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by ChezNips

If we intend to use our spiritual self-knowledge as a part of learning creative visualization, we must learn to understand ourselves on every level- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. This understanding of the self is vital to getting clear on your dreams and desires, to defining your goals both short and long term because it shows us what areas to invest time, energy and focus.

Introspection is a great tool that may seem unnatural at first because it is spending time noticing our thoughts and feelings. You can start by noticing your reactions in certain situations. Take an outside look at your body language, what you are saying and how it matches or doesn't match with how you think. Introspection is essentially examining what dominates your thoughts, your attitudes about yourself, others and the world and examination of what you really want and why you want it. When you commit to more introspection in your life, you acknowledge the power of your thoughts. We may believe that what we think but do not verbalize is not important but it is actually the opposite of the truth that I hope to show you throughout this series.

Humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow identified a concept he called self-actualization. He identified this concept as the want to continue learning all of an individual's life. They want fulfillment and harmony for themselves and they want to contribute positive energy to the rest of the world. Along with this concept, he defined a hierarchy of needs for each individual using a pyramid as a symbol of how the individual progresses through each need. The bottom of the pyramid and the biggest "slice" are the physiological needs as pure survival. When those needs are met, the individual progresses to safety needs. Those would include the knowledge that they are sheltered, protected from war, disease or financial instability. The next level up the pyramid would be the need to belong and to know that they are loved. The next stage up the pyramid is prestige and self-esteem and at the very top of the pyramid is self-actualization. This is the "be all you can be" area.

Self-actualization is about creating what you want in your life and it takes a great deal of time, dedication and work- and don't forget introspection! Creative visualization is one of the most powerful ways in which we can use our imagination, introspection, and dedication to move toward self-actualization.