Earlier, I shared how to create a manifestation book to keep track of your manifestations and develop a process to work toward your goals. Here, I would like to share some tips on how to visualize what you would like to manifest.
Visualization is a powerful tool used by practitioners of many religions and spiritual paths. Essentially, you build a picture or narrative in your mind of what you would like to manifest, and focus on it regularly, building its power until you slowly start to bring it into reality and make it clearer and clearer. This type of visualization is the basis for more complicated practices like astral projection, and it is a tool that one can do during meditation and mindfulness practices in order to bring about incredible changes in one’s life.
We are innately blessed with the skill to visualize
Part of the reason it works is because as humans, we already have a great capacity for visualization – we just need to focus it. Right now, you can visualize nearly anything you want. If I told you to think about an apple, you wouldn’t struggle at all to come up with a picture of one in your head, or even multiple ones. That’s because our brain has the capacity to recall visual cues on demand and recreate them in absence of the physical object.
Visualization simply takes this further and relies on your imagination and these innate abilities to create new images. You’ve done this before, many times – you simply didn’t realize that it was visualization. When you’re reading a book, do you ‘see’ the characters in your head, and imagine them doing the things the author describes? That’s visualization. These visions simply didn’t serve a particular purpose other than to get you more into the story.
And you’ve probably already visualized exactly as I’m about to explain, as well – you simply didn’t have a name for it, and weren’t able to direct it carefully. When you were younger (or even now), did you fantasize about your perfect life? Did you daydream about being with your crush, or moving to a big city and having cool friends? That was visualization. So you already know how to visualize to an extent, simply not how to do it effectively or direct it toward particular goals. Visualization is a natural human skill, something we all do every day without thinking about it, just like we practice physics when we calculate speeds while driving. It’s being able to purposefully direct these abilities that moves them beyond everyday use.
Creating mental spaces
The first thing toward making effective visualizations is to develop a mental space. A mental space is a physical space that you visualize yourself going to during visualization meditations, where you can work on manifestations that aren’t physically based – whether that’s talking through problems with other people, seeing yourself becoming healthy, or holding a diploma or acceptance letter in your hand. You can also simply hang out in your mental space to relax and destress, and I recommend you do so – the more that you use your mental space, the stronger it becomes and the more effectively you can utilize it.
You don’t have the use the mental space all the time, and you can have more than one, but starting with one is helpful and teaches you how to move within a mental space and how to work with one consistently. Some would say that creating mental spaces is astral projection instead of visualization, but I don’t want to get into metaphysical semantics. We’re just going to leave them under the category of visualization and talk about how they can help you manifest your goals.
Choosing a location
To start, I would recommend that your first mental space be based on a place that exists in real life, preferably somewhere you have been before. This way you can make it as realistic as possible and place many details in it, and you don’t have to create every little nook and cranny because most of them are coming from memory. You should pick a space that you feel safe in and that relaxes you. A place out in nature or from childhood is a good choice. My mom’s mental spaces include huge caves and desert vistas, wide open spaces where she feels free and wild. I don’t do visualization work there, but when I’m stressed out I often walk the halls of my first elementary school because I feel safe there. I also like to go to forests in my visualizations and simply walk around in the fresh air.
When you’ve practiced with mental spaces for a while, you will probably find that you have multiple mental spaces for different needs. I have a Scottish castle by the beach that I go to talk to people and work out personal problems, while when I’m pondering over things related to myself, I will go out into nature and be alone in the woods. It all depends on your needs and where you feel comfortable. For your first mental space, think about what you will be using it for most often. Are you going through a lot of personal problems? Your first mental space should probably be a place that you like to spend time by yourself. Are you dealing with relationship issues? Pick a place where you like to spend time with friends and family. Job problems? Where do you feel most empowered? You might want to pick a place far away from your job but not so personal that you can’t welcome others into it – a neutral ground.
Building from memory up
To build your mental space, gather anything you can that will help solidify the place in your memory. If you have pictures or mementos from the place, bring them all together and consider them carefully. Don’t just evaluate the visual but also taste, touch, smell, and even audio if you have it. Were you eating candy the last time you were there? If it’s a loved one’s home, what foods do you associate with there? If it’s a forest, is there a particular aroma to those woods? Do you have a pine cone or a leaf? If it’s the beach, what does it sound like? Are there seagulls or terns screaming? Is it quiet or loud? What texture is the sand?
I recommend keeping all of this together, if possible, and labeling it with the name of your new mental space. (All mental spaces should have names.) Look through them regularly to “maintain” your mental space and ensure that it maintains detail, otherwise elements of it may become “blurry” as you focus on your manifestation work. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in real life, we tend not to notice details of our surroundings either – we want to keep our mental spaces realistic and as real as possible, which means ensuring they keep detail.
Before you begin meditation and visualization, decide what your space will look like and gather other information than your reference materials, such as pictures of similar spaces, pictures of flowers you might want outside of your mental space, etc. If you’re building yourself a cottage, find as many pictures of cottages that look like your mental space as you can and look at them until you can see in your mind’s eyes a relatively coherent cottage exterior, with all of the different angles. Consider all the different angles of it. Then, move onto the interior. Find as many pictures as you can until you feel you have every part of it covered. Look at all of your pictures until you can see in your mind’s eyes a relatively coherent interior, with all angles. Can you see the view from the kitchen window? The bathroom? What does the bedroom look like? Is there a fireplace? How many chairs at the dining room table? With all of this fixed, you are ready to begin.