Don't Work Too Hard - Just Dream; The Power of Visualization
by Kiki Athanas
September 17, 2017
Last week I had the absolute pleasure of travelling throughout Germany and Austria. Besides figuring out how flipping delicious sauerkraut is, I came to a realization - or rather, a re-realization: the power of visualization.
In what follows, I'm going to share how literally just thinking - or dare I say "dreaming" about things have made them become my reality, so that I can pass on this knowledge to you, for you to tap into when you need to work through or against something. Trust me, it works, and once you get a beat going with it, you're unstoppable.
Why did I realize this on a trip to Bavaria, though, you ask? Well, it was a week in which I actually managed to pull myself away from the non-stop "hustle" life working with various start-ups and also striving to build my own "brand"...lately, it's been a never-ending stream of emails, DMs, meetings, coffee dates, events, etc. etc. etc.
Wait! I'm not complaining - it's been FANTASTIC, and I am so very lucky and feel incredibly appreciative of my life and how very jam-packed my schedule is. With that said, my schedule is, well, jam-packed. This doesn't leave much room for sitting, thinking, and the beautiful moments of doing nothing.
Enter: a last minute getaway to Germany. Instead of allowing my busy schedule to be a barrier between me and the possibility of this trip, I decided to lean in to the recent stressors and signals my body and mind have been showcasing these past few months. And so, I did a really hard thing. I asked (told) my bosses and partners that I needed a break.
God, it still feels incredibly pathetic and weird to admit that, but it's true.
So off I go for a week of exploration in the beauty of Western Europe.
More so, though, it was exploration of my mind. Not so much because of the museums and historical sites I went to (although stunning and certainly an informative peek into Europe's colourful past), but for another much simpler reason: I had time to think.
Leisurely breakfasts, long car rides, strolls in gardens and parks with no pre-set start or end time, I had the chance to ponder.
And that's exactly what I did - but I went above and beyond that. I dreamed. While I spent a bit of time reflecting and being grateful about how far I've come and where I am today, I quickly directed most of my attention to the present and future. Who I am today. Who I want to be tomorrow. I once again reconnected with the excitement and joy of manifesting the life of my dreams.
That's when I remembered that I used to do that a whole lot more often - back when I was manifesting my dreams rather than just living them. It started years back, when I would think vividly about who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, how I wanted to feel, look, think, act, etc. - right down to what I was wearing whilst living in these dreamt up moments.
Now I've recently learned that what I was doing was tapping into the power of "visualization" so to speak. Apparently, the more precisely detailed these "visions" are, the better the results. So it's really no wonder that all my daydreaming led me to where I am today.
See, I'll let you in on a little secret: I wasn't always a slim, confident, "socialite".
But I knew deep down that I wanted to be - for whatever's it's worth. So I went ahead with making that happen. The first step? Believing that it's possible. I know it sounds cliche, but once I got it in my head what I wanted - how it would look, feel, sound like, be like - the transition was easy.
The key is tricking your brain into thinking that it's already your reality. If you think it, you act it, and the rest will fall into place. I'm oversimplifying a bit - but the scientific evidence is there to support me (read this).
Let's use an example. I'm familiar with my own case, so I'll explain with that: years ago, I decided I wanted to be slimmer and healthier. I thought of what it would be like to be that slim healthy individual I desperately sought to become. I thought about it long and hard, and then eventually realized - if I want it to be, I will be. It's hard to explain, but something eventually "clicked" in my mind, and I allowed myself to accept that if someone else can do (or be) it, so can I. But it goes further than that - I needed to believe that I was already that person, and so I did, and I loved imagining every last detail of this super fab person's life. I especially enjoyed it because this super fab person just so happened to be me. Now I won't go into the details of how my fitness and dietary regime changed as a consequence of adopting these thoughts, because that's not the point.
The key to note here is not some specific low carb, paleo, AIP-friendly, gluten-free, etc. diet I went on. It's simply that healthier eating choices became the natural, easy, choice for me - dare I say, they were what I began to crave. See, it all fit in with who I was (that is, in my head - at least at the start).
There's another point I'd like to highlight, and that's the excitement and positivity I felt and exuded towards being this healthier, happier, more fab person I was becoming. I was obsessed, and I loved every moment of it.
Dreading going on an intense diet or sticking to a strict diet regime sucks. Being excited about bettering yourself rocks. Corny, but true.
In practical terms, sure, this meant I opted for more fruits and veggies and less refined sugars and heavy processed foods - but that's not the point. When it comes down to it, it's really not about the food itself, it's more so about your relationship with that food, and your body, and ultimately - your spirit. I let my choices serve me in thriving as that dreamed up individual I knew was inside.
Now getting back to my Germany trip, and how this all ties together (i.e. the point of this blog post, and why it matters). Lately, I've been struggling with choices that aren't serving me, and that have been causing me emotional as well as physical distress. Having a bit of time "away", to unwind, and literally moments to just be, and "do nothing", was vital to my eventual discovery and to initiating the start on my path to recovery.
In order to live your dreams, you need time to dream them.
In other words, this past week, thanks to a break in "work" reality, I reconnected to the part of myself that "day dreamed" (or rather, unknowingly practiced the power of visualization). Furthermore, I've realized that opening up to more day dreaming again might just be the answer to issues that are currently arising in my life.
I was called to share these reflections openly here as I often get friends asking me to help them "eat healthier" or "lose weight". They're looking for next best diet, workout routine, supplements, - answers from the outside; external resources. Instead, I invite you to journey into yourself and confidently believe what it is you want to be true, and treat yourself to the time to indulge in those thoughts. Enjoy every moment of dreaming about exactly what you want to be - as if it is already. I promise that what follows will be beyond your wildest dreams. Actually, just kidding - what follows will be exactly your wildest dreams. No more and no less.