Remember the song by the Temptations, “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)? Well, if you are a person of a certain age, no doubt, you do. As I think about that song and hear the tune running in my mind, I think about how fitting it is.
Our imaginations often run away and not always in a positive way. This pandemic has increased people’s anxiety to the point where they can only experience thoughts and visuals of impending doom. One could argue and say, ”Well, of course!” I would counter with, ”How is that helpful?” Allowing the imagination to exacerbate our anxiety only feeds inertia. I say, ”No!” Let us change the course of this destructive trajectory through the imagination.
A Gift From Our Early Years
The imagination is a great gift. Whether or not you believe it is from God as I do, you cannot help but be in awe of its wonders bestowed on humankind. Take a moment and think about it. When we allow our imaginations to drift, an idea may begin to morph. As it does, you decide whether or not you should continue. If you do, more may develop, and a proliferation of vision and thought occurs. Eventually, a creative piece comes to fruition. All of this unfolding is a result of the bountiful workings of the imagination.
Children especially enjoy the magic of imagination. I recall as a little girl having imaginary friends, and a wee bit older, playing with my Barbie dolls and attiring them for all kinds of scenarios. If you cannot access your creative companions from long ago, watch your children or any child for some time. If they are involved in the form of solitary play, you will notice they engage with a pal, whether it be an inanimate object taking on life or one from their thoughts. As we get older and our minds evolve, we lose some of this, but never totally.
The sowing of seeds takes place throughout our lifetimes, but the choice is ours to nourish and nurture.
Use Your Unique Imagination
Many creations have come out of pandemics. The Bubonic plague, which caused the death of millions of people over centuries, allowed those who were open for the taking to use their imaginations. Isaac Newton discovered gravity and invented calculus. William Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Macbeth. This earlier invisible terrorist did not paralyze these luminaries. Instead, they took their gifts and produced something which had an impact in a way they could not imagine.
My last article was about the fact that we have the availability of our imaginations throughout the lifecycle. Yet, excuses abound for not using it more constructively. Like many of you, I often hear the following: ”It is too hard. I am not creative. I am not that smart. I am too old for something new.” Except for the first sentence, because it is arduous, the others are part of a false narrative. If everyone succumbed to these negative and, frequently, rigid thought patterns, our modern existence would paint a very different picture. Most of us would shutter if we honestly imagined what that might be.
Push Through Resistance
Creative people do not usually strut their feathers and say, ”Look at how brilliant I am.” My hunch is that in their unique way, they allow their imagination to flow full force, then perseverance forges ahead until a more robust framework emerges. I would further guess that they are not focused on the difficulty because they are excited about what is unfolding and are determined to succeed.
Is anything transcribed from the imagination into a finished project easy? Most would proclaim, ”No!” Are there significant roadblocks along the way? Of course! Some might say, ”Why bother then?” My response is, ”Why not?” Do not let age, fear, lack of confidence, or lack of formal education stop you! I have written about people as old as ninety-something who have used their imagination, and over fifty-year olds who have explored unchartered territory to discover a plethora of ingenuity.
Get Excited and Begin
Some believe that this pandemic will offer a renaissance in creativity and innovation. I think it will be both large scale and small. No matter what area your imagination trends, begin the process of taking action. As you do, your creativity may spark something new for you, your family, and, in some way, for humankind. Imagine what a marvel that would be?
Do you have an idea nagging you? Just begin by writing down one word. Reflect on it for a few moments, and then, maybe, another thought will form. If not and you cannot discard the original, make a promise to yourself to return regularly until something else develops.
Then, get ready and watch what happens!
Another wonderful and thought provoking article Darlene. Great achievements come from great adversity and 2020 has given us plenty of adversity. I, like you, believe that imagination is more important that intelligence. Innovation, great advances and positive change all start because someone imagined the possibility.
Thank you as always Frank! I wrote on LinkedIn and will reiterate that Einstein agrees with you and I. We are in good company. I always appreciate your thoughts.
Darlene – Your point about observing kids in solitary play reminded me of something one of my interviewees recently noted on our podcast:
“The loss of free play is hugely detrimental to the healthy emotional development of kids. Kids need play in order to make sense of the world. This is where they digest their anxiety, their aggression, and their frustration.
Children have replaced play with electronic entertainment, and they are not the same thing. Entertainment is something that comes into us. Whereas play is something that comes out of us. We have kids who are breathing entertainment in and in and in and they are emotionally full. They are arriving in our classrooms with no place to digest their alarm, their frustration, and they’re filled with aggression and anxiety.”
While my guest was speaking specifically about kids, I believe her observation supports your larger point. We adults also need free play – and imagination can be the trigger and conduit – as a way to release the bad emotions we absorb from today’s news.
Thanks for a thoughtful piece, Darlene.
