“I’ve met him.” my single, best friend nonchalantly told me one day.
“Huh…” I said puzzled, as I slowly, chewed on the most memorable spinach and seafood quiche … ever, at our favorite restaurant.
Lily had been practicing visualization, she pictured clearly, what her perfect partner would look like and what his personality would be — 5’10, full head of grey hair, a fitness “nut” like herself with a slender build, retired from a very successful career, independent, funny, compassionate and caring, — she could almost hear his voice!
Humans have developed to use our imaginations for all kinds of purposes, including learning how to meditate. Whether it is for peace of mind, comfort, entertainment, safety, or protection, our own imagination performs many jobs in our day to day lives that we rarely, if ever, even think about.
Self-help and Self-preservation
Visualizing can be a powerful tool in our self-help and self-preservation toolkit. The process can be undertaken at any time of the day, in virtually any situation you can think of, just like Lily did. All you really need is your brain, and since that’s already with you all the time, you’re all set!
Creative visualization is just one way our brain seeks to find the solution to a problem. If we creatively think about a situation we can imagine the situation from all angles and see the various outcomes. Clearly, we will choose one outcome over the rest that appeals to us the greatest, and we can then focus on attaining that outcome.
The importance of creative visualization comes into play as we seek to attain that one appealing outcome. We are genetically built to use our imagination without even being conscious of doing it. When we intentionally focus our imagination on a single outcome, as in meditating, it becomes much easier for us to set up action steps to take to finally be able to easily meditate at anytime, anywhere.
Visualization is a mindfulness technique on its own, but you can also use it to enhance regular meditation. Adding visualization into your meditation mix allows you to better direct your relaxed mind toward specific outcomes you’d like to see.
Visualization exercises can help you foster feelings of compassion and kindness toward yourself, others and even your pet(s).
Attain Any Goal
It doesn’t matter what the outcome is. You might be surprised to know that you can use creative visualization to attain any goal at all – there is no right or wrong.
- If you want to lose weight, visualize yourself wearing clothes you love, and let yourself feel the confidence you have in your new body.
- If you want more money, visualize your ideal situation – your ideal location, home, companions, etc. What kind of work do you see yourself doing?
- If you want to be more mindful, visualize yourself turning off all distractions – your phone and computer, breathing deeply,
- If you want to travel, visualize yourself going to the airport, your luggage full of resort-wear. Imagine yourself on a warm and sunny beach, napping while you hear the waves of the ocean lapping up on the shore.
The next step, once the goal has been established, is to use your imagination to discover steps you can take to actually get to those places – the beach, the slimmer body, making more money or your soul mate. A dream is only a dream if there is no action taken. Once you begin taking action, it’s a plan!
Creativity is so important in this process. Without creativity and imagination, you can’t envision what you want to have and what you want to be.
Lily visualized she would meet her partner at a local social event in a venue with winding stairs… and she did! when she arrived at the event, there was her perfect partner looking down at her from the balcony on the second floor as she ascended the stairs. Smiling, David met her at the top of the stairs and introduced himself to her. As they say, “the rest is history!” Lily and David have been together for almost eight years, thanks to the power of visualization!
You, too, can use your imagination to fuel your future!
Tip: Athletes, business executives, students, and retirees all use visualization and meditation techniques to reach their goals, manifest their lives and live a happy and content life. “Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life” by Shakti Gawain, a popular personal development author, is a book I’ve used over the years and highly recommend if you’re into visualization.