by Shakti Gawain
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When it comes to creating the life you want, Shakti Gawain literally wrote the book. Now considered a classic, Creative Visualization teaches readers how to use their imaginations to manifest their deepest desires. In a straight-talking narrative, Gawain uses the first part to cover the basics, with chapters such as "How to Visualize," "Affirmations," and "Creative Visualization Only Works for the Good." Once she shows readers how visualization actually works, Gawain moves on to loftier discussions, such as "Contacting Your Higher Self," "Meeting Your Guide," "Setting Goals," and "Treasure Maps." Fear not; this isn't a spiritual-lightweight book for people with a severe case of the "gimmes." Gawain has her priorities in the right place, and she cautions readers that creative visualization will not serve greed or shallow-minded thinking. For example, she discourages the cycle of trying to have more money, so you can do what you want in life, so you will be happier. "The way it actually works is the reverse," she explains. "You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." Yet she also writes an excellent chapter on letting go of the misguided guilt that inhibits readers from becoming truly prosperous.
What is Creative Visualization?
Creative visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life. There is nothing at all new, strange, or unusual about creative visualization. You are already using it every day, every minute in fact. It is your natural power of imagination, the basic creative energy of the universe which you use constantly, whether or not you are aware of it.
In the past, many of us have used our power of creative visualization in a relatively unconscious way. Because of our own deep-seated negative concepts about life, we have automatically and unconsciously expected and imagined lack, limitation, difficulties, and problems to be our lot in life. To one degree or another that is what we have created for ourselves.
This book is about learning to use your natural creative imagination in a more and more conscious way, as a technique to create what you truly want–love, fulfillment, enjoyment, satisfying relationships, rewarding work, self-expression, health, beauty, prosperity, inner peace and harmony . . . whatever your heart desires. The use of creative visualization gives us a key to tap into the natural goodness and bounty of life.
Imagination is the ability to create an idea or mental picture in your mind. In creative visualization you use your imagination to create a clear image of something you wish to manifest. Then you continue to focus on the idea or picture regularly, giving it positive energy until it becomes objective reality . . . in other words, until you actually achieve what you have been visualizing.
Your goal may be on any level–physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. You might imagine yourself with a new home, or a new job, or having a beautiful relationship, or feeling calm and serene, or perhaps with an improved memory and learning ability. Or you might picture yourself handling a difficult situation effortlessly, or simply see yourself as a radiant being, filled with light and love. You can work on any level, and all will have results . . . through experience you will find the particular images and techniques which work best for you.
Let us say, for example, that you have difficulty getting along with someone and you would like to create a more harmonious relationship with that person.
After relaxing into a deep, quiet, meditative state of mind, you mentally imagine the two of you relating and communicating in an open, honest, and harmonious way. Try to get a feeling in yourself that your mental image is possible; experience it as if it is already happening.
Repeat this short, simple exercise often, perhaps two or three times a day or whenever you think about it. If you are sincere in your desire and intention, and truly open to change, you will soon find that the relation-ship is becoming easier and more flowing, and that the other person seems to become more agreeable and easier to communicate with. Eventually you will find that the problem will resolve itself completely, in one way or another, to the benefit of all parties concerned.
It should be noted here that this technique cannot be used to "control" the behavior of others or cause them to do something against their will. Its effect is to dissolve our internal barriers to natural harmony and self-realization, allowing everyone to manifest in their most positive aspect.
To use creative visualization it is not necessary to believe in any metaphysical or spiritual ideas, though you must be willing to entertain certain concepts as being possible. It is not necessary to "have faith" in any power outside yourself.
The only thing necessary is that you have the desire to enrich your knowledge and experience, and an open enough mind to try something new in a positive spirit.
Study the principles, try the techniques with an open mind and heart, and then judge for yourself whether they are useful to you.
If so, continue using and developing them, and soon the changes in yourself and your life will probably exceed anything you could have originally dreamed of . . .
Creative visualization is magic in the truest and highest meaning of the word. It involves understanding and aligning yourself with the natural principles that govern the workings of our universe, and learning to use these principles in the most conscious and creative way.
If you had never seen a gorgeous flower or a spectacular sunset before, and someone described one to you, you might consider it to be a miraculous thing (which it truly is!). Once you saw a few yourself, and began to learn something about the natural laws involved, you would begin to understand how they are formed and it would seem natural to you and not particularly mysterious.
