Welcome to Part 2 of Mind and Body Working Together. Last weeks article was about the power of the imagination and some aspects of mental imagery or visualization. This week I’ll cover the topic of creative visualization along with an exercise in how to do it.
Esther Hicks, one of Hay House’s most popular Spiritual authors said: “Seventeen minutes of focused, pleasurable visualization is stronger than 2000 hours of working to obtain a goal.” That’s the power of your subconscious mind. Does that sound a little bit outlandish? Well, scientists are now experimenting with the manipulation of brain waves to create physical changes not only in people but in the things that people are focusing on. Uri Geller and his mental fork bending is coming to a location near you. Some scientists are studying how to weigh thoughts (as in with real scales). That may be going a bit far for the scope of these articles, but it is nice to be aware that scientists are beginning to demonstrate in the laboratory what people have been living for many years — the power of the mind to shape your physical reality. Neuroscience is an up and coming field of study.
In his book, Psychocybernetics, author Maxwell Maltz said: “Define your goal or end result. Picture it clearly and vividly, then capture the feeling you would experience if the desired goal was already an accomplished fact.” That’s his formula for creating your own reality. The phrase “capture the feeling” is critical because it implies that for visualization to really work, you must not only “see” the outcome, but you must be emotionally and kinesthetically involved to get the full benefit.
Try this adaptation of an exercise taken from the book The Life We are Given, by George Leonard and Michael Murphy. I’m both quoting and paraphrasing here to condense it a bit. The goal is to perceive an imagined experience with the “vivid here and now clarity common to many mystical and other exalted experiences.” Give it a try.
Sit comfortably in a straight backed chair or in a meditation position on the floor. Balance and center yourself by initially focusing on a point about an inch below your naval. Close your eyes and create an imaginary ball about the size of a soccer ball in your hands in front of you. Hold it gently. Sense the surface of the ball by moving your hands slightly as if you were rolling them around the surface of the ball. Let the ball become real in your imagination. Feel the surface of the ball as you move your hands around it while seeing it in “your mind’s eye” at the same time. Feel the weight of the balI as you hold it. If you are fully focused and in the present, you should be able to “feel” and see the ball as real. Some will see and feel the ball as if it were physically there. For others the physical and mental image may not be quite as vivid, but it should still be there. Mentally put the ball on the floor and open your eyes. If you didn’t see and feel the ball, give it another try. Remember you are trying to make what is in your imagination into something “real”. Source, The Live We are Given, pages 154-155.
Based on what I have described above, the exercise should only take a few minutes and should help demonstrate for you, the power of creative visualization to create a physical reality for you.
Search back in your own life for an example of where you have visualized something vividly and it has come to pass. Shakti Gawain, author of the bestseller from a few years back, Creative Visualization, wrote:
“We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly.” It’s worked for me and it’s worked for others that I have listened to and read about. I’ll bet it has worked for you too.
Oh, and yes it does work for fitness. It was Arnold Schwarzenegger who said:
“A pump when I picture the muscle I want is worth ten with my mind drifting.”
Well said, Arnold.
Thank you for reading.