What is visualizing? How can we use it to help make our dreams come true? The mind is a funny thing. It tends to focus on what we don’t have rather than what we want. Visualizing is a way to train and stretch the mind to make room for the manifestation of our deepest desires. Joseph Murphy, PhD, author of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, says that whatever beliefs, thoughts, and opinions we impress on our subconscious mind is made manifest in our experiences.
So then how can we get our subconscious to work for us? We keep our conscious mind, the objective and thinking mind, busy with expectations of the best and make sure that our thoughts are on peace, happiness, right action, goodwill, and prosperity, Murphy says. He explains that our subconscious will respond and “bring about harmonious conditions, agreeable surroundings, and the best of everything.”
Visualize Having Reached the Goal
Michelangelo said about his Statue of David: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” He saw David in the marble! His mental imagery allowed him to birth from his subconscious mind a genius creation.
When we visualize reaching a goal, we become immersed in having what we most want which activates the subconscious to work on our behalf. For example, a woman who lives in the city dreams of moving to a small town in Maine, where she can start a new life and write a novel. She imagines herself sitting at an old wooden desk, drinking a hot cup of coffee and writing the final pages of her book. She feels the warm sun blazing in through a big picture window and hears the soft call of a morning dove. She can see the calm lake from her home office and thinks about how she will enjoy kayaking on it later in the day. In that moment, she feels content, fulfilled and at peace, not only in what she imagines but also in reality.
Now when she repeats this imagined scene, her subconscious mind is further impressed and information comes available and circumstances are created, all in favor of that goal. The woman may, for instance, receive a surprise phone call from an old friend who recently moved to Maine.
Use the Mind to Create Reality
Pharmaceutical scientist and author Dr. David Hamilton, PhD has studied the mind-body connection and says in his book, It’s the Thought that Counts: Why Mind Over Matter Really Works, that thoughts, feelings and intentions are strong enough to affect our genes. He says that everyone can learn to harness the power of their thoughts and feelings to bring about positive health effects in their own body. He talks of visualization as a technique used by thousands of people that has often produced what may be seen as nothing short of miracles.
He writes in an article, Visualization Alters the Brain & Body, “Your brain cannot tell the difference between something that’s real and whether you are just imagining it.” He refers to an experiment done by Harvard scientists involving brain scans and imagery. The scientists taught a simple 5-fingered combination of piano notes to a group of people, which they practiced for two hours a day. This was done for five consecutive days. He said that another group of volunteers didn’t in fact play the notes, but just imagined playing them. They visualized the same combination for the same time period, two hours a day for five consecutive days.
Dr. Hamilton says that the brain scans for the volunteers who actually did the physical practicing and the ones who imagined the practice were the same and that the brain can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined.
Through visualization, we can help make positive impressions on our subconscious to help us fulfill our dreams. Here are some ways to practice visualization:
- Meditate on the conditions you wish to produce – Dr. Wayne Dyer, internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development, in his book, The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way, says to “continuously contemplate yourself as being surrounded by the conditions you wish to produce.” He illustrates this idea by saying that the Wright Brothers didn’t contemplate the staying on the ground of things just as Thomas Edison didn’t contemplate the darkness of things. Instead they placed their attention and focus on a compelling vision which provided motivation to achieve their goals.
- Meditate on a word or an affirmation – Think about one word or a affirmation that communicates who you want to be or what you want to accomplish. Write it down on a note card and focus on it every day for minutes at a time. Soon that word or phrase will be placed in your subconscious mind as you go through your daily life.
- Create a vision board – Vision boards add clarity and make dreams and goals more indelible on the mind. On a poster board of any size, paste pictures, symbols, words from magazines and other sources onto the board. Use creativity and intention and think about all that you desire from the vacation to Italy to completing that longstanding project. Keep this board in a place where you can see it daily.
Visualizing how life can really be is key to achieving our dreams and, most importantly, to creating a life by design rather than a life shaped by circumstances.