Tapping Into the Power of Imagination

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As a child, I often heard the words, “What an imagination you have!” It wasn’t always a compliment. It’s true, however. My imagination helped me to deal with my nighttime fears. Creating my own world and escaping into it every night allowed me to fall asleep.

My imagination grew stronger and more powerful, as I grew older. After I faced down my fears and moved beyond them, as an adult, I recognized the connection between my re-emerging creativity and shifting reality and the imagination I’d long nurtured.

Because there’s a connection as well between imagination and manifestation. Every human creation and invention began in someone’s imagination. It’s not just an inventor’s special gift though. Tapping into the power of imagination is available to all of us.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination title meme

 

What Is Imagination?

First of all, what is imagination?

Imagination uses our experiences and knowledge of the world and combines them with the unknown to create something new. Using imagination we create an image…or a whole world…in our mind and interact with it there.

Imagination allows us freedom to explore new thoughts and ideas that lie beyond the physical world, launching us into the dream realm where anything is possible and creativity is strongest.

Science suggests that engaging in imagination fires up large areas of the brain while creating a powerful, interconnecting neural network.

Why Is Imagination Important?

Albert Einstein famously said:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Children instinctively engage their imaginations. Watch any child at play and you’ll see them pretend and create. Imagining is how children learn and grow, explore and discover. However, somewhere between youth and adulthood, we disconnect from imagination, dismissing it as fanciful or a waste of time.

Imagination is a powerful tool for living an expansive, creative, joy filled life. And it does more than shift mindset. It helps to create reality, for what we think about and focus on…good or bad…shows up in our world. As I often share, our outer worlds are mirrors of our inner thoughts and our imaginations.

We can develop our imaginations, even if it’s been many years since we’ve actively engaged them. And if our imagining tends toward the negative…we call that worrying…we can shift those thoughts to the positive. And we want to, because a negative imagination creates a negative reality to dwell in.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination giraffesf Imagination
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – bronze giraffes at Mercy Park spark my imagination

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination

These 10 tips revitalize imagination, opening up creativity and shifting awareness. Think of these exercises as ways to reconnect with your inner child, who always knows how to imagine in big ways.

Write

Free writing daily allows thoughts to flow from the brain to paper. It’s important to not overthink or edit the words. Just let them appear on the paper and keep writing for 10 – 15 minutes.

Set a timer on your phone and write. Many agree that writing first thing in the morning is the best time to wake up the brain and tap into creativity. You don’t need to choose a topic or craft a story. Instead, jot down whatever comes to mind. A few days in to free writing, you might find long buried ideas surfacing or fresh thoughts providing fodder for creative projects. Don’t judge what you write. Capture your thoughts and move on.

Color

A few years ago, the adult coloring craze launched a host of coloring books covering a variety of interests. I wholeheartedly embraced the trend.

And art therapy is more than a trend actually. It helps reduce anxiety and stress. I find it a satisfying way to express creativity and tap into my imagination. Plus the act of laying color down on paper is a form of meditation.

Best of all, no one is grading your coloring ability. Feel free to literally color outside the lines, make the sky purple or try out different shading techniques.

Grab a coloring book and colored pencils and see where your imagination takes you.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination coloring
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – coloring is a great way to open imagination

Nurture Empathy

Imagination and empathy share the ability to imagine ourselves in another’s situation. The greater the imagination, the more empathy we can show.

It follows, therefore, that nurturing empathy towards others helps broaden imagination. Practice becoming more aware of the feelings and emotions of others. Think about how you’d feel, in the same situation. Imagine what you’d do and the impact the situation would have on you.

Allow the resulting feelings and insights to guide you in gaining a better understanding of others, of the world, of experiences that are different from yours.

Often, when something challenging happens to someone, we respond with the words, “I just can’t imagine…” I discovered recently that to those who are hurting, those words come across as “What you are experiencing is so awful, I can’t even imagine it.” That’s not helpful at all, even though we might mean well.

Imagine it. Put yourself in her place. And feel with her and for her as your empathy guides actions.

Visualize Goals

Ready to make changes in your life? Start with imagining a goal…and the steps needed to accomplish it.

Using imagination in this way stimulates the brain in the same way that actually performing the task does. Athletes improve their skills and abilities by visualizing their performances. You can do this too. It’s as simple as closing your eyes and imaging each step needed to reach your goal.

Another helpful practice is to create a vision board. Include goals, dreams and hopes. Look at the vision board every day and imagine both the accomplishments and how you feel.

Visualization nudges the brain into looking for ways to bring those goals into reality. Stay open and aware of opportunities.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination visualize
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – visualize

Keep a Dream Journal

When the subconscious and imagination meet, we dream. Many people report that they do not remember their dreams. However, keeping a journal and learning to unpack dreams opens the mind to truths about ourselves.

We work out problems in our dreams, revisit the past and create for the future there as well. It’s worth taking a few minutes every morning to jot down dreams.

I’m a lucid dreamer, aware that what I’m experiencing is a dream. I find great insights when I examine my dreams, especially the ones that don’t seem to make sense while they are unfolding.

