Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Visualizing for Change


A client who's been with us for a few months said the other day that his goal was to stay out of prison.

            "Is that it?" I asked. "That shouldn't be too hard to accomplish," I told him. "There are people all over the world who aren’t in prison."

I understood his point, though, because I’d also been to prison.  But I was trying to get him to look beyond just remaining free. Rather than visualize the kind of life we don't want, we need to visualize the kind we want to have.

I told him he should create mental pictures of the new life he wants to enjoy. If he decides he wants a good job, then visualize the job, the kind of work he's doing, the amount of pay he's receiving.  If his goal is a new home, then he needs to picture how many rooms it has, the neighborhood it’s in, and how much he’s paying for it.

If he wants a relationship, then he needs to start thinking about what kind. Does he want to get married? Does he want to find someone to date and be friends with?

If his mind is focused upon what he doesn't want, that might be what the universe gives him. But if this focuses upon positive things that enhance his life - and he keeps that kind of steady picture - then the universe will eventually provide.