I'll never forget the moment I put on my first pair of glasses. I was 12 years old, and as my mom and I walked across the optometrist's parking lot, I slipped on my new tortoise shell frames.
The tree above my head burst from a vague smear of green into hundreds of sharp-edged, clearly-shaped leaves.
Oh! I had no idea how glorious twigs and bark and knotty tree parts could be.
Less than 2 years later I would come to dread the sharpness of my vision. In junior high I developed a habit of taking my glasses off every time I went into the girl's bathroom. My face was too broken out, my newly-permed hair too frizzy, my shirts clearly Izod-free. Basically, it was too depressing to look.
Instead, I chose to hold my self-esteem in a gentle, soft-focus cocoon of sorts and wait it out, hoping that one day my outer image would match my inner vision.
I never succeeded in looking like Farrah Fawcett, but it doesn't matter. Along the way, I've learned that inner vision is the only reality. When I compare my insides with anyone else's outsides, I lose sight of myself. I start bumping into things. I trip and fall. But if I focus on introspection and imagination, my way becomes clear.
Imagination is the key to a process called Creative Visualization, which encourages you to see your goals as clearly and with as much detail as possible. The Law of Attraction puts an emphasis on holding the feeling tone of what you desire, then leaving the details to a higher intelligence.
I don't know which of these is "the secret." I do know that my children have astounded me by their seemingly effortless ability to manifest some desires.
My 11-year-old daughter began a vision board last year and included a picture of a cruise ship. She didn't show it to anyone. It was rolled up half-finished, put away, and forgotten. This year, her dad took her and her brothers on a cruise for spring break. She didn't remember her vision board until she found it in her closet.
"Wow! This looks just like the boat we're going to be on!" she said.
My son has used a cute random dog picture as his screensaver image for several years. It wasn't until we'd had our new puppy Maizie for a few months that we both saw this image as if for the first time and were struck by the resemblance.
Coincidences? Or was the power of imagination at work? My daughter used her picture to consciously launch a desire. My son did not. So whether you believe you are actively co-creating with your imagination, or you trust that the things you love will roll gracefully at your feet, it never hurts to exercise your inner soothsayer.
Start by asking:
- Does your vision use all 5 senses? We believe what we perceive, so tune into the taste, touch, feel, smell, or sound of your desire to bring the experience to life.
- Does it defy words? The imagination works in images, not words. My therapist used to say, "When you label an experience, you are no longer having it." If your visions leave you speechless, you're off to a good start.
- Does it engage your feelings? Isn't the whole point to feel good? Don't just think about what might make you happy at some later date. Close your eyes and let yourself bask in happiness now. That way, when the real thing comes along, you'll recognize the feeling.
Realizing your highest vision may not be as easy as putting on rose-colored (or tortoise-shell) glasses, but with a lot of intention and a little attention, your goals can certainly come into view, growing and unfolding as easily and naturally as the leaves on a tree.
Tammy Letherer is the author of one novel, Hello Loved Ones, and a memoir, Real Time Wreck: A Crash Course in Betrayal and Divorce, for which she is seeking agent representation. She is a writing coach who loves to help others find their voice, whether in a blog or in a book. She has also worked as an intuitive healer and uses her gifts of listening, insight, and vision to guide clients to write--and live--their best stories. Follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.