Thank you as always Jeff, for your insightful comments. Regarding children, you could not be more accurate. When I am on our Central Intake line for my practice (two or three times a year), The number one presenting problem for children is anxiety. I think they had more outlets to express themselves there would be a decrease around this issue.
Nice to hear you have a podcast also. I will have to listen. Thank you again.💖
Imagination is the most powerful tool the universe has infused into people. Through imagination we can contemplate everything that goes beyond our perceptual limits, beyond our physical limits. The only thing that can confine this splendid quality is the limitations of mind, varying for each of us, which in turn are in fact what defines our single intelligence; but even in this case, the imagination makes it possible for others around us to deliver the conquest of peaks that we personally can not reach, through their own imagination and the application they do. This is what we contemplate when a picture leaves us breathless, when a symphony captures us by giving us emotions that we did not even know we could have: someone has opened a door for our mind by, inciting it to go us beyond its limits, making clear and real that there are more intense perceptions. The capacity for adaptation of the human being does the rest: the mind is self-indulgent to receive more information, more knowledge, more ties concepts that had never been side by side and now find new meanings in their mutual interaction.
Knowing how to narrate and hit the imagination of potential customers makes the difference between having an effective content and having an invisible one.
Thank you, Aldo, for your eloquent and thoughtful comment. I appreciate you taking the time out to read and write this. Indeed, it is a ”splendid quality” often stopped in its tracks by the person who embodies it. Thank you again.💖
Great song , great storytelling and thank you for challenging us to push forward. I always say be Bold.
Larry, my friend, I think you could be a role model for others on your ability to keep pushing forward and using your gifts. I cannot keep up with your superb stories. Thank you as always.
Darlene, thank you for sharing your article. My imagination takes me to different places. Sometimes good and others not so good. Living in a dream world at least for me is not productive.
Thank you, Joel, for reading and commenting. My friend, your unusual gifts of the written word comes from the use of the imagination. I am not suggesting we remain in a dream-like state, but to take advantage when an idea comes from the vast resource of the imagination. I appreciate your ability to be direct even if I do not agree. Thank you again.
Thank you for this wonderful article Darlene. I am one of the “some” who believe this season in our lives will offer a “renaissance in creativity and innovation” and if we are open to the invitation, well…What the WOW!!! I am certainly feeling such a surge and “plethora” of creative energy! It’s been so wonderful to see it manifest in others and certainly exciting to have all of my own creative thoughts be put into action in the form of art, writing, videos, pivoting to webinars, the desire and first steps of writing a book and rebranding my biz to be more authentic.
I also want to express my heartfelt compassion to those living in fear, those who are paralyzed by it and those who can’t see past the false belief of “stuck.” I want to extend grace and empathy to these people as many of us including myself have lived in “stuck” for decades.
May all beings tap into the limitless power of imagination.
Thank you, Shelley, for this inspiring comment. I am pleased that you are so creative during these troubled times, and I know from reading your recent article how amazing you are with the pen. I agree about those who are stuck in fear. All of us get stuck, which is my theme, and my hope, although a lofty one, is for everyone to get unstuck. With anyone I know or with whom I serve, I encourage as much as possible. Today I had a conversation with an amazingly creative friend, a renaissance-type. She is immobilized. I see her gifts and want more for her, but I cannot want more than she wants for herself. I will, however, keep trying.
In the meantime, I look forward to hearing more about yours.
Love this Darlene!
Great advice here to open the doors of creativity and the power of belief paired with action… just do start…thats doing!
Knowledge is power but imagination is the master.
It brings to mind something I’ve said before…
“Entertain where you are supreme, when imagination births a dream!”#opism
It is a great feeling to have a meeting in the minds palace!
Have a great Saturday my lady!
Thank you for this inspiration! 🙏👏🏻❤️‼️
Thank you dear poetic Paula. I appreciate you reading and commenting. I love your thoughts especially the #opism you posted above like all the others I try to catch. You have a lovely rest of the weekend also.
Thank you my dear Darlene! I love your spirit! Weekend almost over.. but every day feels much like the next… lol. Just happy to be part of them😀🙏👍
I love the invitation offered here, Darlene!! What a rich opportunity this is to tap into our imaginations, that sacred place deep in our hearts, minds, and beings where lively and delightful ideas live and grow.
When we free ourselves from past limiting beliefs, find home in our souls, flow through the unhealed traumas of the past and step into this exceptional moment of precious life possibilities, then we can create, transcend, live in joy and contribution. What we focus on expands!
Thank you so much for this article on the imagination. And I love that song by the Temptations!!
In talking to you and reading your book, I know that your “imagination” has no bounds and will continue to inspire all of us. Thank you for reading and commenting which I always appreciate.
