Visualization; The Ultimate How-To Guide for Manifesting in 2020
Curious about how to manifest everything you want for your life?
I’ve always been curious, eating up books like The Secret and devouring Abraham-Hicks words like a mad woman. Magic Money was a term I actually started to utter.
Many of the things I’ve thought and dreamed about have come true. When I added visualization it was like a had a magical portal to manifestation. I became fascinated by learning more and fine-tuning the process.
Visualization is a powerful manifesting tool that’s been taught some by very successful influencers and world changers. Ready to up your visualization game?
“Thoughts create things,” was a statement uttered by Mike Dooley in one of his books, Manifesting Change. His Notes From the Universe was a program I signed up for years ago. Something about manifestation resonated with me from the very beginning. Just the idea we could create our world excited me.
So I half-assed read, practiced, and stayed curious. I was in, but not as all-in as I needed to be to want to write a blog about it. Until now.
Some really cool people have written about using visualization as a tool y’all. I stared at my book shelf while prepping for this blog and laughed out loud. I honestly should be teaching this by now by the amount of books I’ve read about it.
What was half-assed about my practice? I was doing a lot of thinking about visualizing instead of actually visualizing. Funny how we can think we’re actually doing something when all we’re doing is thinking about doing something.
What is visualization?
“Visualization — or the act of creating compelling and vivid pictures in your mind — may be the most underutilized success tool you possess because it greatly accelerates the achievement of any success in three powerful ways.” Jack Canfield
You know Jack, right? The guy who set out to sell a billion books with his Chicken Soup for the Soul series?
In his book Success Principles he goes on to mention those three ways; activation of the subconscious mind, programming the reticular activating system of the brain, and the practice of the Law of Attraction.
What Jack should have added to that statement, and does later in his descriptions, is that along with the vivid pictures, when you get into the body-mind sensations, emotions and feelings of the picture, your brain doesn’t know the difference from reality and begins to create what you’re thinking about.
So it’s imagining plus feeling the scene like it’s already happening that’s the key to powerful visualization.
How does visualization work?
Okay for this I had to dive into a recent book I read called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. Dr. Joe is a brain scientist. If you haven’t looked him up and read his story, please go inspire yourself.
I’m a practical girl. I like to do stuff and see if it works. When I started reading the brain science I was like, “Oh please, no. Just tell me what to do.” If you’re like me, I feel you. But some of you geek out on and require the science so you can make the decision whether the practice is worth a try or not. For you guys I offer the very brief quote below.
Joe wants us to ask ourselves, “What is a greater expression of myself that I would like to be?” And from the book here’s a brief quote about the brain: “If you turn on your frontal lobe and contemplate those aspects of self, you will begin to make your brain work differently than your past self. As your frontal lobe (the CEO) entertains that new question, it looks out over the landscape of the rest of the brain and seamlessly combines all of your stored knowledge and experiences into a new model of thought.”
Y’all, that one page in the book goes on to excite me. Page 179. He talks about neurons making new patterns of thought that leads to a new internal experience that leads to a new, familiar state of mind, that leads to a new experience and emotion. Then the body starts to respond like that experience is already happening.
Are you still with me? it’s energy. And you can change your thoughts, beliefs and actions, so you can change your energy.
Developing a visualization practice
One of the first books I read on this topic, about 20 years ago, was The Power of Focus, by Canfield, Hansen and Hewitt. The authors ask us, “Do you schedule time regularly to think about your better future?
Back then I was doing a lot of great things; journaling my goals, thinking about what I wanted to accomplish, strategizing a plan, doing some journal-collaging (like a mini vision board in my journals) and reading books like that one. I was doing a lot of thinking about what I wanted but the thinking about what I wanted was mostly how I didn’t have it.
Are you thinking about visualizing or are you actually practicing? Are you doing a lot of planning to manifest? Or are you actually in the process?
If you’ve listened to Esther Hicks talk about this at all, you know that it’s that one simple mistake that can get you way stuck. When you focus on current reality, what is, you’re acutely aware of what you don’t have. When you focus on what you want with the energy of “I wish,” or “I want,” you’re focusing with the energy of lack. Lack attracts more lack.
Visualization is about living into the new reality now, like it’s already happening, like you already have what you want and are totally blissed out — right now!
Including gratitude in your practice
It’s hard to live as if. Because the reality is you don’t have it, right?
Well, pay attention because here is where everyone, and I mean everyone I’ve ever met who’s interested in this manifestation thing, gets this wrong. You have to actually feel the feeling of having, without actually having it. And you can use the power of gratitude to help you.
How do you do that? Like what actually does this practice look like?
I’ll give you an example. I joined an amazing local women’s networking group in Maryland called On Purpose Women. My goal was to learn and perfect my speaking. So I started by going around to the different meetings and speaking to small groups of women, sharing my message and building my business with it.
The goal? To speak on a stage to a larger crowd. I wanted to up level the whole speaking deal. I am the female Tony Robbins after all.