Recently I dreamed of a river next to my house. In the dream I said aloud that I knew I was dreaming because I live in a city, with no water in sight. I decided to enjoy the dream while it lasted. As I sat next to the flowing river, a large turtle climbed out of the water and rested next to me, allowing me to pet him while he nuzzled against my leg.

I felt so happy about that turtle when I woke up. Unpacking the dream, I looked up turtle energy. When the turtle shows up it symbolizes longevity, perseverance, steadfastness, healing, tranquility and transformation, all qualities I’m happy to embrace in my life.

Learn to look for the symbols imagination plants in your dreams. Don’t try to make sense of them. Rather, allow them to speak to you about the deep recesses of your mind, heart and soul.

Rearrange the Familiar into Something New

Decluttering a room or the whole house and rearranging living spaces is an excellent way to ramp up imagination. Move furniture around. Get rid of excess. Uncluttered spaces allow for a better flow of energy which positively affects imagination and creativity.

Get creative with decor. Do you always decorate for the holidays using the same items, in the same places? Switch things up.

I love to lay out all of my decorations on the bed, and then find new ways to use them. It’s a fun form of imaginative play to rearrange the familiar and create something fresh and new.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination rearrange
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – rearrange the familiar into something new

Get Into Nature

Spending time in nature, walking in the woods, sitting near water all revitalize the body and free the mind to imagine. Engage your senses. Listen to the sounds of nature, feel the breeze, watch insects flitting by. Breathe deeply and relax. And allow the mind to wander, flitting like the insects from idea to idea.

Frequent walks outdoors boosts creativity and imagination by giving the mind a break, which allows ideas to flow. Check out other benefits from being in nature HERE.

Play

Play is necessary, for cultivating a creative, imaginative life. Children naturally engage in play as a way of learning and figuring out how things work.

For adults, play helps us find joy in life, allows us to figure out who we truly are, rather than who others want us to be, and sparks creativity born from an active imagination.

Even routines become fun when interjecting play. Dance and make up a song while cleaning the kitchen. Make a game out of folding laundry, pulling weeds or painting the porch.

Let go of outcomes, enter into the flow of playfulness and watch your imagination ignite.

Need inspiration? Engage with children and let them show you how to play again. Forget rules. Just play, pretend and have fun.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination play
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – play, as a child plays

Open to Positive Possibilities

Worry is praying for things you don’t want to happen. Imagination works whether we think about positive things…or negative ones. Rather than imagining the bad things that can happen, learn to stop that train of thought and imagine positive outcomes, happy events and joyful activities.

Say the word STOP and change your thoughts. Keep changing them as often as necessary.

When I travel, rather than worrying about what can go wrong, I learned to imagine the trip in wonderfully rich detail. Where would I walk? What would I wear? Engaging my imagination in this way led to a totally different way of preparing for trips.

I study maps of the area I’m staying in, learn the streets and where the sites are that I want to visit. Then, weeks or months even before the trip, I walk those streets, visit those locations, feel the sun on my face, hear the sounds around me….all in my imagination. It’s become an extraordinary way to anticipate a trip and it greatly reduces any anxiety I might have. When I arrive at my destination, there’s a sense of familiarity, even though the experiences are new.

I am creating my reality and then stepping into it in very positive ways.

Next year, I’m taking this technique farther, imagining trips long before I actually book them.

Follow Curiosity

One of the best ways to explode imagination is to follow curiosity. See where that trail leads.

Read a book or watch a video, to learn more about anything that grabs your interest. Google to answer a question. Take the road less traveled, to see where it goes. Pursue the “what ifs”. Stare down fear and walk into new territory and try new experiences. Create a daydreaming space. Spend time in your dream space and allow your imagination to take the lead. Follow it to see where it goes.

Read more about developing a curiosity mindset HERE.

Tapping Into the Power of Imagination curiosity
Tapping Into the Power of Imagination – curiosity. I’m excited to follow mine with The Adventure Challenge next year.

What Can You Imagine?

How is your imagination? Is it healthy, powerful and helping you manifest the reality you desire to live in?

If not, may these exercises help you connect to the imagination of your childhood. Imagine what is possible…and make possible what you imagine.

Imagine what's possible

 

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Different Versions of Me

I had intended to share thoughts about this inspiring meme last weekend, in keeping with my Sunday Shorts theme. However, I spent a very pleasant afternoon at George Washington Carver Park, and wrote about that experience instead. Friday is a double blog post day, just as Sunday is. I chose to adapt and share today.

Different Versions of Me

Inspiration can come to me in a variety of ways…a song or a conversation, a painting or a dream, a flower or a quote that has been made into a meme. Those memes pop up everywhere on social media. When one resonates with me, I save it.

This one snagged me last week:

Different Versions of Me

I’ve thought about the truth of those words for days.

When I was a child, my mom had to purchase new clothes or sew new outfits for me every few months as I continued to grow. My old clothes wouldn’t have served me for long. The legs and sleeves would have become too short and the waist would have pinched. Remaining in my too-small clothes, no matter how cute they were, would have become uncomfortable after a while.

Different Versions of Me

Even when I attained my height and stop growing, my clothing changed frequently. I gained or lost weight, went through pregnancies, changed my style as I changed my mind about what I thought I liked.

