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New World Library Unshelved

New World Library Unshelved

Positive news and inspiring views from the New World Library community

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The relationships in our lives — whether with romantic partners, coworkers, family, or friends — are often our greatest source of both comfort and frustration. In The Relationship Handbook: A Path to Consciousness, Healing, and Growth, beloved bestselling author Shakti Gawain and her longtime coteacher Gina Vucci show how relationships also have the potential to be our greatest teachers.

We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book, which explores how we can use creative visualization to create positive change in our relationships.

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Creative visualization is the technique of using your natural, creative imagination in a more conscious way to create what you truly want. Discovering the technique of creative visualization has been magical for millions of people around the world. It is being successfully used in the fields of health, wellness, spirituality, creative arts, psychotherapy, business, and sports, and it can have an impact in every area of your life.

When we refer to “visualization,” it is important to mention that mental imagery is different for everyone. Some people may “see” images and pictures; others receive their information through color, sounds, and objects or experience a simple sensing or knowing. All these forms work, and however you experience it is just right. Just feeling your desired state of things is the most important thing.

One of the most valuable ways to use creative visualization is in improving our relationships. Although many people share stories of how they visualized their perfect partner and ultimately manifested this person in their lives (sometimes down to the smallest details), our focus here is on using the power of intention to improve our relationships on every level. We do this through imagining what it is we want to bring into the relationship. We may want to bring clarity and visualize clearing out old patterns of thought and behavior. If we want to improve the quality of our connections with each other, we might imagine strengthening our bonds and increasing a sense of intimacy and closeness. We can bring peace or a sense of harmony through practicing affirmations and meditations. We also can use specific exercises to open ourselves to what is trying to happen in our relationship or what the universe might be trying to bring to us.
When we are experiencing difficulty in a relationship, we can use creative visualization to bring about powerful change. This is most effective when combined with the other tools in this book. One way to do this is by simply recognizing the power of our thoughts. As we have seen, when we are in relationship, we are sensitive to the other person, and they are sensitive to us. We have an entire level of nonverbal communication with those closest to us. This sensitivity affects the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs we have about each other. This is important because what we believe about a person or a situation shapes how we act or behave toward them.

Through acknowledging this naturally occurring process, we become empowered to change the thoughts, attitudes, or beliefs that are affecting us negatively. Through the power of our imagination, we can use creative visualization techniques to let go of old belief systems, to change our ideas about ourselves or another person, and to affirm new ways of interacting. In fact, our awareness of this process, in and of itself, can bring about radical change and healing. As we practice manifesting new ways of seeing ourselves, and those we are in relationship with, we can bring balance to our relationships. This begins a process of aligning our outward actions with our intentions. As a result, we bring consciousness to the entire relationship.

By using visualization, we are acknowledging that we have the power within us to make significant change. Through accepting this personal power, we can see how we play a role in creating and cocreating our reality. This means that if we accept that we play a part in creating our reality, we then have the power to change and influence what happens next. We accept and act on our ability to create positive change in our lives and within ourselves.

Taking this position compels us to look at how creating our own reality does not always result in a positive picture. Sometimes we don’t like what we see when we evaluate our life or, more specifically, someone in it. If a situation or relationship is unacceptable, we can acknowledge that we have helped create this on a deep level, and therefore there is a purpose to what we are experiencing. The truth is that we get what we expect and ask for on the deepest levels. This is not about blame, pity, or being a victim, however. If we believe we play a part in creating it, then we believe we can play a part in healing it.

This is actually a way for us to become empowered and break old patterns. We can adopt an attitude of total responsibility. This is a powerful first step in using our relationships as a path of consciousness. As we pursue the idea that we have manifested the situation we find ourselves in, what we are trying to learn is revealed. In meditation, we can ask ourselves why we have created this situation in this way. Why have I manifested this person in my life? How is this person helping me to learn and grow?

If you have a genuine desire to experience a deeply fulfilling and happy relationship in your life, and if you are ready to accept this joy in your life, then you can and will create relationships that work for you.

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Shakti Gawain is the bestselling author of The Relationship Handbook, Creative Visualization, and other books. A pioneer in the field of personal growth and consciousness, she cofounded New World Library with Marc Allen in 1977. Gina Vucci has been coleading workshops with Shakti for nearly fifteen years. She has worked in several fields as a counselor, mentor, and coach for individuals and small businesses. Visit them online at

Excerpted from the book The Relationship Handbook. Copyright © 2014 by Shakti Gawain and Gina Vucci.






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