Have you ever imagined something you wanted which then became a reality?
As a coach for founders, entrepreneurs and sole traders across the creative industries, it probably comes as no surprise that I believe in the power of creative visualization. Every Netflix series that entertains you, every great work of art that moves or inspires you, every book that connects with you on a human level, began with one producer, artist, or writer’s ability to fully inhabit a reality that did not yet exist.
But you don’t need to be an artist or a writer to visualize what you want. You can see it, feel it, believe in it, and and manifest the new job, new partner, new home you want in your life.
I have seen the power of our mind’s intention in my own life. I imagined the house I now live in, and the partner who I now share my life with many years hbefore either became a reality And I’ve seen the power of creative visualization in the lives of my friends and clients. I use visualization to help clients imagine meeting themselves at the end of joyous and fulfilled lives and I use the power of creative visualization to have clients ima the next 12 months of their life as though it has already occurred.
Scientific studies of Creative Visualisation rmostly elate to health and medical outcomes where the positive effects of creative visualization have been shown on immunity, stress, healing and pain management.
Scanning brain activity we can see that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions. Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes from motor control, attention, perception, and planning, to memory. And it has been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence, improve motor performance, cognitive performance,and self esteem.
The House In the Woods
10 years ago, Richard Scott and Nicola Smith bought a tiny Victorian cottage in the woods, near Canterbury, England. Richard, who is an architect, had a vision for how to add living space. He visualized his dream house and developed the idea in his mind, all the while living full time in the wee cottage with his young family, while Nicola worked on creating a beautiful garden.
Ultimately, a lot of hard work and savings went into building this dream home, but it was the daily practise of visualising himself in the fully finished house, imagining the views from each room, the warm scent of the woods permeating the space, and the sense of calm radiating his body that Richard says made the project’s completion almost certain.
Finally the timing, funding, and planning were all in place, and during lockdown Richard manifested his vision: A simple, elegant, light-filled pavilion that plays with perspective in a joyful way
The Woman On The Sail Boat
Suzie was an advertising executive living in London who at the age of 40. relocated to New Zealand’s South Island where she ended up falling in love with her next door neighbour, a landscape architect and mother of two teen kids, whose name is Connie. After dating for two years, the two women decided to move in together, and Suzie helped Connie with the move and house clearance. In the attic, Suzie came across Connie’s old vision boards -photos cut out of Magazines which Connie had produced to inspire her many years before. In the centre of the largest of Connie’s old vision boards was a photo of a beautiful woman sitting alone on the deck of a sail boat. “That’s me.” Suzie exclaimed. “What do you mean?” Connie asked in astonishment.
It turned out that in her 30’s, Suzie had been writing a travel feature about sailing vacations, and had humoured the photographer by posing for a shot on deck, as no paying guests were available. The magazine, which had ended up including this image in the feature, ended up as part of Connnie’s collage on the other side of the world. Now, a decade later, the woman who was the centre piece of Connnie’s daily visualization was the same woman who she was making a life with.
What is Creative visualization?
Visualising is not the same as seeing with your eyes.In fact, visualization is best done with your eyes closed. If I ask you to imagine a juicy, red apple, what comes into your mind? Hopefully you have an image of a delicious peice of fruit. You’re not actually looking at it now., but you’ve drawn on your experience and imagination to conjure up the image, which feels very real. Now, if I asked you to hold it in your hands, you could probably tell me what it feels like, how heavy it is, what temperature it is and even what it smells like. If I asked you to take a bite, I bet you could describe the taste sensation. And how about it I ask how you feel in your body, having just taken that first bite?
Creative visualization is when you start with the ’thing’ you want to manifest in your life, whether it’s a new romantic partner, a different home, or yourself in improved physical shape, and then create a 3D virtual reality hologram of it for yourself, including sight, taste, touch and how you feel within your body about the new ’thing.’
Only visualize what you desire
It’s important that you do not create 3D holograms of what you don’t want. It’s easy to fall into the trap of focussing on the ’thing’ you don’t want: “Escaping this dark, dingy house,” or “not being unhappy at work anymore.” But your mind is very powerful, and focussing on what you don’t want only serves to make that very ’thing’ (the dark house or the unhappy job) more real. Instead, imagine and visualize your beautiful new home and wonderful next job.
Visualize with all five senses in full technicolour
Don’t accept blurry images on the screen of your mind. visualize in bold, bright colour. Focus with great concentration on the ’thing’ you want completely, until it comes into vision with absolute clarity.
Then go into all five senses. How does the person, place or object smell? How does it feel to the touch? How about sound?
Put yourself into the picture
You are not watching the dream you have created like an observer, from a distance. You are the main player, the protagonist in your creative visualization. And you are not resisting, or denying the story of abundance and joy which you have created. You are relishing, savouring, enjoying each moment.
The strength of your emotions and feelings about the relationship, home or job you want are what give power to the creative visualization. Engross yourself totally in the visualization, so that it becomes like a very vivid dream.
In order to make the vision more real, it helps tremendously to have a positive conversation with yourself, as if you had achieved your goal. For example, if you visualize yourself having lost weight, I encourage you to add to your daily affirmations with statements such as “I am fit,” “I am healthy,” “I am moving towards my ideal weight,” “I am shedding pounds.”
The Nigerian writer, Bien Sufficient puts it this way; “There is nothing my mind can conceive, my heart can believe, my eyes can see and my soul can visualize that I cannot do. Even if the whole world says I can’t, it’s just a matter of time and I will get it done.”