The Power of Visualization

I’m going to begin a series called ‘Power’. The Power series of entries will help illuminate the wonderful and intangible skills that can take you and your dreams to the next level.

*mic drop*

This specific topic has been on my mind for quite a while and I have also wanted to write about it, but it wasn’t until today that I realized a series was needed. Far too often, we miss the mark when it comes to the important and intangible things that matter because we are too focused on the material things that we have right in front of us (you might be looking at your device, up in arms at this point, but stay with me here).

Visualization is the practice of thinking deeply not only about what you want, but also already believing that you have it, that you have claimed it, and that it is yours. Visualization is POWERFUL because your thoughts and your ideas are powerful. Have you ever given much thought to that?

It has been said many times, and I’ll say it again… your thoughts determine your actions, which determine your habits, which will in turn affect your character. It is very important to pay special attention to all of the thoughts that cross your mind, and understand that with self-discipline, you can have healthier and more fruitful thoughts. But that’s another entry for another day.

The great thing about visualization is that you can practice this anytime, and anywhere. The only thing you need to visualize is your beautiful mind, and a great sense of what you’d like to have happen. Close your eyes, and focus on what it is that you dream of, and BELIEVE (key word) that it is already yours, and it will be. Perhaps not right this second, but soon.

Visualization, with prayer and work, can give some amazing results when paired with gratitude and patience. Another key thing to remember is that what we want is not always what we need. Visualizing is even greater when you have faith that God will work everything out for the very best.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” -Mark 11:24 (ESV)

Surprise! I’m a bee!

So, I did a thing.

And now I have many feelings about it and I’ll write it out for you.

So, several months ago, I decided that I wanted to take my creative endeavors to the next level. For over a decade, I knew what I truly wanted to pursue. I dreamed of having a creative career that could bring me joy, wonder, an added sense of purpose, and enough income so that I could live my best life. For many years, people would tell me to reconsider, or may even joke about my dreams.

So I decided to study healthcare… specifically dental health, and it really wasn’t for me. At that time, I put others’ needs and desires before my own, because I thought that if other people around me were happy (and happy about what I was doing) then I would also, in turn, be happy. I was wrong.

Earlier this year, in January, I met up with one of my fabulous mentors (she basically runs a very impressive design firm, no big deal) and I let her know where I was in life, and that I still missed the creative process and cultivating the artist within (okay, so I didn’t say it like that, but you get the point). She told me that I needed to get back into taking art classes and basically to not let anything stop me from achieving my dreams.

A few months later, in the spring, I decided to do my research on some of the best art schools in the nation. I was so over listening to everyone else’s critiques and dismissive comments because it was doing nothing but holding me back. And besides, I know I can do it, I just have to make it happen! So, I applied for several art schools, but there was one that I really had my eye on… and, can you guess which one it was?

SCAD.

SCAD, aka The Savannah College of Art and Design, is the king of art schools, and their student work is absolutely phenomenal. I really desired to get in, and there were more obstacles in my way, it seemed. I had to get all the paperwork together, write letters, fill out financial aid, the list goes on. Although I had a lot to do, I did not complain because this is where I knew I had to be. I chose the e-learning option, since I also work full-time, so this would give me greater flexibility.

More weeks went by, and I was honestly at the edge of my seat constantly, wondering if I had been accepted or not. I really tried not to be too anxious about it, and had a ‘Let It Be’ mindset about it. What’s meant for me will come to me, and that’s exactly what happened. I got into SCAD (Woooo-hooooooo! *shimmies*) and on top of that, I also received additional financial assistance to help ease the cost of attending.

If you happen to read my other blogs, you’ll realize that I am really all about everyone going for their dreams. Going for your dreams sometimes isn’t easy, people may make fun of it or try to talk you out of it, but in the end, you still have the power to make the choice of whether you actually decide to pursue your dreams or not.

You have the power to make your dreams happen. So, what are you waiting for?

Reignite

You can’t spell reignite without reign, and when I reign, it pours (greatness). Okay, I did say that I love wordplay in an earlier post, but really, I am here to help you reignite and reawaken your long-forgotten dreams that are currently collecting cobwebs in the far back corners of your mind. It’s for the best.

Why did you push those dreams away? Did you do it because you think you’re now too (insert any excuse) to accomplish it? Is it because you no longer think it’s worth it, and since then, has life became a bit more dim for you? When we push our dreams away and begin to settle with what we have, you are more likely to develop resentment in the future. No one wants that, or to even feel regret because you chose not to continue pursuing your amazing and one-of-a-kind dream.

