October 7 2008 • Getting Unblocked #8

October 7 2008 • Getting Unblocked #8
December 3, 2008 Ann Weiser Cornell

Positive Visualization vs. Being Open to Negative Parts

Jack asks, "I learned the value of positive visualization in athletics and have carried it over to the rest of my life. I also believe in positive affirmations as reminders of my accomplishments, skills, value, etc., (although not for their use as a gloss over reality). I am becoming interested but am still skeptical about The Law of Attraction and the Zero Point Field. I also believe in Focusing and being open and in presence to all my parts including negative ones. Are focusing and these other practices mutually exclusive?"

Dear Jack,

Fascinating question! And one that's key to the process of getting unblocked.

Of course it's great to have a sense of where you're heading. When you're working on a block to writing, it can help to visualize the finished book. When you're investigating what's in the way of clearing up your clutter, the visualization of a neat and organized office can be key part of the process.

When using Inner Relationship Focusing to release a block, such visualizations are a great place to start.

Visualizing the desired outcome can help to evoke two parts of us that will need to be given company and listening on the way to a shift: the part that longs for that outcome, and the other one… often called "the part that doesn't want to."

I think that's the part you're calling "negative," Jack… and I know what you mean… but of course it's not negative in the whole picture. It's somehow a part of you that's trying to help, trying to protect you or protect something in you or at least stand up for your integrity. That remains to be discovered, but we can know it's true.

Positive Visualization Can Help Find Out What It Doesn't Want


One of the fascinating things I've discovered about the "blocking" part, the part of you that is in the way or doesn't want to do the action, is that sometimes it wants the outcome just as much as the other one!

When you visualize the finished project or desired outcome, you may discover that every part of you wants that outcome… it's just that something in you doesn't want to do the actions that would get there.

I found out that I love having a clean house — I just don't like housecleaning. Visualizing my home all clean and tidy helped me realize that I really want that outcome–and I'm willing to pay someone to help me experience it!

On the other hand, when I was doing this process on my writer's block, the outcome of having a published book brought up a scared, protective feeling in a part of me. It didn't want me exposing myself to what it imagined would be greater criticism.

In each case, visualizing the desired outcome helped me distinguish between a blocking part that shared the desire for the outcome but didn't want to do the actions needed vs. a blocking part that had some objection to the outcome. (A third possibility is that the blocking part might share the desire for the outcome, but doesn't like the way it is being treated or spoken to by another part of you.)

There's a lot more to say about positive visualization and Focusing… and I'll come back to it in a later newsletter!


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