If we are always going to be thinking something and creating pictures/images in our mind, it is probably a good idea to have some kind of say over the content… after all, we all know how easy it is for our mind to behave as if it has a will of its own, completely independent of us!
So, if we regularly engage in conscious, aspirational thinking and imagery, we are surely helping ourselves to feel more hopeful about our future, and more inspired by our life in general? A much-admired television personality has expressed the view that it is wrong to encourage people to believe that they can change their lives by indulging in visualisation techniques, but I think that that might have more to do with his personal beliefs, than concern for others. Having said that, I can see (and have seen), how disheartening it can be for those who are desperate to create or attract something they so badly want and need… only to find that no matter how many affirmations they chant, no matter how often they visualise, nothing much changes at all: from that point of view, I can understand where he is coming from.
The question is, is the answer to “does visualisation work?”, a black and white, all-or-nothing, yes or no response? Absolutely not… but there are productive and non-productive ways to go about it (is my opinion!), and little ‘rules’ that can benefit us if we understand and follow them.
I first began practising visualisation, in a hugely unpolished way, around 35 years ago. I read about it in a newspaper article, and jubilantly thought, “at last, here is that magic wand I have long been seeking, that is going to quickly and easily transform my life!”.
Fast forward, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years… and I am still skint, still slogging away, still waiting for the big break. I had, throughout that time period, been very lucky in many ways; some good soul would always pop up to bail me out, just as I was just about to go over the edge (which was often), but I never managed to get beyond the point of survival. Every now then, motivated by desperation, I would return to attempting to visualise more money (which I believed would solve everything), only to find that things tended to become worse! I remember travelling on the train, heading out to attend a booking for a group of customers, with all of the money I possessed in the whole world (less than £5) in my purse… which was placed inside my wide-open handbag, on the seat next to me. As the train pulled in to the station, I went to pick up my bag, only to realise that my purse was not there! I panicked, and, becoming tearful, cried out, ‘my purse has gone! What am I going to do?’. I still had to take a bus to the customers’ house, but now had no money for the fare! A fellow passenger informed me that a young man had walked past my seat, whilst I was looking out of the window, reached down, and ‘grabbed something’… what? NOW you tell me? I cannot remember what happened after that, but somehow I did manage to keep the appointment, and return home with a small but well-earned amount of cash in my purse (pushed to the bottom of my now closed handbag, nestled safely in my lap), but also with a familiar, deep-seated, sick feeling of defeat. If you had asked me, at that moment in time, whether or not I believed that visualisation ‘worked’, I would probably have said, “not for me, it doesn’t. For the lucky ones, for the chosen few, maybe… but for me, hell no!”
Fast forward to about 6 months ago. One afternoon I picked up and opened my purse, and was struck by a sudden jolt of deja vu… as I realised that what I was seeing with my eyes was exactly what I had been picturing in my mind, over a long period of time… and I was blown away! No, the magic fairy hadn’t paid a secret visit overnight, depositing a chunk of cash into my purse; the money had recently come from a completely unexpected source, but I was only just putting the dots together. Not millions, for sure, but more than I had before, and a very welcome and useful addition. I had repeatedly been picturing images in my mind, of a purse plump with money, and healthy-looking bank and Paypal accounts… and here it was now, manifest! Oh, I had a little wobble, a sudden wave of fear (am I worthy of this??), but I quickly and consciously jumped on it from a great height, expressing immediate and immense gratitude to the great, creative force of life (call it God, the Universe, or whatever else sits well with you), and the individuals who had played their part – and I will continue to do so, every single day. I also realised that it was up to me to capitalise on this gain, to use it to create further abundance in my life – to keep the energy of positive manifestation flowing, rather than just depositing and drying up!
So… what changed? Me – that’s what. My early attempts at visualisation were dry, without any real substance behind them, and motivated more by desperation than inspiration. If my ‘abundance mentality’, at that time, had been compared with something physical, it would have been a soggy lump of flesh, devoid of a skeleton. I didn’t believe… I couldn’t feel it, and I definitely didn’t think I was worthy of a comfortable, fortuitous life. And I was consistently making decisions that were counter-productive, and based entirely upon a survival mindset. I had to begin to heal my incredibly poor abundance mentality before I could accept abundance. I didn’t know that then, of course, and even when I did start to recognise it, I still had a huge amount of ground to cover. The good news is, though, that ground that is gained cannot be lost, even if sometimes there are holes in the road, or brick walls to figure out and step-around.
So, here are some of the helpful ‘rules’ of visualisation to consider, and maybe even utilise (in no particular order!):
1) It has to feel ‘real’ – it has to make some kind of sense to us. If I visualise myself as a Formula 1 racing driver, competing in and winning races, I am doing nothing more than indulging in a pleasant daydream; I know for sure that there is about as much chance of me jumping to the moon and back, as there is of me becoming an F1 driver… for solid, practical reasons. I might be able to achieve a very watered-down version, such as getting to sit in an F1 car, or ride as a passenger in a two-seater version, at a promotional event (both of which I’d LOVE!), but as for the big dream… it ain’t going to happen, and I would be wasting my time and energy trying to visualise it into life!
2) We have to ‘believe’ – we cannot consistently follow up a positive affirmation with a negative thought or statement. Well, we can, but we would only be wasting our own time. We can only create something we believe has the possibility to exist. Say, for example, I wanted to design, cut out and sew together a ball gown, but I didn’t believe that I was capable of such a thing; I would either start it, and give up at the first hurdle, or not start it at all. I might say that I want to attract the perfect partner, through visualisation, whilst consistently reminding myself of all of my past romantic disasters, and all of the reasons I won’t/can’t trust. As the old cliche goes, we can’t have our cake and eat it too. We can’t not believe and believe, at the same time!
3) We have to be patient – we have to become aligned with whatever it is we are attempting to visualise into physical existence. We have to be willing to be consistent and persistent. Some events/circumstances may take shape and form more quickly than others, dependent upon where we are in our mindset, and upon the nature of the desire. I was consistently attracting enough to survive because I was operating from a survival mentality. However, I had to evolve not only from where I was at, but also the nature and quality of what I was visualising… and I had to keep on going until I became aligned with it.
4) We have to put colour into our visualisation, and emotional energy. We can chant and imagine, with all of the passion of someone reading names and addresses from the telephone book, but it won’t leave any impression upon our own mind or the creative energy of life. And we shouldn’t just limit our visualisation to the times at which we are meditating (if we meditate). We need to allocate little pockets of time, throughout the day, to bringing to mind that which we are determined to create energetically so that it can then begin to manifest physically. And we need to bless it, with pleasure and anticipation!
5) We have to be open to the ways in which our desired outcome might show up in our lives. I had believed that a boost of income could only come about through my work, or maybe, hopefully, possibly… a lottery win (I kept playing, having the very occasional, tiny win… and a lot of disappointment!). I was willing to work hard, but felt restricted by a) being a sole trader, and b) the nature of my work; I believed that I couldn’t humanly double or triple the number of clients I worked with each day (even if I could attract them), because of the high degree of mental and emotional energy required. However, when my finances took a turn for the better, I was able to recognise that the ‘good luck’ had at least partially come about as a result of work that had gone before…and I was obviously now ready to accept it. And I also realised that I had been selling myself cheap, working far harder than I needed (or deserved) to, and that if I didn’t value myself and my skills, how could I blame others for not doing so? I deleted my mailing list, stopped giving ‘special offers’, and increased my prices. Within months, I was working fewer hours for the same amount of money, freeing me up to develop other business ideas! And all of this, without a lottery win!
To finish, I thought I would share this interesting, entertaining YouTube video with you: