mine have said it works. So, since it won’t do any harm and it won’t cost anything, I might as well give it a try.”
What fun I have had! It’s like suddenly having a magic wand. I did make some mistakes at first; you can make mistakes. For example:
1. If you want something to happen now, think and speak in the present tense, not the future tense: “The skin is healing beautifully,” not “The skin will heal”.
2. You must be able to believe what you are saying and visualizing. Repeating the affirmation “The cut is healed; the skin is perfect” while you’re looking at a newly sutured incision will definitely not work as well as the more realistic affirmation “Muffy has marvelous recuperative powers; her skin heals fast.” That’s what I mean when I speak of designing your affirmation. Your sentence must say exactly what you want in a believable way.
3. When designing your affirmations don’t concern yourself with how a thing will be accomplished.: “because we found the right remedy” or “now that he’s home with us”. Why and how are not important. Focus only on the bottom line: what it is you want.
4. Negatives do not work. They only call to mind what you don’t want and therefore strengthen the possibility of the wrong thing happening. For example: “The wound will not become infected”. Forget the possibility of infection; forget what you don’t want. Concentrate on what you do want: “The wound is healing beautifully”.
5. Both affirmations and visualizations work best when you include a strong emotional feeling. This is done most easily by prefacing your statement with a positive phrase such as “I’m so glad that…,” “We’re so relieved because…,” or “We’re delighted because…,” and really feeling it.’ [...]