Visualization: Not as Easy as It Looks

There's more to it than just contemplating your navel.

There’s more to it than just contemplating your navel.

A Facebook friend of mind recently posted about the trouble she was having visualizing things and making them manifest.  Her post went something like “I’ve been visualizing like crazy, but all I have to show for it is a big pile of … dirt.”  The comments offered very nebulous advice.  “Keep trying the Goddess will provide.”  “The universe will always give you what you ask for.”  “You need to visualize your desires more clearly.”  None of the advice seemed very helpful to me and I’ve been successfully visualizing things and having them manifest for years.  Many new practioners have similar problems so I decided to write out my tips for successful visualization.  I hope they are helpful.

We make it sound so easy. ‘Just visualize what you want and the universe will give it to you.’ What a bunch of bullshit! It ranks up there with the love advice “As soon as you stop looking for a boyfriend, you’ll get a boyfriend.” and the psych 101 game of “Stand in the corner and don’t think of a white elephant.” AHHHHH!!!!

I will tell you what helped me crack the ‘visualize it.” riddle.

First was advice from my friend Bob. Do something concrete to aid in your visualization. Bob had me write out a sentence in the present tense of what I wanted. {Here is what it is “I live in a three bedroom house with a basement, backyard and garage which I can comfortably afford). Then he told me to write that sentence once a day and to move 1% toward that goal every day. Another thing I did was build my “New House” playlist filled with songs that captured what I wanted in a house and home. I listened to that constantly. Finally, I made up a game with my sons. When we were bored or unhappy with the house we were living in, we would discuss decorating, organizing and furnishing our dream house. (Note – you can only do this with kids old enough to know that the dream house isn’t going to be the house you get. For example, even if everything works out perfectly we are never going to have a zoo in our backyard.)

No matter how big my dream house is, it will never have a zoo in the backyard.

No matter how big my dream house is, it will never have a zoo in the backyard.

Another good way to visualize something is to make sure you see it frequently every day.  This can be a picture that you put up where you will see it often – on your cubicle wall, by your bathroom mirror, or taped to your front door.  It can be a picture you draw, print off the computer or cut from a magazine.  If it is an abstract idea – love, abundance, balance – try using a Tarot card or other symbolic image.  So lesson one – do something physical to help keep yourself focused on your visualization.

A lot of times when we try to visualize bringing something into our lives we accidentally focus on the lack thereby reinforcing the absence and calling more of the same into our lives. This is a particularly huge landmine in money spells/visualizations. When trying to call money, we focus on what we need the money for and we summon more of the need to us instead of the money to fill the need. It took me forever to get past this hump.  What finally did the trick was the Cherokee parable about the two wolves. The grandfather is teaching the children and tells them a story. ‘Inside each person are two wolves locked in a constant battle. One is filled with joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, goodness, joy, courage, strength and love.  The other is filled with anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false-pride evil, grief, bitterness, and hate.’ His grandson pipes up, ‘Which one wins?’ and the grandfather answers, ‘The one you feed.’

I love that story and the first time I heard it, it made me think about all the things I feed with negative talk, hyper-critical self-talk and just everyday run of the mill griping. So I learned to monitor my thoughts and my speech and even my Facebook posts. When I’d catch myself feeding something negative, I would stop myself and switch to feeding the opposite.  I’ll give you an example. When I would drive, particularly in the rain, I’d constantly fuss ‘Will I get pulled over?’ ‘What if I get in an accident?’ ‘What if something bad happens?’ You would not believe how many bad things I drew to myself with that self-talk. So when I catch myself beginning that mantra of evil, I say out loud. “No, I’m not going to feed that.” Then I’d say a quick prayer to the Goddess. “Mary, please bring me safely there and safely back.” The incidents of bad things happening while I drive has gone down dramatically.  Lesson two – be careful what you feed with your energy.

