As an artist, I naturally use my imagination in the process of creating art. But, earlier in my life, I thought little about using my imaginative brain power as a means to develop the big creative work of my adventure here on earth. Even in my early creative activities, I wasn't very conscious of using my imagination. It just happened, if I was lucky. Many of us use our imagination like this, by accident.
At some point in childhood many of us experienced (mostly well meaning) adults telling us to stop daydreaming and grow up. The message being that using our imagination was a frivolous waste of time and should be left behind in childhood. Even if the primary adults in your life were supportive, as in my case, the culture at large has not valued daydreaming and that has had a pervasive clipping effect on our imaginative abilities.
I invite you to rediscover and expand your imaginative capacity. Explore and use it for creative visualization.
Creative visualization involves both passive, "daydreaming" use of your imaginative abilities and also active visualization, where you direct what you are imagining. The passive is great for discovery wandering, exploring, playing (most of us can relate to this). The active form takes some practice to learn but is well suited for when you have already gotten a hold a of a dream or goal and you want to develop, rehearse and realize.
If you have a vision for your life, spend time imagining the specifics of what you want to create, practice it in your mind repeatedly until you can experience the feeling as if it is happening now. Strive to involve all your senses in the imagining. This will help to develop capacity, skill and focus. The repeated practice will also tag your ideal vision as important with your RAS Reticular Activation System, a powerful prioritizing process in our brain. Once activated, you will begin to notice opportunities and resources that will help to lead to your visions realization.
If you are having trouble seeing anything in your imagination, try letting go of the idea that your visualization has to be visual...
"Isn't that a little contradictory?" Well, yes but, there is a method to my madness.
Allow yourself to have an experiential all sense imagining. It might be that you are more auditory or kinesthetic in how you experience the world and so the visual is not the strongest aspect of your imaginative capacity. You might have more of a feeling than an image or maybe you hear sounds in your imagining rather than seeing images. If this is the case, don't be deterred, start where you are and work to expand your ability into your visual realm as well. Or, if the visual is strong, then expand your ability to imagine into your other senses as well.
Anyone can develop or reconnect to their ability to imagine, the basis for creative visualization. Here is another strategy, if you can't seem to conjure an image in your mind.
Let yourself begin with something you know. Picture a familiar setting or situation, a room in your home or a family member's face. Then gradually expand from there, incorporating other sense experiences and images from memories. You will be able to ad the imaginary, made up part, a piece at a time.
Do you understand how, yet you keep forgetting to practice using creative visualization?
Consider making a vision board, a great tool to help you keep the focus on your ideal future once you have discovered what that is.
By the way, don't be concerned if your vision changes and evolves over time, that's the adventure part. I think there has to be some uncertainty to keep life interesting. If you're a growing person, your dreams and visions for yourself will change as you change.
Creative visualization is a great way to bring some more adventure and play into your life and it's also a powerful tool for achieving excellence and realizing dreams. Especially, when practiced regularly, combined with written goals, plans and actions that spring out of the vision.
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