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Thoughts: Visualizing

I really wanted to use a lyric from “I believe I can fly” as the inspirational title for this post, but seeing as how R. Kelly is literally out of his entire mind, I sacrificed my artistic vision in favor of standing on the right side of history.

So, per usual, I’ve been reading a lot lately and one of the things I’ve gotten really into is this idea of visualizing. Yes, visualizing. I’ve also decided that visualizing should always be typed in italics because it feels like the written equivalent of closing your eyes and “om-ing” with a bunch of yogis on the top of a mountain somewhere. (Something that, for the record, I will literally never, ever have any interest in actually doing.)

Now, I’ve always been a tried and true daydream believer, but I’ve internalized it. Fantasized about stuff. Planned stuff. Set goals. But I never went through the process of visualizing it, which is different. This is how:

Visualizing requires you to take dreams and plans and goals outside of your head and shove them into the stratosphere so that the universe/God/whatever you comfortably believe in can start working on some magic for you. But I think the true beauty behind visualizing is that it forces you to be so clear about what you want that you can articulate it in a truly tangible way. (Your crazy yet beautiful in-your-head-imaginings about being a CEO or finding the love of your life or going to Rome in a private jet don’t count as “tangible.”)

It feels good to be clear about things.

Now, visualizing is NOT the equivalent of a big-kid Christmas list to Santa full of everything you want but don’t have. But it’s about understanding yourself well enough to identify the life that you want, and continuing to put forth the effort to get yourself there.


Where, exactly?

Time to visualize.

Ok, so there are a few fun ways to do this, and I’m sure I’ll miss tons, but the major visualizing themes I’ve seen in all my reading tend to fall into one of two categories: pictures and words.

  1. Visualizing with pictures usually has to do with stuff like vision boarding. Basically, you get a bunch of magazines and a poster board and start cutting out the pictures that represent where you’re trying to get to/what you’re trying to become/stuff you really like, and you make a collage and hang it somewhere special. It’s like adult arts and crafts. I suck at arts and crafts. But I did make a vision board and hang it over my TV, and it looks dope.

  2. Visualizing with words usually has to do with writing yourself/God/the universe letters, or journal entries, or lists. Basically, just writing your little heart out about where you’re trying to get to/what you’re trying to become. Ironically, I have yet to really do this version of it. But because I believe that understanding what we want in life is half the battle in terms of attaining it, I’m gonna use this post to do some word visualization now.

I’m also gonna use this post to do some word visualization now because I hope it inspires you to do some visualization of your own.

COOL, so here we go.

  1. I want to publish a book. I’ve been a writer my entire life and have always committed myself to storytelling. I’ve been so fortunate to see my words awarded and published as short stories and articles, and I am so grateful for that. But my ultimate dream has always been to be a novelist, to be able to support myself as such, so I will continue to write at book-length in full anticipation of the fact that that day is coming.

  2. I want to own a house and I want it to feel like home. I’ve worked really hard my entire life to get into good schools, do well at those schools, get good jobs, do well at those jobs, and attain a level of financial freedom/success. I’m not trying to be Kardashian-rich. But I do want to be able to buy my own house one day, and to be at a place in my life where that house can truly feel like home. I’ve lived in MD, NC, DC, ATL, and NYC in a span of eight years, and while I’m so lucky to have lived in so many places and have had so many experiences, the universal truth is that paying rent is trash and I’m ready to set up roots. The opportunity to do so is coming – I’m sure of it – so I’m gonna keep working my little butt off so I’m able to afford it and fully appreciate it when it does.

  3. I want to have a family. 2018 has been QUITE a lot and if you’ve been on Things I’m Thinking even a couple of times so far, you know that. But 2018 is a formative year, people, so keep your chins up and your hope alive! Part of my 2018 shape-shifting is due to the breakup I experienced towards the beginning of this year, and the amazing thing is I am so much clearer about what I do want now. I don’t want to settle for a husband, and I don’t want the perfect husband. But I do want a husband with whom my heart feels safe and my soul feels full and I want him to feel safe and full, too. And then, with all that safety and fullness, I want us to expand my already-amazing-family with a family of our own, in the house that feels like home. So, operating with the confidence that love finds love, my once-broken heart is feeling strong and open ❤

  4. I want to keep my friends and meet more amazing, good people. One of my biggest fears is losing good friends for no good reason. I think it happens a lot as we get older, as we feed into home-and-family fantasies, and we swap friends for husbands and wives and kids and kids’ friends’ parents who we barely even like but we’re all stuck at this dumb bake sale together so sure, I’ll have a beer with you, what the hell. I don’t want to spend my life having beer with people I barely like just because what the hell. I don’t want to replace anyone. So I want us to stay close. I want to host get-togethers and parties at the home-that’s-on-its-way so we all still see each other. I want my kids to have a bunch of non-biological aunts and uncles because mommy and daddy prioritized friendships. So I’m going to put in the work to stay close even when life sends us in different directions, and have confidence that I’ll not only be able to keep a lot of these people as friends, but induct new amazing friends along the way.


That’s where I am right now, thematically. And now it’s out there. And it feels really, really good to be clear enough to put all that stuff into writing, and to have faith in the fact that doing so truly matters.

So, try it! And don’t be embarrassed to try it. Because if I could do it on the internet, where I will most certainly get millions of views, you can totally do it on a piece of paper that no one’s ever gonna see 🙂 ❤

Happy visualizing, dreamers!

Xo Charlene

#journaling #visualization #visionboard #howtovisualize #visualizing

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