Visualization and Imagery

For Health and Happiness

Chaplain Paul G. Durbin, Ph.D.

(Durbin conducts a class on Visualization and Imagery)

1.  IMAGERY

2.  VISUAL, AUDITORY, KINESTHETIC

3.  CONSCIOUS / SUBCONSCIOUS MIND 

4.  TASTE THE LEMON

5.  STAR WARS

6.  TYPES OF IMAGERY

7.  IMAGERY EXPERIENCE

8.  GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR DESIGNING IMAGERY

9.  POWER OF IMAGERY

10. WATERFALL FOR CLEANSING

11.  SOWER AND SEED

The mind, conscious and subconscious, is greatly influenced by suggestion visualization and imagery. Suggestibility, visualization and imagery are natural characteristics of our humanity. It is the foundation of learning and change in our life. They are used in worship, politics, advertisement and human relations.

Did you ever consider the power of words which is one of the ways of conveying suggestions. By words, thoughts are imparted from one person to another and from one generation to another. There are words that make us laugh and words that make us cry, words that bless and words that condemn, words that wound and words that heal. The old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, buy words will never hurt me" is a false statement.

There are suggestions which we say to ourselves that tend to do us harm and affect our bodies and mind. "I'll be damned" may lead to constipation or our mind creates a dam which interferes with our thinking process. "I can't stand him" may lead to weak legs. "He gets on my nerves" may lead to a nervous breakdown, a skin rash, or an ulcer. "I can't stomach that." may lead to indigestion or upset stomach. "That kills me." may lead to illness, death, or the end of a creative thought. "You make me sick" can cause one to get sick. "You are a pain in the neck." may lead to neck problems. "That burns me up" may lead to an ulcer.

Other statements that tend to affect us in body, mind, and spirit are: "You are driving me crazy." "He'll be the death of me." "This is getting the best of me." "That just makes me sick." "He is a pain in the ass." "He drives me nuts." As negative suggestions can do us harm, positive suggestions can bring healing and worthwhile change in our life. Emile Coue`'s statement, "Day by day in every way, I am getting better and better" has been used by many to bring about positive results and changes in ones life. I walk two miles each day. While I walk, I give myself good suggestions. I have my own version of Coue`s statement. Half of my walk I say to myself, "Day by day in every way, I am getting better and better, healthier and healthier, wealthy and wealthy, happier and happier." During the second half of my walk, I say, "God's love, joy, peace, prosperity, and health fill my body, mind and spirit, keeping me emotionally, spiritually and physical healthy." Each person here tonight greatly influences his/her life for good with positive suggestions, visualization and imagery and harm his/herself with negative suggestions.

Mr. Claud (not his real name) had heart by-pass surgery at another hospital, but he was admitted at Methodist Hospital about a month later. Thought the surgery had been successful, Mr. Claud's condition was progressively deteriorating. I was consulted by his physician to work with in regards to his attitude and lack of hope. During a hypnotic session, I asked him to go back to the beginning of his problem. He went back to his surgery. (A note about heart by-pass surgery that after the by-pass is completed, another surgeon normally closes the surgery opening with stitches.) As the by-pass doctor had completed his procedure, he said, "I have done all I can do sew him up." He meant that he had completed his portion and the other surgeon could now close up the wound. Though under anesthesia, Mr. Claud heard him and thought the doctor meant, "It was so bad, I can't help him, sew him up." I explained the procedure and asked him to look at it from a different understanding. Now, he could begin the process of healing. That occurred about five years ago and Mr. Claud is active and healthy.

My mother was in a hospital in Shreveport, La. for the removal of a cancerous growth on her jaw. She had surgery and had returned to her room. I stayed with her from about three o'clock in the afternoon until about ten o'clock the next morning. The nurses were very responsive to my mother's calls for the longest that she had to wait for a nurse to come was about three minute. I consider that excellent response time.

The first thing that each nurse and her doctor said when they came into the room for whatever reason was, "Mrs. Durbin are you hurting?" or "Mrs. Durbin, are you in pain?" or "Mrs. Durbin, do you need any pain mediation?" Until about nine that night my mother had not needed anything for pain and I wondered, "Would she have needed any pain medication at nine, had the question been different?" What if the nurses and doctor had said something like, "Mrs. Durbin, are you comfortable?" "Mrs. Durbin, how are you feeling?" Instead the suggestion that they were reinforcing with each visit was that my mother should be experiencing pain.

