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When you visualize the past or the future, to the brain and nervous system it’s as if you are directly there, experiencing it. This is one reason why revisiting traumatic times from the past is so difficult, despite knowing that they are behind us. It still prompts a physiological response.
So we do a positive visualization into the future — a futurization — to prepare the body and mind for the future. We stimulate our inner resources here and now for the future event, so that we can bring greater creativity, confidence, or clarity to the event. When we live that event, we go through it with a greater awareness and presence, and reduced anxiety, as our brain has already “experienced” it.
Visualization is a power that is rooted in the mind and supported by the body. As we are calm and centered in our body, we support the mind in creating meaningful images that are truly connected to our essence and the power of consciousness. The practice of futurization helps us to feel confident and positive as well as opening up our brain to new possibilities.
Create a Happy Daily Life
We all have a daily life filled with lots of things “to do,” and some of this stuff may not be the most exciting. Our days may be filled with tasks that are essential but hold no joy, and that feel repetitive and unappreciated, or perhaps we spend much of our day at our desk in a job that pays the bills and is needed but brings no spark to life, or where our own self is not nourished. Here, we have an opportunity to take back control of how we feel in a positive way for large parts of our normal life and to explore the potential of every day, to shift our mind and open ourselves to new possibilities.
This is a very special and important practice to cultivate positive change through examining the detail of our daily life. We are going to look at the mindset of our perfect day. Well, maybe not our perfect day — there aren’t likely to be desert islands involved — but we are going to create in our mind our “best day” and look at how it could feel. Perhaps you normally live a life filled with stress and activity and wish to live your daily life more calmly, or maybe it’s about a state of confidence that you want to be in going through your daily life.
In this practice we will choose to bring more positivity, joy, happiness, calm, or whatever we need more of into our everyday. So, it’s about going into the future — a comfortable future in terms of timing: ideally it would be the next day, or at least in the next week. We will do a futurization by creating images on our inner screen for an entire day, cultivating positivity for our future daily life in all the tasks that we have to do and the places and people that form our normal life. But we do this with rose-tinted glasses on, as if it really is the best version possible of our typical day from the moment we get up until we go to bed.
Don’t plan anything beforehand with your thinking mind. Simply go into this exercise with as much positivity as possible and see what comes out of it. You will ask yourself, “How would I like to feel in my day tomorrow?”
As you “revisit” your daily life in a different way, you are allowed to adapt it as you want. So, if normally you struggle to wake up and get out of bed and your bedroom is messy with all your clothes and possessions everywhere, it puts your mind into a state that is not clear and prepared for the day. In the visualization, view yourself getting calmly out of bed feeling rested, and look around yourself at your room in the way you want it to be. Think about how you want to eat your breakfast and what it could be — if you want it to be a healthy meal eaten at the table rather than a cereal bar on the train, then find the time in your perfect day to make that happen.
Then think about your morning and how you spend it. In your visualization, maybe you see yourself traveling calmly to work and having a productive day — working efficiently and creatively, juggling your priorities well, and communicating with colleagues about mutual projects. If you are spending the day at leisure or caring for children or adults, ensure that you build elements into the day that are personally fulfilling. You may be surprised that your ideal day suddenly takes the form of a walk with your loved one on the beach rather than seeing yourself happy at work!
The important thing is to concentrate on feelings, rather than details. Think about how you will feel your positive intention in action — perhaps confident at work, calm at home, or optimistic about a daily situation.
As you visualize, you may be caught up in unwanted thoughts or sensations, like “This is impossible” or “I see too many situations and can’t focus on one.” If you are struggling, don’t fight it. It is normal and part of your consciousness here and now. Just acknowledge the unwanted thought, and then simply use the Tension Relax exercise on your entire body to let go, through your out breath, of the resistance you experience. Let it come, and enjoy it. It is the positive resources of your consciousness that manifest and that will also help you deal with and create a better daily life.
It is encouraging to see how full of opportunity a whole day can be when you think of it slowly and carefully in this manner — we really feel the power of the present by creating it in the future. And we open ourselves to such potential once we have “fixed” in our brain our ideas and hopes for the positive circumstances our future could hold.
