While visualization is a great tool to use, with thoughtful skill, at a specific time and place to gain clarity or insight around a question, it can be so much more. There’s something even more profound and more compelling about visualization practice and what it can accomplish. When you develop and refine this skill, you activate and change your brain, which has a continued effect on your daily life even after the visualization exercise has ended. This is one of the reasons why if you create, for example, a specific visualization for relaxation or motivation, once you fully enter into the experience of that vision and return to it, you will find it increasingly easy to call up or slip into that visualization. You’re tapping deeply into a powerful part of your brain, and as you wake it up, your experience improves.
Let’s look at why this is; while it might sound strange, visualization is a type of self-hypnosis. Hypnosis is a trance state in which you experience increased attention, concentration, and suggestibility. It’s not like sleepwalking—it’s much more like a conscious dream state. And it is these factors of attention, concentration, and suggestibility that allow your brain to believe in the concrete reality of something that may not have happened yet. That powerful trance state lets you focus on imagination as if it’s real.
Does that sound kind of scary? It might, and yet this is the same trance state you enter into when you are so focused on a TV show, movie, or book that you laugh, cry, or get excited about things that aren’t happening in real life. When you do it via entertainment, someone else is creates the vision you are responding to in your trance state. When you pracitice visualization, you are in control of the vision that you immerse yourself.
Learning to manipulate that trance state or self-hypnosis as a conscious tool is a powerful commitment to opening up possibilities for yourself. It gives you what you need to solve puzzles, explore different paths, and find solutions to frustrations or challenges. When I’m working with clients who are skilled at visualization, and notice that they seem to be trying very hard and it isn’t clicking, I know that resistance is a clue to a problem trying to get our attention for release. It is exciting to get to a place where you see challenges, not as blocks, but as opportunities. Then, when those blocks are released, you’ll be in a place where visualization feels natural and easy, and you just know it’s right.
Visualization is key to making things happen in your life and creating what you want. The energetic level of our being informs the physical—not the other way around, as many people think. So, when you’re able to tap into your third eye, your higher way of seeing, what you imagine is more likely to manifest than it is if you just allow events to unfold around you. When we visualize, we set an intention, which is another way of saying we commit to what we want. When we make a clear, fully visualized commitment, the medulla part of the brain finds ways to make it happen, even when we don’t think we are focusing on it. The brain identifies choices and opportunities differently when you set and visualize an intention, and manifesting what you want comes through being aware of opportunities and choices.
Whether you are using visualization to clear anxiety so you can think clearly, to compare and contrast options, to inquire more deeply into a question or challenge you’re facing, or exploring potential paths, a clear and well-constructed visioning practice is one of the best and most versatile skills you can acquire.
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