Today I'm leaving for Oaxaca, Mexico on a long overdue vacation with my parents. I've been to Oaxaca several times, but this time the trip has extra meaning.
Close to four years ago, my parents and I planned to go to Oaxaca together. Shortly after we made those plans, the dot com implosion and my own subsequent financial challenges as I struggled to transform my career from high tech marketing consultant to Passion Catalyst put any travel plans on hold indefinitely.
Last year, my dad was diagnosed with cancer (lymphoma). The first couple days after I found out, I began future tripping. What if I lost him? It manifested itself most strongly when I suddenly thought about our planned trip to Oaxaca.
"What if we never get to go to Oaxaca together," I thought. I would never be able to go back without breaking down.
Soon after that, I made a conscious decision that the negative energy from that kind of future tripping wasn't what my dad needed to aid his healing and recovery as he went through chemo. I decided that the trip to Oaxaca was going to be the touchstone for a positive perspective.
I chose to focus on the trip to Oaxaca that the three of us would take once the cancer had gone away. I treated it as a foregone conclusion, and it remained that way throughout his treatment. The trip to Oaxaca gave me something concrete to focus on.
Close to a year ago, we found out that his cancer has gone into remission. This trip is the trip I focused on all through his chemo treatment.
Looking back and taking an objective look, the reality was no different after I chose to shift that focus than it was before. My dad still had cancer. He was still going through chemo. But choosing to focus on the Oaxaca trip as the result of the positive outcome was the difference between months of anxiety and months of believing that he would heal. So though the reality of the circumstances was no different, the difference in the reality of my perception was night and day.
That's a powerful lesson I hope I can keep applying as my life unfolds.
Passion Catalyst SM