Setting goals for the New Year is something many of us have gotten into the habit of doing. However we often fall short of accomplishing these goals. As caregivers, it is important to begin implementing some sort of activity that will guide and help you make that first step toward taking care of you. I speak from first hand experience that it is a necessary luxury. Otherwise you will find yourself falling fast.
An active ingredient to create that first step is the action of Visualization. It will help you SEE what you want to do and where you want to go. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to take you away from your caregiving tasks. If it is sleep, then sleep it is. If it is a day at the spa, then to the spa it is.
The following is an excerpt from my book Tools for Effective Living: Guide to a Purpose-Filled Life. The tool of Visualization will help you actualize your Dreams – no matter what size they are – to have the greatest outcome for your life.
Seeing your dreams in your mind’s eye is something we all have been doing since we began wanting or desiring something special to appear in our lives. Our imagining probably began when someone read our first adventure story or fairy tale to us, or perhaps when we looked in our first toy catalogue, or viewed our first television commercial displaying the toys Santa Claus could bring on Christmas.
Visualizing is defined as the manner in which one sees or conceives of something. Our Imagination can help us “picture” what we desire our lives to look like. This is a gift the Creator gave to us as we were molded into His image. This is how the universe was created by the Creator God. He thought of what He wanted and then imagined us into existence. Thoughts become tangible objects. The power can be used to manifest intangible things too. Designers, artists, architects and engineers use this tool all the time in their work. Business people use this tool to conceive of a business venture or products to be produced. Writers activate their imagination to create the books we read, and the list goes on. We can also use our imagination to develop a more prosperous lifestyle.
As our soul grows to be more under the control and influence of our spirit, the total aspects of our lives are restored to wholeness. All things—material possessions especially—should be prioritized such that the Creator is put at the top of the list. Jesus the Christ also told us, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things shall be added unto you,” which also tells us to put God first. If we do not make this a standard operating procedure, we will not obtain the results we desire to the extent that God desires to grant us as children of the Divine.
When I first heard I was capable of manifesting my desires, I wondered if it really worked. I was not taught that concept in the churches I had attended. It so intrigued me that God would really operate that way, so I put Him to the test. Yes, you heard correctly, but I did not test Him in a defiant way. I only wanted to see if God worked that way for me. After a couple of months of pondering this idea, asking questions, and listening to others in my study group talk about how this process worked, I decided it was time for action. I needed—well, more like wanted—another car, so that was what I wanted to manifest in my life. I also knew I had to be specific in my request but then allow God to have room to add what He desired me to have. At this point I did not know what “dream boards,” “vision books,” or “map questing” were. It was the month of October. The first step in my process was to think it out—a candy-apple red sports car, an automatic stick shift, a cassette tape player with an equalizer, bucket seats, and a sun-roof, and of course, it had to be in our budget, too. I did not have or know the make or model. I just let God figure that out. My next step was to write it down in my journal.
Over the months, my faith operated as the “picture” of the car running in and out of my mind. I maintained an attitude of thankfulness for the car that was mine. Yes, I made sure to claim it. After the holidays were over and done with, I began to visit different car lots during my lunch hour and after work. During this time, my husband’s words echoed in my mind: “Don’t show too much excitement during the conversations you have with the salespeople when you see something you like.” In March of that following year, five months later, I walked in to this used car dealers showroom, and there sat the car at the front door! It had all I had envisioned and more. Even though it was pre-owned, it looked brand new with just over thirty thousand miles on it, and only a couple of years old. It had sport rims, a banging stereo system, the sun-roof, the equalizer and tape player, a cockpit type of seating area with crazy dash lighting; I was ecstatic! Trying to hold down the excitement was a hard thing to do. All the while my husband’s words were in my ear again, and they surely applied in this moment.
When I told my husband that I had found it, he smiled and said, “You didn’t act over-excited did you?” He knew me well. I told him I hadn’t, but we needed to go to the dealer before someone else bought it. Well, needless to say, we got a great deal and later, I drove off the lot with – my car!!! Believing is seeing!
But then I realized I had been doing the very same thing for jobs, clothes, and many other things years before our move to Ohio. This process just did not have a “name” to “it” yet. I also knew to keep things to myself if I didn’t want opposing opinions to interfere with the good I wanted in my life. Some things are better left to yourself!
So, are you ready to begin this Year with an upward spiral embracing self-care? Start collecting pictures for your pampering get-away. Think about what you want. Once you have a couple of things in your imagination begin to look through magazines, on the computer, your personal photographs, or draw them, but this is your beginning. Put a copy of them in a notebook, on a board, or in a scrapbook and watch what happens.
Here’s to a great year of Taking Care of YOU!