Our suggestibility usually comes from our primary caregiver (usually our mother) . If the child experiences his mother as saying what she means and meaning what she says, he will usually be more responsive to direct suggestions. If the verbal and nonverbal part of her communications do not express the same thing, the child begins to search for the real meaning. The child begins to look for the implied meaning, rather actually said. This person usually responds best to indirect or implied suggestions. Balanced suggestibility comes when, certain areas, the mother is consistent in what she says while in other areas, she gives conflicting messages.

I tend to be close to the middle for when not to do something, I knew she meant it. There was a cause and effect. Mother laid down the law and I followed it or I reaped the consequences. On the other hand, mother could be indirect in her request. She might say to me, "Paul, don't you think you should She is sick and she gave you a gift for Christmas last year.@ Now that sounded like I had a choice, but I did not. She meant for me to go see Mrs. Smith, and if my answer to her was "No.", she would let me know in no uncertain terms that I was to go.

Imagery: Imagery is a flow of thoughts you may see, hear, feel, smell, or taste. An image is an inner representation of your experience of your fantasies - a way your mind codes, stores, and expresses information. Imagery is made up of the dreams and daydreams; memories and reminiscence; plans, projections, and possibilities. It is the language of the emotions and most important of the deeper self.

Imagery is a window on your inner world; a way of viewing your own ideas, feelings, and interpretations. Imagination, in this sense, is not sufficiently valued in our culture for imaginary is often equated with the fanciful, the unreal, and the impractical. In school, we are taught the three R's while creativity, uniqueness, and interpersonal skills are either barely tolerated or frankly discouraged.

As adults, we are usually paid to perform tasks and to think creatively. The premium is on the practical, the useful, the real as it should be-but imagination nurtures human reality as a water brings life to a desert.

Without imagination, civilization as we know it would not exist. It took imagination - the ability to conceive of new possibilities - to make fire, create weapons, and cultivate crops; to construct buildings, invent cars, airplanes, space shuttles, television, and computers.

The changes and learning that can take place through the use of visualization and imagery are two of the most interesting aspects of communication with the subconscious. Visualization and imagery can help the person's subconscious understand there can be a better way. The possibility of change begins with the imagination. Inventions, music, writings, changes in behavior begins with imagination.

Imagery comes in two ways: visual and imagery . A visual person can see in the mind's eye as if viewing a scene in reality or on the TV screen of their mind. The visual person can also use their imagination. The non-visual person can not see pictures but they can imagine scenes, sound, and experience feelings.

PEOPLE ARE VISUAL, AUDITORY OR KINESTHETIC:

1. Visual: They usually speak in terms of seeing or watching. Examples: "I see what you mean." "I can see that." "Looks good." "Picture this." Visual people will give vivid descriptions of things as though painting a picture. They have a tendency to show you something as they're talking. They like to have eye contact. Typically, a visual person will use predicates such as: see, behold, observe, view, witness, look, glance, etc. When a visual person thinks, his eyes tend to move up and to the right.

2. Auditory: You can recognize an auditory person by observing the way his eyes stay level while moving right and left, down and to the left. Auditories use "sound" words to communicate and they like the sound of their own voice. Their voices have an even, rhythmic, tempo and melodious, easy-to-listen-to-sound. They use terms like: "I hear what you say." "That sounds good to me." They make lots of noise such as jingle coins or keys in the pocket, scuffle feet, walk loudly. They like to repeat things. If you ask them "What time is it?", they may repeat the question and then give you the answer. They laugh at the punch line and then repeat it. They don't need the eye to eye contact that visual people need. Typically an auditory person speaks using words such as listen, hear, take in, hark, attend, etc.

3. Kinesthetic: Kinesthetics' eyes move down and right when they are processing information. They readily express feelings about anything. They like or hate; they're hot or cold. You will hear "spaces" in kinesthetic's conversation while he takes time to check out his feelings about what is going on. The kinesthetic's voice is generally deeper than the voice of the visual or Auditories.

Kinesthetic people will talk in terms of feelings. Examples: "I can't handle this." "I can't grasp that." "I feel like a steak today." "That doesn't feel right." They have a tendency to touch a lot, and they have a need to be touched back. Typically, a kinesthetic person will use words such as touch, handle, feel, itch, excite, sharpen, etc.

