I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about Creative Visualization — a term I’ve heard spoken about from when I was a child to the man I am today.
I first started learning about creative visualization when I was three or four years old attending what I called “bowling school.” It was really a daycare center for kids whose mothers were in a morning bowling league together. I remember learning a lot about visualization from one of my teachers. I can’t remember her name, but I do remember that creative visualization was talked about — preached if you will. It was the 60’s after all.
As I got older I started attending a progressive church that taught both Christian and Jewish faith. Even though it was a faith-based organization, we were always taught to use creative visualization to see the shining light of God within us.
By the time I got to junior high school, I had been using visualization for a number of years. I had started reading books about the power of the mind, like Johnathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, and Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Powerful influences in my life at the time. I believed in that power to succeed and I still do!
In high school I went back to the church scene. It was still a Christian based church, but it was strong on using the power of our thoughts to visualize pictures and manifest through physical action. At the end of high school I thought I wanted to be a minister. I saw myself being in service to God and Humankind for so many years, and thought that I wanted to take that path.
Time Warp… now I’m in my 50’s and I’m not a minister. I lost the desire to become a minister, but I kept my faith. I now serve God in other ways. I train and teach martial arts and I’m a personal trainer. I use creative visualization when doing both. The Mind/Body/Spirit connection is what I strive for in all my training. Each one is strong on its own but they are more powerful when working together, and able to accomplish anything.
We incorporate many different martial arts in our blended martial arts system, but the one thing that all the arts have in common is creative visualization; we see the outcome of the conflict before it happens. We think of the outcome we want, visualize the results, and take action. I think of this as the “think-visualize-act” principle.
I used my “think-visualize-act” principle in the Thai Boxing class I taught this week. Due to social distancing, we have squared off areas on the floor big enough for one person to move around in. I had my students use visualization when moving around in their squares, fighting imaginary opponents.
In all things in life we need to use the awesome power of our mind. We write the script, or paint the picture that we want to live. We can’t let the negative words of the critics (the personal mind) deter us from making that script come to life. Instead, as Haanal explains, we need to embrace the spiritual (or impersonal mind) to create our desired result.
And, we can create our desired result by using this “think-visualize-act” principle. We think of what we want (our desired outcome), we visualize the details of it, and take action. This results in manifestation.
Remember that thought is the fire that creates the steam that turns the wheel of fortune, upon which your experiences depend.Charles Haanel
Remember, it all begins with the mind.