--Henry David Thoreau
Visualization is a "mind tool" that you can use to "re-program" your mind. It is a kind of "brainwashing." Throughout our lives experiences have taught us and programmed us. Because of these experiences we have formed beliefs. These beliefs may be true or not. We may have false beliefs such as, I cannot do well in school or I can't find a job. This belief is based on past experiences. For example poor performance in school or learned helplessness. I know a 12 year old girl that is very pretty; she thinks she is ugly because of "inner programming." Visualization can erase and re-write these negative tapes running inside our heads.
--Oliver Wendall Holmes
Visualization creates belief, belief that can alter the circumstances of your life. Visualization means creating pictures in your mind. With visualization, you "speak" directly to your subconscious mind, by-passing the censorship of the left-brain. Your subconscious mind "thinks" in pictures. 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 short-cut directly into your right-brain. No words have to be "translated" from left-brain to right-brain language. You deliver a simple, clear, direct message to your subconscious mind.
Creating visualizations of the things you want to believe is very effective. 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 things into motion. The subconscious mind will help create any events or circumstances necessary to produce in the physical realm that which you believe in your mind to be true. 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. Then your subconscious, seeming to have "fallen behind on the job," gets to work to bring inner and outer reality into alignment. The fact that you only "imagined" the outcome of your goal does not matter. In your right brain (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.
We don't have to understand how visualization works, we just have to know that it does work. 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. The fact that we don't fully understand it shouldn't stop us from giving it a chance to work for us. We don't fully understand how electricity works, but that does not stop us form turning on the light when we enter a room. So it is with mind tools like affirmations, expectations and visualization. Through experience we can come to predict that they will work for us, even though the universal laws that make their power available to us may not be understood for years to come.
The key, then, to using visualization effectively is to make the pictures, the scenes in your mind real. Add all the color, 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. In the beginning the movie may be very small, faint and black and white. With your mind you can turn up the sound, size and color each time you play it. The more powerful it is the more effective it will be in changing your life.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Visualization means putting pictures in your mind. For example, try to think of what you had for dinner last night. Think back over the previous evening. What were you doing around dinner time? Who was there with you? Imagine yourself sitting at the dinner table. Look down at your plate. What do you see?
When you do this, you are visualizing, or creating a picture in your mind. Visualizing helps you remember things. This is because memories are placed into our brains in picture form. But these are not flat, one-dimensional photos--memories are more like moving pictures, complete with all the action, thoughts and feelings that were associated with the original event. By giving your mind a "cue" that hints at the original memory you can bring forth forgotten information. You simply look back over the "movie" in your mind until your see what you need. In a science called neurolinguistic programming, past negative events can be erased by replaying them in your mind and turning down the sound, size, color and emotion. These old movies can even be "taped over" much like a VCR. This technique is used to replace events real or imagined that have created negative thinking or beliefs. Once the old movie is erased, a new positive one can be taped over it. The brain is like a computer disk, if the data is deleted it remains on the disk and can be recovered until it has been written over.
Often, especially in our childhood events may not need to be erased, they may only need editing. Perception of an event eg. a mistake may be perceived as "I am a failure." This perception can be edited to "Wow, that was a powerful lesson!"
Memories are one form of visualization. We all have memories, so we all visualize. But some people visualize better than others. For some people, who are naturally highly visual, creating pictures in their minds comes quite easily. For others, who may be more oriented toward the auditory (hearing) or kinesthetic (feeling) states, visualization takes more practice.
"What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality."
Why would anyone want to practice visualization? Because visualization can do much more than bring forth memories. Visualization can be creative, forming original pictures in your mind, pictures that you choose to put there. Earlier I stated that visualization is a bit of "mental trickery." It is this use of visualization that gives you the ability to create your own reality. Remember, inner and outer realities always want to match up. Once an idea is real in your mind (inner reality), it tends to be created in 3-dimensional (outer reality). The trick is to make the thought real in your mind, to truly believe in your creation.
--Norman Vincent Peale
This is where visualization can help. "Seeing is believing" for most people. We believe what we see with our own eyes. The same holds true for mental "seeing." Visualizing a scene in your mind tends to make it more real. You come to believe in the reality of the image. At first visualization of a goal may seem forced and unnatural. But repeated visualizations, like repeated affirmations, slowly create the belief that the desired goal is possible, then probable, then finally, a fact. Once a goal has become real in your mind, once you believe it, it starts to become real in your life.
