Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy

Changing Your Reality By Visualizing


I am fascinated by a topic that is relatively new to me – visualization. Holding in the mind’s eye exactly what one desires. I have many “quantum physics” ideas about this as well, but I will try to remain focused – for your sake! 🙂

Okay, the “Law of Attraction” is all over the place – “The Secret” is mainstream, and we don’t need another blog that regurgitates the same info.

I’d like to make you aware of 2 guys who were in “The Secret” though – John Assaraf and Jack Canfield. I am currently going through “Having it All” by Assaraf, and did my first quick read through of “The Success Principles” (author of Chicken Soup for The Soul). They are experts, and I will be wearing their books out over the next year.

I recommend these books VERY highly. Go get them – that’s an order!!! In fact, if you think they’re bs I’ll reimburse you and buy them off you & give them away as gifts!

I own Shakti Gawain’s “Creative Visualization” and am re-reading it now. For me is was very feeling and meditation oriented – but I found that when I’d get into edgy-New York-gotta have it now “mode” it seemed like really good California fluff that I needed to be totally receptive to and in the mood for after a hot bath.

Don’t get me wrong, it is great – especially now that I have the John Assaraf book. I recommend the Shakti Gawain book to help get in the feeling place of doing the process that John and Jack describe as critical.


John explains that at any given moment we get something like 4 million bits of information through our senses, but hey – who’s counting! Out of the 4 million bits we only use like 20,000 of those bits. Hmm. Very interesting indeed!

Here’s what happens, he says (and he claims to follow all the latest brain research). Our subconscious mind which constitutes something like 75% of our brain stores our images and beliefs. Our conscious mind only uses 2 to 4% of our brain.

Deep in the back of the brain somewhere we have what is called the Reticular Activation System (RAS). The RAS is this magic little thing that “sifts” out what is important to us. It wants to harmonize what we “see” out there with the image we have in our subconcious.

Out of the 4 million bits it will zone in on what makes the inner picture true or real and discard the rest. We use this all the time.

For example:

– We get interested in getting a Volkswagen Beetle and all of a sudden see them all over the road. They were always there, but now we’re looking even though we don’t realize it. They seem to “appear”.

– We look for a parking spot and all of a sudden notice exhaust coming out of parked cars, people walking to and from cars, and car lights turning on – and block other things out while we do this.

– Ever been in a nice place with a complainer and they see everything that’s “wrong” with the place?

– Someone in a conversation feels like they are not being listened to. Are they on the lookout for not being listened to based on a mental picture they hold, perhaps from previous experiences? Out of all the moments of the other listening, one moment indicating a lack of attention is picked up by the RAS becasue it is on the lookout to make it’s “image” real in the outer world.

– You and a friend (or your mate) go to a social event and notice totally different things about the conversation, the people, the location, food etc. (Guys – have you ever noticed how women tend to notice a lot more about makeup and clothing? Girls – ever feel like guys are idiots because they don’t notice certain things? 🙂 )

Where it gets interesting is when we have thoughts about ourselves (perhaps planted in childhood) that limit us regarding our career, our home, our relationships and so on.

I repeat – it is a brain function to find the inner picture “out there”. In order to change the “out there” we need to change the “inside” picture. At least that is what these very successful fellows are saying. (and I am giving it a try!!)

John and Jack then describe the absolute need for visualization, and all visualization books will tell you – see your goals as achieved now in the present and imagine everything in great detail. Why? Because the more you bombard the subconcious with the images, and sounds and feelings – the more your RAS is on the lookout. It doesn’t like the outer and the inner being out of whack, so you’ll end up re-arranging the outer to reflect the inner.

Something I am grappling with right now is this: while I want to be “successful”, how much of that is “not wanting failure”? You see – the mind thinks images so while a may say “not wanting failure” the brain hears “failure”.

All the Gurus tell us the dialogue and images MUST be 100% positive so

– Having a loving mate DOES NOT EQUATE to “not being alone”.
– Being good at music DOES NOT EQUATE to “not sucking at music”
– Being financially well of DOES NOT EQUATE “not being poor”

and so on. Get it? Positive is POSITIVE. It’s not NOT NEGATIVE.

Anyhow, that’s all for now. I’ll let you know how my progress goes…I surely have some re-programming to do through Visualization and Affirmations (I’ll discuss affirmations in another post).

When I get some great results then I’ll be able to really convey these messages to you with a deeper meaning and first hand experience will make it juicier. For now I remain a bystander looking into the mystery of life by your side as you do the same.

Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

4 thoughts on “Changing Your Reality By Visualizing

  1. Thanks for the great and motivating post! I fully agree with you especially on letting your subconscious mind help you achieve success. Do check out, they have a whole host of interesting and helpful articles.

  2. Thanks for your personal insights on life Adam. I might add that Marci Shimoff author of Happy for No Reason would be a good addition to your harping of books to read you recommended. Happy New Year!

  3. Pingback: Guitar Fretboard Visualization

  4. Adam, I stumbled onto this as I was researching this topic recently for a guitar lesson I was going to provide. It’s excellent.

    I thing soft skills are very under-rated with a lot of instructional material out there. Visualisation is a thoroughly personal experience – but as you explained, it’s so powerful in giving you that focus that it’s a shame it’s not taught more often.

    I mean, if it’s taught in athletic and competitive sports – why not music and performance?

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