An excerpt from Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain:
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Creative visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life. There is nothing at all new, strange, or unusual about creative visualization. You are already using it every day, every minute, in fact. It is your natural power of imagination, the basic creative energy of the universe, which you use constantly, whether or not you are aware of it.
To use creative visualization it is not necessary to believe in any metaphysical or spiritual ideas, though you must be willing to entertain certain concepts as being possible. It is not necessary to “have faith” in any power outside yourself.
The only thing necessary is that you have the desire to enrich your knowledge and experience, and an open enough mind to try something new in a positive spirit.
Four Basic Steps for Effective Creative Visualization
1. Set your goal
Decide on something you would like to have, work toward, realize, or create. It can be on any level — a job, a house, a relationship, a change in yourself, increased prosperity, a happier state of mind, improved health, beauty, a better physical condition, solving a problem in your family or community, or whatever.
At first, choose goals that are fairly easy for you to believe in, that you feel are possible to realize in the fairly near future. That way you won’t have to deal with too much negative resistance in yourself, and you can maximize your feelings of success as you are learning creative visualization. Later, when you have more practice, you can take on more difficult or challenging problems and issues.
2. Create a clear idea or picture
Create an idea, a mental picture, or a feeling of the object or situation exactly as you want it. You should think of it in the present tense as already existing the way you want it to be. Imagine yourself in the situation as you desire it, now. Include as many details as you can.
You may wish to make an actual physical picture of it as well, by making a treasure map (described in detail later). This is an optional step, not at all necessary, but often helpful (and fun!).
3. Focus on it often
Bring your idea or mental picture to mind often, both in quiet meditation periods, and also casually throughout the day, when you happen to think of it. In this way it becomes an integrated part of your life, and it becomes more of a reality for you.
Focus on it clearly, yet in a light, relaxed way. It’s important not to feel like you are striving too hard for it or putting an excessive amount of energy into it — that tends to hinder rather than help.
4. Give it positive energy
As you focus on your goal, think about it in a positive, encouraging way. Make strong positive statements to yourself: that it exists; that it has come or is now coming to you. See yourself receiving or achieving it. These positive statements are called “affirmations.” While you use affirmations, try to temporarily suspend any doubts or disbelief you may have, at least for the moment, and practice getting the feeling that what you desire is very real and possible.
Continue to work with this process until you achieve your goal, or no longer have the desire to do so. Remember that goals often change before they are realized, which is a perfectly natural part of the human process of change and growth. So don’t try to prolong it any longer than you have energy for it — if you lose interest it may mean that it’s time for a new look at what you want.
If you find that a goal has changed for you, be sure to acknowledge that to yourself. Get clear in your mind the fact that you are no longer focusing on your previous goal. End the cycle of the old, and begin the cycle of the new. This helps you avoid getting confused, or feeling that you’ve “failed” when you have simply changed.
When you achieve a goal, be sure to acknowledge consciously to yourself that it has been completed. Often we achieve things that we have been desiring and visualizing, and we forget to even notice that we have succeeded! So give yourself some appreciation and a pat on the back, and be sure to thank the universe for fulfilling your requests.
Shakti Gawain is a bestselling author and a pioneer in the field of personal growth and consciousness. The 30th Anniversary edition of her classic work Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life was recently published by New World Library
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Excerpted from Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life © 2002 by Shakti Gawain. Printed with permission from New World Library