The Soulful Life, Issue 3: “Visualize It”

The Soulful Life, Issue 3: “Visualize It”

“Dare to visualize a world in which your most treasured dreams have become true.” –Ralph Marston

Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D., A.T.R.The Ten Steps of Visioning

by Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D., A.T.R.

Step 1: Make a Wish

The Visionary begins by deciding to explore new possibilities in some area of life, choosing a theme on which to focus. This is like the designer’s first step of getting an idea. The first step of Visioning poses the question: What do I want? What is my true heart’s desire? It might be: “A new career direction,” or “Finding a place to live,” or Finding a mate,” or “Making more money,” or “Getting healthier,” or “Making a film.” Some Visionaries choose a broader playing field, such as, “A projection of the year ahead,” or “What areas of my life need attention?” or “What does a balance between professional and personal life look life?” Other Visionaries want to resolve a specific problem or situation and do a “before” and “after” collage titled “How it looks now” and “How I’d like it to look.”

Visioning by Lucia Capacchione

Step 2: Search for Images and Words

This is the designers research phase. The task here is to gather pictures, captions, and phrases from magazines, newspapers, catalogs, or other visual sources. One’s personal collection of snapshots, postcards, or greeting cards can also be used. In this phase, the Visionary is tearing, cutting, amassing a heart’s-desire image bank. The emphasis is on what experience she wants to create in her life rather than simply picturing stuff to be acquired. It is a way of exploring quality of life, living by choice instead of default. The only rule during the research phase is to collect photos and phrases that depict one’s deepest wishes. The mantra is: Grab what grabs you. Dreaming is in, practicality is out. This is about going for it, the sky’s the limit. This is a time to be inclusive and expand one’s horizons, keeping an open mind while gathering as many relevant images and words as possible. If other great pictures surface that are unrelated to the theme, they are set aside in a separate file to be used in other collages.

Step 3: Focus on the Vision

In the design process, this is when the research is connected more specifically to the designer’s idea or problem to be solved. Here the Visionary sorts through the mass of torn or cut-out raw material that has been gathered. The question is asked of each image, word, or phrase: Does this express my innermost wishes, my fondest dreams? If it relates to the theme it’s in. If not, it’s out or put in the “save” file for possible use in the future. This phase is about discrimination, selectivity, choice-making, but always from the heart.

Step 4: Compose the Design

Visioning collage-making is a new language, a language of symbols and images, of color and words blended together to form a unique montage of creative possibilities. Like any designer assembling the elements of a design, the Visionary starts building the visible expression of her dreams by putting the pieces together, almost as if assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Laying the pictures out on the art paper, she tentatively arranges them in relationships to each other. Mixing and matching, she tries ideas out for size and placement, using a sixth sense about how to accurately portray the dream. There is no right way to do it, only the particular Visionary’s way. This is the time to be completely authentic and original, true to oneself and one’s vision. It is at this point that a great deal of inner doubt often arises, leading us to the next step. Read More

Rita MiliosHarnessing The Power of Visualizations to Create the Reality You Desire
by Rita Milios, MSW

Do you feel that you control your own future? Or do you dream of changes you’d like to make in your life, yet you don’t quite know how to make them happen?

Many of us don’t realize that the key to controlling our outer lives begins by controlling our inner lives–our mental state. It is said that “attitude is everything”, and this is essentially true because attitude precedes action. Before we do it, we must first think it, desire it, plan it….and believe in it. Whatever our goal, holding the vision of that goal and “energizing” it with a positive attitude that assumes success is the key to eventual success.

Visualizations and affirmations are two “mind tools” that can help you hold a vision and create an attitude that will lead you to your goal. Visualization is the process of creating pictures in your mind. Affirmation is the process of repeating a positive message to yourself. Both are potent, positive mental tools that can be learned and used by anyone.

Visualization works because it creates belief, belief that can alter the circumstances of your life. With visualization, you “speak” directly to your inner, subconscious mind, bypassing the censorship of the logical, conscious mind. Your subconscious mind “thinks” in pictures, and you can reach the programming levels of your subconscious mind quickly and easily with visualization. Visualization is an idea, a thought form, in picture. By starting with a picture, you take a shortcut directly into your subconscious. No words have to be “translated” from conscious (“left–brain”) language to subconscious (“right–brain”) language. You deliver a simple, clear, direct message right into your subconscious mind.

