The Art of Visualization
If you were to do a internet search on Meditation, you quickly would realize there are a ton of different forms, methods and practices. Many people are embracing the powerful postive effect of meditation in their everyday life.
Meditation is considered an art. There are no "masters" of meditation. Even the gurus and meditation instructors do not consider themselves Masters of Meditation. They are Experienced Practioners of Meditation. They PRACTICE meditation. Just as musicians continue to challenge themselves in their music or artist unceasingly work on improving their technique, meditation takes practice.
One form of meditation involves visualization. As children, visualization comes easily. Children are full of wild imagination and see themselves climbing Mount Everest, being a parent, or hunting for buried treasure. As we grow up, however, we often lose this wonderful part of our life. Yet, if we learn how to bring it back, we can use it to shift our negative core beliefs and begin to see the world around us in more loving and peaceful ways.
One way to heighten our ability to visualize can be done through Mediation. It can be as simple as visualizing our breath coming into and leaving our body. Imaging that the air has a color as we breathe it in and out.
Try this simple exercise. Choose a certain object in your home and place it on a surface with nothing else nearby. Mindfully examine the object without touching it. Notice its color, its shape, its texture, and any other specific details you notice. Try to memorize all details if possible.
Now, close your eyes and see the image in your mind's eye next step is to shut your eyes and try to picture your chosen object inside your mind. Remember as many details as you can. Notice how your body reacts as you see this image in your mind. Do you feel relaxed? Do you feel stressed? How focused are you?
After you have visualized that object for a few minutes, clear the object from your mind. Keeping your eyes closed, think of another object inside your home. Try to bring into your mind's eye the specific details of the object. Imagine it's color, texture, physical attributes and so on. After seeing it in your mind's eye for a few moments, open your eyes and go find the object. Take a look at it and notice whether you missed any details. Check in with your body and emotions to see how you are feeling after doing this experiment.
Lastly, think of an object from your past. Close your eyes and to the same thing as we just did before. Try to imagine as many details as you can. As you go about the exercise, you might have noticed that you didn't remember everything about that object. Did you notice that your mind filled in the gaps by using your imagination? Can you tell which of the object's part were real and which ones you imagined? Check in again with how you are feeling as you do this exercise.
Many beginners report that this visualization activity is stressful. That is normal. You are using a part of your brain that perhaps you haven't tapped into for awhile. As you continue practicing, however, it does become easier and the stressful feelings will fall away.
Visualization can be a powerful tool in shifting what we are experiencing. The amazing thing is that when our brain is imagining things, it actually cannot immediately tell whether what we are seeing in our mind is real or not. It automatically assumes that it is real. So, if we use visualization to see ourselves acheiving a goal or having a wonderful moment, our brain automatically thinks that it is really happening and will release powerful chemicals in our brain that bring us greater joy and happiness.
Try this for three weeks - everyday for 60 seconds see yourself achieving something that you have been trying to do for awhile. Try to be as specific and detailed as you were when you were visualizing the objects above. And then notice how your body reacts. See what happens over the next three weeks as you take only ONE minute to visualize something positive in your life. I'd love to hear what happens.
Share your experience below.