Great leaders develop great disciplines and inner strengths. Through regular practice, inner skills and talents are refined and honed, up to the point where what used to be a conscious practice and effort becomes as natural as breathing.
One of the greatest strengths a leader can develop is the ability to use visualization for healing. While this may initially sound like employing some mumbo-jumbo or hocus-pocus New Age techniques, we are talking about learning to develop the skill to identify an ailment or weakness within yourself (this can be physical, mental, or emotional) and to develop a practice which can eliminate or minimize those issues which hold you back from accomplishing all you want in life.
There are three disciplines which, by consciously including them into your life and work, you can practice and strengthen this skill. We will even demonstrate how, once you have integrated these disciplines into your life and business practice, you can also use visualization for healing others.
Learning to Listen Within
How can you heal when you don’t know what’s wrong? The short and simple answer is you can’t heal that which you don’t know is ailing.
Of course, if you bang your knee against a table corner or break a bone, you immediately know what’s wrong. Your body mechanism knows how to scream for attention when unexpectedly impacted by physical injuries. In other words, you do not need great sensitivity to be aware of the obvious and larger traumas we incur during the process of living. Your brain and body will come to your aid in demanding attention for such problems.
However, the subtler messages of feeling out of shape or minor ailments which we tend to shrug off are also ways for your body to inform you that something is not right. In this way, some of the seemingly lesser pains and discomforts could grow into large unmanageable issues which then restrict or limit your ability to pursue your chosen path of success and life.
By developing your sensitivity to your body, you are taking the first step towards health awareness.
Meditation: The Calming Listening Tool
The first and foremost tool to help you use visualization for healing is meditation. If you imagine meditation to be the practice of sitting with eyes closed and legs crossed, it’s time to get up to speed on the various types of meditation you can practice. You may, like many leaders, develop a hybrid of various meditation styles which best suits your lifestyle, schedule, and personal needs.
By understanding the various types of meditation, you are more likely to discover which practice(s) work best for you:
- Focused Meditation – in this style, the practitioner concentrates on one of the five senses, such as counting breaths, focusing on a mandala, or listening to calming sounds (simplified music or natural sounds)
- Mantra Meditation – this “chanting” practice has the meditator use a repetitive sound, word, or phrase instead of trying to follow breathing patterns or other inner focus, which some people find distracting
- Mindfulness Meditation – in this form, the meditator does not try to erase all thoughts but instead observe the pattern and flow of thoughts, doing their best to neither judge nor get pulled into the ever-changing river of thoughts
- Movement Meditation – ideal for the “restless” individual, taking slow, calm, random walks through neighborhoods, gardens, woods, or parks allows both body and mind to wander away from the stress of daily living into an inner paradise of calm
- Spiritual Meditation – for those religiously or spiritually inclined, this can be practiced at home or in publicly appropriate locations, such as places of worship, libraries, cemeteries, or even open space, where communion with a great Universe can occur
- Transcendental Meditation – this is a sort of “specialized” form of mantra meditation (and the most popular type of meditation worldwide), where each practitioner is encouraged to develop their own mantra or word phrases determined to best affect their own life
Each of these types of meditation gives you the opportunity to use visualization for healing. For instance, focused meditation lets you pay attention to discomforts and pains, often letting you create a more objective perspective; with transcendental meditation, you can create a specific mantra or phrase designed to focus upon the healing of chronic conditions or sporadic illnesses and injuries which can befall anyone during the process of living.
As mentioned before, many leaders try all forms of meditation, often settling into those practices which they find particularly suits their personality and helps them meet their goals. Also remember to see meditation as a way of being, not a formal practice like brushing your teeth “because it’s healthy.” Meditation is more than healthy; it is a key way for leaders to re-energize their inner being and remain in tune with their three key internal operating systems: body, mind, and spirit.
Diet: The Inner Fuel Tool
One of the key signals to good health is how you are feeling. We are all guilty of overindulging once in a while, some of us more often. As we age, we find our bodies less appreciative of the abuse to which they are submitted.
The phrase “You are what you eat” is overused and misunderstood. It is more accurate to declare your body responds to what you give (and do not give) it. In today’s world, diet should include forms of intake beyond basic foods and beverages required to keep the human body alive. Many people consider vitamins, supplements, alcohol, smoking materials, medications, and even information (news, social media, gossip, etc.) as outside one’s diet; a leader understands their diet encompasses everything the body consumes, and work to make sensible choices.
