Become a Visionary for Your Own Life

"We've all experienced visionary moments — a time when you know that something is coming to you, something is right for you. Perhaps you knew someone was going to speak to you and befriend you. Perhaps you knew that you were going to change careers before anything was in the works to cause that. Perhaps you knew that you would relocate. You are in touch with your intuitive knowledge when this comes to you. It seems so real that it doesn't seem like just your imagination at play, just a fantasy. It seems like a glimpse behind the curtain of the future.

"So a vision isn't necessarily a movie that plays before your eyes or the experience of someone materializing in front of you and delivering a message. Sometimes it's a mental picture that comes to you so strongly that you see it as the truth. You know it's your future.

"This, then, is like creative visualization in reverse. Instead of creating it — assembling a picture in your mind of where you want to go and what you want to do — you receive a picture of a new life that is revealed to you and you must act on it. When this happens, you have a jump-start on creative visualization. You already have the picture — sometimes so clearly that you already have the belief. The rest is just acting upon the information and continuing your positive focus. Continue to nurture the vision.

"Seeing the Light, Feeling the Loving Hands

"Once Shari read about a woman who was rock climbing alone and got into a dangerous, life-threatening situation. She was not strong enough to continue climbing and too terrified to descend. She simply began quietly crying, believing that at some point her strength would fail and she would fall — and likely die. Just at the moment of greatest physical weakness, the moment when she knew it was all over, she felt a hand press her into the rock. And then she felt another hand under her foot. One hand held her, the other lifted her, and she was able to climb to the top of the rock.

"Afterward, the woman tried to make sense of the experience. Was it not yet her time to go? Was she needed here on Earth for a while longer? She pondered why she was rescued and not others who die in car accidents or from cancer or in political violence. What was important for her to know was that it wasn't possible to understand or explain her helping hands. She knew she had received a gift and she must share the account with other people. In doing so, she sent positive energy out into the world, and as we know, positive energy attracts more positive energy. Because she accepted her experience and was willing to share it, it became her gift to the world.

How Visions Work

"Visions can be far stronger than visualizations you create because they come from outside. They are experienced by sight, as the apostle Paul did when he was struck by a flash of blinding white light on the road to Damascus. They can be experienced as a voice, as when the clouds parted and God spoke, when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Or they can be experienced as the loving hands that helped the woman climb to the top of the rock.

"Visions can give you assurance, solace, and comfort. They can bring you clarity, wisdom, and strength. They can provide you with a guiding principle for your life, as was the case for the Old Testament Jacob, when he dreamed of the ladder1eading to heaven. They can give you new purpose, as with Paul — or Mohammad or Moses. Visions can be so strong that their effect lingers in your mind and heart for years — maybe the rest of your life.

"Much of religious history includes accounts of visions, but the same holds true for science, as in Sir Isaac Newton's inspiration that came when an apple fell on his head. Visions can be a knock on the head, the birth of creativity and originality.

"Visions can come from ordinary sources, as in Newton's apple, and they don't have to be the voice of God to gain us quantum leaps of consciousness. Sometimes they come as messages from loved ones who have passed on. Sometimes they come from our dreams and intuitions.

"The three principles that are universal about visions, though, are the following:

• They come to you when you need them.
• They come to you to prepare you to act.
• They bring you information that you need — for now or in the future.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Visions

"Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje, and other shrines to the Virgen de Guadalupe became so because miracles appeared to ordinary people. You don't have to be Moses, then, to see a burning bush. And let us remember that when Moses was alone in the desert, he was just an ordinary guy tending sheep.

"The book A Course in Miracles says there is no order in miracles. In other words, a little miracle is not any easier or harder to bring into fruition than a big one. Nor is there any distinction in the status of the person who receives the miracle. A miracle is a miracle, no matter who witnesses it, no matter who receives it.

"Let's look further at what creates the conditions that bring forth a vision that can guide your life.

The Miracle of Intention

"Visions come from outside you, but it is what is within you that brings the vision to you. In the case of the rock climber, what brought it to her? Was it her intention to live? Was it her willingness to tell others about her experience?

"Here's a look at the qualities that bring on a vision:

"• Willingness to believe. Visions most often come to those who are willing to receive them. This doesn't mean they can only come to those who make a conscious choice that they can accept, believe, and trust information, even if it originates from the supernatural. Countless accounts in history show us that visions come to doubters (such as Moses) or even enemies of the cause (Paul), who are then converted. Spiritual experiences come to us in whatever pathway we provide. And often that is related to our belief systems and our personalities. What would make sense to you? What would you be willing to accept? You don't have to be any particular religion or even have a religion or a belief in God, as we have noted before.

"• Willingness to let go. The willingness to receive information from visions often is borne of desperation, as with the rock climber. When the rock climber relinquished her understanding of possible avenues of escape from her dire situation, other possibilities presented themselves. What remained was her life force, her will to live; what she surrendered was her knowledge and her estimation of her strength to surmount the challenge. Desperation has a way of sharpening our senses, enhancing our ability to hear information coming from our spiritual selves. Quite often, a vision springs from this humbling.

"• Readiness. Visions come to those for whom the plan is uniquely right. Many of your unique qualifications to receive a vision of purpose may not be immediately apparent to you. They weren't to Moses. Moses told God he didn't have the talent to lead people, and he confessed to being terrified of speaking in public. But it turns out God was right — Moses proved to be the right guy."