Short story time…
One day I was asked about visualization, what it is, and how exactly one can get “started” with it. This conversation is the entire inspiration for this post, as you will come to see.
For those who read this that don’t know or hardly know what visualization is and the powerful benefits it can have on your life; let me define it for you in one line.
Extreme daydreaming with a purpose.
It makes total sense!
We all day dream, but typically it’s about randomness that has no targeted meaning or end goal in mind. Visualization on the other hand has a purpose, is often much more intense and focused around something, and leads up to having those thoughts becoming reality.
The problem with regular ol’ daydreaming is there is no real benefits. It’s not targeted, it’s not goal oriented, and it’s just a way to escape our realities instead of using it to shape our realities.
This post for some will seem unreal, crazy, and maybe outright weird. But for those who are won over by the whole concept of visualization, it’s basic core purpose, and what it can and has done for many people; you’ll be guided by not only this post but of what a lifestyle involving visualization routines entails.
Without going on and on, let’s get into it the good stuff (saying my stuff isn’t good, eh?). Stick around both believers and the non-believers because you may never know what this one single post can lead you towards. Now let’s talk about a bit more about what visualization really is…
What is Visualization?
Although I’ll be one of the first to admit I’m no expert in visualization any more than just a practicer, it’s not hard to comprehend on the most basic level.
But, someone that I’d refer to as an expert is Leo from Actualized.org. He defines visualization, in summary, as such:
It’s a technique to be used in quiet, by yourself, while using the power of mental imagery to “prime” your subconscious with images of your goals that you possess.
That’s not word for word, but it’s how Leo put it and that explains it all for the most part. There is not magic going on or any special technique that you need to do. It can be as easy as you, yourself, and some mental imagery targeted at your end goals in mind.
A personal tip that you should always remember: Before going into a visualization session you should always reassure yourself that what you are doing is working. Even if you don’t see immediate effects or any at all (it’s nearly impossible to identify results), don’t give up. The power of your mind is there, but it’s just a little slow and playing catch up all the time. Keep at it.
What’s the Best Way to Get Into Visualization Meditation?
“Getting into” visualization makes it sound so much more complex than it has to be. Although there are different techniques out there on how to go about practicing visualization, they all go back to the main definition of the term. If you ever get stuck and different techniques confuse you or don’t sound appealing, just implement the main definition into your daily routine.
So while Anna from Speed Reading Lounge lists 5 awesome techniques & tips; below I’m going to cover how you can start with just a chair (or whatever you want really), a quiet place, and your mind that will lay out the foundation you need to begin with this new routine.
Note: If you don’t have a mind, I’d be a little worried on how exactly you are reading this….
PS: Jokes are dry today.
The Most Basic Visualization Exercise: Step by Step
The following is my plan of action for every visualization session I do. The best thing you can do is avoid complex setups; there really is no true need to make visualization exercises complex! This is especially important to remember in the beginning, you don’t want to stress yourself out. Alright, now onto the first step!
Step 1: Review your goals before the session. Defining what it is you wish to cultivate through the accomplishment of your goals is a must that you need to be doing before every session. This will allow you to change your goals if they have changed, know what you want to generate thoughts about, and ensure a targeted session that is meaningful.
Don’t go in blind; know what your goals are and you will know what exactly it is you will be thinking about.
Step 2: Find your most comfortable place, but not too comfortable. Getting into a position, place, and temperature that is very neutral is optimal. You don’t want to be uncomfortable and your mind focused on how weird you feel, but you also don’t want to fall asleep or get too warm in the middle of your sessions either.
Another thing you probably want to do is sit up instead of laying down, it just a person tip that I’ve found to help produce the best environment for clear thoughts.
Step 3: Relax your body. Before you can get to the thinking, you want to relax yourself. Personally I am a HUGE fan of progressive muscle relaxation for any time I need to get relaxed.
I know there have seemingly been a lot of preparing steps so far; but they are crucial for a successful visualization meditation session with clear thoughts. It’ll get easier once you get into a routine, just don’t skip any step! Now let’s get into the part you’ve been waiting for!
Drum roll please…………………….. (dun dun dunnnnnn) Not a drum roll but who cares?!
Step 4: Let the session begin. You know what it is you want, you’ve gotten comfortable and relaxed in a quiet place, now it’s time to start your visualization meditation sesh (now I sound like a skater).
Start with some visualization of nothingness, achieve a mind of nothing. This will clear all thoughts and end any wanderingness your brain all too often likes to do.
Next you must master (which will take practice and time) creating mental imagery of whatever it is you want to become, achieve, or do (or a mix). You need to not only visualize the end goal, but also the things that you have to do to achieve that end goal.
You must imagine everything it will take, all playing out, almost as if it were truly happening at an extremely fast forwarded pace. By defining all of this ahead of time, you will know exactly it is you plan to think about.
If at any time this seems silly or lame to you, just remind yourself that this is just daydreaming but with a purpose. That these thoughts you are creating are going to guide you and bring you to where you want to be in life. There is a purpose much greater here than just feeling good in the now, and that’s to manifest those things that you really want. So get over your temporary comforts and just do it, it’ll pay off 100 fold.
Continue these thoughts for awhile (10-15 minutes), all the way up to where you see yourself becoming. The end goal in mind should be reached in every session and then some.
And remember; the time limit isn’t set in stone, it’s really all about when you want to be done. If you want; a good idea is to set a timer, just make sure to account for the pre-steps!
If you want some more guidance on how to do some visualization exercises and techniques, here are some great resources that will help this amazing lifestyle change:
How to Use Meditation to Visualize Your Goals by Chopra.com
Some Final Words
There you have it my friend, a complete overview, better understanding, and even how to get started with visualization.
This post has been rather generic, and not anything advanced by far. But the one thing I hope has helped some of you is simply a better understanding of it, what it can do, and how to start practically implementing it into your life. Even if it is on the smallest scale, you are doing better that 90% of others. This is the first stepping stone to many, and I completely plan to write more about this topic as I too grow on the topic of meditation and all of the related.
Have anything to add, say, or ask? Comment them down below, I reply to everyone and love conversation provoking comments!
Until next time, keep on keepin’ on! 🙂