There are plenty of diets claiming to offer you the right health benefits, such as:
- The Ketogenic Diet – focuses on very low or no carb meals packed with fat
- The Mediterranean Diet – replicates the centuries-long diet of healthy Mediterranean populations with lots of grain, fruits, veggies, and fish
- Veganism – considered the far extreme for many, this diet is entirely focused on plant-based preparations (no meats or dairy)
- The Raw Food Diet – this “ultra-vegan” diet only allows uncooked (less than 115 degrees) and unprocessed foods
- Ayurvedic Diet – a 5,000-year old Indian diet based upon the premise that all humans have an unique balance of three energy systems (doshas) – Earth, Wind, and Fire; your diet should be balanced based upon your own dosha combination
If you google “most popular diets” you will find dozens of known and unusual dietary plans which are popular around the world. The bottom line is not which diet you choose to follow (or whether to follow any diet) but that you make dietary decisions which best serve your physical, mental, and spiritual demands. Leaders also recognize that, just as circumstances and situations evolve over time and may trigger changes to which one must adapt, so do dietary demands evolve as you change and grow.
Most importantly, as your diet improves by consuming better foods, beverages, information, and medications (and considering their interactive effects), you will find yourself in better touch with your body, more likely able to respond when the need for healing arises. You will also find fewer times when you need healing, as healthy diets tend to produce healthy humans less susceptible to outside illnesses and more capable of quicker recovery when hit by an illness or injury.
Exercise: The Body-Mind-Spirit Tool
If you are taking in good fuel through a positive diet, exercise is the perfect way to convert that fuel to positive energy. While having a trimmed body is enviable, there are more important benefits which leaders experience through a regular exercise regime, including:
- Boosted Brainpower – energy levels are increased, as are serotonin levels in the brain, a key to mental clarity
- Melts Stress – a good workout puts you in a more relaxed mood afterwards, turning previously major matters into easily resolved minor issues
- Builds Strength and Stamina – you will be impressed how quickly you can build up your tolerance to a hearty workout (usually within a week or two)
- Fights Disease – according to the Mayo Clinic, a good exercise plan will help fight all sorts of diseases, including
- Heart Disease
- Back Pain
- Strengthens Your Heart – your heart is a muscle, and good exercise makes muscles stronger, so of course, exercise is great for your heart!
- Improves Digestion – regular exercise helps improve appetite and, when combined with a positive diet, makes better use of everything you consume
Beyond these invaluable benefits, you end up more in touch with your body, have built up your defenses to reduce the possibility of illnesses and injuries.
Creating Positive Imagery
The individual ready to incorporate meditation, diet, and exercise into their daily life are people capable of great accomplishments, not the least of which is their ability to use visualization for healing. Rather than seen as some “magical power” only bestowed upon a lucky few, you can develop the power to create positive imagery and use visualization for healing. It is a matter of continuing the process of learning to know yourself and to care for yourself, both as a regular lifestyle and when a specific need for healing arises from unexpected circumstances.
Here are just three examples where you can use visualization for healing:
- Flu Symptoms – it’s inevitable when you are out in the real world, you will encounter diseases; when experiencing flu symptoms, this is your signal to take time off, perform a focused meditation visualizing your body fighting the germs, and boost your natural Vitamin C intake with some fresh citrus
- Depression – whether it is a discouraging day or a challenging month, when negative thoughts are taking big bites out of your enthusiasm, a good workout combined with mindfulness meditative sessions can help you explore your difficulties with less criticism and judgment
- Breaking Habits – when a habit is holding you back, it’s time to break it; a combination of a diet change, a new meditative focus, and using exercise as your outlet when the urge for the habit reasserts itself, helps you break that habit while strengthening all three core disciplines
This healing can extend beyond your own well-being. Leaders who live with clarity, transparency, and positive energy transmit those qualities to those around them. Sometimes the effect is immediate and dramatic; often, their example plants the seed which sprouts during the right season and blossoms into new growth for new leaders of the future. But there is no doubt, when you have a clear vision and you share it transparently with others, you imbue within them the power to visualize new possibilities and vistas for their own lives.
In this way, developing the ability to use visualization for healing should be a core goal of any leader committed to great success in business and life through the positive transformation of their own mindset and disciplines.