Where We Are
One of the most amazing tools in our mental toolbox is our imagination. Imagination is the first step to manifesting the reality that you want to achieve. Today the power of imagination and its value is being recognized and illuminated in much of the culture. Visualization is used in Sports Psychology, Life Coaching and many healing modalities as the centerpiece of work with clients.
Just before the 1980 Olympics, Russian scientists conducted a study on creative visualization in sports. They compared four groups of Olympic athletes in terms of their training schedules:
- Group 1 = 100% physical training;
- Group 2 – 75% physical training with 25% mental training;
- Group 3 – 50% physical training with 50% mental training;
- Group 4 – 25% physical training with 75% mental training.
Group 4, with 75% of their time devoted to mental training, performed the best. “The Soviets had discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses.”
The imagination, as well as other right brain activities such as dreaming, creativity, synthesis and emotions, has recent history been overlooked and undervalued in much of western culture, overshadowed by the emphasis on more linear left brain activities such as reason and logic. This was world view was established years ago by Descartes’’ “I think, therefore I am” which ushered in the Age of Reason.
Our dependence on this world view created an educational system which valued reason over imagination, implicitly or explicitly treating imagination as unimportant instead of seeing both the functions of the left and right hemispheres of our brain integral to a whole and balanced person.
Now with books such as Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind being written, the right brain is being more and more recognized for not only the richness of meaning that it brings to our lives, but the essential role it plays in our new world.
How to Strengthen
As one grows older, unless the imagination is intentionally cultivated, it often withers on the vine. To strengthen the imagination consciously, in your mind’s eye:
- Visualize images such as the ocean waves lapping on shore, the sun rising over the mountain, a goal fully realized.
- Remember auditory sounds such as an inspiring, favorite old song, a loving friend and family member’s voice.
- Physical and emotionally feel yourself doing various activities such as dancing, playing a sport, stroking a cat.
Energy Are Us
We are all made up of energy, along with everything else in the universe. Our thoughts and feelings have their own vibration, which is less dense than matter. When we create anything, we always create it in thought form first. A thought or idea always precedes a manifestation. The idea is like a blueprint that creates the image, which then guides the physical energy to flow into that form and eventually manifest in physical reality.
As You Sow, So Shall You Reap
One law of energy is that energy with similar vibrations is attracted to each other. As the quantum physicists confirm, the future is a series of possibilities. Our future is determined by the level of vibration we are at.
We always attract into our lives whatever we think about the most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest levels, and/or imagine most vividly.
When we are negative and fearful, insecure or anxious, we often attract the very experiences, situations, or people that we are seeking to avoid.
So by focusing on the positive, healthy thoughts, while processing and clearing the painful experiences of the past, we become a clearer vessel for that which we want to flow though.
From Imagination to Active Visualization
Taking our fertile imaginations and employing them, we can help to co-create our future through visualizing that which we desire to manifest.
The most important piece of using visualization is relaxation. When your body and mind are in deep relaxation, your brain wave patterns slow down and shift into a more receptive, Alpha state, which is much more likely to have effective change than the more active, Beta state which is thinking, planning and trying to manipulate situations. This can be found using deep breathing and consciously scanning your body to relax each set of muscles.
The second piece that is often overlooked is to include your feelings about what you are wanted to manifest. It is not simply a mental activity; when the heart is involved the vision comes to life and feels truer. Your unconscious doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined and will act as though it is real. This supports the possibility of the eventual creation in reality.
Imagine yourself in the situation you want to be in. Include as many details as you can: the physical setting, the feelings you are feeling, the other people in the situation. Enlist as many senses as you can—visual imagining, the smells, the sounds, the feeling of touch. Open to the possibility that this can come to be. Experience it as if it were already happening. Repeat this process often, as frequent as twice a day. Then release it to the universe and say “This or something better”.
We can’t will things to happen or control the behavior of others. Sometimes there are larger reasons beyond our knowing why something can or can not come to be. The purpose of visualization is to help us envision what we want for ourselves, to help us reveal, process and dissolve our own self limitations and barriers to becoming all that we can be—a full potential self.
While many spiritual practices use visualization, it is not necessary to believe in any metaphysical or spiritual ideas in order to have results. It simply involves opening your heart and mind to the possibility of what can be and having the desire to enrich your life experience on this earth in a conscious way. The rest is up to the unknown.
By consciously using the tools we have been given, a whole new world of possibilities opens to us. Just imagine what life could be. . .It’s all available to you, just engage your imagination.
This article was written for Natural Nutmeg Magazine and can be found in their Fairfield County, CT December 2010 edition.
It is also posted on www.womenxchange.com.
Mahri Best says
Hi Diane – thanks for this article. I so concur! It is always nice to hear another point of view.
I am visualizing you well, wealthy and wonderful!
Have an introspective Holiday Season! You deserve it!
Very nice post. I certainly love this site. Stick with it!
So Jannie–what brings you to my site? Thank you for your positive comments.