IT was the late John Lennon who sang those immortal words ‘imagine all the people, living life in peace’. Through the lyrics of Imagine the former Beatle icon was encouraging people, all those years ago, to create an image in their minds of a future, one he visualised and hoped would come true. His hopes were those shared by many – a world without conflict.
Lennon was not alone in realising that our imaginations are wonderfully powerful tools because they cannot tell the difference between something that happens in reality and something we imagine with emotional intensity. That very fact opens up the realities of guided visualisations, of taking people into their ideal future, in their minds, guiding them to work out how they got there, and bringing them back to today, armed with a complete plan for achieving the future of their dreams.
Working to a script, guided visualisations are a form of relaxation, guiding a group, a company or a department into a series of thoughts and actions based on getting where they want to be in the future and working out how they get there and what happened in between.
‘It starts with getting people into a relaxed state, although it’s not to be confused with hypnotherapy,’ says Chris Everton, a member of the Naked Leader’s community forum. ‘It’s more about being open-minded. To imagine where you want to be in say, two years time. Then to work out how you are going to achieve it.’
‘The facilitator will read from a script while the group relaxes as they are taken on a journey,’ adds Chris. ‘They are invited to imagine getting to where they want to be, and also to envisage how they got there.
‘At the end of the session they can write down the thought patterns they experienced, their emotional state, how they felt about achieving their goal and ultimately their success. They can make a note of what meetings they had, what thoughts they had, all the time building up a picture of how they got to where they wanted to be.
‘Guided visualisation allows them to act ‘as if’ rather than ‘what is’. All the time working to a script to guide them along the way so they get the maximum benefits from the task.
‘Then at the end of the session, the information, the written notes, can be gathered and documented, providing the individual or group with a plan of action from which to launch their journey to the place they imagined. Asking questions and sharing thoughts are keys to its success. It will leave them refreshed and invigorated.’
So, are you imagining things? If not, why not?