Visualization Exercises: Imagine that You're a Rose
Learning to visualize is one of the most effective tools at your disposal and one of the best steps to correctly managing your thoughts. It’s one of the basic techniques of transpersonal psychology, which trains your voluntary thinking to replace involuntary or intrusive thoughts. In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits of visualization exercises.
When you face difficulties, involuntary or untrained thinking rears its ugly head and starts to control everything. Not being able to manage your thoughts will affect your emotions and flood your life with fear, anguish, and stress.
What are involuntary and intrusive thoughts? They’re thoughts that produce suffering or that don’t allow you to concentrate on what you’re doing. If you train yourself to manage them, you’ll be able to replace those thoughts with others. This way, you’ll help protect your emotional balance.
This type of training requires practice at first but you’ll eventually learn to naturally incorporate it into your routine.
This type of therapy involves several techniques, including creative visualization. Transpersonal therapy is a holistic intervention that focuses on the positive influences of role models, rather than on negative experiences.
It was developed from the work of Abraham Maslow and other humanistic psychologists. This type of therapeutic intervention is based on the idea that human beings are more than just body and mind. It focuses on the most intangible dimension of human beings and the transcendental factors that shape us.
What’s a voluntary thought?
A voluntary thought is one that you’re able to consciously create and direct. It’s voluntary because you produce and process it.
It’s a directed thought because it’s focused on a defined purpose. Similarly, it’s sustained because the training allows you to sustain it over time and with sufficient intensity to truly perceive the thought (meta-thinking).
You can start practicing several visualization techniques and exercises. Below, we’re going to introduce you to the exercise of the rose.
Visualization techniques: the exercise of the rose
Close your eyes and imagine a rosebud that’s still closed up. Visualize and pay special attention to the stem. Look at their texture, color, and shape. Now focus your attention on the upper part, where the bud is located. It’s still green, because it’s still closed, although a pink tip is already starting to become visible at the top.
When you have this image in your mind, hold it there for a few seconds. Now notice that the petals are starting to move. They’re separating and you can see them almost entirely. Their texture is different from the stem and leaves; they’re pink and very bright. The petals continue to open to slowly reveal a beautiful rose.
Clearly retain the image of the open rose for a few seconds. Now you can imagine that you’re breathing in the aroma of the rose. Let yourself be invaded by its characteristic scent, until it permeates you completely.
Finally, visualize the entire plant again, and imagine all the life force that’s running through it from the root to the flower itself. Now identify yourself with the rose.
You have to accept the rose inside you and symbolically become part of it. Feel all the life force running through your body and how the petals open.
Visualization exercises in transpersonal therapy
This visualization exercise, which was created by psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli, is extremely suggestive and evocative. As a general rule, flowers are symbols of the development of deep reality. They’re symbols of the human spirit and its evolution.
You can resort to different visualization exercises for different purposes. For example, for relaxation, simply visualize a path leading to a beach. Another very common one is visualizing tension and distension.
Practicing these visualization exercises will help you to create images with more clarity. You can even increase the color, light, or details in any way you want.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Assagioli, Roberto (2007). Desarrollo transpersonal: la dimensión más allá de la psicosíntesis (Forres, Escocia: Smiling Wisdom, pp. 96-97.
- Kasprow, M. C., & Scotton, B. W. (1999). A review of transpersonal theory and its application to the practice of psychotherapy. The Journal of psychotherapy practice and research, 8(1), 12–23.
- Kiritsis. Paul (2013). Creative Visualization: an exercise for transpersonal experience. Down the Rabbit Hole blog. Recuperado de http://www.paulkiritsis.net/
- Assagioli, Roberto (1974). Jung and Psychosynthesis. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Volume: 14 issue: 1, page(s): 35-55