A GUIDE TO VISIONING FOR PURPOSE PRODUCERS
The path to purpose isn’t always a straightforward one. There’s no magic formula or step-by-step instruction manual that will lead all of us to our unique purpose. After all, we’re each on different parts of our journeys. Some of us are healing our core wounds and building our capacity to pursue purpose. Others are in the process of discovering our values and strengths by cultivating self-awareness. Others are in the process of growing their confidence to live out their purpose.
There’s no one-size-fits-all path, but there are tried and true methods and processes that help us get closer and closer to that life of powerful purpose.
Visioning is one of those processes.
What is visioning?
Visioning is the process of consciously articulating our desired future by creating space for breakthrough ideas and setting powerful intentions to be guided by our inner sources of wisdom.
Visioning is about having the courage to create an authentic path for ourselves, and then taking the steps to bring that to life.
How is visioning different from visualization?
Visioning precedes visualization.
Visualization is what we do when we create mental images of what we desire as a way to engage our conscious and subconscious mind in the pursuit of it.
Research studies establish visualization as a process of “mental rehearsal” and exercise that has proven to be very effective for optimal performance. Athletes, CEOs, and chess players have used visualization techniques for winning tournaments or closing deals. The process of seeing a clear image of what we desire increases motivation, confidence, and competence. This is because our brain generally can’t differentiate between mental experiences and real-life experiences. Which is why your heart beats fast when you have a scary dream or anxious thoughts, for example.
But where do our desires come from? How do we know which goals to set?
Without conscious awareness, our desires and goals are likely to come from the media messages we’re bombarded with, our peer group or family, society, etc. Often, this is driven by fear of not belonging or being perceived as deficient.
Visioning is about listening to what your inner source of wisdom, intuition, or soul is telling you. It’s rooted in the belief that we each possess an inner guide. In faith traditions and spiritual communities, this is called the soul, and it is taught that the soul comes from the divine source of all things.
Most of us are never taught to listen to that inner voice of guidance, and so visioning is an experience of becoming aware of that part of ourselves and using it to guide us on our path to more purposeful living.
What is visioning used for?
In addition to being a practice for identifying purpose and setting intentions for future growth, visioning is also used by many leaders and organizations to guide projects or set goals for the future. Activists, such as Alicia Garza (co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter), have used visioning as a practice to set goals for the new year that are focused on activating personal and political power. Visioning is an excellent tool to use any time you need to set goals or identify a direction for the future, short- or long-term.
How should I prepare for a visioning session?
Set a clear intention.
The intention you have for your visioning session is the key to how the experience will unfold.
If you show up because you’re curious or want to experience something new, then that’s what you will experience. Your mind will pay attention to what is new or interesting, but you may not experience it as a life-changing event.
If you show up with an intention to be transformed by the experience, your mind will pay attention to what is transforming and build upon it.
Intention guides attention. Attention impacts perception. Perception defines experience.
Clear your mind before the session.
Do a “download” of all the thoughts, worries, ideas, and tasks floating around your brain. Capturing these thoughts allows your brain to release and not worry about forgetting them. This minimizes the chances you’ll be distracted during the guided visioning meditation.
Prepare your environment for a relaxing and inspiring experience.
For an optimal experience, I suggest finding a quiet place and incorporating candles, dimmed lighting, your favorite essential oils or incense, and some relaxing instrumental music/ sound frequencies.
What role does meditation play in visioning?
Meditation is used in the visioning process to quiet the anxious mind and enter a state of relaxation that allows for intuition to be accessed.
So I’ve completed a visioning session and listened to what my inner wisdom is telling me. Now what?
Visioning is intended to be a transformational experience that sets the stage for intentional living. This requires a process of integrating the insights and wisdom from the visioning session into your daily life.
I recommend setting intentions and goals, starting a daily journaling practice to affirm your intentions and vision for your future, regular visualization of your goals, and putting in place accountability structures to measure progress and receive support for the rest of your journey.
Seeing Is Believing: The Power of Visualization
Life Visioning: A Transformative Process for Activating Your Unique Gifts and Highest Potential
2020 Visioning: a New Years Practice with Alicia Garza