According to the book by Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization is the "art of using mental imagery and affirmation to produce powerful results in your life."
Many spiritual and personal development teachings discuss the importance of the practice of visualization as a tool to facilitate desired manifestations. When you actually think about it, whether we are aware of doing it or not, we're always visualizing.
When planning to expand a family, we're probably thinking about the color scheme of the baby room, the kind of parent we'll be or the trips we'll take with our new little addition.
We also have a tendency to dwell on negative experiences from the past or anticipate negative future outcomes by replaying images in our minds. It's not that we want the negative outcomes to actualize, but we don't even make the connection when we are in that autopilot state. The "go-to." The comfort zone.
In either case, we will manifest what we're constantly visualizing into our reality - wanted or unwanted.
The truth is we are always engaging in some form of intentional (and non-intentional) visualization practice. But when we become aware that our minds hold the power to shape our physical experience, we can make deliberate choices to visualize the things we actually want instead of what we don't want.
Affirmations are short yet powerful, positive statements about ourselves. They're meant to affirm our inner being, thereby un-tapping our greater selves. The detachment most people experience when using affirmations is due to the missing feeling to support the statement. For example, if you say "I freely give and receive love," but in the moment you feel unloved or sad, there will be a disconnect between the two. Your feeling needs to be a "vibrational match" to the affirmation in order to manifest the desired outcome.
It doesn't mean you can't say the affirmation; simply use one that is truer to your current feeling and still positive. In this case, you can say, "I accept all my feelings as part of myself" or "I am showing up for myself today no matter what" rather than "I am so amazing and beautiful" or "I am happy and loved."
Creative visualization (imagery + affirmation) is a reminder that we are co-creators with the universe.