Every single morning and night, just as I’d wake in that half sleep, half wake state, and just as my eyes started to be heavy at night I’d practice this specific visualization: I’m walking out on stage after being announced with the crowd clapping and cheering. I not only saw myself doing it, including what I was wearing, the expression on my face, the body positions, the crowd set up, everything…I practiced being in my body feeling the rush. I didn’t just watch the movie of it, I practiced being in my body-mind as it happened.
And I included the very visceral feeling of immense gratitude while I experienced the scene. This was not a fake feeling. In my talks with the women’s group I had felt it. I just took what I already had and amplified and applied it to the new scene.
I did this for a few months before I got the email from a reach out I’d done to a local business women’s event that I had been accepted as their luncheon speaker. That day when I walked across the stage and the audience cheered, can you imagine the smile on my face?
In my case, what my practice consisted of was twice daily five minute visualizations.
Yep, that’s it.
You can’t really come up with any excuses why you can’t do this, right? Good.
One quick trick to begin shifting the energy toward something good is to find something you do have now and feel the gratitude. This feeling, and getting really good at feeling it, will be one of the huge keys to your visualization and manifestation success.
My friend Heather Vickery, author of Growing Grateful reminds us that fear and gratitude can not exist in the mind at the same time. “As I began to deepen my gratitude practice, I soon discovered that when I paid attention to the positive things happening in my life, more of them appeared. I began to feel lighter and more connected with the people and things around me, and more connected to myself.”
Does visualization work for material things and money?
“Staying in the practice of Magic Money Mastery requires a consistent refocusing of our minds until actions become habits, and then those habits become who you are.” Holly Alexander
When you get the chance pick up her Magic Money series; three books that will take you step by step through the powerful process and practice of money manifestation. Holy moly I have some crazy-ass stories about money manifestation. For now, trust me, you can manifest anything you want, even more money.
In my speaking visualization practice above what I didn’t tell you is part of that visualization scene was me being handed a check afterwards. Because the ultimate goal would be to get paid for my speaking services.
At the end of the luncheon that day the organizer came up on stage to thank everyone, including presenting me with a thank you gift; a $150 gift certificate for a local spa. Okay listen, it wasn’t a check, but do you know how badly I needed a massage that month?
And, six months later, I would receive my first monies for speaking, at another event I manifested.
This woo woo magic works y’all.
Fine tuning your visualization skills
Realize that ways to visualize are almost as plenty as there are kinds of people on the planet. A few of my badass visualizing and manifesting friends have offered some fine tuning tips for you here. Maybe there’s something you haven’t heard or tried yet!
Andrea Warren is an expert in using essential oils for peak performance. Here’s what she has to say about this.
“My technique is pretty simple. I first create a clear vision of what I want to manifest. Let’s say I want to land a speaking gig. I visualize it from start to finish from being offered the gig (all the little details) including colors, smells, audience members, all of it. Along with visualizing it I feel into it; the nerves before I walk out on stage to the excitement I feel when I blow the audience away with my amazing content. Sometimes I take it further, visualizing people who I have been wanting to work with coming up to me after my talk and booking me for their next big summit. I do this practice off and on until my mission is accomplished.”
She goes on to say, “While I work through this process, I always use essential oils to help guide me. If I’m struggling to find clarity, oils help me to get more precise. When I’m ready to start my visualization process I use essential oils to help me claim it and manifest it. I use that final essential oil blend daily until I accomplish what it is I wanted to manifest.”
My friend Jacqueline M. Kane, the Real Pain Relief expert, offers this: “Here are my steps for manifesting. First get clear in what you want to manifest. Clear any resistance or fear around having it. Then spend time every day visualizing that you already have it. Visualize and feel what it would feel like to have it. Envision and step into the part of you that already has it. Then celebrate when it arrives.”
I love her addition of the celebration. The energy of celebration is badass when it comes to visualizing and manifestation. In fact, what can you celebrate today, right now?
And Laura Mazotta, the founder of Emerge Healing and Wellness ties visualization into your manifesting toolbox like this:
“How do we manifest effectively? By keeping our sights on who we want to become and how we want to feel. Manifestation is a process of calling in the vibration (using the law of attraction) of what we ultimately want to embody. You do this by visualizing what it is you want and feeling into what it’s like to have it. How do you feel in your physical body, emotionally, cognitively, energetically, and spiritually? For instance, if I’m envisioning myself on the shores of Hawaii, surrounded by a group of people that I’m leading through a full moon ritual, I’m going to feel energized, uplifted, creative, balanced and inspired. After you tune into the five areas of feeling, sit in the feeling as if the visualization is actually happening. Sitting in that vibration signals your subconscious that this feeling and state is actually your reality. Doing this daily (ideally for 21 days) will make this vibration habitual/automatic.”
Bottom line? There are many ways to do this. If something isn’t working, keep searching for the combination of tools that starts to work for you. Keep initiating conversations in your circles about it. Keep reading, learning and evolving. One small shift can make a huge difference.
Using affirmations to aid in your visualizations
It’s hard to talk about visualization without also mentioning positive affirmations. Because part of how visualization works is being as if the thing is already here and happening, and that would include speaking words about it every day.
