Paint the walls of your mind with many beautiful pictures. – William Lyon Phelps

I read this quote the other day in regards to thinking positively.  Immediately my mind conjured the room in the Musee de L’Orangerie in Paris that houses 360 degrees of Claude Monet’s waterlilies. There are benches in the middle that in my head are replaced with my brain (like a sci-fi version of it, almost as big as the room). This is perhaps the most beautifully lit room I’ve ever seen, nearly simulating sunlight on these magnificent paintings. This place is so peaceful that if I could have a backdrop on the set of my mind, this would be it.
Yes, I realize how snobby that sounds, but I have been obsessed with Monet since I was little.  There’s a picture of me at probably 7 years old on vacation in my Speedo one-piece wrapped in a towel reading Linea in Monet’s Garden.  It was my favorite book.  If only I’d had the artistic ability to pursue this passion.  I had the good fortune to go to Giverny and visit Monet’s home, see the waterlilies in person and enjoy the serenity of the landscape.  While the gardens themselves were swarmed with tourists, it’s the room in L’Orangerie where his visions of home come to life and offer me an image of beauty and complete tranquility.
I know it’s a bit bizarre, but when I’m in pain I try to put my mind right to the point of that pain and either count to myself until it goes away or try to visualize it being alleviated.  I guess this is some form of hippie-dippie meditation, but it often works for me.  So I’ve been thinking that when I go into surgery or during recovery I’m going to have to think of something very peaceful to calm myself from getting totally freaked out.  I think placing myself mentally in this gallery of Monet’s waterlilies might just do the trick.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ll mostly be thinking of my husband and my girls and their joyous faces and their laughter, but those are my visions of happiness.  I think I’ll need thoughts more like Valium than Prozac to keep my nerves from getting the better of me and letting my head go to a negative place.  They say that positive thinking helps you live longer.  I’ll give it a shot.

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