Dear Dr. Lisa,
I’ve been trying visualization methods, but they just don’t seem to work for me. I have friends who say they are effective. Am I doing something wrong?
St. Petersburg, FL
Visualization can be a powerful tool if used correctly. Here are some tips to help you out. First, when you begin a visualization exercise, make sure your motive is good. Visualization techniques are not just about creating your own health, wealth, and happiness, but about finding out how your increased health, wealth, and happiness can also be used to help others achieve these same goals in their lives. By adding in the right motivation, in a sense we invite “Divine participation” into our creative visualization efforts.
Second, when I first started to practice visualization exercises many years ago, I realized that the capacity to visualize was not very strong in me. Of my five senses, my hearing and touch senses were more developed, and seeing pictures in my mind was not easy for me. So, I had to practice very simple visualization techniques to get me started. For example, for some time I simply tried to hold the image of a circle with a dot in the center (a symbol for the sun). Later I would image other simple geometric shapes, like a triangle, square, and so forth. Next, I would add color to the shapes, and put the shapes on top of each other. Over time, I would attempt to rotate the shapes and imagine what that would like. When I was at last able to master holding a stable image for some length of time, adding color and a three-dimensional perspective to it, I entered into more complex forms of visualization.
Why are these basic steps important? Because visualization is more powerful and effective, the more real it becomes to us. This is why one teacher I had even encouraged adding all the senses in a “visualization” exercise, not just the capacity to see images. For example, if you were to visualize yourself in a park, you would “see” the images in the park, sun, trees, grass, people, but you would also hear the sounds in the park (children playing, yourself breathing in and out, birds singing). Then, you would add the touch sense, feeling the wind touch your skin, the warmth of the sun on your body and the ground, and so forth. You would even add smell (the flowers, the water nearby, your own body scent, and so forth), and for those who could really get into it, you would add the last sense of taste, which is usually difficult for people to master (tasting the air on your tongue for example).
Why go through all this? Well, as you probably noticed even in what I wrote to you above, the entire scene begins to become increasingly real to you. And this is the power, the more real it becomes, the more likely you are to not only motivate yourself to make it real in your life, but to condition your body to respond as if it were real (which is why many of us respond to movies as if they were real, getting scared, happy, sad, even though it is only a “movie” on the screen).
In a way, visualization is a poor word, since it only indicates the use of one sense. But, the idea is that you can begin to change your life by using your five senses to re-imagine, or re-sense, your experience of life. And when this ability is added to the desire to change your life not only for the better, but to dedicate these changes to helping others improve their lives as well, that when the hand of the “divine” steps in, in my opinion, and empowers what you are doing even more.
A third step involves one not often talked about in books, which also might be the reason the tool is not working for you, and that is visualization exercises can often call up resistance to the very thing we are trying to manifest in our lives. In other words, each of us has certain habit patterns we have settled into in life. When we try to change those habit patterns, there is often resistance. This resistance can come in the form of a loss of personal will power, other people stepping in to discourage us, or simply forgetting to keep practicing our visualization exercise. Whatever the form of resistance, it is important to remember that persistence is the best way to overcome this. Persist in your visualization practice and success will be more likely that what you visualize will come true in your life.
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Peace, love, and light!
Dr. Lisa Love