Visualization to Realization
I was raised in a house with an extremely oppressive atmosphere. My dad was of the belief that children were to be seen and not heard…especially, not heard, and you didn’t mind not being seen so much either, because in our house, out of sight ,out of mind, was the way to go. If you said something that he didn’t agree with he would pop you in the mouth with the back of his hand, no matter who was there or where you were. What I learned from being brought up this way-- was that speaking what was on your mind was opening yourself up for punishment and ridicule.
I have always loved music, lyrics, and poems. They seem to touch my soul in a special way. I found that music could illicit such emotion in me. It seemed that people could say anything they had on their minds with ease without fear of ridicule in the name of music. I remember around nine or ten years old, writing my first poem and being able to get all of my feelings out on paper, it was so freeing.
I now realize that because of the oppression, I had to learn other coping mechanisms to survive. Music and writing poems and songs became the only place that I could voice my truth. Playing my guitar, singing my songs, behind closed doors was one of my biggest past times. When my parents’ friends or family would visit, I was called to come out of my room and play and sing for our company and I did. My dad saw it as free entertainment, I guess. There I was sitting on the step playing and singing my songs which led to positive attention from those in attendance. I remember thinking, “finally I had a voice through my music!” It sent a strong message to my psyche, that I could not speak my feelings or emotions, but, I could sing them!
I tell this story, not for sympathy, but for the fact that even through my challenged upbringing, I was able to continue to dream. I could dream that one day I would be a working musician and my voice would be heard, and maybe I could help others who have been stifled, to dream of a better life, a better way, a better future, speak their truth, and have a voice.
When I was about 14 years old, I was lying in bed one night, and I began to think about what my life might be like if I were living somewhere else, and working as a musician. The next morning when I awoke, I felt different. I felt as though I had been lifted in someway. So, I began to practice every night; I would go to bed, close my eyes and I would visualize the life that I wanted to have. I just allowed myself to dream in the waking state. Some may call it “day-dreaming” but, what ever its name; it was bringing me a peace of mind and happiness like I had never had. It was there that I could say what I wanted, be what I wanted, it was the place of my dreams. I would see myself writing music and playing my guitar, and then singing in front of large audiences. As time went by, I began to ask myself what it would feel like to be that singer performing in front of a large audience, and thereby not only visualizing my dream but “feeling” what it might feel like to be that performer. I saw and felt every detail.
I continued to this for over a year, never telling anyone what I was doing. I didn’t know that what I was doing had a name, other than “dreaming”. This work that I was doing every night began to boost my self esteem, and I could finally see the light at the end of the oppression tunnel. I began to just know that music was going to be my way out. Although, later on, I learned that it was my nightly visualizations and desire to have a better life that was to be my way out.
As I continued to do this work, at night, just before sleeping, I was aware that it was a very powerful tool. I continued to write my songs and play them; I was eventually led to make a record. (Yes, an actual vinyl record) I immediately set about getting that record out to local and surrounding area, radio stations. I was meeting with DJ’s, being inter-viewed, and them playing my record. I was being invited to play with other bands and solo at venues around town. It was absolutely thrilling. I was acutely aware that this turn about had only come to me due to my hard work and the visualizations that I had done for over a year before I recorded that record. It was so rewarding just watching my new life unfold.
As I was nearing high school graduation—I wanted to be in a relationship. Not just any relationship, but, one with another musician where we could combine our efforts and become a writing and performing team. As I visualized this I never saw the face of the person, just that someone was there and that we had teamed up and were writing and playing our music in front of large audiences, being played on the radio, and becoming a household name. After several months of this visualization and great desire, I was introduced to a male musician at an event and we hit it off instantly. He too, was from California and relocated to Texas with his family, and he was also a singer-songwriter. We seemed to have everything in common. At the moment we were talking I thought to myself, could this be the un-faced man in my visualization?
After a dating on and off for quite a while we became romantically involved and I remember thinking, “Yes! He is the un-faced man from my visualization”. After seeing each other for about a year, all the while, I was now visualizing him as the man in my visualization, and within two years we were married and had our own band. We moved to Austin Texas and got a band together and began to play all around the Austin area, playing our songs that we had written. Eventually, we recorded an EP – 4 songs, again, on vinyl, at a great recording studio there and before long our music was being played on the radio there, and we had a following that would come out and see us play.
I still had not shared my visualizations with anyone—keep in mind that this was before people had started the conversation about visualizations, and things of a more metaphysical nature. I did not want to come off like I was crazy or living in a dream world. All I knew, as long as I kept doing them, the dreams would grow bigger and bigger; just as the music career was growing bigger and bigger. Together we sent out our promo pack to people in Los Angeles, hoping for a record contract or management deal. One evening we got a call from a well-known musician, we had sent our promo pack to saying that “if we came to LA he could help us.” So, we talked it over with our band mates and neither of them was up for a move to LA, so we sold everything we could and headed out to California.
After being there a few weeks, we met up with this bass player and he invited us to jam with him at a local club and within six months he became our bass player. We were booking gigs all over the southern California area and recorded more of our material, working with a producer that had worked with Grammy winning artists. It seemed we were on a roll, and although I knew a large majority of our success was due to our hard work and talent, I knew in the back of my mind that my nightly visualizations were also partly responsible. It seemed to me that I had visualized my future life over all those years of privately visualizing and believing that anything was possible.
Once others were beginning to talk about more metaphysical things, I began to understand what I was doing. I was simply practicing creative visualization and with that work I was able to get out from underneath the oppression of my childhood, and bring about that music career and relationship that I had longed to have. I realized that if you could believe that it could happen, it would happen to you.
Dreams, visualization, affirmations, they are all avenues of getting you what you want in life. However, it isn’t just enough to say the affirmations or have the visualizations; you have to believe at your core that what you desire is possible. You must feel it in every fiber of your being. You must stay on track and continue the work, and last but not least, be grateful for the awakening and realization of your dreams. No matter if it is the ideal job, relationship, home, car; whatever, you can and will manifest your dreams and goals, if you truly set your mind to it. This is powerful work to be sure, and I continue to do this work and teach my friends and clients to do this nightly practice.
This is my call to you: If you have a dream, a dream that seems as though it will never come to fruition, yet you have an underlying belief that this dream is meant for you, I invite you to begin the process of doing creative visualization at night before falling asleep, to bring about the change and realize your dream. I know first hand that a focused mind, hard work, and a daily routine of visualizing your dream; that the dream will come true.
Many Bright Blessings!
Happy Dreaming! Dream Big!!!
Saundra Berry, C.Ht.