Using affirmations and visualization together is like a "double whammy" for creating belief in your desired goal. One or the other alone will work, but by using the two together, your success will come easier and faster. Visualize your desired goal while you repeat your affirmation for it. Create a scene in your mind where you see yourself already having achieved your goal. See yourself doing what you would be doing, saying what you would be saying, feeling what you would be feeling. By making your visualization vivid, active and exciting you add energy to it.
Visualization is a process.; it can be made better; it can be honed to perfection. The better you become at visualization, the more creative energy you will have available to create your desired reality.
Start by visualizing in the proper place. Close your eyes and "look" inside your mind. What do you see? Total blackness, of course. Now start to imagine a scene in your mind, perhaps your dinner scene again. 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 a foot or more from your face, out into space. This allows you to relax more and to have more spontaneous, creative images.
Close your eyes and imagine a movie screen (or if you prefer, a blackboard) a foot or more away from your face and up a couple inches above your eyes. This is where you should make your mental pictures.
First practice making mental pictures with some simple exercises. Imagine (or "draw") on your screen or blackboard a geometric figure, a square, circle or triangle. Keep visualizing this figure over and over for about twenty seconds. Each time your mind wanders, simply bring it back, reproducing the same image over and over. Repeat this exercise with the other two geometric figures.
Then imagine on your mental screen or blackboard a familiar person. You do not need to get details. (Most people don't really see details like hair and eyes on their figures.) In fact, when you "see" an image or visualization, it is in the form of a thought-picture, a sort of mix between an actual image and just the thought of that image. Don't expect pictures like those on television. Trying too hard to get a "good" visualization will hamper your results. Sometimes you "sense" an image more than you actually see it.
Now scan your figure with your mental eye. Note the size, shape and sex of the mental body. Note any feelings or impressions you have about it. Then imagine this body slowly starting to become active, and to move. It might start to walk, jog or play basketball, whatever.
Next, bring another figure into the picture. On your mental screen, see a second figure interacting with the first. Have them talk, shake hands, become animated and argue or laugh together. Practice creating pictures in your mind until you can comfortably imagine and visualize many types of scenes. Creating your own vivid scenes is the key to using visualization. Practice these simple exercises until you become a "natural" at visualization.
While you are making your daily affirmations, you can enhance them with specific visualizations.
Visualizations for Health--Picture yourself on your mental screen, at your healthy best. Imagine yourself strong, vital and healthy as you make your health affirmations.
If there are any areas in your body that need attention, imagine each area specifically, seeing it whole, complete and healed of whatever ailment it once had. Make an affirmation that the ailment is now healed. Imagine a healing light permeating every cell of the affected area. Then, see yourself joyfully experiencing freedom from this ailment. Move the body part freely, breathe deeply, to show that the body part is no longer affected. End the visualization by giving thanks for your perfect health. You can also do these visualizations for others, imaging them on your mental screen.
Dr. Bernie Siegel has healed hundreds of patients diagnosed with terminal cancer through visualization. Dr. Siegel spends time with his patients to learn about the type of imagery they use. He has them draw pictures of the disease and how they are going to beat it. He uses these to help the patient use the mind to heal the body. Example: "She saw the tumor as a block of ice, and her therapy and spirituality as warm sunshine entering her body. The tumor essentially melted away." Dr. Siegel has had children use their imaginations to come up with dragons and armies to destroy the disease.
In my own experience, I have seen children destroy a painful wart with imagery. They draw a picture of their foot and the painful wart on the sole of their foot; they put a big red X through the wart and then burn the picture. This treatment works well for children because they "believe." It says in the Bible "Faith can move mountains." Dr. Siegel has documented several cases in which terminal patients were healed simply by faith and belief.
Visualizations for Prosperity--See yourself experiencing your wealth. What kinds of possessions would you have? What would your bank statement look like? Visualize yourself using and enjoying your prosperity. Also, (and this is very important) visualize the good that can come from your increased prosperity.