Finally, write a mantra.  This is similar to the sentence described above.  However, this is something you say out loud to yourself several times a day.  Mantras need to be positive, strong and in the present tense.  They can be direct and concrete like “I enjoy eating healthy foods” or abstract and intricate like “As I see the deeper meaning, of what happens in my life, I let go of blame for all the pain, as my growth is worth the price”. (from the Pele Report by

Kaypacha's Mantra for March 27th of this year.

Kaypacha’s Mantra for March 27th of this year.

Kaypacha.)  Rhyming can help if you have that gift.  I don’t so my mantra’s are more like the first example.  Whether you go for basic or flowery, a strong mantra can give your visualization the power boost it needs.

There are many ways to improve your visualization skills.  You can find books, videos and blogs galore to help you improve.  These few tips should give you a good foundation to start.  The main thing to remember is that just like a lot of seemingly simple things in life, visualization is a lot harder that it appears.  So give yourself a break.  Be patient and keep working at it.  You’ll get better at it and then life really will bring you what you need.

Blessed be.

My muse has forgiven me

My Muse has returned to me!

My Muse has returned to me!

I am sure my loyal followers must believe that I fell off the earth or that I had given up on writing completely.  Neither idea is completely true or completely false.  There has been a lot of changes to my life including another burned down house (I really have to stop doing that), several job changes and children who keep growing up and keep needing to be fed.  Can you believe those rugrats want to be fed EVERY DAY!?  All of that sturm and drang led to me neglecting my muse and she in her sorrow turned her face from me.

However, I have come to realize that I cannot live without my true love – writing.  So my glorious muse has forgiven me for neglecting her and she has once again inspired me.  I hope she will continue to give me her flashes of insight and wisdom.  If she does I will continue to pass them on to you, my gentle readers.

I will be posting a longer article soon.  Please read it and the rest that will follow.

All my love,
Grace Mary Kathryn.

I Coulda Been a Lexicographer

When I was growing up nearly everything that interested me was ruled out as a possible life path with the words, “You’ll can’t make a living

I think I would have been a wonderful Mud Pie Baker.

I think I would have been a wonderful Mud Pie Baker.

doing that.”  I couldn’t be a ballerina. I couldn’t be a gardener.  I couldn’t be Wonder Woman.  I couldn’t be a mud pie baker.

Like every high school student in America, my last two years were filled with the question, “What are you going to major in when you get to college?”  Once again everything that I found interesting enough to spend time studying was dismissed with slightly more sophisticated versions of the same statement.  “What can you do with that degree?” or “You won’t make enough money doing that.”  So writing was out.  Acting was out.  History and Literature were out.  When I discovered philosophy that was out, too.  Because I am rebellious and stubborn, I got my BA in Theatre.  I love theatre and was sure that I could ‘make’ it.  Whatever that meant.  A combination of a fear of sexism and a fear of economics kept me from making a serious stab at an acting career.  That will be the subject of another blog.

Time has past and I have seen a lot of the world.  I have met a vast array of interesting people.  In that time I discovered a secret that is so secret even the NSA doesn’t know it.  Here it is – If you are passionate about something you can find a way to make a living doing it.  You may not become rich and famous, but you can support yourself and a family.  The thing is, there are millions of careers out there that require obscure knowledge, unusual proclivities and bizarre skills.  There are people who get paid to tell you how old a rock is.  They are Geochronologists.  There are people who get paid to make food look pretty.  They’re Food Stylists.  There are people who get paid to travel around and watch high school and college sports.  They’re Athletic Scouts.  There are people who collect the venom from snakes.  They’re Snake Milkers.  Ant Catchers dig up the ants for ant farms.  Odor Judgers smell armpits to see if a new deodorant works.  An Ethical Hacker is paid to hack by companies who want their systems to be hack proof.  This last one is my favorite – a professional Cat Catcher is paid to come to your house and get your cat into the cat carrier for you.

