an article by Gillie Whitewolf
people can skip off into a fantastical dream-world
at the drop of a hat, or picture a place they visited
10 years ago as if it was only yesterday, for other
people visualising something as recent as what they
ate for breakfast can be an uphill struggle....
but with a little practice and patience anyone can
hone their visualising skills.
would say that without a doubt the group of people
who are likely to find visualisation easier than
others would be those of a creative / artistic ilk
- and of course children. I would also hazard a
guess that left-handed people find it easier than
right-handed people. I don't just mean those who
write with their left-hand, just anyone who is left-hand
orientated [opening doors, brushing your teeth etc
- the arm you use the most]. Left-hand orientated
people tend to be controlled more by the the right
side of their brain - this is the creative, visual,
imagining side, as opposed to the left side of the
brain which is more analytical, logical and verbal.
The right brain also specialises in memory and recognition
of objects, places and music, whereas the left brain
specialises in memory and recognition of words or
numbers. [This is of course a rather simplified
look at a very fascinating and complex topic].
When we practice visualisation and image based ideas
we tend to be using more of our right brain than
our left. The interruptions that block so many people
from successful visualisation tend to come from
the analytical left brain - the one which modern
day society tends to favour and teaching methods
in schools only seem to encourage. The trick to
encourage visualisation and artistic expression
may be to allow your right brain more freedom! But
don't panic, it's a lot more simple than it sounds
you tend to be right-hand orientated try using your
left hand more - brushing your teeth with your left
hand, opening doors or picking up objects, holding
your mug or brushing your hair with your left hand.
You could even try writing with your left hand,
or drawing / doodling - finger painting is a great
way to start, especially if you feel totally uncomfortable
holding a pencil in your left hand.
The right brain is also connected to the left eye,
you could try covering your right eye for short
intervals and using your left eye to take in information.
[If you have a lazy left eye, or weaker vision in
this eye, you may even find that this exercise will
improve your eye strength and health].
If you're already left-handed there are still plenty
of techniques to help enhance your visualising skills.
Any form of creative expression will help - get
into the habit of doodling, or try copying simple
pictures or objects.
to help build your visualisation skills :
Concentrate on one object [a flower for instance] - observe it, describe it out loud, be aware of
how it feels, how it smells. Drink in the detail,
close your eyes and try to see it in your minds
eye. You may like to keep a journal in which you
can sketch and make observations of objects you
Picture a journey you make frequently - you
may be surprised at just how much detail you can
remember, but dont be disheartened if you
cant remember much detail at first. The next
time you make your journey be sure to take in as
much information as you can, then write a detailed
description of your journey. Read over your description
a few times, and then close your eyes, relax and
build up the journey in your minds eye.
Visualise a room that you frequent often - it could be your bedroom, kitchen, living room
[or even your garden] - observe the room, drink
in the details, and then close your eyes and build
up the room around you. Then move to another room
and visualise the previous location.
Daydream your way to an imagined location : Decide on an initial setting [edge of a field;
a tree on a hill; on a beach etc..], then find somewhere
comfortable to sit, ensure that you wont be
disturbed, and work on building up this setting
in your minds eye, adding more detail as you
go along.... we often do this when we're engrossed
in a particularly good story / book.
to try with a partner :
Describe an object - pick an object you feel
particularly drawn to and take a few minutes to
take in the details - the shape, the feel, the colour,
the smell, is it hot or cold? dry or wet? Drink
in the detail and try and hold it in your mind's
eye. Then give the object to your partner and sit
facing the other direction [so you can no longer
see the object]. Now describe the object to your
partner in as much detail as possible. Your partner
can prompt you with questions if you run out of
steam too early.
"Photographic Memory" - Get a collection
of photos, postcards or pictures together and choose
one to start with. Now describe to your partner
the image - absorbing as much information as you
can. When you have finished, hand the picture to
your partner and proceed to describe the picture
- recalling as much information as you can. [Again,
your partner can prompt you with questions if necessary].
"Object Tray Game" - we used to play
this one a lot at school - the teacher would place
a number of different objects on a tray, which would
be covered over with a tea-towel. Once the tray
was uncovered we would have 1 minute to try and
take in as much information as possible before the
tea-towel was placed back over the tray. We then
had to write down everything we could remember.
When we were finished writing our lists the tea-towel
wool be removed and we could see how much we'd remembered.
There were variations on this game - the following
omitted the list writing part : After the initial
1 minute look [although the time allowed got shorter
and shorter] the tray would be recovered and an
object taken off the tray. The tea-towel would be
removed and we had to say what was missing. This
was usually combined with objects being moved around
a visualisation journal so you can keep track of
your progress - and don't be disheartened if you
find yourself struggling at first - perserverance
and patience is needed whatever skill we're learning
/ improving. If you find you struggle to keep focus
when you're trying a particular visualisation you
might like to get a partner to read something out
loud, or if you prefer to work alone record yourself
and play it back - remember not to speak too fast
so you can allow time to build up scenes and situations.
The important thing is to have fun! Relax and enjoy
yourself and you may just be surprised at how quickly
you can improve your visualisation skills, and what
effects this can have on other areas of your path.
Articles [Visualisations] :
Tree on the Hill - Taking a Walk
- a guided visualisation by Gillie Whitewolf . Read
Wood beside the Lake - Animal Guide Visualisation
- A visualisation by Gillie Whitewolf guiding you through
a lake to a wood where you will meet one of your
animal guides. Read