Most people have a dominate preference but can communicate in more than one mode. Knowing a person's mode helps you to communicate more effectively with him and to gain trust and rapport quickly. To be most effective, alter your response mode to that of the client. The knowledge of the client's mode help in formulating suggestions for the client.

CONSCIOUS AND SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: We have one mind, but there are two parts to our mind: conscious and subconscious. The conscious and subconscious parts of the mind could be compared to an iceberg. The portion of the iceberg above the surface of the water is the conscious portion and the ice beneath the water is the subconscious portion. The conscious portion consists of about 10% of our thinking ability and the subconscious consists of about 90%.

Our conscious mind consists of what is available to our conscious thinking process. It is the analytical, rational, logical, two plus two is four mind. Temporary memory and will power resides in the conscious mind. It is that part of the mind that says, "I should stop smoking." "I should lose weight." "I should not be afraid of elevators."

The subconscious mind is not logical and it contains our permanent memory, emotions, habits, automatic responses, feelings, instincts and impressions. The subconscious part of the mind controls breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and other natural functions of our body. The subconscious mind is concerned with bringing about our deepest wishes expectations and desires even if they are contrary to logic and our own well being.

In addition to our memories, habits, and impulses, the subconscious also contains that which we have inherited from our ancestors. We inherit through the subconscious our race knowledge, instincts, and impulses.

The subconscious never dozes, never sleeps and keep us going by directing our breathing, heartbeat, etc.. Once the subconscious mind accepts an idea, it begins to make the idea a reality. It works the same for good or bad ideas. When applied in a negative way, the subconscious can be the cause of failure, frustration, unhappiness, and even illness. Your subconscious mind is like the soil which accepts any kind of seeds - good or bad. It is the seat of your emotions and the storehouse of your memory.

The subconscious mind does not care if the body hurts, but rather that the deepest needs are met. If our greatest need is for affection and the only time we experience affection is when we are sick, we may get sick in order to receive the affection that we need. This occurs even though we don't like being sick and the reason is unknown. 

It is important to note that the subconscious can not tell the difference between a wish and a fear. If a fear becomes dominate in your thinking, the subconscious will interpret that fear as a wish and attempt to make it happen. I never tell a person not fear something or worry about something because that is like saying "Don't think of the color red." As soon as I do that you can not help but thing of the color red. I do suggest that when you fear something or began to worry about something that you replace that thought with something good because two thought of emotional content can not continue because one will take over. Make sure that the thought that takes over is a good thought.

TASTE THE LEMON: (This exercise is used to determine if a person is a visual or imagery person. A visual person can picture and see things in their mind's eye. An imagery person can not get a visual image but can imagine something such as being able describe his bed room. If the client is an imagery person, use phrases like "imagine you see", "pretend that you are walking down a road." If the client is visual, you can use those phrases plus "see the mountain in front of you", "visualize the beautiful blue sky." It can also be used to reinforce the point that the subconscious cannot tell the difference between truth and imagination. I have attempted to use as much of the person's response patterns as I can think of. In this I have included sight, feel, smell and taste.)

Please close your eyes and use your imagination; imagine that I have a lemon in my hand. Now some of you can visualize that lemon, you can get a mental picture of the lemon. Others of you can imagine a lemon even though you cannot get an actual mental picture of it. If you were at a fruit stand and wanted to buy a lemon, you would know exactly what to look for. You would not have to ask, "Can someone show me a lemon?"

Imagine that I have a lemon in my hand and I am cutting the lemon in half. It is a very juicy, sour lemon, so as I cut it, the juice sprays from side to side. I give you half the lemon. Now imagine holding the half of lemon in your hand. Feel the rough texture of the lemon, imagine the juice sparkling on the meat of the lemon. Imagine the smell of the lemon as you bring that juicy, sour lemon to your lips and began to lick it with your tongue. Taste the juicy, sour lemon. It is so juicy and sour.

Now open your eyes. How many of you were able to imagine the lemon? How many of you experienced your mouth watering as you thought of licking that juicy, sour lemon? (Have class practice one-to-one on this suggestibility exercise.)

Until there is an image in the mind, there can be no reality. All great inventions began with a thought in the mind. The inventor was able to visualize the invention before he could bring it to reality. The same is true of great music, great writing, great living. If you want to change your life, your lifestyle, your habits, you must change the image that your mind holds. When working with a person for weight control, I have the person imagine or visualize themselves the size they want to be as if they were that size and to imagine stepping on the scale and weighing their desired weight. I request that they do this each night just before going to sleep and each morning just after they wake up from sleep.

