I use mental visualization a lot – for pain and to adjust my attitude. It is easy to do and a great stress reliever. I take a deep breath and turn a memory into a mental image. I use it when I feel nervous and inadequate by remembering a time when I felt competent, confident, and in control. As I form this image my body makes subtle changes until I am standing like I am competent, confident and in control – and I begin to be just that. The mind, body and emotions are closely tied so it is also possible to get into the body position and have the mind and emotions follow.
This morning I am looking for the energy and gentle peace I feel on those perfect summer mornings – not the grey and drizzle that is currently outside my window. I am pulled to those images I took the morning I got myself out of bed, not early enough for a sunrise, but early enough to experience morning at the Tawas State Park on Lake Huron. Morning at a beach has a quiet peace, very different than the joyful, energetic noise of the afternoon and evening play.
This is why I love photography. Photography has made me more present in each experience as I think about the personality or mood of place. I am more conscious of what I find joyous or intriguing or beautiful about what I am seeing. I love the excitement of trying to capture this in images, the mental challenge of using all that I am learning to form an emotional picture.
I know I have been successful when the photo evokes my memory of the total experience and others tell me it touched their memories. These are the photos I go back to because they help me remember the smells, the sounds, the feel of warm sun, cool air and soft sand.
If I am successful, I have photographs that reinforce the traces of memory that I need for the mental visualizations that bring a peace and gentle quiet long afterwards.