Darlene, when you brought up Barbie dolls, it made me think these are the things in our culture that helped us grow up and imagine. When I came to the Middle East, dolls were not a big thing. I bought 20 Barbie dolls for my new nieces. Today there are Toys R Us and Baby dolls, and Barbies… (our kind and one called Fulla who wears a hijaab…) My point is: kids were not raised to ‘pretend’ as much as our culture allowed us. Young teenage girls were acting very grown up on the outside, but were still children on the inside. They lacked imagination and exposure to things; sports, art, books. It has gotten better since things have opened up more. Before that, it was all just schooling, very dry.
I enjoyed your article. I could write more… very inspiring.
Thank you for reading and providing fascinating insights. Yes, unsettling, that certain cultures are not encouraged to nurture the imagination. I am so pleased it is changing. Can you “imagine” what that will create? Thank you for bringing the dolls to them and just doing that probably cultivated more than you might even know. What a gift you provided them, including you!
Excellent Darlene. If I may add one thing, “I am not creative. I am not that smart. I am too old for something new.” are based in shame. That is where you have the opportunity to unstick them from that mess.
Thank you for this article.
Thank you always dear John Dunia. I could not agree more. As always, I appreciate your thoughtful responses.💖
OMG lovely Darlene! Million thanks for restoring my faith there are still folks out there who can see the full picture and believe in the most rewarding investment of our whole life and our most incredible Miracle: reinventing who we are and come back to the extraordinary creature we were meant to be at our conception — the ordinary being only the outcome of the conditioning unfortunately… So thank you again for this flow of hope! 🙏💙🙏
It is extremely hard as you’re brillantly stipulating it; this is a truth I’ve never hided! That’s the reason why I can get so pissed off of hearing some motivational gurus telling people they are already great the way they are with all their mental patterns, emotional scars they never healed, layers of conditioning and distorted centers which numbed the original one. It is simply a lie which could only make things worse when living some trauma — which is currently happening for so many of us. How come? Well simply because the positive affirmations mapping is being overriden with the ingrained limiting beliefs. I’m talking here from a place of experience. At that moment, we become so confused and believe that we are insane and lonely in our insanity, since we’re “supposed” to be “already” great… This is really cruel I believe…
Don’t get me wrong! We’re ALL SEEDS OF GREATNESS ONLY NUMBED BY THE LIFE-TIME CONDITIONING.
This means that we can ALL BECOME GREAT WHENEVER WE RE-WRITE THE INVASIVE PROGRAM WE NEVER CHOSE IN THE FIRST PLACE!
There is no shortcut. Tools including mapping makes us only stay at the leaves. Whenever there is a phase-shift between what our conscious mind is saying (or hoping to be very accurate) and our subconsscious program, the latter WILL ALWAYS WIN.
A very simple example is the story of a tourist who visited an asian country. The locals have a ritual: drinking venom. The guy was tempted and believed so much he could make it with his conscious mind. Everybody told him not to. He was stobborn and did the experience. He died after a few minutes. What was the problem? When he was a kid, his parents told him venom would kill him. This was his algorithm the survival fear triggered despite the conscious conviction…
Why am I always saying it is so hard to re-write the program? Because we are fighting the worst enemy of all; an enemy we’re not even able to see: our unhealthy ego hardwired for resistance against any transformation trial. It’s legitimate to be very frank. Even our sick ego isn’t ready to die…
In order for us to be truly transforming, we need four requirements to be met:
1. Honesty with ourselves to admit that we’ve been the product of our conditioning, that we’re operation from a distorted subconscious program, and that it sucks.
2. Openness to challenge our limiting beliefs which are so ingrained we’ve been taking for the absolute truth for so long.
3. Bravery to stay with the pain of destroying the biased algorithms and replacing them by the principle-based ones. Here is where most honest and open people fail unfortunately.
4. Consistency in doing the homework. We need to understand that the conscious and subconscious minds are extremely different. While the conscious mind operates at 40 bytes/s, the subconscious one treats data at a 40 million bytes/s speed. That’s specifically what is explaining why we’re making so many horrible choices and decisions when there is pressure. If we wanna be able to do it from our conscious mind, we need to be meditating for 24/7. This is what meditation is doing. Shutting down the anxious mind — aka as invasive subconscious program. Since we all know it’s not a pragmatic option, the other effective one is to re-write the program, so that it could become our best friend. Now, the consistency is required because of the second difference: while the conscious mind is learning in a creative way, the subconscious one is habitual and repetitive!
I’m sorry for having written such a long answer. You masterpiece triggered my fire. It’s your fault in a way 🤭😁🙃😂🙈
Thanks again for being the gem 💎 you are!
My dear lovely Myriam, I love your comment. It is beyond thoughtful and right on. We speak the same language. In my role as a therapist as well as a friend, I always encourage my clients and friends to continue to make the most of their gifts. You are amazing and continue to do so. If everyone did, could you ”imagine” how the world would be? I think it may be beyond our wildest ”imaginations,” my friend. Thank you again!💖