Well, these dreams are here to stay and they are NEVER going away. That’s a great thing, and we have so many resources nowadays to make your dream a reality, and I urge you to keep working hard towards your dream, and WHEN you accomplish your dream that once seemed so far away, don’t become complacent with your accomplishments but continue to work hard, and help make others’ dreams come true. Continue to inspire others by sharing your story, because achieving ones’ dreams is not easy, there may be many sleepless nights and you may have had to live uncomfortably on a measly income and yet YOU STILL DID IT.

I am here for you! This is a wake-up call for all who are reading this to go back to the depths of their mind and rediscover their abandoned dreams. Pick your dreams back up with warmth, love, and kindness, but most of all, tend to it like dutiful gardeners tend to their exquisite rose gardens. Yes, there are thorns that can dig into your skin if you’re not careful. Yes, there are bugs and weeds that threaten your beautiful blooms. And yes, there are times where your roses are not budding or blooming in their season, but then surprise everyone by blooming out of season.

At the end of the day, however, there is a phenomenal sense of accomplishment that the gardeners feel, and even more so the day that their roses are all healthy and in bloom. These gardeners will also remember the bigger picture… the happiness that a beautiful and delightfully aromatic rose will bring to whoever is blessed to behold it.

By you committing yourself to your work towards achieving your dreams, you will also bless others along the way. It is not always easy or simple, but it is definitely worth it. You got this, now… reignite!

How To Keep Your Peace

Have you ever been around someone so peaceful, that no matter what was happening around them, they still maintained a calm aura about them? There could be so much chaos, so much strife… and yet they are somehow (seemingly) unaffected and unbothered. Someone could be super harsh to this person, and yet they maintain a peaceful barrier of sorts. If you have ever wondered how they can be like this, especially in a chaotic and tumultuous world that we currently reside, then this is for you.

Peacekeeping is not as simple or as easy as it sounds, even if you are just trying to keep your own peace. There are many benefits to keeping your own peace, including greater happiness, serenity, and calm. You will be far less prone to anger, quarreling, breaking down, and instead, you will become more cool-headed and even-tempered. Many people will want you to shell out money for classes, seminars, and sessions, but most of the time, it is only a temporary and superficial fix.

True peacekeeping (even if it is only to help keep your own peace and sanity) begins by letting go. An important verse from Psalms comes to mind… “Be still and know that I am God.” We are such a small speck in this vast world, and there is SO MUCH that we don’t know and may never know. When someone is harsh, ugly, nasty, or worse, we tend to lean on our own understanding and make some not-so-great assumptions.

A verse in Proverbs is also important here… “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and he will make straight your paths.” It is important to be kind, forgiving, and merciful. It is also important to let go and let God handle the situations that are seemingly out of control and beyond crazy. So please, don’t stress or continue to feel drained tending to matters that are overwhelming. It is okay to ask for help, and it is always okay to pray.

When someone is being unfair or even hurtful, and is threatening your peace, remember that you can call on God for strength and wisdom. Remember what the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians,

11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (ESV)

May the grace of God be with you all. Amen.

Go After Your Dreams

In case you ever needed a sign, or permission, or an alert to help you remember that your dreams are valid and amazing and need to be realized, this is it. Everyone has dreams… dreams of a better future, dreams of achieving a goal, or even dreaming to reach new heights. However, not everyone will actually pursue their dreams and this has become a major crisis. I will spend some time with you today to break down what makes dreams so great, what holds some dreamers back, and how to overcome whatever holds you back so that you can keep going.

Dreams are so great for an innumerable amount of reasons, including inspiring others, revolutionizing the way we think and live, and for creating true, positive change in this world. Sometimes our dreams seem so out of our league that it can scare us a bit, or make us feel silly for even thinking such a thing. We might begin to doubt ourselves or our abilities and wonder what it would truly take to make our dreams reality.

It takes a lot of faith, patience, sacrifice, focus, and determination to make dreams come to fruition. Faith is needed because the steps to get to the reality of your dreams may seem so rickety, slippery, steep, and long that you might feel out of place even trying. A lot of times, you may feel like you’re not where you are supposed to be or where you need to be, however, you must remember that you are exactly where you need to be. Climbing these steps build endurance and stamina and will help you even after you realize your dreams.

Patience is also needed so that you don’t flip your lid with all the crazy feelings you might feel when you are in the process of achieving your dreams. You may have to sacrifice things that you don’t really want to sacrifice, because you need to work hard to make your dreams a reality. You may need to carve out (or sacrifice) a chunk of time that is solely for working on your dreams, so that we can really focus on the next step in the process. You must also stay determined because there will be obstacles that will try to throw you for a loop, but when this happens, remember why you began.

