I am always working on goals in my life and have often used visualization as part of my process. Last night I was introduced to an exercise that was even more powerful than simple visualization. A class in which I am participating did a sensorizing activity.
We were asked to first visualize certain scenes such as a sunrise over a mountain, or a sunset that makes the whole sky red. After we created several visual images, we were asked to see the life we were working toward. I have done this many times and it has been useful. During this exercise, I saw myself healthy and fit, successful, and happy.
Afterward, we were told to hear particular sounds. Some of these were children laughing, rain, and wind rustling through the trees. And then again to hear the sounds of the life we were hoping to create. I have used techniques that involved hearing applause, cheering, or what people were saying, so this wasn’t all that different for me. This time I heard my family laughing and talking, the sounds of my own back yard, and I heard ocean waves.
Where it became really interesting was when we were given the directive to smell familiar scents — a rose bush, the top of a baby’s head, and a Starbucks coffee shop. I realized how powerfully my sense of smell connected me with certain memories and feelings. I knew this on an intellectual level, but hadn’t experienced it in quite this way. As I used my olfactory memory to sensorize my ideal life, I smelled lilacs, peonies, and lily of the valley — flowers that all remind me of my grandmother. I smelled the foods that my family loves, the ocean breeze, and of course, I smelled my granddaughter’s baby scent.
We also imagined tasting things like a tart lemon, a juicy strawberry, and a crisp apple. I could taste the tomatoes I will harvest from my garden, the spicy food I crave, and my favorite Granny Smith apple that the exercise called to mind. The feeling of comfort that came from tasting these foods in my mind was interesting.
Finally, we were asked to use our sense of touch to feel our feet in ankle-deep mud, the feeling of shaking an old woman’s hand, as well as the feeling of a child’s hand in our own. I can remember doing meditations in which I could feel sun on my face or wind in my hair, but never the feel of someone else’s hand in mine. I could feel the old woman’s bony, cool hand and the child’s warm, pudgy fingers. I could feel the embraces of people I love, sand between my toes, and clean crisp sheets.
By the time we completed this exercise, I was fully experiencing things I want to have more of in my everyday life. Many of these things are readily available to me, so I will make a conscious effort to incorporate them into my daily life more often. If you are into simple visualization, I highly recommend you try fully sensorizing that which you are hoping to realize. It is a powerful tool.