I should point out that imagery and day-dreaming are different from one another. Imagery motivates one to accomplish that which is visualized. The day dreamer is satisfied with the dream and is not motivated to accomplish the goal. Imagery is not wishful thinking but hopeful expectation of what is desired with the motivation to believe it to reality.

Jonathan Edwards said, "The ideas and images in men's minds are the invisible power that constantly governs them." The wise old man of Proverbs once wrote, "Whatever a person thinketh his heart so is he." (Proverbs 23:7) Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." and "Imagination is your preview of coming events." One of the characteristics of the subconscious mind is that which is expected, good or bad, tends to be realized. The most effective imaging is that which communicates with the subconscious "in the heart". The mental picture you hold of yourself is what directs and controls you. You can use your imagination to improve you or destroy you.  

The subconscious mind seek to meet your deepest needs, expectations, wishes, and desires but does not always do it the way you want it done. A very important point to remember is that the subconscious can not tell the difference between a wish and a fear. The subconscious interprets a fear as a wish. Fear (negative expectation) is our greatest enemy. Faith (positive expectation) is our greatest ally.

The more one uses positive images in his mind, the easier it becomes for these images to become a reality. When images of health, success, and life styles changes are accepted by the subconscious mind, there is a tendency for the images to be realized. If you visualize or image yourself doing whatever it is you desire, you begin to act, do, think in ways to bring it about.

In 1985, I decided that I wanted to write a book on hypnosis and have it published. I wrote the book and began the process of finding a publisher. Each day, I would visualize my book and singing the book for someone who purchased it. It was accepted twice, but for various reasons, it had gone unpublished. During this time it was turned down by 30 publishers. I never gave up. I continued my visualization. Finally it was accepted and published by Access Publishing Company and was released in Jan. 1994. That book was Human Trinity hypnotherapy. After that I imaged this book being published and it is so.

In early 1986, I was informed that I was among five Army National Guard Chaplains throughout the nation being considered for promotion to Brigadier General. This was a new position so whoever was selected would be the first Army National Guard Chaplain to be promoted to Brigadier General. Each day, I visualized myself in my Generals uniform. I pictured the Chief of Chaplains of the Army pinning my star on my uniform. In May 1986, I was selected and became the first Army National Guard Chaplain to be promoted to general rank in the history of the nation. I use imagery for many things and it has either worked or I am still in the process if imagining it into being. I still am working on being selected as a winner in the National Publisher's Sweepstakes, for I am still imagining that phone call or knock on the door with their representative informing me that I am a winner. Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is the preview of coming events. "

It could be said that the mother of your reality is your imagination. Norman Cousin said "We move toward our expectations. " Our expectations, thoughts, and imagination can and does affect our reality. There is a story of the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo, a famous statue, and a boy named, Giovanni. Every day after school, Giovanni would rush to Michelangelo's studio to watch the famous sculptor chip away at a 14-foot-high block of marble. Week after week, the boy came and watched, as the magnificent status of David was being formed. In all innocence, Giovanni ask Michelangelo, "How did you know he was in there?" Michelangelo knew because he had a vision of what he could create. If he was willing to dedicate himself to it if he was willing to work hard and long, enough, his vision would become a reality.

Maurice Maeterlinck tells of an interesting experience that thought him to envision the best for his life each day. While walking through the country one day, he stopped to admire a beautiful garden surrounded by a white fence. As he stood there a little old lady, showing her age, stopped by his side. After he greeted her, she came closer and asked if he was enjoying the flowers? When he said that he was, she launched upon a detailed description of the harmony of colors and shapes of each and every type of flower in the garden. When she concluded her vivid description, she looked up at him and he noticed that she was blind. He asked her how she was able to describe the vast array of colors to such perfection, inasmuch as she could not see. The old woman answered that when she was able to see, she learned to look at the beauties of nature as if she would never see them again. Her ancient vision was able to carry her through life. Though she could not see with her eyes, she could see with her mind.

TYPES OF IMAGERY:

1. Spontaneous Imagery comes to one without consciously requesting the imagery. I can remember at a time while visiting the pastor of Arcadia Methodist Church. As I drove by the old Joy Theater (still standing, but not in use) I could almost see myself as a 5 to 9 year old boy going to that theater. It was usually on a Saturday afternoon and a double feather western was the order of the day. What a good time I had in my spontaneous age regression.

