I just wanted to hop in here and do a livestream, cause I wanted to respond to a question that I have received more than once from participants in my seven week signature course, “Healing attachment wounds with mindfulness and creative arts therapies.”
And I am running a special on that right now, so if you are interested in learning more about courses and things that I offer, check out the sales page here: https://goo.gl/Uk1Em1
For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Briana MacWilliam, I’m an author, educator, Reiki practitioner, and a creative arts therapist, with over 12 years of clinical experience in the field. And I happen to offer online courses for individuals that struggle with attachment wounds.
And in the course that I offer, we have a couple of participants who have asked this question on more than one occasion. And that is, “What if I struggle with visualizing?”
A big part of the experiential aspect of this course is to listen to guided visualizations, and then respond to them in some way. And so sometimes people struggle with being able to hold an image in their mind, or to call in and receive images.
This doesn’t mean it’s not working; It’s just information.
Additionally, we are all different in the way that we experience what I’m going to call “receiving mode.”
So, sometimes, it’s a physical sensation in your body, right. Maybe you’re not visually seeing it, but maybe you can re-experience it. For example, the sensation of running water. If I ask you to step into a stream, can you feel what the water might feel like?
Or, it doesn’t even have to be that specific, it could be that you experience tingling in your hands, or there’s just some sense of an awareness around your abdomen. Or that there’s some element of something going on in your body that you can draw your attention to. And whatever it is, even if it’s just static, even if you feel like, “Oh, I’ve got a laundry list of things in my head, and it won’t go away.” That’s information for you, right?
But when you struggle with visualizing, typically that means that there’s something going on with the third eye. So, the benefit of the third eye, which is an energy vortices in the center of your brow, that’s connected to the pineal gland, is that you are able to envision what it is that you want for yourself.
So, if we’re going to be talking about energy within the framework of tantric yoga tradition, there are two currents of energy in the body.
There’s a current that comes down through the crown, your brow, your throat, all the way to the ground. And that is considered to be the “manifesting” current. This is like when you have an inkling, an idea or something, your attention is drawn to it. Then it moves into your third eye and you set the intention for it.
Part of setting the intention for what you want is being able to visualize it. Being able to see it as some kind of possible outcome. And then remaining open enough to receive some inspired action steps.
I’m not saying, don’t take action, but make sure it’s inspired action.
So, being able to visualize, it assists in being able to manifest the things that you want.
Now if you struggle with visualization, it’s possible that you are very active in your lower chakras. So, when we talk about the current of energy that comes from the body, it is more earthen. We think of it as the “liberating” current, and it’s often associated with this term, Kundalini, or sometimes it’s referred to as “the sleeping serpent,” or “divine feminine energy.”
(Sometimes the Kundalini energy’s associated with the divine feminine and the manifesting current is associated with the divine masculine.)
At any rate, if you struggle with visualization, it may be that you’re very much in kind of a liberating energy current. So your lower chakras are active, you’re embodied and kind of swamped by your energy or affect states.
So, when you are embodied, you might find yourself being really drawn to more expressive forms of art. Things that are more tactical, visceral, maybe abstract. Very much about the quality of the materials that you’re using, if you’re a creative type.
But what can help you here, if you are interested in developing the qualities of your third eye, and in developing an ability to visualize, is remembering that the body is your first organizer of experience.
So, this is kind of like people who have lost their sight, for whatever reason, and then they gain it back, they lose their depth perception. Everything looks like it’s on the same plane, so it’s hard to negotiate the visual input. What helps is moving through space.
Think of when we’re infants and we’re learning how to crawl and walk; we’re putting things in our mouths, we’re crawling under things, we’re climbing up on them, we’re touching our toes. All of that visceral information, all of that spatial information, is actually helping you to cognitively create a representation of that object in your reality and in your visual mind.
If we take that logic and we apply it to now, where, maybe you’re trying to develop your visual capabilities, you’ll want to envision a healthy relationship, for example. Or you have a desire for more money, or you have a desire for being able to see what it would look like for you in the future, five years from now. You want to somehow envision what that would be, because you want to try to stimulate whatever that vibration of abundance would be, to call it in.
