Editor's note: This post on visualization techniques is by Heidi Fearon, well known in the CrossFit community for her incredible work in keeping top athletes physically healthy and mentally focused. Heidi's wisdom come from her experience as a competitor and coach, and has helped some of the world's fittest athletes perform at their peak. Heidi is a licensed acupuncturist, a regular contributor to the Invictus Training Camp team, and a US Naval Academy graduate ('96) where she was a champion swimmer, setting multiple records including one that still stands today, almost 19 years later!
In this age of optimization where time is money and everyone is trying to maximize their life, too many people miss the obvious game changer available to every one of us.
We worry about the latest in nutrition and order customized meals at a restaurant, we worry about fitness and hire a personal trainer or buy the latest insanity video, we worry about money and hire financial experts to maximize our retirement potential, and through all this worry we lose sight of the vision of the life we desire.
Think of life as a journey; you're in a car and you're driving to a destination far away. Would you spend your entire paycheck on making sure the car is well maintained and knowing your final destination but not give any thought to maps or planning where you'll sleep and eat and fuel up?
It's easy to spend time & money to ensure our car stays on the road in the game of life, and choosing a far away destination is part of the fun of traveling, yet how much time do we spend cultivating the driver manifesting that vision?
If you're trying to wake up stronger, faster, healthier, and wealthier every day, why would you focus only on the "What" and not include the "Why"?
Why you are taking this journey?
How do you want to feel as you progress, and where you would like to end up?
Are you just hoping that you get lucky?
Once you've begun to ask the right questions, the answers become much easier to find.
Intention & visualization apply to every aspect of your life; your relationships, your job, your workouts, your health, and your happiness.
Intention and visualization can be used to pre-program your mind, just like planning and maps can help you get where you going faster and more efficiently. Using intention and specific visualization techniques will help you manage the stresses that arise every day.
Whether you let the lady who cut you off in traffic ruin the moment or bless the moment can snowball either success and abundance or anger and lack through the rest of your day; which would you rather have?
Ok, now you know how you want to feel, how do you get there?
First, you must know your "Why".
Why are you doing what you are doing? What about it makes you feel good and how do you want to feel along the way. Why are you working out? Why do you love your job? Why do you want to run the marathon, buy the Harley, or become a black belt?
Check to see if your motivations are extrinsic (for others) or intrinsic (for you.) If your rationale is to please someone else, to gain fame, recognition or acceptance, you will more often be empty with the success.
If your goal is to make *you* happy, such as a desire to feel alive & connected or to express your individuality joyfully, or to reach your own maximum potential, you are much more likely to find fulfillment and arrive at bountiful outcomes.
Visualization can take as little as 5 minutes or as long as 5 hours. Effective visualization begins with preparing your mind to accept your plan, sort of like warming up before you engage in physical activity.
Start by getting physically comfortable, then imagine your body relaxing from your head down to your toes. Allow it to soften like melting butter and imagine your limbs becoming warm and heavy. Once your whole body has let go you are "warmed up", now you're ready to develop your intention. Hold your intention in your mind's eye until it's clear and solid for you; imagine what you would feel like if you truly believed this. I like to repeat my intention 3 times in order to really lock in the belief.
Now that you're focused on your intention, take a few deep breaths into your heart’s center and allow yourself to notice what it feels like to live and manifest this intention. See yourself in scenarios where this intention is happening with ease and grace, and know that it is a part of your reality, breathe it into every cell of your body.
Know that this is your truth. As you wind down, say your intention 3 more times to yourself and breathe deeply into your heart’s center.
Practice the visualization a few times a week. Write down your intention and put it where it’s easy to see as reinforcement of your visualization.
Take just 5 minutes a day to visualize. Take 15 minutes every couple of months to step back and check your "Why" and intentions.
Having clear intentions and practicing visualization is a sure way to create a happy, empowered, and abundant proactive life; now THAT's what I call maximizing your life!
Here's Heidi discussing visualization techniques with a yak, deep in the Himalaya. If you're smarter than a yak and would like to raise your own performance in any aspect of your life, connect with Heidi for one-on-one performance coaching at (619) 820-3146.
Too much reading...
How about dessert?