What do you see in the clouds? Remember times as a child watching clouds?
Visualizations are a way to connect the mind and body, to achieve your goals and shift your life in a positive direction.
In modern cultures it is common for the imagination to be accepted as child’s play. However, as adults, the imagination can be a powerful tool.
How do we use the imagination as an adult? Unconsciously, we use it to create drama, fantasies and negativity. Through visualization exercises, we shift into a more conscious experience of our imagination. We utilize the imagination to create good thoughts, feelings and actions in our life.
Visualization has commonly been used in sports and health. In a study with cancer patients who practiced visualization alongside their medical treatment – they lived 112 times longer than the control group (Wesckcke in The Truth about Creative Visualization, 1984). In sports, athletes imagine themselves achieving their goal as a regular part of their practice.
Goals can be physical (a record time in a race), emotional (balanced emotions), mental (understanding physics) and spiritual (increased awareness). Maybe you desire a healthier body, more rewarding work or a deeper intimate relationship.
However, do you find you are still caught in negative thoughts about how unhealthy, stuck and undeserving you are? The first step is to shift these negative thought patterns. Visualization is a process of using the active imagination to do just that, turning our deepest desires into reality.
Typically, visualizing first thing upon waking, at mid-day and right before going to sleep are good times to start with. Visualization can work with as little as 5-15 minutes 3 times per day. As you continue to practice you’ll find that visualization becomes a way of life. You will switch mid-thought into a visualization during the normal course of your day. For extra power, invite a couple trusted friends or family members to visualize with you and for you.
First, sit and shift the attention to the body and breath. Pay attention to the breath coming in and out of the nose – focus the mind right at the nostrils. Notice if the mind follows the breath or drifts to other thoughts. Gently invite it back to the edge of the nose where the breath comes in and out steadily. Then, starting with the top of the head, scan the body parts until you reach the toes. Head, face, neck, shoulders, arms – be as detailed as you can, noticing fingers, tips of fingers or the whole hand. Notice any sensations, accept them and instruct the body to relax. Scan the body from the toes to the top of the head and repeat as needed until you feel the body and mind relaxing.
Next, imagine a place in nature you love. Imagine yourself there – in a meadow, near a river or on a mountain top. What do you see, hear, smell and feel? Think of what you desire – whether it is a healthy body, a successful career or happiness. Imagine the pathogen being cleared out of the body, imagine yourself successful and happy.
Continue to practice this visualization for at least 5 minutes, three times per day.
And, take time to watch the clouds.
There are infinite visualizations that you can practice. If you’d like some guidance and inspiration in your visualization practice feel free to contact Julie and Casey.