Visualization is a bit of mental “trickery.” You are, in effect, tricking your subconscious into believing that an event has occurred when it has not. Your subconscious mind does not rationalize. It takes whatever you give it as “truth.” If you consistently picture yourself as having already achieved your goal, your subconscious mind soon believes that it is so. Then, in order to balance your inner and outer reality, your subconscious sets into motion any events or circumstances necessary to create in the physical realm that which you believe in your mind to be true. The fact that you only “imagined” the outcome of your goal does not matter. In your mind (as in space) there is no past, present, or future. Just because you pictured having achieved your goal before you did it, does not matter to your subconscious. If you can make the scene real, you can believe in it. And once you believe in it, it tends to come true.

Numerous studies have been done on visualization, assessing its effect on the performance of athletes, on the ability of students to recall information, and its effect on certain healing processes. From these studies and from the experiences of countless people, we have evidence of the powerful role that visualization can play in our lives.

Steps to Better Visualizations

The key to using visualization effectively is to make the pictures, the scenes in your mind, real. Add all the action, energy, and emotion you can muster to the movies in your mind. The more they appear and feel real to you, the more certainly you are creating their (future) reality.

Start by visualizing in the proper place. Close your eyes and “look” inside your mind. What do you see? Total blackness, probably. Now start to imagine a scene in your mind. Where in your head is this scene taking place?

For many people, visualizations are pictured somewhere in the area of the forehead, often right between the eyebrows. While this is OK, it is more effective to move your mind–movies out away from your head. Picturing your scene between your eyes takes more concentration because your eyes instinctively follow your inward gaze. It is better to move your mind’s movie screen out about six inches from your face. This allows you to be more relaxed, and to have more spontaneous, creative images. Using this focal point, try the exercise below.

“Practice” Visualizations

Close your eyes and image a movie screen (or if you prefer, a blackboard) about six inches away from your face and up a couple inches above your eyes. Read More

Jim DonovanSee Yourself As The Person You Want to Become
by Jim Donovan

Do you carry around a mental image of yourself as overweight and unhealthy, when you really want to be fit, trim and in radiant health? Do you have an internal image of yourself as broke, never having enough money, when your heart’s desire is to be rich and prosperous? Do you affirm disliking your job and not being able to get ahead, when you really want your own business where you call the shots?

Then, my friend, you must change your mental image of yourself. You must begin to see yourself as the person you want to become. Affirm the characteristics and lifestyles of the person you want to be.

Act as if

All change begins in your mind. Before you can change your circumstances you must first imagine yourself differently.

Begin to think, talk, and act as the person you want to become. Doing that in the present will move you toward your future lifestyle. For example, if the person you want to become is trim and healthy, the next time you encounter a dessert tray at a restaurant ask yourself, “What would this healthy, new me do in this situation?” Chances are you’ll pass it by.

If you want to become a more understanding and loving parent, the next time one of your children does something that makes you angry, behave as the person you are working toward becoming would behave in the same situation.

Create new pictures

One of the ways in which we sabotage ourselves is to carry around old pictures in our minds and replay old tapes that undermine our progress. If you want to become wealthy, stop seeing yourself as broke or poor. Stop affirming lack and talking about not having enough money. Stop complaining about your bills. A wealthy person would not do these things.

One of the “secrets” to becoming wealthy is to affirm wealth. Express your gratitude for all that you already have. Count your blessings. No matter how broke or “poor” you may think you are, if you live in the North America, you are living better than most of the world’s population. By affirming your present wealth, health, and opportunities, you are creating a mental state that will attract more. Remember, “to he who has, more is given.” We attract what we think about. This is a Cosmic Law. Make a habit of acting, thinking, visualizing, and talking as the person you would like to become. The more you do this, the faster you will move toward this goal.

Visualize your desires

Whatever you can vividly imagine, you can achieve. Everything in your world and everything around you was once an idea in the mind of its inventor or creator.

Invest time each day visualizing what you want in your life. Sit quietly in a place where you will not be disturbed. The best time to do this is just before going to sleep at night and just upon awakening in the morning. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Relax. Become quiet and at peace. Mentally create a picture of what you want. See it as vividly as you can. Don’t strain. Add color and sound and smells. Engage all of your senses. Read More

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