2. Induced Imagery is consciously selected for a specific purpose. One day, as I was thinking of my dad who died in 1983, I consciously went back in my mind to the night before I went to college. I could see my dad plainly as he said to me, "Paul, you are going to be taught many things while in college. Some will be different from what you have been taught at home. Take that which will help you whether it is like you have been taught or not and add it to your life. If it does not help, discard it." He continued to talk and finished his guidance with these words, "Be careful what you pray for and what you preach against, because you might get them both."

I did not have to ask my dad what he meant. I understood him to mean, "If you pray to miss an event that you do not want to attend, you may get sick and not have to attend." The prayer was answered but the person did not want to get sick. In regards to the preaching statement; he meant that which one preaches against most often may well be the biggest temptation for that individual. One who preaches against the "sins of the flesh" may get into trouble by having sex outside of marriage.

3. Concrete imagery is used to see something in detail which you want to happen in your life. A person who desires to reduce to a specific weight uses an imagery of stepping on the scales and seeing the exact weight she desires to be.

4. Abstract imagery has the person in number 3, seeing a bowl of ice cream behind a red circle with a red bar crossing the bowl. That is the universal symbol for "reframe from."

5. General imagery is used to see yourself health, feeling good, enjoying life. This imagery is used for overall achievement instead of specific results.

6. Specific imagery is used for a specific purpose. A person with high blood pressure imagines taking his blood pressure and seeing 120 over 80.

7. End Results imagery is used to imagine the end result which is desired. I have shared with you the imagery that I used before being selected for promotion to Brigadier General. I visualized my star being pinned on me by the Chief of Chaplain of the Army and wearing my general's uniform.

8. Process imagery is used in going through a process by which the goal is achieved. A person in preparation for a speech imagines preparing the speech, choosing just the right things to say, writing the speech, practicing the speech, and delivering the speech.

9. Guided imagery is scripted to bring about a specific imagery. "Imagine that you are walking down a beautiful country road. It is a beautiful sunny day..."

AN IMAGERY EXPERIENCE: ( Begin with Durbin's Standard Progressive Relaxation Exercise): Just close your eyes and use your imagination. (Remember that for those of you are not visual, and I say "see" just imagine what it would be like to see what is suggested. For instance, if I were to say "See your favorite room where you live." If you were not a visual person, you may not literary see anything, but if I ask you to describe the room, you would be able to do so. You have an image in you mind of the room even though you can not get a mental picture of it.)

Experience as much of the following as you possible can with as many of your senses as you can. Imagine that you are walking along a beach, feel the sand crawling through your toes. It is a beautiful and warm afternoon. As you walk along the beach, you can hear the wave as they come in and as they go out.... Perhaps you see a bird flying by... After you have walked for while, you lie down on a blanket. As you lie on your back, you see a beautiful blue sky with a few white fluffy clouds drifting by. After you take a short nap, you awake and go to your car. On the way home, you have to gas up your car. Imagine the smell of the gas as you fill your car's tank. Finally you return home and you need a shower. You step into the shower and the temperature of the water is too cold, you feel yourself shivering and you reach to turn up the warm water. Soon the water is just the right temperature and feel good and comfortable as you finish your shower. You get out, dry off and put on your cloths. If you drink coffee, imagine that you are making a pot of coffee; hear the coffee pot as it brews the coffee, smell the coffee as you pour it into your cup. Taste the good flavor of the coffee. Is has been a good day and you feel wonderful. Feel a sense of peace and joy of having experienced a good day. You can now return to this room and be wide awake and alert.

EVALUATE YOUR IMAGERY EXPERIENCE:

1. Could you feel the sand crawling through your toes?

2. Did you hear the sounds of the waves?

3. Were you able to see or image the birds flying overhead and the blue sky with the cloud formations?

4. Could you smell the gas as you filled your car=s gas tank?

5. Could you feel the cold water?

6. Could you hear the coffee being brewed?

7. Could you smell the coffee?

8. Could you taste the coffee?

9. Were you able to feel the peace and joy of a good day?

STAR WARS: There is a scene in one of the Star War movies which shows great worth of visualization and imagery.) One of the most popular movie series to come out in recent years has been the "Star Wars" movies. I would like to focus on the second one, "The Empire Strikes Back." You may remember in that movie, we continue our involvement in the heroes and villains of the first movie. Once again, we find ourselves engaged with Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, Princess Leia, Cheubaca, and robots Artoo-Detoo and See-Three-Pi-O, as they do battle with Darth Vader and Legions of Dark Empire.

