Six Guidelines for Creative Visualization

If you understand that your thoughts become the things and events of your life, how could you not spend just a little bit of time every single day deliberately thinking thoughts of the life of your wildest dreams as if you were already living it?

To this end, here are six guidelines that may help. They’re not rules. This is all about thoughts becoming things. That’s the only rule there is. But to help you with your thoughts and to help you make them become things, these guidelines can get you started with a simple, daily practice.

1. Just do it once a day.
That’s it. One time a day, and then drop it. Get back to the here and now, appreciating who you already are and all you already have. Do not start doing it 27 times a day, thinking that it will be 27 times more effective than if you did it just once. If you visualize 27 times or even seven times a day, there’s a tendency to start comparing where you dream of going to where you are here and now. And if you’re spending so much time between the two worlds, you may become overwhelmed with the seemingly great distance you have to travel, become psyched out, demoralized, maybe even give up. Don’t risk it! Don’t become overwhelmed. And don’t start living in the future when your happiness does most certainly spring from the here and now. Solution: one time a day, and you’re done until tomorrow.

2. Don’t visualize longer than five or 10 minutes.
That’s the max, not the ideal. Three or four minutes a day would be awesome. The reason not to visualize longer than five or 10 minutes is because no matter who you are, if you try to visualize longer than five or 10 minutes, you are going to start daydreaming. And then you’re going to get mad at yourself. Then you’re going to label yourself adult ADD, and then you’re going to draw the conclusion that you can’t do it, and it doesn’t work for you. Don’t go there. In fact, you might use a countdown timer so that you aren’t wondering during the exercise how much time you have left. Once you visualize for three or four minutes, you’ve made your mark. You’ve created the impression of what it is you want. Those thoughts are now striving to become the things and events of your life. Doing it longer than 10 minutes is completely unnecessary and, in fact, may be counterproductive.

3. Imagine every possible detail.
When you’re visualizing, consider and include every conceivable detail. See the sights, hear the sounds, smell the aromas, feel the textures, put in all of these details, and, for extra credit, put in some extraneous details. For instance, imagine you’re in the corner office of your brand-new world headquarters. You’re sitting at your desk. The phone rings. How does the phone ring in your brand-new world headquarters? Pick up the receiver. How does it feel in your hand? Answer it. Who’s on the other end? What are they saying to you? Comment back. Put in these extra details, because while they may have nothing to do with your dream itself, they have everything to do with making the image in your mind more real. Do the same imagining for the furniture in your world headquarters. Take a glance at it. Look at the paintings that are on the wall. Look out the window behind you. What do you see? Are there woods, a pond, a parking lot? All of these extra details make the image in your mind more real. When you’re visualizing, clarity is power.

4. Feel and imagine the joy.
It’s just one more detail, but it’s such an important detail that it gets its own guideline, and it’s the detail of emotion. Emotion acts like a power booster for all manifestations. It makes the whole process happen faster. Emotion is what you’re really after, right? The reason you want more money or more friends or improved health is always for the emotion of joy and happiness. So when you’re visualizing, feel the joy, feel the happiness. This is the single most important detail to include when you’re visualizing.

5. Put yourself in the picture.
This is critical but easy to overlook. See yourself in the picture. It needs to be you and your life that’s being played out on the “movie screen” of your mind, not just pretty, detached scenery. You want to imply ownership. You don’t want to just manifest fleeting glimpses of your dream life, you want them to be permanent. You don’t want to just be invited for tea to your dream home, you want to be hosting tea in it. You don’t want to just be loaned a new, red, sporty Mercedes, you want your name on the title. Put yourself in the picture! See yourself in the driver’s seat of your dreamed of car, feel your hands on its steering wheel, feel yourself reaching over to program its stereo. Or imagine your hand in the palm of someone else’s as you walk along the beach one romantic evening. Or imagine your toes in the sand.

6. Always and only dwell upon the end result.
When you’re visualizing, always and only dwell upon the desired end result of your dream coming true, or beyond. Never worry about the “hows.” How your dreams will come true is beyond your ability to know, yet this doesn’t jeopardize that you can still know it will. The logistics for any single day on earth to unfold, as said earlier, with seven billion co-creators who are constantly changing their plans, dreams, and minds, is why you can’t say “this” is “how that” will happen without possibly throwing a wrench into the machinery. Yet it’s no big deal for Divine Mind. When you insist on hows, they become the “cursed hows,” because you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket, stressing yourself out, and eliminating from contention innumerable other paths that Divine Mind could have used to make your dream come true. Yes, it might work when you insist upon a “cursed how”—sometimes it has for you in the past— but going forward, is “might” good enough anymore? Let Divine Intelligence do its job, weaving together the paths, desires, and thoughts of everyone alive.

This article is excerpted with permission from Life On Earth, © 2016, by Mike Dooley. Find out about upcoming programs with Mike at Kripalu.