Gawain literally wrote the book on Creative Visualization. She wrote
and self-published Creative Visualization in 1979, with an initial run
of two thousand copies. Her tiny publishing firm had no distributor, no
advertising budget, and one title to sell. And yet, bookstores that
carried her book couldn't keep them in stock, as purchasers returned to
buy multiple copies to give as gifts.
Today, Creative Visualization has sold more than three million copies
in English and an equal number in all the other languages it is now
available in, and gone through numerous editions. Word of mouth sells
this book, and hope.
What is Creative
says it all - "Use the power of your imagination to create what you
want in your life."
A close relative
to affirmations, creative visualization is a method of improving your
life by imagining that it is already improved. Beyond just having a
positive outlook and a hopeful frame of mind, visualization is a deep
mental exercise in a creative and productive kind of 'daydreaming'. In
short, you open yourself to positive changes in your life by imagining
what your life would be like in your desired goal state.
It sounds simple
and it is, but there are pitfalls and sabotage possibilities, which
Gawain's book describes and teaches you how to avoid.
exercises to develop your visualization skills, Creative Visualization
is an excellent introduction for someone who wants to try this
technique but lacks the understanding of what they truly want, what
could be holding them back and even how to visualize.
How Does it
Well, no one
knows, really. But it all comes down to mental programming. If you feel
that you're trapped in a deadend job, then you are. If you feel like
you can't get an A on a test, chances are you won't. When you visualize
a better outcome for yourself, you are changing, however subtly, your
own relationship with the universe. That change can be manifest as
actual change in your circumstances. People who feel they are beautiful
can actually appear more beautiful to other people than perhaps they
It's well known
that expectations can influence outcome. Athletes often try to 'psyche'
out their opponents, to cause them to defeat themselves. Kids from whom
no one expects very much often fulfill the world's lack of
expectations. It's called a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it's a very
Creative visualization simply allows you to take charge of your own
expectations and achieve your goals by expecting to.
This book is a
slim volume, but isn't meant to be read straight through. Exercises in
relaxtion, in self-examination are meant to be practiced and explored.
Gawain offers plenty of examples, drawn from a variety of different
goals. You may want to achieve wealth and fame, or simply improve your
study habits or lose weight. In all these cases, Creative Visualization
can help you reach your goal.
clearing blocks, setting goals and journaling your progress are
particularly helpful. If you are looking for one volume that concisely
explains creative visualization and how to use it, this is that book.
There is a
companion volume, the Creative Visualization Workbook, with more
pen-and-paper exercises for formulating your goals and reaching them.
If you are the sort of person who finds paper exercises helpful - and I
freely admit I'm not - you may also want this workbook as well.