During the winter games I was fascinated to watch the faces of the athletes moments before their event.

I loved it when the camera would focus on their face just before they began their race or event.  The look in their eyes was pure determination for some, but for others I saw fear and the flicker of uncertainty.  I saw many of them close their eyes and I could tell they were seeing their performance and visualizing its success.

If you’ve seen the movie The Secret then you probably remember the story John Assaraf told of creating a vision board with pictures of a house he dreamed of owning.  His young son found the poster he used to visualize with after it had been stored away for years and after the family had moved into the very house John had seen himself owning all those years before.  After that movie came out people all over the world began creating vision boards.  Some have had great success while others haven’t had any results at all.  So does visualization really work?

I think it depends very much on the intent behind the visualizing.  Here is my story of successful visualization.

I had just turned twenty one years old and was working as a travel agent part time, a waitress at Earls a few days a week and waitressing at a local night club on weekend nights.  It was not the life I had hoped to be living.  I felt depressed, really depressed actually.  I thought I’d see a therapist to help pull me out of my funk but somehow ended up visiting a hypnotherapist instead.  I was a little skeptical but went with it.  He had me go into a deep relaxation by following my breath in and out, in and out. Over the time that I saw him he would ask me to visualize what I wanted to be doing with my life.

I really wanted to be a flight attendant with CP Air. “See yourself doing the job, wearing the uniform, what does it feel like, smell like? How do you feel while you are working?” He would prompt these visualizations for me each time I visited and sent me home with the taped sessions for me to do later as well.  I enjoyed the feeling of deep relaxation when I did these sessions.  My funk lifted.  I started feeling better.  I carried on with my three jobs.  I didn’t have a plan but every time I visualized I felt more into the dream. It began to feel real.

Three weeks after I first saw the hypnotherapist I was serving a group of men their lunch at Earls.  One of the men remarked that I’d make a great flight attendant.  “Funny you should say that” I said.  I told them it was a dream I had but I wasn’t sure how to break into the career.  It turns out they all worked for CP Air and knew exactly who I should speak to about getting a job.  They told me they were about to start hiring so I needed to get my resume in right away.  I did and I had the job soon after.

Three weeks was all it took but my intention was strong.  I’ve never doubted the power of visualization since.

I’ve been busy lately and haven’t taken the time for myself to do things I know I need to do to get back on track and find my balance.  I had to laugh when I received my daily email from recently.  (TUT stands for Totally Unique Thoughts)

Bonnie, I think you’re amazing. I think your approach to life is dead-on. And I can’t think of anything you’ve ever done that I wouldn’t have done had I been in your shoes.

Still, beloved, I think we could have a little chat about visualizing more often. Seeing the end result in all its glorious detail, bypassing the cursed-hows, and feeling the emotions you expect to feel.

Hey, it’s my life too.

The Universe

Thanks, I needed that reminder!


  • jacquie

    I needed that, too, Bonnie. I love your story. I hadn’t heard it before but I’m not surprised by it. I know visualization works. You can’t get what you want if you really don’t know what it is that you want!
    I think slowing down and taking the time to think is key, like the hypnotherapist had you doing. So often we’re too busy to really take a few moments to collect our thoughts and keep our eyes on the prize ~ our goals.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  • Bazza

    Hey to all of you Visualizers…

    I like to think that I visualize all of the time. I think that our sub-conscious minds constantly roll out the movie reel at night in our sleep.

    If it didn’t, I don’t think we would arrive at all of the fantastic dreams we encounter or develop any direction in our lives.

    My wife visualizes flying off of a cliff, yet she hates flying. I think there are deeper meanings to this visualization because she won’t fly with me in the plane either!

    As a conscious thought process, or a story board that will likely keep your memory jogged, you still need to take the steps to move ahead to your goals.

    For example during the Olympics, I visualized what it would be like to drive Jake Burton around Vancouver while he was staying for the Olympics. (Burton Snowboards). My job was to find the locations, avoid tourists looking right instead of left at the cross walks.

    It did come true, but I had no idea he was 5′ 7″ tall, drank listerine like soda pop, partied till dawn or owned a private jet. He also carried a snowboard under his arm most of the time and had 2 assistants, a nice wife a son that was 6’6” tall and a marketing expert and a creative designer. One minute we were being interviewed by USA Today, next it was NBC, next it was Vanity Fair. He is a genuine guy enjoying a great and charmed life that he created. How did he visualize this effort of his the day he glued the first snowboard together and sold them out of the backseat of his car. He even had to convince ski areas that they were safe to use on the ski hills, then he had to convince the IOC to put snowboarding in the winter olympics. Not bad for a guy who snowboards 100 days per years and drinks tea with Shaun White.

    What a great visualization that he must have had, yet the present day scene 700 M per year business, must have been somewhat dim…

    I guess I will stick to visualization I can see, or maybe not.

    I see myself driving John Travolta around and Robert Redford to the ski hill …..

    Hey this is my calling…. Jake Burton just called and wanted me to take him to the Crepe Cafe’ around the side entrance…. Actually, it was the garage telling me the transmission needs replacing!.. The visualized dream of a professional part time driver…. Ho Hummm

    Signing Off Bazza the dreamer…

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