One of the most fascinating new characters of "The Empire Strikes Back" is a strange little fellow named Yoda. The short, odd-looking little individual is the master teacher of the Knight Jedi. The Jedi Knights are commissioned as universal agents of goodness and righteousness.

Luke Skywalker is sent to Yoda for training to become a Jedi Knight, but the training does not always run smoothly. When Yoda tries to teach Luke to raise his space ship from a swamp through the force of thought and imagery, Luke fails. After Luke's failure to move the ship, Yoda then levitates the space ship up and out of the swamp by thought alone. Luke watches in amazement, saying, "I don't believe it!" Yoda responds, "That is why you failed."

The "Star Wars" movies are fictitious, but the story of Luke Skywalker and Yoda can be looked upon as a parable. Imagery is a powerful source of healing, overcoming unwanted habits, increasing self-worth, and making positive changes in your life. Imagery consists of vividly picturing in your conscious mind a desired goal of objectives, and holding that image until it sinks into your subconscious mind, where it releases great untapped energies. Imagery is based upon the principle there is a deep tendency in human nature to ultimately become precisely that which one images himself to be. The wise old man of proverbs states that whosoever a person thinks in his heart, so is he. Jesus said, "Whatsoever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours." The only way that one can experience something that has not yet occurred is through your imagination. So vividly imagine that which you want to happen in your life.

I am convinced that one can have an influence over illness and disease by the use of visualizations and imagery. When using visualization and imagery be sure that you are also following good medical advice and procedures for they are your allies in overcoming disease and healing from injuries.

GENERAL CONSIDERATION IN DESIGNING IMAGERY FOR HEALING AND HEALTH: (From Imagery and Getting Well. Deirdre Davis Brigham, W. W. Norton 1994)

(1) It is necessary to explore the imagery already in place concerning disease, health, values, what is seen occurring in the body, and especially aspect of an individual's world view. Any guided imagery must be work with the core beliefs of the individual. Imagery cannot be effective unless it is in line with one's deepest values and does not conflict with one's world view.

(2) Guided imagery must reflect deep personal meaning and metaphor.

(3) Particularly with immune deficiency diseases, the disease symbol should be seen as weak, less intelligent, smaller, less active, less defined than the image of healing.

(4) The healing symbol needs to be seen as powerful, intelligent, active, vivid, focused, competent, and large.

(5) Medical treatment should be seen as eminently effective - heathy cells being protected from the radiation, chemotherapy or other treatment designed to destroy unhealthy cells.

(6) The concept of restoring balance should be intimately entwined with all images.

(7) The disease image need to be seen as completely gone and the body as perfectly healthy at the end of the imagery session.

(8) Trust the images that come, and don't make judgments about them, compare them unfavorably to someone else's, or feel that a meaning must be found in them. Have faith and trust that the images will be useful.

THE POWER OF IMAGERY: Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, had imagery in mind when he said, "Sing, O heavens: and be joyful, O earth: and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord has comforted his people and will have mercy on the affected." (Isaiah 49:13 KJV) Isaiah suggested to his people to change their vision and their imagery. These words of Isaiah were spoken more than forty years after the Jewish people had been exiled from a destroyed Jerusalem. Each year since their deportation, their hope of ever returning to Jerusalem became dimmer and dimmer. Eventually, hope began to disappear and self pity took its place. In spite of their situation, Isaiah gave them an amazing message of comfort and hope.

In the midst of their hopelessness, Isaiah invited them to celebrate, to have a vision of their return to Jerusalem. He said to them to see the walls of Jerusalem before their eyes and suggested that God is saying to them "thy walls are continually before me." (Isaiah 49:16) Keep this before your mind's eye and the walls will be rebuilt. The exile will end and they will return to Jerusalem. See it as already happening and it shall indeed happen. History tells us that the Hebrews did return from exile to Jerusalem and the walls were rebuilt.

Isaiah's message for us today is simple, Whatever you want to see happen in your life: be it health, overcoming an undesirable habit, achieving a goal; visualize yourself having accomplished the desired end and then wait and work for its fulfillment. As you use your imagination, be positive, be motivated, use the present tense as if what you are visualizing has already happened.

