“I do believe, and I have seen in my own life, that Creative Visualization works!”
– Oprah Winfrey
Continuing the posts on Neuroplasticity and getting rid of bad habits. Now on to step four:
4. Use your imagination.
Creative Visualization is one of my favorite topics! Using Creative Visualization works. It is a tool for what Dr. Rick Hanson calls self-directed neuroplasticity
You can build new neural pathways not only with new behaviors, but through the imagination. Just imagine the new behaviors over and over and over. Keep repeating that in your mind so you build new pathways. Focus your mind and retrain your brain.
The woman who wrote the book Creative Visualization, Shakti Gawain explains that:
“Creative visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life. There is nothing new, strange or unusual about creative visualization. You are already using it every day, every minute in fact . . . whether or not you are aware of it.”
I have written about Visualization many times. But my favorite story comes from a post I did in September 2012:
I remember the first time that I was actually aware that I had used visualization. It was at my 10 year high school reunion. As I mentioned above, this was way before I did any of the work around personal growth. The reason I became aware of it is that before the reunion, I thought to myself, it would be really cool to get ready with a group or my friends, have a few drinks around a pool somewhere and laugh and get dressed and put on make up together. I saw the picture really clearly in my mind, I could picture a group of us laughing and having fun prior to the actual reunion – all sitting in the sun around a pool. The problem was, I was picturing this from Japan where I was working at the time, and I had lost contact with most of my friends from high school. When I went home for the reunion, I called my old high school friend Carol (whom I had not seen in almost 10 years) and she offered – how about if we all get ready over at my house, and we made a plan. I had never been to the house that she now shared with her partner. Carol called a few old friends and we met at her house in the afternoon before the reunion. And when I walked through her house and got to the back yard, there in front of me was the vision I had pictured – four other friends from HS, all sitting around the pool, drinking cocktails and laughing. It was exactly as I had pictured it from Japan! It was eerie! But it was incredibly powerful, and luckily, I paid attention. Several years later when I first read Gawain’s book, I got chills and thought – yes! That’s what happened! And again luckily, I paid attention. That’s an important piece – paying attention.
So when I want to break old habits and build new neural pathways, practicing self-directed neuroplasticity, I use Creative Visualization. Like Oprah Winfrey, I know it works!
I’ll close with a clip from Shakti Gawain about Creative Visualization.
I’d love to hear about any bad habits you’ve broken, and how you changed the behavior. And if you do use Creative Visualization, I’d love to hear any stories you have. And as always, thank you for taking the time to visit. I appreciate it.