When people talk about visualization strategies it is often in the framework of seeing yourself as you want to be when you are at your goal. This is certainly important as one part of the visualization process since if you don’t know where you are then you won’t know the steps you need to get to that destination. However, there are smaller steps to visualizing success that can help you make the right decisions every day of your life. Instead of just focusing in on the huge mega plan, you also need to spend time seeing yourself being successful in the details as well. Continue reading
Does it ever feel like being a realist is synonymous with being a cynic? You want to stay grounded in your hoping and dreaming, so you end up focusing on the worst case scenario. If you’re aware of the worst case, at least you can’t be disappointed. But there are plenty of books, news articles and bumper stickers that remind us about the power of positive thinking. Continue reading
All of us suffer from something. It could be as simple as an irritating or unhealthy habit like nail biting, jaw clinching, or smoking, to more complex issues like chronic stress, fears, and phobias of every nature variety. Other issues could be low self-confidence, and/or limiting beliefs like feeling unworthy or “less than” in some way. To that end, I am often asked two questions: What does it take to become Better Than Before? And can I change my life overnight?
I wish I were a (fake) clairvoyant like Simon Baker in “The Mentalist” and be able to predict that all great things will happen in your imminent future. (I once asked my brother, “What if I had true psychic powers?” “What if a piano fell on your head,” he responded.) Alas, I can’t. And there are no instant fixes or magic bullets. You have to do it all by yourself. The whole concept of being Better Than Before implies change of some sort; moving in some way by small increments from where you are to where you want to be. That change can be physical, emotional or spiritual. But in reality, all change involves all three energies.
My expert Dr. John McGrail, a renowned clinical hypnotherapist, personal improvement expert, spiritual teacher, and author of the bestselling The Synthesis Effect, picks it up from here. “One of the most powerful ingredients in harnessing one’s energies to create change is the energy of intention or intent,” he tells me. “If we look at the dictionary definition of intent we see words like purpose, motive, aim, design, and goal; and next to these words we see descriptors like, keen, resolute, sincere, serious, and diligent.”
Dr. McGrail goes on to say that no change, nothing new, in fact, can happen without a purpose, aim or goal. “An artist cannot create art, an athlete cannot compete, a student cannot learn, a business cannot profit, a writer cannot write, a person cannot lose weight, build self-confidence, or change anything about themselves and their life,” he contends. In other words, it is impossible to become Better Than Before without the energy of intent. Intent is the bridge between desire and achievement. “Therefore, it’s not such a stretch to say that intent is indeed the ultimate and universal, motive force behind all creation.”
Yet, for many people defining intent as the creative force of the universe is a bit too abstract a concept to easily integrate and employ. “We desire something more practical and pragmatic,” continues Dr. McGrail. So let’s try this definition: “Intent is laser-sharp focused thought and action dedicated to producing a result. The result in this case, of course, is whatever you wish to change.” Let’s call it your New You, the you that is Better Than Before, that is.
Dr. McGrail emphasizes that it is vital to recognize that two energies must be brought to bear. We need to employ both thought and action. Either one without the other and nothing much happens; or if it does happen, it may take a very long time. “Many of the latest books and films dealing with quantum reality and the Law of Attraction mention the necessity to focus one’s thoughts on what one desires; but they most often minimize and sometimes completely neglect the need to act on those thoughts as well. If you don’t do something to take you through the process—choose, act, etc.—then, well, as they say, ‘you can’t get there from here.’”
He further explained to me that two points become very clear with this concept: First, the desire, aim, and motive to create your Better Than Before ‘New You’ must absolutely be your own. “If you try to change yourself because someone either wants you to for their sake or thinks that by changing something about yourself will make you a better person,” he says, “then bringing the required intent will be difficult, if not impossible, particularly for creating a long-term effect. It may work in the short run, but almost never if you want it to be permanent — and if you want to be happy about it.”
Second, the degree of focus, laser-sharp, becomes very important in producing efficacy. “Think of light energy,” he suggests. “A light bulb does a fine job of illuminating a room with a fuzzy cloud of light. But if you concentrate and focus light energy enough you can create a beam that is brighter and sharper. And if you continue to focus them more, that very same energy—light—becomes a laser, a device obviously far more versatile and incredibly more powerful than any light bulb.”
The same, in fact, holds true for intent and the process of change. According to McGrail, the more we concentrate our thoughts and actions on our desired outcome, the more quickly and efficiently we can and will produce the result. And while this seems simple enough, we in modern Western society tend to have significant challenges with focus; we are distracted by a million different sources of input, technologies, and media; we have come to almost worship the act of multi-tasking (even though I’m convinced that my brain was designed to focus on only one thing at a time); and so we are easily distracted, and thus, the energy of intent can become diffused and eventually powerless. And there goes our result.