If you are struggling with visualizing, there is most likely one of 2 energetic reasons why…
- You’re probably overly embodied—meaning your energy is swamped and bottle-necking at the throat, so you are not able to access enough of your manifesting current to give it a place to go and take form…
- Or you’re kind of stuck in the head and you’re not able to access the body, which would help you organize and concretize your ideas and aspirations in a different way.
In either case, I’d recommend that you utilize your strengths, and play with things that are very visceral.
If we were to talk about this in the context of art making, it could be to work with clay, or to work with something that’s called “kinetic sand,” or sand play. To just allow yourself to work with materials that let your hands move, that you’re not going to get so hung up on what it looks like.
Maybe that’s paradoxical, but that you’re not so preoccupied with, “Oh, it has to be perfect, it has to look right, it has to look realistic, it has to …” don’t worry about that, just play with it.
Let’s say there’s a particular visualization that you want to work with. One that I use a lot is imagining your energy like a seed that has to take root in your body, before it can grow.
So, just drawing the seed. Feel what it’s like to make those marks, let it become a sense of body knowledge first, and then that allows you to bring it in to your mind. It allows you to see it and invite that into your mind, almost as if you’re watching it on a movie screen, okay.
But let your body get to know it first. You could draw it, then I might recommend maybe like you use Playdoh or something, and you roll it and you create a three dimensional form of that seed. Maybe you find real seeds and you hold them, and pull them out of your pocket when you’re feeling anxious, or put them under your mattress and try to dream about seeds.
You know that once you start to really engage your focus and attention on something, and you start to know it in a bodily way, that is going to help you develop, let’s say a construct or a schema in your mind, that when it comes time to visualize the things that you want, like a healthy relationship for example, then you know we start small, then we ultimately cultivate that, right.
That’s what vision boards are all about. I’m sure you’ve heard of that before. When you put your mind and your focus to visioning things, even if it’s flipping through a magazine and just focusing on an image. And imagine taking a snapshot of that in your mind. All of that is going to help you develop that skill. It’s a muscle, you have to exercise it and you have to flex it.
I hope that’s helpful. If you are someone who likes the guided visualizations, and, or this is something you’d like to learn more about, I do invite you to checkout my sales page for healing attachment moods with mindfulness and creative arts therapies.
ENROLL HERE: https://goo.gl/sNr3N1
This course offers 7 creative, fun, easy lessons over the course of 7 weeks, and takes you from feeling lost and confused about your romantic relationships, to stepping into your fullest and most sovereign self, without having to talk in circles around your feelings for hours (or even years) on end, with no tangible result.
And it WORKS.
(This course is also worth 6.0 CE contact hours for LCATs in New York state…visit the enrollment page for details)
ENROLL HERE: https://goo.gl/sNr3N1
A quote from Kim, one of our newest program graduates…
“This program has done for me in 7 weeks what years of self-help books and cognitive therapy couldn’t do.”
Kim struggled with depression and anxiety, as well as falling into roller coaster relationships. Learning about the neural mechanisms of attachment, the role of complicated grief, and using body activating activities and experientials, were Kim’s favorite aspects of the program.
Watch Kim’s interview, here: https://goo.gl/sNr3N1
Take it from Kim, this program, Healing Attachment Wounds, can help you accomplish this task in 7 easy, FUN lessons that will take you from reacting powerlessly to the circumstances surrounding your love life, to becoming a conscious creator of it, without having to talk in circles around your feelings for hours (or even YEARS) on end.
So make sure you check out the course before this limited time offer expires. You’ll be SO GLAD you did!
ENROLL HERE: https://goo.gl/sNr3N1
I look forward to seeing more feedback in the feed here about how you experience meditation and visualization.
And if you are willing, in the comment of this video, I would love for you to let us know, do you struggle with visualizing when it comes to either meditation or guided visualizations? Or do you find that it’s relatively easy for you?
I’d love to know that.
Thank you for watching.
Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT
Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist
Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner