Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Easy Way to Effective Visualization!

There are several varieties of visualization methods, but the first step in any one of them is always the same. You must prepare yourself mentally to receive your vision in order to be able to fully immerse your consciousness. The process of preparing for visualization is nearly the same as meditation, and you can add in your own elements as you gain more experience with the process.

· Find a quiet, undisturbed place. At first you will need to be alone while you visualize. Choose a room or a space that you will use on an exclusive basis for visualization during the beginning stages. Be sure your surroundings are quiet and uninterrupted. White noise is acceptable for visualization, but for most methods you should not use music or recorded sound (you will be visualizing your own sounds!).

· Get comfortable. The best way to perform visualization is from a seated position. You can use a comfortable chair or the floor or ground, as long as you seat yourself in a way that will allow you to remain comfortable for at least ten to fifteen minutes.

· Set a timer. The effects of visualization vary from person to person, but in some cases it can produce a trance-like state. To ensure you don’t end up visualizing the day away, get a silent electronic timer (no ticking!) or set an alarm clock to go off in fifteen to twenty minutes (at this point, you still have a few minutes of preparation before you begin the process of visualization).

· Relax your body. If you happen to possess the ability to relax at will; great, do that! If you’re like most of us and you do not, you can engage in progressive relaxation to drain the tension from your muscles. Begin at your feet and concentrate on releasing all tension, one body part at a time. It may take you a few tries to do this; don’t worry if it doesn’t happen the first time. It can be difficult to achieve complete relaxation, and in many cases there will be some tension or stiffness remaining. You will find that the more often you practice relaxation, the less tension remains.

· Clear your mind. There are a few ways to accomplish this; you should choose the one that works best for you. One way is to imagine a single, benign object such as a white ball or a leaf, and focus entirely on the imaginary object until all your other thoughts simmer down. Picture your thoughts as a crowd in a football stadium, with the object in the center. Each thought stills as its attention is drawn to the object, until they are all silent. Another method for clearing your mind is to “send” your thoughts away by wrapping them in a mental “bubble” and allowing them to drift away from your consciousness.

· Breathe. Once you have relaxed your body and cleared your mind, you should perform three to five minutes of deep, concentrated breathing. Try to keep yourself focused on nothing but your breathing; this will relax you even further and prepare your mind to experience visualization.

You can also use this introduction to visualization as an alternate form of meditation. Taking a few moments to relax is always beneficial, and can energize you to face the tasks you’ve set for yourself.

Before you actually begin your preparation activities, you should choose the type of visualization you intend to use and make yourself aware of the process involved. Then you will be able to go directly from preparation to visualization. Next time, I’ll provide you a simple yet powerful guided visualization. Stay tuned!

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