Fortunately, there are a variety of tools and techniques that can help us refocus. And “one of the most powerful is a simple, consistent practice of meditation; a natural state of consciousness that creates incredible mental focus and clarity, just what we need to power our intent,” Dr. McGrail concludes.
To that end, here is his easy yet dynamic meditative exercise that will greatly speed the process of becoming Better Than Before:
1) At least once a day, every day, find a place where you can sit quietly and comfortably and be free of all distractions and disturbances.
2) Close your eyes and let them relax completely; let your eyelids feel limp and languid, so heavy that they simply won’t open unless you force them open.
3) Relax your jaw completely; let all the tension that you have stored in your jaw – usually a lot more than we think – melt away. Feel your lower jaw just drop and droop.
4) Take 21 slow, deep, gentle breaths. Breathe all the way in, and all the way out, nice and slowly; and keep count. If you lose track, start over. (You almost surely will at first, but with practice you will get better.)
5) When you reach 21, picture, visualize, or imagine looking at yourself having made the change you are wanting. What does that New You look like, feel like, act like? Stay with the imagining until you can feel the energy of it, the absolute delight of being your “new” you. Hold onto the image and the feeling for as long as it feels comfortable.
The key to this exercise is consistency. When you visualize or imagine your New You and stay with it until you feel it, you are in fact creating that energy within you by reprogramming your subconscious computer. And I guarantee you will become Better Than Before!
In a recent post by my kindred blogger, Jeanette Maw*, Jeanette said, “The beautiful thing is that when you practice changing how you feel before there’s a ‘real reason’ for it, things magically happen that make you feel like life is on your side again. Things go your way; happy endings come sooner rather than later.”
I’ve got story after story to support this theory of Deliberate Creation in action. Here’s one very recent…
A trip to the Post Office.
Now, it’s December so going to any post office this time of year ‘can’ be a daunting task fraught with cranky, stressed out beings who don’t want to have to take the time to stand in enormously long lines waiting to send out their obligatory holiday packages (not my personal story…I’m just saying). I knew this was the potential atmosphere I could be entering and I consciously chose BEFORE even pulling into the parking lot (’cause that’s where it all begins…) that it was going to be a cheery, warm fuzzy experience. In so deciding of course I, myself, became (even more) cheery, warm fuzzy like and I’m pretty sure I was glowing. ;~)
The lines were indeed long. Many people had what looked like Santa’s sack slug across their back with the weight of packages held snugly inside. As I took my place in line I consciously smiled and made eye contact with as many people as were looking in my direction. I stood behind another soul who seemed to be in good spirits and was soon sandwiched by another woman, an elder whose perfume reminded me of my dearly departed Grandma. (How’s that for reinforcing happy cell stimulation!?)
There were others in line with disgruntled looks on their faces, some with major toe tapping going on, others complaining to ??? on their cell phone about the length of the line and wasted time.
I just continued to exude my happy vibe…sharing and spreading the energy surely and quietly, intuitively inviting everyone present to meet me in my patient, happy place.
As if on cue, the good smelling Grandma behind me leaned forward and said to me, “I’m sure glad I’m not in any hurry today”. I turned to her and said, “yes…
**I see all of my friends clicking here to read the rest of the story!** I Believe! …on Earth~Harmony~Home.
Visualize! It really works!
A few months ago here in the Dominican Republic, one of my good American friends asked me to meet her for a working lunch. We weren’t there to chat about the normal stuff: shopping, culture, politics, travel, relationships 🙂 etc.. she wanted me to help her make a life decision.
She was making okay money and was happy. The problem was that she was just offered a seat in a Masters program at an Ivy league school – what should she do? School didn’t feel like the right direction but she was getting pressure to go and people were saying that she would be crazy to turn down such an opportunity! Things were ok in her Dominican life but admittedly not perfect, change was looming.
We talked for about two hours. I asked her to describe to me specific details using her senses about her picture of the ideal work environment and to transport us there together. What is she wearing? What kind of people is she working with? What does the office look like? What does it sound like? What kind of things would she like to do on the weekend? (indicating a city or a town?) Even, what kind of technology she would she be using?
A plan was developing! We sat there in that booth buzzing with energy!! It was awesome!!
A couple of months went by without any big changes and just a few weeks ago she left the DR after accepting a new job. We connected this morning by email and this is what she said…
"Sometimes I leave the office building, which is in midtown Manhattan, and I just look up at all the skyscrapers and look around at all the super fasionable businesspeople and I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe that this is actually happening.
I was thinking just the other day as I was walking down the street… this is exactly the vision that I described to Kelly just a few months ago when we were sitting at the restaurant! That’s it. I’m here!"
Congratulations and thank you Mandy for letting me share your story!
Follow Your Heart!