Whether you started with Napoleon Hill‘s Think and Grow Rich or Shakti Gawain‘s Creative Visualization or The Secret or you landed on one of the tomes in between like Serge King’s Imagineering For Health, if you’re on a New Age or New Thought path you probably encountered the idea that thoughts create reality and thus what you envision can become what you experience. I’ve believed that since I read The Nature of Personal Reality (Jane Roberts) and I have created aspects of my reality with affirmations, with visualizing and with changing my energy. There are lots of theories about how to do it and many spiritual paths that don’t want you to do it at all. I don’t have a definitive answer–and if you’ve been reading me for a while you know I don’t believe in definitive answers—but I can tell you something about my experience.
As with all things spiritual, there are lots of theories. Some say you need to decide precisely what you want and visualize with as much detail as possible. Others advise you to ask more generally and let the Universe provide the best available response. A variation on the latter theme is to concentrate more on the feeling tone associated with your vision; for instance, the happiness you’ll feel when you find the apartment you’ve dreamed of. For me it’s worked best if I keep it general and adding or subtracting the feeling tone varies.
My favorite story in visualizing happened years ago. I had a part-time temp job after law school and I knew that the firm planned to hire a permanent person soon. At first I was so anxious about it that I just wanted to be offered that job. But I soon realized that I wasn’t actually that happy there and so I began to visualize and affirm that I had found the best law job for me–really nothing more specific than that. A few weeks later I dreamed that I got a call back from a long ago interview asking me to come in the next Friday to interview again and that they called a week after that to offer me the job. I updated my resume but they found me at the temp job and called to ask me for another interview (the next Friday) before I sent it. The following week they offered me the job. While I ultimately decided that the law was not for me, if I had to have a law job, that one was the best I could have hoped for. And it showed up on my doorstep without me taking any of the steps that pundits would say you have to take to get a law job. At the time I didn’t have a vision beyond getting a law job so my affirmation/vision magnetized the best situation that fit my dream at the time.
When I got around to Buddhism I suffered a lot of confusion about visualizing what I want because everything about it seemed to me to say that I shouldn’t want anything. Somehow the teaching on creating reality always felt true and right to me, though, so I alternated between envisioning what I wanted and feeling that I shouldn’t want. In my recent pondering I’ve realized that my heart has always felt the true ring came from the teachings that say my thoughts and visions create my experience. While I also believe that those who believe differently are right too and that their experience will reflect their beliefs, I’m moving away from spending much time in the philosophies that seem to confuse the issue for me.*
In recent years as I’ve worked a lot on energy I am coming to understand that the feeling tone you hold is also really important. If you maintain a positive outlook and/or strong, flowing energy and/or a peaceful heart you’ll tend to draw people and incidents that reflect those feeling tones and without having to affirm or visualize anything.
My feeling is DARE TO DREAM! You’ll have to decide whether you believe that you need really specific visions or whether you need to be general, whether you really believe it’s okay to have what you want or to want at all and whether your feeling tone or vibration makes a difference. You may decide that you want to accept what is and not desire anything else – in that case, ignore this post. For everyone else DARE TO DREAM!
* I love the Eightfold Path because I feel it states so well the basic principles of any spiritual path and I love some of the mindfulness and chanting practices but the philosophy just doesn’t work for me.
- LIVING IN THE LIGHT – 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION Follow Your Inner Guidance to Create a New Life and a New World ~ Shakti Gawain (evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com)
- The Technique of Creative Visualization (roixcroix.wordpress.com)