All in all, remember that you are capable and you can make it work. You may have to do a lot of research, reaching out, and remain confident. You could even write your dreams down on paper and try to understand how you can make it happen, and also why you want to make it happen. Dreams and ideas are the true riches of the world, intangible and multifaceted. Dreams carry A LOT of power and a lot of weight, and can go so much further than you may have ever thought of before. I am not saying this to scare you, I am saying this so you realize that you and your dream… y’all are going to get to go to some amazing places. Get ready.

Write and Wrong

So, if you don’t know, I really love wordplay. I love a good pun and I love how you can liven up a story with some good word usage. I did say that I would write every day, or at least definitely try to, so here I am (whether you like it or not)!

Today’s topic is Write and Wrong, and how to be a more effective writer. I am still a rookie in the blogosphere, but I have many years of writing articles, essays, speeches, and more that have helped me to communicate my point very clearly. So today, I’ll share a few tips with you, dear readers, on how to communicate a bit better through your writing and to have a more receptive audience of whatever it is you choose to write about.

THE WRITE THING TO DO

  1. It’s great to speak aloud as you write, and not just stay in your own head. Although it is fine to be a quiet writer, it does help when you read what you write aloud, or have someone else do that for you. You will have a far better time conveying your message and you will hear what simply doesn’t sound right. If something is too word-y, too technical, or just off-putting, you’ll hear it when you (or someone else) says it out loud. You’ll also hear what parts can be confusing to whoever may be reading your work.
  2. I really hope you have a good understanding of whatever it is you choose to write about, otherwise, you run the risk of losing credibility. Credibility will help you stand out in your field, in your work, and your audience (notably, your beloved readers) will trust and like you even more. We all have wisdom in certain topics, and it’s great to share that knowledge with others (especially when you have years of experience and expertise).
  3. It is better to write because you want to make someone smile, share some wisdom, have people consider your point of view, BUT please be wary of writing for the sake of attention. This honestly brings the value of your work down and can make you look desperate, and no one wants to look desperate. Great work does come with time and patience, and you will be able to make people smile, share your wisdom, and have them consider your point of view.

THE WRONG THING TO DO

  1. Please don’t take yourself too too seriously and stifle all the fun and joy that writing can give you. Please don’t be so harsh on yourself that you can’t even bring yourself to writing the first chapter of your novel or book. We can be our own worst critics sometimes, and instead, we just need to realize that we are all learning and growing, and the world (although it is very big) does need your special insight that only you can deliver.
  2. Following all the rules ain’t fun. It’s good to learn the rules, y’all, but it’s also good to know which ones can be broken. You’ll likely find that it’s so much more fun to write this way, when you’re not afraid of the grammar grunts, the colloquialism kooks, the punctuation police, or whatever else.
  3. Don’t stifle your own creative spirit by neglecting it because you’re worried/afraid/frightened or whatever else. Your DREAMS ARE BIG, and if writing is what speaks to you, DO IT!

Thank you to all who have read this, and Happy Sunday! I myself am working on a book (you heard it here first, folks) and I hope that whenever I am finished with it, it will bring not only myself joy, strength, and happiness, but also to my readers as well.

A verse for you… Psalms 28:7 🙂

Create Every Day

It’s so easy to be creative, but it’s so hard sometimes to just create, especially when you consider that others may see it later on. However, when you truly think about it, no matter how private or personal a piece you do might seem to you at the moment, there is no telling where that piece will be 50, 100, or even 1,000 years from now. Will it be in a museum? Will students be engulfed in what you do, deciphering what your work ‘truly means’?

The term ‘art for arts’ sake’ truly comes to mind in this. Think far less about your audience, because you will never truly know who your audience will be, at least in the long run. Sure, right now, you may only have a few followers and feel like you’re just shouting into the void, but that may soon change. Do art because you want to, because you enjoy it, and share it, even if you feel like no one’s listening or paying attention (because one day, you might have hordes of people sending you fan mail, hoping you can write back to them someday).

I will make every effort to write every day, even if I don’t feel like writing (okay, maybe if I don’t feel like writing, I won’t write). I won’t get so caught up in the metrics, the numbers, the figures, or the charts. What matters more to me is that I simply write, because I enjoy doing it, and who knows, maybe that will give me a much more rewarding life. Actually, I know it will give me a rewarding life.

Also, I won’t just create through writing. I also enjoy playing instruments, drawing, sketching, and painting. There are countless ways to create and enjoy art, and I will make a point of it to not just absorb and take in other’s work, but to also create work of my own.

I know I haven’t been on WordPress in eons, but I am back now and I will continue writing. Many thanks to those who are still following me even though I took a very long hiatus. Have a great weekend 🙂