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Navel-gazing to visualise future

By Joseph Pond

What do enlightenment and bellybutton fluff have in common? Answer: both are found through navel-gazing. I like the term navel-gazing. It paints a picture which has a strong physical response. (Depending on whose bellybutton I imagine myself to be exploring.)

It's almost a month into 2017, and some have kept to their resolutions while many have not. Don't worry. The road to Strange New Worlds tends to have bumps along the way. The trick is staying on the path. This is much easier if you have an idea of where you want to go. So here's a secret: the unconscious mind thinks in terms of pictures.

Have you ever read a menu where the food has been so exquisitely described that you can practically see it steaming aromatically in front of you? I'm sure everyone's fantasised at least once (or a million times) about a charmingly sensual person who's made the pulse quicken. If so, you understand that visual imagination is the best way to supercharge motivation.

So do this: close your eyes and imagine yourself getting into the basket of a balloon, floating into your future, setting down, getting out, and exploring what life will be like for you in one year. Then travel five years into the future.

Each time, imagine your life in as much rich, exquisite detail as you can. Describe what you're seeing out loud - this is crucial. First visually create, then verbally articulate.

When you imagine a future in enough detail that it feels real (just as a well-written menu makes you salivate), the unconscious mind says, "Since this is pre-determined, I'd better get to work making it happen."

This brings us back to navel-gazing. The goal of visualisation is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, but there's a thin line between that and self-deception. Here's the difference: a self-fulfilling prophecy requires real world action, and these actions, in turn, change what you're able to visualise; it's a feedback loop. Self-deception doesn't require the outside world. You can navel-gaze in a house that's crumbling and pretend it's a palace. Avoid self-deception.

Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance.Reach him at or at Hypnosis/ ?ref=hl/?ref=hl

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