At first it might feel silly to speak affirmations out loud, especially if you’re not quite feeling it. But what you speak, you are making real. So just like the energy that is created when you are visualizing the scene with all its emotions, feelings and sensations, you will be also be creating a higher vibration with the words you’re speaking out loud.
Affirmations are a great way to enhance your visualizations. There are many ways to use them and a billion different variations of them.
“Affirmations are short, powerful statements used to consciously effect your thoughts in a positive way. We have an estimated 50,000 thoughts a day and most of them are not pretty. Often we are very critical of ourselves and we would never dram of talking to others the way we “speak” to ourselves in our inner dialogue.” Janette Stuart
My friend Janette is talking about a piece of the manifestation game that’s important. We can use affirmations along with visualizations to give our manifestation a super-charged edge.
If you visualize and then don’t expect results what do you think will happen? Exactly — nothing. Your expectations matter. Your belief in this matters. You’re knowing without really knowing is a practice you can get better at. Your trust and faith will be tested here. And you got this. Because you’ve heard stories. From normal people like you. You get that you are also a normal person and there is no difference between one human’s ability to manifest and your own.
Expectations matter. Remember what I said about the one mistake everyone makes? We think we’re doing this positive thinking, visualizing thing right, but the reality is the teeter totter tips toward negative expectation more often. And we’re living in and dwelling there a majority of the time.
Turning the corner and feeling the power of this manifestation thing is going to require a new habit of thought, belief and action. It’s going to require new programming. It’s going to require a new way of calling yourself out on your old bullshit.
Truth is you don’t expect it to work because it hasn’t yet and you’re waiting to see it to believe it. But if you know and love my friend Dr. Wayne Dyer, he says “You have to believe it to see it.”
You have to have the positive expectation well beforehand. You have to know the Universe has your back.
The habit of negative visualization
Remember that chronic worry and anxiety are a form of visualization. Praying is also a form of visualization. So is fear, doubt and uncertainty.
We’re wired to be like this to survive. It’s our default. That’s why it’s so hard. We had to stay alive despite the saber tooth tiger. Our brains are constantly on alert making sure we’re going to be okay. We’re bombarded by thoughts that keep us in our comfort zone.
“Don’t believe a single thought you think.” T. Harv Eker.
I’m loving what I’m reading right now from Eker. The Millionaire Mind teaches us to affirm and act like a millionaire now. He gives us the actions to take as if we are already the millionaire.
But jumping from the negative, protective, comfort-zoned-out mind to the millionaire mind is tricky. And it’s a practice. And it’s totally doable. You’re going to have to become an awareness badass though.
Changing the habit of negativity and self-sabotaging requires a ninja-like awareness of thoughts, beliefs and actions. You want to be the new version of you. But you’re acting in habitual ways that are not that. How will you change? By staying aware and awake to your own habits and as quickly as possible flipping the switch to something bette, more helpful and aligned.
Awareness is the foundation for the change. And action will be the fire that roasts your marshmallow to that perfect, juicy, golden brown delight. Let’s get to roasting.
Take action to make it all work
We’re talking about imagining, feeling, and watching a scene in our minds, but if I left you here without reminding you that you actually have to now move out into the big, bad world and take some action, everything would be for naught. Action is the magic potion.
Please do not think that just thinking or visualizing will get you there. You have to answer your phone. You’re going to have to interact. Talk to people. Make phone calls. Set up lunches. Send emails. Get your ass out of the house. You’ll need to take the action that’s aligned with your feel-good intuitional hits.
Ooh, this could be a whole other blog, right? That intuition of yours is some powerful juju that if you haven’t mastered or re-claimed for yourself, you’re going to want to dabble. Because aligned action, the kind you take because you’re getting that inspired idea, is the magic fuel for manifestation. Living into the vision by taking the actions is exactly how they manifest.
You start small, and move to medium and large. Or you cannonball into big scary actions. Either way, those stones are the stepping path. Visualize. And then stay connected with regular meditation, to the inner guide that’s always nudging you in the direction of the next best step to living the vision into reality.
The acton of that living is the thing being manifested. One day you might blink and realize you’re in it.
You aren’t going to get the motivation, courage or confidence you’re craving without taking action. You’re going to have to take your aligned action without feeling those things at first. The experiences will be the cultivator of the motivation and courage. More action, more confidence. More action, more magical connections. More action more things manifested.
Take more aligned action. Listen to your inner guide. Live into the vision in any way you can right now.
Now…off to go visualize. I’m going to practice seeing this blog going viral and landing me the most outrageously awesome speaking gig. Maybe Tony will call?
Laura Di Franco is the owner of Brave Healer Productions where she’s built a powerful community of women and men who are learning to spread their message of health and empowerment in much bigger ways. Laura has almost three decades of expertise in holistic physical therapy and with a third-degree black belt and eight books, she has a clear preference for traveling fast and being badass, but she’s also the champion of small business owners who want to push their health-based practices to the next level. Through her Bethesda-based business Laura offers inspiring speeches, workshops, a writing club and other services that help talented health professionals tell their own stories so they too can maximize their professional impact. BraveHealer.com and YourHighVibeBiz.com are where you can find everything!