Repeat the visualization often and expect it to happen and your subconscious mind will begin to work to bring the imagery into reality. I should point out that imagery and daydreaming are different from one another. Imagery motivates one to accomplish that which is visualized. The day dreamer is satisfied with the dream and is not motivated to accomplish the goal. Imagery is not wishful thinking, but believe it to reality.

WATERFALL FOR CLEANSING AND RELEASING:

Imagine that you are taking a walk in the woods. You are walking along a beautiful path through the woods. As you walk, you maybe experiencing a number of things. Possibly you are aware of tall pine trees; some large, some small. It is a warm but comfortable summer day. Perhaps you feel a comfortable breeze... Gently cooling your face and arms... Maybe you can hear the rustling of the leaves and the crunch of the leaves, twigs, and grass beneath your feet. As you look up through the leaves of the trees, you see a sparkling of sunlight, dwelling in time with the breeze.

You come to an open area with a small pond. At one end of the pond is a beautiful waterfall. At the other end is a stream which runs as far as the eye can see. You look up and see a beautiful blue sky, with a few white fluffy clouds lazily drifting by. you set down by the pond and enjoy the sounds of water... such as the birds singing, the frogs croaking and the water fall.

As you sit there, you sense that there is something special about the waterfall. It seems to be inviting you to come over to it and indeed you do...You reach out and touch the water and the temperature is just right so you walk under the falls... You feel its cleansing flow and you realize that it is not only cleansing your body, but it also is cleansing you. You feel that any anger, bitterness, feeling of rejection, grief, guilt, abuse and all other negative emotion are being cleansed out of your system.

You look down toward your feet and you notice that the water coming from your body in a murky brown and it is flowing across the pond and down the stream at the other end. The more negativity that you release the murkier the water appears to be. As you fell these negative emotions being cleansed from your system, the water around your feet began to clear, but you can see the murky brown water flowing further and further down the stream.

As the murky water flows down the stream, further and further away, you feel more and more comfortable, more at peace with yourself... Your feelings of calmness increases... You feel more at ease... It gives you a strange feeling of relaxation. You are feeling yourself being cleansed of all those negative feelings. The anger, bitterness, feeling of rejection, grief, guilt, abuse and all other negative emotions are being cleansed from your system... Notice the feeling of comfort and peace increase as the murky water flows down the stream further and further away. As the murky brown plots further and further away, you feel your problems dissolving. You feel a sense of release and relief.. You are getting rid of those problems.

The murky brown is following further and further away. It is now beyond your eye sight and you can breathe deeper and exhale slowly a few times and really enjoy the freedom, the relief and powerfulness of being free of those problems... The relief, the calmness, the peacefulness are flowing through you and have replaced the negative feelings. These feelings of comfort, serenity, and well-being remains with you even after you come out of this relaxed state. 

THE SOWER AND THE SEED(The seeds of health and happiness have been planted in the soul of your subconscious mind): Jesus once told a parable of a sower who went forth to sow seeds for a harvest. This parable speaks of a sower, seeds, soil, and harvest.

A man went out to sow seeds in his field. Some of the seeds fell on the pathway that runs between the fields, but because the earth was very hard, the seed could not get a hold in the ground, and the birds ate the seed. Some of the seeds fell on the thin soil and though the plants came up quickly, they soon died because the seeds could not develop deep roots. Some seeds fell on the soil where it could grow, but there were so many weeds that the new plants were choked by the weeds. Other seeds fell on good soil. When the plants came up, they produced many times over.

I am aware that this parable is usually interpreted to show that the four types of soils represent four different types of people. I would like to suggest another interpretation that the four types of soils mean that within each person is the possibility of responding in four different ways.

You can allow the positive suggestions given to you today to fall on hard ground where they are not allow to grow. You can allow them to take hold, but not firmly committed to change, you do no allow them to take root. You can allow them to be choked out by other thoughts or doubts. But, if you are ready for changes, you allow them to fall on good soil and sink into your subconscious where they are allowed to grow and bear fruit. Within you is the good soil, so let the suggestion grow and develop so that you can make the changes you want in your life.

Us visualization and imagery to help you accomplish what you want in life.  Do it every day, perhaps just before you go to sleep which is a natural state of hypnosis.