“We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly.” ―
Of all my self-help books, this is probably one of the most famous, if not the most famous. My copy is the 40th Anniversary edition, though I read the first edition with a million other folks back in the 1980s.
Shakti Gawain (1948-2018) was a self-help superstar and visualization was her vehicle to get there. Creative Visualization was her first book and it was a whopper! She wrote others, but darned if I can remember the titles. This one, though… well, let’s just say that Oprah got involved! And as you know, Ms. O had the power, influence and audience to shoot it to the stratosphere!
They called it “New Age” back then and what’s so amazing is that it was nothing new. Like the book, The Secret, the work that is presented in this book is actually as old as time. Not that everyone believed it!
My mom was all over this idea that you could help yourself to heal by visualizing and meditating. When she had cancer, I remember finding a globe-shaped terrarium in the hospital gift shop and buying it for her. I pictured her having it next to the bed and when she turned her head, she could “put herself in it” among the plants and mosses. It was a safe, healing, gentle space where things like cancer couldn’t penetrate her. I thought of it many times throughout the years… but like Mom, already had the foundation of belief. I used to pretend I was in an aquarium when I was having a tooth filled. Or, I’d picture myself after the procedure, driving home. It helped. A lot!
A few years ago, for my birthday, my husband bought me something similar to what I’d found for my mom all those years ago. Now, let’s see if I can find the photo of it. I have it here somewhere. Ah, yes!
Mine has mushrooms and fairies… and I added the lights. I have a whole little world on top of my cabinet… cats and tea cups and… well, dust, right now. (Note to self: Dust!)
My husband is soooooooo good at finding gifts that speak to me — let me go off on a wee rabbit trail. Look at this cool endless rope of glass he presented to me several years ago…
He’s so thoughty! I know that’s not an actual word but you know what I mean. I bet you can also tell what my fave color is? Yep, yellow. He said it was like our love… never-ending. Is this man a keeper, or what?
I have always been very visual. It’s how I learn best (reading – duh! Any surprise to you?) and how I retain information, too. Also, in my empathic way, I see truths, along with feeling them. Doesn’t mean I always follow what I know to be true but that’s a topic for another day. 😉
This book is FANTASTIC. It’s easy to navigate, the wording is large, and what it says makes sense. There are tons of examples, meditations, prompts and quotes.
All that said, I would be remiss not to throw in a little morsel of reality. Like The Secret (as mentioned above, along with a link to my post about the book) this book makes some promises that … well… are a little difficult to swallow. Also like the aforementioned book, I don’t believe every word, nor do I suggest you should throw away the crutches, medication or doctors. And there will be no blame placed if you don’t/ can’t/ won’t imagine big, strong, or confidently enough to make your dreams happen. (PS: Gawain doesn’t either!)
Here’s the thing…
I know how I feel when I “picture myself” somewhere else during painful, stressful or difficult moments or transitions. It helps. It just does. And science backs it, in some important ways. There have been studies that show how well visualization works. In fact, the study I linked says athletes who healed fastest also:
- Took personal responsibility for their recovery process
- Had high motivation, desire, and determination
- Maintained a positive attitude
- Frequently used imagery and other visualization techniques
- Expected a full and successful return to sports
Now see, NO DOWN SIDE to visualization. And this book? Yeah, it’s a keeper.