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Guided Imageries – Not the Woo Woo you might think they are.

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Mental imagery, creative visualization, meditation, journeying– there are many names and varying techniques for this powerful tool that can relax, empower, build confidence, heal and create changes that would have once been considered impossible.

In sport, elite athletes have used visualization techniques for decades.  Science has shown that an athlete who knows his sport meticulously well, can visualize being engaged in the sport and will have the same results physically as if he’d been physically active.  Not only will he develop confidence in his ability and visualize his success, but he will also build measurable muscle strength and blood oxygen levels.  An experienced musician who visualizes being engaged in his music will show the same brain wave patterns as when he is actually engaged in the music… thus making practise possible even when there’s no instrument nearby.

Years ago, I decided to practise this technique. On my last waterski runs of the season, I paid close attention to every detail, action, feeling, smell and sound.  During the winter, I regularly visualized skiing. The following Spring, I skied better on my first day out than I had ever skied in my life. What surprised me even more was that I didn’t have sore muscles the next day.  Already a proponent for the power of imagination, that experience helped me understand the limitless possibilities of our mind.

The possibilities go far beyond success in sport or visualizing a new car.  Visualization can reduce stress, break through barriers, provide inspiration, and clarify an individual’s truths, passions and answers.   Visualizations have been used since ancient times by healers, shamans, and Buddhists as a method of healing and of connecting to spirit. This ability is available to everyone.

So, why aren’t we all practising the art of visualization?  I have come to understand it’s not as simple as the movie ‘The Secret’ would have one think. It can be hard for an individual to stay focussed and we all have unconscious limiting beliefs and barriers that can prevent us from fully experiencing the power of visualization.
One of those limiting beliefs has been taught to us since our childhood. You’ve all heard this and have likely said it yourself:  “It’s only your imagination.” We have a history in our culture of discrediting the power of imagination and sadly, in that process, we have disempowered what could well be the most powerful tool we have.
And that is where guided imageries – visualization led by a ‘guide’- come in.

The guide is there to:

• lead the person to a relaxed and open minded state,

• ease them into a journey of their imagination, encouraging lightness and fun,

• gently keep the person focussed, and

• provide direction towards a discovery.

The person being guided is the one who will create the experience and make the discoveries. In essence, the guide provides the pallet and brushes and helps them stay seated at the easel, while the person being guided is the one who will create the painting and reveal their unique brilliance and discoveries.

Brilliant for adults, yes. But let’s not forget the children. As a child’s trusted parent or caregiver, you have an extraordinary opportunity to encourage and support what children innately already know; before the world confuses and disempowers their ability to imagine and to believe in extraordinary possibilities, and before the responsibility of daily tasks keeps them from giving any time to that powerful tool. Imagine the possibilities if your child never doubts their ability to visualize their strengths and successes– physical, emotional, mental and spiritual; if they never doubt their ability to find their own answers within; and if they have the tools for inspiration, connection to the soul, and healing.

Makes it worth giving it a shot, doesn’t it?

Learn More:

Tips and Tools to lead guided imageries for childen:  Read online Kamloops Momma Magazine Issue 8 Page 10/11

Musings and Mud’s Fall Workshops :

  • Guided Imageries and Creative Visualizations for adults
  • Learn to Lead Guided Imageries for Children

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About Janet

Artist/writer with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach (KMCC), empowerment workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Healed from breast cancer using her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization to speed the healing, and ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

3 responses »

  1. I think the power of the imagination is very underrated. Biologically speaking, a very large chunk of your brain matter is correlated to imagination, so it;’s worth tapping into that power. I’ve found that visualizing what you are going to do, in the fullest, most sensory way you can, really does help make the actual task flow better. Thank you for showing me that, Janet. I am in your debt. The hard part, as you note, is maintaining the focus and trusting in your imagination. People should give it a try.

    Reply
  2. You’re welcome, Michael.. Everytime I do this with groups and individuals, a thought crosses my mind that I need someone to guide me for my own journeys! It is hard for us to stay focussed and someone ‘holding that space’ is invaluable.
    That forever stated phrase ‘we only use 10% of our brain”.. intuitively, not scientifically, I have no doubt that the rest is linked to all that begins with imagination.
    Cheers!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Ten Things You Can Do To Make Your Creative Visualizations More Powerful « Earthpages.org

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