Furthermore, just because the chances are slim that you will get the top job in your chosen field doesn’t mean that you can’t earn a living in that field.  Not everyone who studies archaeology gets to become Harrison Ford.  Ooops, I mean gets to become an archaeologist.  However, an archaeologist needs an amazingly big support staff.  They need people to help dig, to clean the items they find, to analyze what was found, to catalog it.  There are a lot of people who work in archaeology who are not archaeologists.  I know a man who got a degree in zoology.  He doesn’t work in a zoo.  He works for a college in the biology department.  He takes care of all the animals that the biologists are studying.  I know a woman who used to get paid to measure the cracks in the bodies of airplanes.  I know a person who has made an entire career of traveling around to beautiful nature places all over the US and Canada.  He takes pictures of place, animals and things that he thinks look cool.  He prints them as posters and sells them all over the world.  How’s that for a cool job?

Erin Mckean's TED talk explores how much fun an evolving language can be.

Erin Mckean’s TED talk explores how much fun an evolving language can be.

Today, thanks to a wonderful woman named Erin McKean, her TED talk is Erin McKean: The Joy of Lexicography, I learned that there is such a thing as a lexicographer.  That is some whose job it is to study words.  They study spelling, pronunciation, meanings, etymology and everything else you can possibly imagine relating to words.  Usually they take all that knowledge and compile a dictionary or edit one.  For someone who loves word play as much as I do, this would be a really cool job.  When I was in college I never even knew it was an option.

During this back-to-school time of year when many people I know are starting high school and college, I have heard a lot of people dismiss a subject they love because they do not believe they can make a living with the degree.  They reject archaeology for accounting; creative writing for education; geology for healthcare services.  They are being practical and have an eye on their future.  Practicality in important.  Earning enough money to survive is the first job of an adult.  However, it breaks my heart to see bright talented young people turn away from what they love in the name of being ‘practical.’  It is important to feed the spirit as well as the body.  I believe that we need to remember that doing something we love and doing something practical are not mutually exclusive.  There are people all over the world doing work they love and getting paid for it.  Typically, they are happier and more fulfilled than people who do a job because it pays the bills.

So if you are a young person trying to decide “What to do with your life’ or if you are an adult trying to decide what to do with the rest of your life, follow your heart.  When some grey unimaginative person asks you, “What can you do with THAT degree?”  Tell them, “I don’t know.  That’s the point.  I’ll find out when I get there.”

Night’s Children in Exile

Most of you aren’t going to get this, but many of you will. Those of us born to the night live from darkness to dawn. We shine brightest under starlight and street lamps. But there are those of us, many of us, who are forced to function in the cold bright light of morning, in the arid, acid smells of the city stirring to life. We walk past the garage with its rarnzz, zzzink, clang of early morning car repairs toward the bus stop bench roasted hot by the glaring morning sun. We wait under awnings behind dark $5.00 sunglasses (the good pair was lost at a club or somewhere awhile back) for disgruntled CTA bus drivers to pick us up. They have been on the job since 5am and had nothing resembling sympathy for our pain.

We go to everyday normal mundane vanilla jobs. We eat at normal mundane times although we often skip breakfast or eat it late. We’re just not that awake in the morning. We’re lucky if we can open our can of Red Bull or chug that cup of coffee or tea. Our relatives and friends see our day light habits and sniff to themselves either smugly or proudly, She had to grow up sometime. But that’s not it at all. Fate has dealt us a cruel hand. We are night’s children in exile. Forced by necessity to take daylight jobs so that we may care for ourselves or our children. Five days a week or more we wince from the glaring cheerfulness of the morning and get up. But we are still night’s children. We’re simply in exile.

We have not turned our backs on the night. We want to dance in the dark corners of her sanctuaries, to whisper or shout in coffee shops, to make love on linen sheets until the birds warn us of the coming sun. But we can’t. We have to work in the morning. We have to skip the concert, to take a pass on going for coffee, to ask you to go home around midnight. Those of you Night Children who can sleep past the sun’s glaring noon, who work at jobs under the starlight and the streetlamps, remember us and blow us a kiss as you pass. We are your sisters and brothers; Night’s Children in exile