This technique can be quite life-changing — it literally builds awareness of behaviors during the day, and, through making adjustments from an inner perspective first, it leads to alterations in your outer reality. You might be surprised at what your consciousness brings to your great day, and what new insights are gained as to how you feel about your present day and the details that resonate with your true self.
As you repeat this exercise over time, you will be able to increasingly feel in your mind and body as your day goes out of balance. You will be able to see the triggers for this and can make the decision for change.
“I attended several sessions with Dominique during the late stages of my pregnancy, which helped me enormously with birth preparation physically, mentally, and emotionally. Through the breathing exercises and gentle movements, I was able to visualize a positive birth experience and overcome the fears of childbirth that were looming in the back of my mind. The techniques are simple and easy to use in everyday life, and with practice I am now able to identify tensions in my body, release them, and calm myself into a totally relaxed state of being.” — Kathy
Enjoy a Bright Future
Now we look further into the future. This exercise guides you to select a resource that will positively impact your future, such as to strengthen your confidence or your resilience, or to increase hope or relaxation. In doing so, it enables you to open yourself to new possibilities, to change your relationship with the future.
Often we’re nervous about the future, worried about impending problems, or uncertain about our life choices and how they might impact us. Alternatively, some of us see the future only in a repetitive pattern as a continuation of our current life, without having the time and energy to think more rad ically or to choose bigger aims or dreams. It’s easy to get into a rut and to see the only way forward as a continuation of how and where we are now.
When we’re bombarded with the stresses of life, it can be as if we are traveling in a tunnel, and we can only move forward toward the narrow view in front of us. It’s impossible to see other options. These futurizations help us to open up possibilities, to embrace the potential, and not just to view limitations. We are going to change our relationship with the future.
Before you start, choose something in your future that you want to transform or something you want to go well. You could have a specific goal, such as spending more time on a hobby or interest, or looking to make a change in your career path. It can be a small change or a general desire to find more joy in life or more freedom, or even to live a completely different life. Be very clear about your intention before you go into the exercise. As you visualize the change, it becomes real for the brain, and so the brain begins to prepare for this positive change. So it’s working with intention, and it’s working with the mind too, and as we also connect that experience with the body — through the key techniques initially — it’s almost as if it’s part of a conversation between the body and the mind, taking the confidence from the body to ground the change.
Again, feel no pressure to “succeed” at this visualization. You are simply going to see yourself in your new future — from about six months up to two years ahead. You are going to picture yourself in a happy situation, with the intended transformation complete.
Where will you be? What do you wear? What are you doing? Maybe you are on your own or with a partner that you now have in your life. Maybe you have found that job you are looking for or you are totally healed from your present situation. Just trust it to come to you. What is important is not what you do or do not manage to see; it is the simple effort of your brain following the positive intention that holds the magic.
What you will then create in your life doesn’t need to be the exact replica of the situation, of course. We are training your inner resources in relation to your future, strengthening your ability to project yourself into a positive future.
Copyright ©2018 by Dominique Antiglio.
All Rights Reserved. Excerpted with permission.
Publisher: New World Library. newworldlibrary.com
The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology: Breathe and Connect with the Calm and Happy You
by Dominique Antiglio.
In a world that can sometimes feel overwhelming, this comprehensive guide to the practice of Sophrology will help you cultivate resilience, confidence, and serenity in your daily life. Sophrology is a dynamic relaxation, stress-management, and personal-development system already popular in Europe, growing worldwide, and used successfully by people from all walks of life. The method combines Western science and Eastern wisdom, in ten- to fifteen-minute practices, using relaxation, breathing, body awareness, and visualization.
Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book. Also available in Kindle format
About the Author
Dominique Antiglio is a globally sought-after Sophrologist specializing in stress management, self-development, and birth preparation. After studying with Professor Alfonso Caycedo, the inventor of Sophrology, she founded BeSophro, a London-based clinic and consultancy with an online platform to help people find a better life through the practice of Sophrology. Visit her website at https://be-sophro.com/
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