“Cherish your imagination.  It will create an ocean of possibilities, and lead to unexpected places.” –Barb Mayer

On Oscar Sunday (focused on my favorite television event of the year), I thought it appropriate to discuss the incredible power of the human imagination and give you a couple of tools to put yours to work making your dreams come true.

The first simple tool you can use to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) into action using your imagination is visualization.  This technique has been used extensively in the sports world for decades. Coaches teach it to their players as a mental aid to improving their athletic performance, in addition to the physical practice they must perform to hone their skills.

It’s simple to do.  Just close your eyes and use your “mind’s eye” to see yourself doing something you want to do in the real world.  If you want to take a dream vacation to tropical paradise, see yourself on the white sands, with palm trees around you and crystal blue water stretching out to the horizon.

Don’t limit your imagination to just the sense of sight, though. The point of visualizing is to convince your subconscious mind that you really ARE on the tropical island of your dreams. So you have to engage all of your senses. Imagine what the warm breeze feels like on your skin. How would the salty air smell ?  What would the waves lapping the shore sound like? What would that tropical drink you are holding taste like?

One important caveat: Be sure you are imagining the scenario the way your subconscious mind experiences the REAL world – from inside your body, looking out through your eyeballs.  If you imagine the scene as though are watching a movie of yourself doing these things, that’s exactly what your subconscious will conclude it is – just a movie you are watching, instead of your “reality.”

The more vividly you can conjure up the scene in your imagination, the more completely your literal-minded subconscious mind will be fooled into thinking it is real.  Then it will go to work trying to figure out ways to make it a reality in your life. It’s easiest for it to do this when you are asleep because that’s the one time your subconscious mind has 100% free rein, without the interference of your conscious mind to tell it “This is a trick!” 

The late, great Master Manifester, Dr. Wayne Dyer, asserted that whatever you fall asleep thinking about, your subconscious mind will go to work on during the next four hours of sleep. Everything you have ever learned, heard, read, seen or experienced is stored deep in the vault of your unconscious mind. Your conscious mind can’t access most of this deeply-stored information, but if you give your unfettered subconscious mind a vivid mental blueprint of what you want, it will work like a dedicated little Minion, diving into the vault containing all that information and experience to “connect the dots” in creative new ways that can make your imagined scenarios a reality. They usually come to you as unexpected, inspired ideas during your waking hours.

Isn’t it more productive to set your powerful inner Minion working on how to get you to a tropical paradise, rather than running over the laundry list of regrets from today and worries about tomorrow that most people fall asleep thinking about?  Here’s another bonus: My coaching clients who fall asleep visualizing themselves driving the car of their dreams, enjoying a luxury retreat with their huge, successful business Team, walking across the stage to applause or taking a family dream vacation report feeling more relaxed and sleeping more deeply. That alone is reason enough to try this technique!

The second fun and effective tool you can use to harness the limitless power of your imagination is a Vision Board or Dream Board. Think of it as a “still picture” version of visualizing that can be used in place of or in addition to the “mind movie” technique. Around early January, many of my clients like to have Vision Board parties with their network marketing teammates to create their current dreams together.

To build your Vision Board, simply get a large piece of whiteboard from the stationery store and cover it with pictures of things you would love to be, do and have. You can add inspiring words, such as “Limitless,” “Freedom,” “Abundance,” “Adventure,“ “Wealth” or “Leader” and beautiful pictures from internet sites like Pinterest or glossy magazines about travel or luxury living. For about $1 a week, you can subscribe to the Robb Report and continuously visualize living like the Rich and Famous — and eventually you will!

Recently, I had my own delightful demonstration of the power of a picture to seep into my subconscious mind and make my heartfelt desires a reality.  I don’t have a full Dream Board on the wall of my office, but I do have some beautiful pictures of two of my favorite things — Hawaiian beaches and horses.

When I was in elementary school, I used to ride a friend’s horse every day after school and I’ve been horse crazy ever since. I long ago gave up the idea of owning a horse, realizing the cost and commitment were more than I wanted to take on. We are fortunate to live just a few blocks from a stable, and whenever I pass by, I watch the horses in the arena and affirm aloud that God/The Universe is right now working on fulfilling my dream of being able to ride a horse whenever I want to.

Not surprisingly, I chose a horse-themed calendar for my office. February’s picture shows two beautiful all-white mares — mother and daughter rescues.  I stare at this picture every day for hours as I coach my clients on the phone.

As Valentine’s Day approached, I was driving along the freeway close to home and saw a huge white tent with a big sign that said “Cavalia,” which is like Cirque du Soleil, but with horses as well as humans performing graceful and amazing physical feats. This incredible show has been on my Bucket List for many years, but either we couldn’t afford the pricey tickets during the Great Recession or the traveling show wasn’t close enough to be practical to attend.

Now, it was five minutes away, so as soon as I got home, I went on the website and bought two tickets to give to Rick as his surprise Valentine’s gift.  We went on Valentine’s weekend and it was magical — everything we hoped it would be.

Unbeknownst to me, Rick also chose a horse-themed surprise Valentine’s gift for ME: a trail ride for two amidst the rolling green hills and live oaks of a 200-acre regional park near us. I had never been to that park and didn’t know it contained public stables or I would have suggested it long ago!

This past Friday afternoon, Rick and I took our one-hour trail ride — just the two of us and our lovely guide, Melissa. When she took us to the corral to meet our mounts, Rick was assigned Marley, a big brown gelding.  Then she introduced me to a mare named Whisper and I broke into a big smile because she is all-white, just like the two mares on the calendar I have been staring at all month.

We had a great time and have vowed to return to ride at least monthly. I’m even considering taking riding lessons. God/the Universe delivered my life-long dream of being able to ride a horse whenever I want to in a way I would be sure to recognize and appreciate – through the power of visualization!

 ****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.