Perhaps you have plans to help others in some way. Visualize this happening. Any time you use your increased prosperity to help others, you increase your potential for prosperity becoming a permanent part of your life. Your attitude about prosperity and plenty increases your wealth. Think of money as freedom, as a tool to help you do what you do best.
You do not have to give away money to use your increased prosperity. If, for instance, your increased wealth allows you to hire help to do jobs that you once had to do, this too, can bring good to others. If you hire a person to clean your house, or someone to mow your lawn. They benefit from income and you have more free time and energy. Now ask yourself, "What will I do with this time and energy?" Will you use it selfishly, thinking only of yourself? Will you use it to serve a higher purpose? or will you use the time to do what you do best to help others?
Perhaps there is a special job or volunteer work that you have been wanting to do, but didn't. Use your prosperity wisely, and more will come to you. Think of your wealth as freedom, security, and added power to help others. When you want to create prosperity, attitude is everything.
Visualizations for Success--Picture your success in specific, positive images. See yourself performing a service of your choice that others need and appreciate. See yourself being congratulated and praised for your good work. Imagine that you have a never-ending supply of people who value and want your services. See yourself enjoying your work, feeling proud and happy that you can provide this worthwhile service.
If you are not happy with your present job, see yourself working and doing the kinds of things you would really like to be doing. Imagine yourself in the type of environment where you feel the best--at home, at the office, outside, working alone, or working with others. Then give thanks for this new and wonderful job (you do not have to know exactly what this job is--you can leave that up to the universe). See yourself depositing a paycheck into your bank account. This check shows the amount of money that you need and desire from your work.
Visualizations for Happiness--Imagine having no wants or needs unfulfilled in your life. Affirm that you already have these things in your life as you visualize them.
See yourself and your loved ones interacting in loving, pleasant ways. Visualize a peaceful scene where your best wishes have come true. Give thanks for the happiness in your life.
There are unlimited ways to visualize. Make your visualizations unique and real according to your own desires. Always remember to visualize the positive outcome of your goal. Visualize the good that will result from having achieved your goal. Visualize yourself being appreciative and thankful. The universe likes to be thanked!
Visualizations for Emotional Healing--Not only can you "program" goals and desires with your visualizations, you can "re-program" old hurts and change old non-productive, limiting attitudes. Using visualization for emotional healing is something that you can do alone if you are committed to looking deeply and openly into your own mind. You can probably successfully use visualization and the other techniques described in this book on your own to help you positively transform your emotional state.
If your scars are buried deeply, or related to a traumatic event, seek professional help in facilitating your personal transformation. If you are too upset to work with a visualization, or get "stuck" and nothing seems to work, you might have gone as far as you can alone. There is nothing wrong with seeking help from qualified professionals for your mental and emotional life. Use your intuition to guide you.
For most people, however, visualization can be a real tool in helping them uncover and re-program their own mental patterns.
The Small Child Visualization--is especially good for re-programming very old beliefs and attitudes. In it you "meet" yourself as a child. You go back to an old feeling or problem and mentally visualize its solution. Even if you don't know the exact problem, by tapping into anxieties, fears or negative feelings, you can get in touch with the mental program associated with them and change them. Go through the visualization several times, each time dealing with a new problem or feeling. A difficult problem may take several repeated visualizations to clear out all the negative energy associated with the original mental program. Follow your intuitive feelings. They will tell you when you have repeated a visualization enough times, or if a sense of peace comes over you during the visualization, or you experience the cessation of a specific anxiety.
--George Bernard Shaw
Dr. Bailey appears regularly on TV and the national radio talk show Here's To Your Health, he as written numerous magazine articles and he travels around the world speaking about optimal wellness of the body, mind and spirit. He also develops personalized wellness programs for individuals, families and corporations.
His latest book is the SECRETS TO HAPPINESS, INNER PEACE AND HEALTH: COMPLETE GUIDE TO OPTIMAL WELLNESS OF BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT); his 1997 corporate lecture series is TWELVE ESSENTIAL KEYS TO SUCCESS.
Dr. Bailey also does consultation worldwide over the phone, mail or by e-mail.
For more information on losing fat see Dr. Baileys latest book.
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For more information on losing fat see Dr. Baileys latest book.