Help for Creative Visualizations

Creative visualizations can provide great insight and healing. They are also a fun meditation technique, a welcome reprieve sometimes from quiet mind meditations. You can be forever changed from the wisdom you can glean from visualizations, including information that can give you guidance for the transformation of your everyday life.

Some of us are better at creative visualizing than others, and here is help: eight guidelines for honing your skills.

The following strategies will help you discover and develop the creative visualization and imagination skills that work best for you.

1. Projective and Associative Imagination
Each of these approaches can be “viewed” from the detached, objective stance of an outside observer, or as a vivid, virtual reality of affirmed, embodied experience.

Using projective visualization, you assume the view of an observer of the action–you see yourself giving a dynamic presentation or skiing down a slope in deep powder snow.

With an associative approach, you identify with the action and embody the experience–looking out through your mind’s eye you behold the keen interest in the eyes of your listeners, or feel the spray of the snow in your face, and sense an exhilarating thrill of aliveness.

2. Imagination and Visualization Are Not Always Visual
Can you imagine hearing the tune of Jingle Bells? How about smelling the smoke and feeling the warmth of a campfire? Creative imagination works best when you involve all of your senses to create a multi-sensory gestalt of synesthetic experience.

3. The Kinesthetic, Dimensional, and Dynamic Approach
In the space before you, visualize an object. Imagine what it would be like to reach out and touch that object. Envision yourself flowing through a sequence of movements to accomplish a task, feel your body moving, carving out space with patterns of motion. Infuse your visualizations with a dynamic, radiant sense of energy and aliveness.

4. Affirming the Image
Whether or not you can actually see or feel the visualized object or experience, mentally affirm that it is indeed there. This is like waking up one morning to find your house shrouded in thick fog. Although you cannot see clearly the nearby house and trees, you still know they are there.

5. Fill in the Details or Begin with a Fragment
You may find it helpful to begin with a sense of the outline of an object and then to fill in the details. For example, when visualizing a person, begin by envisioning their shape or form and then mentally add the details as clearly as possible.

6. Affirm the Completeness of the Image or Process
Although the total image or scenario may not appear to you clearly, affirm its completeness. If, for example, you are visualizing a healing process, imagine that it has already worked through to completion. See, feel, and affirm yourself as healed and whole.

7. Objectless Imagery
Some of the most powerful types of visualization for enhancing health, performance, and understanding of the mind involve objectless imagery of volume, distance, and spatial relationships. Sense the space and distance between you and the objects or people.

8. Morph and Multiply the Image
Once you begin to develop your “mental simulation” ability, expand your capacity by making imagined objects bigger or smaller, by “morphing” the image into something else, or by multiplying the image so that one becomes many, or many become one.

Adapted from Luminous Mind by Joel and Michelle Levey (Conari Press, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Joel and Michelle Levey. Reprinted by permission of Conari Press.
Adapted from Luminous Mind by Joel and Michelle Levey (Conari Press, 2006).