The same is true of the process of creative visualization. What at first might seem amazing or impossible to the very limited type of education our rational minds have received, becomes perfectly understandable once we learn and practice with the underlying concepts involved.
Once you do so, it may seem that you are working miracles in your life . . . and you truly will be!
How Creative Visualization Works
In order to understand how creative visualization works, it's useful to look at several interrelated principles:
The physical universe is energy
The scientific world is beginning to discover what metaphysical and spiritual teachers have known for centuries. Our physical universe is not really composed of any "matter" at all; its basic component is a kind of force or essence which we can call energy.
Things appear to be solid and separate from one another on the level at which our physical senses normally perceive them. On finer levels, however, atomic and subatomic levels, seemingly solid matter is seen to be smaller and smaller particles within particles, which eventually turn out to be just pure energy.
Physically, we are all energy, and everything within and around us is made up of energy. We are all part of one great energy field. Things which we perceive to be solid and separate are in reality just various forms of our essential energy which is common to all. We are all one, even in a literal, physical sense.
The energy is vibrating at different rates of speed, and thus has different qualities, from finer to denser. Thought is a relatively fine, light form of energy and therefore very quick and easy to change. Matter is relatively dense, compact energy, and therefore slower to move and change. Within matter there is great variation as well. Living flesh is relatively fine, changes quickly, and is easily affected by many things. A rock is a much denser form, slower to change and more difficult to affect. Yet even rock is eventually changed and affected by the fine, light energy of water, for example. All forms of energy are interrelated and can affect one another.
Energy is magnetic
One law of energy is this: energy of a certain quality or vibration tends to attract energy of a similar quality and vibration.
Thought and feelings have their own magnetic energy which attracts energy of a similar nature. We can see this principle at work, for instance, when we "accidentally" run into someone we've just been thinking of, or "happen" to pick up a book which contains exactly the perfect information we need at that moment.
Form follows idea
Thought is a quick, light, mobile form of energy. It manifests instant-aneously, unlike the denser forms such as matter.
When we create something, we always create it first in a thought form. A thought or idea always precedes manifestation. "I think I'll make dinner" is the idea which precedes creation of a meal. "I want a new dress," precedes going and buying one; "I need a job" precedes finding one, and so on.
An artist first has an idea or inspiration, then creates a painting. A builder first has a design, then builds a house.
The idea is like a blueprint; it creates an image of the form, which then magnetizes and guides the physical energy to flow into that form and eventually manifests it on the physical plane.
The same principle holds true even if we do not take direct physical action to manifest our ideas. Simply having an idea or thought, holding it in your mind, is an energy which will tend to attract and create that form on the material plane. If you constantly think of illness, you eventually become ill; if you believe yourself to be beautiful, you become so.
The law of radiation and attraction
This is the principle that whatever you put out into the universe will be reflected back to you. "As you sow, sc shall you reap."
What this means from a practical standpoint is that we always attract into our lives whatever we think about the most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest levels, and/or imagine most vividly.
When we are negative and fearful, insecure or anxious we will tend to attract the very experiences, situations, or people that we are seeking to avoid. If we are basically positive in attitude, expecting and envisioning pleasure, satisfaction and happiness, we will attract and create people, situations, and events which conform to our positive expectations. So the more positive energy we put into imaging what we want, the more it begins to manifest in our lives.
Using creative visualization
The process of change does not occur on superficial levels, through mere "positive thinking." It involves exploring, discovering, and changing our deepest, most basic attitudes toward life. That is why learning to use creative visualization can become a process of deep and meaningful growth. In the process we often discover ways in which we have been holding ourselves back, blocking ourselves from achieving satisfaction and fulfillment in life through our fears and negative concepts. Once seen clearly, these limiting attitudes can be dissolved through the creative visualization process, leaving space for us to find and live our natural state of happiness, fulfillment, and love . . .
At first you may practice creative visualization at specific times and for specific goals. As you get more in the habit of using it, and begin to trust the results it can bring you, you will find that it becomes an integral part of your thinking process. It becomes a continuous awareness, a state of consciousness in which you know that you are the constant creator of your life.
the ultimate point of creative visualization–to make every moment of
a moment of wondrous creation, in which we are just naturally
best, the most beautiful, the most fulfilling lives we can imagine. . .
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