This experience is common to everyone.

As I grew physically, I also shifted and changed emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Those changes were not as evident as trading short shorts for bell bottoms or mini skirts for maxi dresses. It’s those changes though, that have most defined my life.

As an awkward teen, pictured above in my title meme, I could never have imagined how many versions of myself I would grow into…and then outgrow. As I learned, as my perspectives shifted, as challenges beset me, I became different versions of me. It seems the older I got, the more frequently I “updated” to a newer version, and the less painful it became.

Because, there is often pain with growth, especially when it happens quickly. I used to get legs cramps when I had physical growth spurts. Emotional, mental and spiritual growth spurts can create pain that is just as real. The painful times have grounded me though, and kept me from attempting to stay small when a bigger life was calling to me, inviting me to grow.

Different Versions of Me

I am grateful that my 6 year old self and my 16 year old self did not know what changes were ahead. The 26 year old version of me could not have fathomed what my 40 year self would be like. That’s as it should be. When those next levels of life appeared, I grew to meet them.

My latest level up has involved a radical change in the way I eat and take care of myself. Earlier versions of me would have scoffed in disbelief that a future version would forego meat, dairy, sugar and bread! But that change was exactly what was required for me to live in optimal health and well being. I am open and unafraid about what the next level up will require from me.

When people tell me, “Wow, you’ve changed!” they don’t always mean it as a compliment. Growth happens at different times, for different people, and it can be a scary process. I welcome such comments though. It shows me that my growth is evident.

So…this is me. This is version 60.2 me!

Different Versions of Me

Journey 317: Real Estate as a Mirror

Although I am based out of Joplin MO, as a realtor I can actually help buyers and sellers anywhere in the state of Missouri. Typically the majority of the transactions that I close are in the immediate Joplin area. And last year, all of my closing where on houses sold in the vicinity. But something unusual, for me, something out of the ordinary, has been happening. Of my last six closes in the past two months, and including my pending closings, half have been or will be away from Joplin. And I just made an offer on behalf of buyers on a property 78 miles away. 

 

After an out of town closing this morning, I’ve been thinking today about the significance. I don’t believe anything happens by accident or coincidence. All that happens during my journey teaches me and reveal truths to me, or amazes and delights me. When something happens repetitively, it gets my attention, brings my awareness up and causes me to ponder. 
Here are my thoughts on this string of closes that are in outlying areas. 

At Keller Williams, we have sayings called BOLD Laws. One of them is: “Your business grows to the extent that you do.” I love that the realty company I am with cares for us as people first, and agents second. They encourage personal growth and provide classes designed to grow me and my business. 

  
A couple of years ago, I began to test this “law” by setting the intention during a BOLD class that I would focus on my personal growth and see what happened. That was in the fall of 2013. My Year of Firsts took place in 2014, followed by my Year of Journeys this year. Business wise, they’ve been good years, and I can see the correlation between my life opening and opportunities opening too, and not just in real estate. Today I mused that perhaps growth isn’t just about number of units sold, but also has to do with expanding my territory, extending my reach, and enlarging my domain, both in life and business. That appears to be happening!  

This thought followed. I also embrace the adage that my outer world is a reflection of my inner world. A mirror, so to speak, that gives me glimpses into my soul. About six years ago, during a chaotic time in my life with much upheaval going on, I was in a car accident, hit by a driver going the wrong way on a one way street. That was quite a shocking look into the mirror of my outer world. Things began to rapidly shift in my life after that. 

 

Looking into the mirror of my outer world today, I see reflected back to me a life that is continuing to open and a soul that is expanding. Like my closings in new and distant places, I am journeying down new and unfamiliar paths. I am growing still. And my heart is full and overflowing with love, peace and joy. Creativity has awakened. I am having fun, in my real estate business, in my artistic endeavors, and in life. 

Now that awareness has caused me to look deeply into the mirror, I don’t know what will happen next. More closings in far away towns? Or is something totally other waiting just around the far bend in the path. I don’t know but I don’t need to. I’m excited to see where the journey takes me next. 

  

Day 31: BEST January, Ever

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On this last day of January, 2014, I’m looking back over my first month of “firsts”, and I am so grateful! This has been the BEST January I have ever had, in my 10+ years in real estate. Business has been incredible. December and January are normally the slow months in real estate.  This month behaved more like a May or June, which are peak real estate months.

I believe there is a correlation between who I am being and what I am doing….and my business. At Keller Williams, we have a saying, “Your business grows to the extent that you do.” As I am opening, as my attitude about life is shifting and expanding, as I am in this space of doing new things and moving Beyond where I currently am, my business is tracking along with me. I am all smiles!

January has been an amazing month in all aspects of my life. I am excited each morning to see what the day brings. Doing new things has brought magical and unexpected opportunities and life lessons. I am full of joy. And I am loving how events are arranging themselves to meet me where I am, and then moving me into unknown territory. I feel the Divine calling to me. And I am answering with all of my being.

I’ve always loved anticipation. It is such a sweet state of savoring what is and what is about to be. I am in high anticipation for the remainder of 2014, and my year of firsts!