Got High Anxiety?
Calm Down With Hypnosis
Mind Games continued...
In the basement, the doors opened and I stepped out. "You may see a
path," Karen's voice murmured. There it was, winding through a meadow that
looked as if someone had dipped small brushes in pots of bright paint and
flicked them, splashing wildflower sprays. When I came to a lake, the voice
told me to imagine singing the song exactly the way I wanted it to go.
I saw myself in the glass-domed room we had chosen for our celebration. I
could hear the rustling waves through the open windows behind me, could feel
the breeze caressing my bare shoulders. I was wearing the black vintage dress
in which I would dance later. My hair crowned my head like Audrey Hepburn's,
and a rhinestone choker encircled my neck. My dress, my neck, my earrings
sparkled. My eyes did, too, as I began to sing in my mind.
"In every fairy tale I was told as a kid, no matter what the pro- or
antagonist did, once the happy couple was united, the bliss they shared
together" -- I gazed upward, fluttering my eyelashes, and let a smile drift
onto my face -- "went unblighted." I heard my voice: solid, smooth, a
little vibrato at the end to make it float.
I performed the whole piece like this, in slow motion, enjoying every
instant -- the sounds that emerged from my mouth, the gestures, and thoughts. I
ambled through even the longest phrases. My voice wafted effortlessly out of my
body and rang in all the right places.
Practice Makes Perfect
Every day I repeated the imaginary performance, practicing the entire song
before returning from the lake in my mind. I enjoyed these forays into fantasy
but wondered whether the bliss from these trips would spill over into reality.
Would the directed daydreams make a difference when it counted -- when I stood
in front of a hundred guests at my wedding?
The evening arrived. After we cut the cake, I took my place in front of the
microphone. "We gather at this beautiful place by the sea," I sang,
noticing that my right arm had lifted and motioned toward the ocean outside. It
was steady; there was no tremor. As the waltz section began, Karen swayed back
and forth, and I realized she was mirroring me. Resonant tones rose from my
mouth. The pitch climbed, but I wasn't doing any work.