Rita Farin : The Transformative Power of Visualization
Butterfly wings and wood nymphs hello FREEDOM!
The Transformative Power of Visualization
By Rita Farin
Years ago, when I was leaving a full-time corporate job for the second time in my life to pursue unknown endeavors, a colleague gave me an inspiration stone with the word FREEDOM engraved on it. Even though I thought I knew what it meant at the time, today I have developed a very intimate relationship with the word.
As I coach myself and others through transition, I've learned that the most important part of change goes on in the mind. How we see ourselves and what we believe affects everything. I've noticed that most of us don't have a great opinion of who we are and have little faith in turning things around. That's ok. Because there are many tools to remedy this malady. And one of the best ones is the use of visuals. Guided imagery, vision boards, visualization exercises, expressive painting. While I practice all of these methods, I've discovered yet another transformative visual tool that's worked wonders for me through my own personal evolution. Engaging with a camera.
I was blessed with a boyfriend who is a talented photographer and Photoshop expert. Before I met him, I had never loved being in front of a camera. In fact, I had trouble smiling, and I still hate the first picture he ever took of me my smile looks forced and I look a little annoyed (which I'm pretty sure I was). But Jim kept taking pictures. And all of a sudden, I was able to let loose. At the Botanical Gardens in Atlanta, I was suddenly a butterfly. In the woods of Dahlonega, I became a wood nymph. And for my birthday, Jim gave me a DVD of pictures of me set to music. Some he had taken, some were from before we met. I cried when I saw it. He had captured me, my true essence, and given it to me as a gift.
The name of the piano piece he used as background music was Stanton Lanier's Freedom. And I looked free, completely full of love and free. Many people in my life were under the impression that I had always been free that I did what I wanted when I wanted, had no fears at all. But I knew better. I knew what my real fears were and they were real. I was terrified of pursuing my true passions for fear of becoming penniless, homeless and, worst of all, dependent on others. But seeing those pictures of me were amazing. I could see who I was, who I wanted to be and who I could be.
Practicing some type of visualization helps us change our perceptions of what is, gives us a better understanding of ourselves and can transform self-doubt into self-confidence. "We believe what we see," my expressive art teacher used to tell her students. But more than that, if we actively engage with the visual, then it becomes even more powerful a form of mind sculpting.
Try whatever visual method works best for you. Create a vision board of the life you've always wanted (there are many cool ways to create vision boards these days) or take 30 seconds to visualize yourself being who you want to be. But if you'd like to try engaging with a camera and are afraid, here are some ideas that might work for you
Whatever you choose to do, remember to capture the essence of what you desire for yourself. Is it freedom, self-confidence, a life full of wonder? Chances are you already have some of this already in your life, and it might be living right inside of you. You just may not be able to see it. Bringing it out into your visual consciousness will make it easier to see, grasp and believe it is possible.
Today, I don't feel like I need someone else to show me my own inner beauty (although I will purr happily if I receive a great compliment). But I still have days full of doubts, when I feel fear creeping in to settle in on its old stomping grounds. On those days, I look at the picture of the wood nymph hanging on my wall. I see her looking straight at the camera with complete confidence, free of any worry or concern. I dare you, she seems to say to FEAR. And I remember she lives inside of me. That I can find her and let her out whenever I want to. That her strength and courage is who I've always been. And continue to be. FREEDOM at last!
Different types of visual tools:
© 2009 Rita Farin. All rights reserved.
Rita has spent the last 20 years studying the creative process. She is a full-time writer, artist and creativity coach focused on helping others unleash their imaginations to bring about new realities. More »