Friday, July 18, 2014

Using Imagery to Create Positive Change

I've mentioned previously how imagery is important for implementing positive change. For some, visualization may be perceived as difficult to achieve, especially if they believe themselves to be left–brained. However, brain lateralization has been proven a myth in the scientific community. People use both hemispheres of the brain, no matter the task. More on that

I have read, however, that the more vivid the image in the mind's eye, the more easily the desired result will unfold–and you don't need to be a visual person to make a change. People without any damage to their brain can visualize. You can start small at visualizing your goals. If you're interested in strengthening your brain, I use There are a few others as well, Cognifit, Fit brains, that do the same thing.

Back to imagery–the way it works is that visual images create an emotional response in us. Images elicit either positivity or negativity and those images can lead to negative concepts of ourselves, other people and scenarios, or positive ones. 

All things are comprised of energy, and they have the ability to make us or break us. Imagery and thought have the power to create action or inaction. 

In "Discovering Your Soul Signature: A 33-Day Path to Purpose Passion & Joy" by Panache DesaiDesai uses imagery to show how we can release fears.

In the chapter aptly named 'Fear', Desai gently urges the reader to tend to the garden of our unconscious mind. Metaphorically, he relates weeds to fears–fear of success, fear of failure, of being alone, and so on. 

The weeds are our 'vibrational density' such that they create a weight upon our souls. Desai urges us to figuratively pull them out. He assures the reader that only the energy of fear is pulled out, and suddenly we're left with space. Before, the fear took up so much space there wasn't any room for success. Afterward we're free to create, grow and fill that space with what we really want in our lives. 

It was uncanny, and largely synchronistic, that I ended up finding a real live giant, possibly man-eating weed in my yard. A thistle was hiding out in a small space at the side of my house. I noticed it earlier in the spring, but with all the chores and activities (not to mention laziness) and the fact that it looked really prickly and a big hassle, I promised myself I would get to it later. 

Before I knew it, the thistle had grown into an even more monstrous creature that multiplied! The job of removing them had grown much larger than when I first noticed that first inconsequential weed.

Of course, I was reminded of Desai and his book and instructions, which I understood immediately–it wasn't really necessary for me to have an analogue of the metaphor right in my backyard. Still, there it was.

The prickly base brought to mind Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh. The thistle was his favorite food and I wonder what his tongue was made of. Alas, but I had no Eeyore, no one to remove these mutants but me. 

The work needed to be done, and it turned out to be highly cathartic. I recently had some people creating (or attempting to create) havoc in my life. I used the pent up frustration associated with that situation to remove the giant usurper of space. 

The task itself was very time-consuming, so I had a lot of time to think about imagery, Desai's words, and the subconscious mind. As you can see from the first image above, sometimes weeds can look pleasant. Thistles can almost trick you into thinking they may be a flower. The occupied space can fool you into inertia, a place where familiarity rules the day. It doesn't matter whether it's right for you or not, if it will take you far or leave your wheels spinning. 


Sometimes we get attached to the familiar and become afraid of the unknown, even when it could be the pathway to our dreams. We are mislead into believing this is how our life is meant to be. 

Most often, and the same as in the case of multiplying weeds, we may not realize this self-defeat is going on in our minds. The negative thoughts may occur so regularly and naturally, that they flash by, without conscious notice from us, or they may have piled up around the corner. 

The visible parts of my backyard are kept reasonably manicured (most of the time). The area of the yard that is used most often by my family and visible to anyone who may stop by–to the outside world–is kept well... 

Just as we keep those common areas well tended, so do we need to care for the areas less seen. In fact, those parts have even greater importance. It's possible that we hide and disregard our inner selves so much, that we forget that like our outer appearance and basic needs, our inner lives are just as important to tend to. If our mental health falls into disrepair we become discontent, possibly even depressed, and then we are shocked to be faced with a mutant weed.

However when you clean this space out, it's amazing what you can accomplish. And you'll keep going. The energy in your life will be renewed, you'll be free to change your life, or keep the momentum going toward your dreams. 

You'll be unstuck.

Read more on imagery in this 7 tips for creating positive mental imagery  from Psychology Today, and Using Mental Imagery to Create Goals from Clear Mind Meditation Techniques.

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