Creative visualization is one of the core concepts of the human potential movement. The process uses the power of your thoughts to affect the outer world. Visualization has been successfully used in the fields of health, education, business, sports, and creative arts for decades.
The best book about creative visualization is Shakti Gawain’s classic Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Mind to Create What You Want in Your Life. In the book, Gawain outlines four basic steps:
Step 1: Decide on what you want
This can be anything from a job, a house, a relationship or something you’d like to change about yourself.
Step 2: Create a clear picture in your mind
Picture what the object or situation you want looks like. Add as much detail as you’d like. What does it look like? What does it feel like to have it? How will your life be different once you have it? Think of what you want as if it were already a part of your life.
Step 3: Frequently focus on what you want
Think about what you want often. Do this while you’re sitting quietly, but also think about it throughout the day.
Step 4: Make strong positive statements
Think about what you want as if it already exists, using affirmations.
I’ve used creative visualization for decades. The example I often share is that when I visualized my perfect job when I was trying to leave the corporate world, that visualization always involved a cat sleeping on a sunny spot on my desk. When I started my job at the animal hospital I managed for eight years, it came complete with an office cat named Virginia, whose favorite sleeping spot was on my desk, next to my computer, near a sunny window.
This process also works really well when it comes to communicating with your cats – especially when it comes to you wanting to change a less than desirable behavior. Our tendency, when correcting behavior, is to put our mental focus on exactly the outcome we don’t want.
Cats are sensitive creatures who tune in to our energy and to our thoughts, and if they tune in to you while you’re picturing the “bad” behavior, you’ll most likely see more of it.
If you combine visualizing the desired behavior, and combine that with other behavioral modification techniques, you may be surprised at how much quicker you’ll get results.
Do you use creative visualization? Share your stories in a comment.