In our monthly newsletter for July one of our questions to ponder was, how can I deepen my connection with my imagination? Our imagination is always available to us, like a river that flows on, so does our imagination. At times it may just take a little effort on our part to be open to our imagination to reap its full benefits. Let's take a moment to do an exercise together to tap into this powerful tool. When you’re ready, close your eyes and take a few releasing breaths then allow your breath to gently return to its natural rhythm. With your eyes still closed I’d like you to envision a butterfly fluttering all around you. How big is the butterfly? What colors are its wings? Is it moving fast or slow? After you’ve identified the answers to these questions slowly open your eyes. What did that feel like? How did it feel? How quickly were you able to see the butterfly?
To better understand how we can deepen our connection to our imagination, we must first take a moment to explore the benefits and hindrances of working with our imagination. As we know, a strong connection to our imagination is crucial to creative expression, but also far beyond that aspect, our imagination can be our savior in times of change, confusion, uncertainty, and disagreement. This benefit allows us to think of alternate possibilities and ways of coping with change in its various forms. We are able to explore new ways of approaching creative projects, situations, and our reality with thought experiments that can allow us to feel the changes that would result before we take the time to implement them and reap their rewards. These benefits can be extremely helpful when used in constructive ways with logic and reason as the foundation to our curiosities.
When we use our imagination in ways that can be a hindrance, we tend to lose touch with logic and reason. Our mind has vast power, and this power mixed with imagination can create realities in our mind that we may believe to be real and just. We have all been here before, maybe we’ve imagined through superstitious tendencies that a situation, a person, or a change has occurred in some form of divine intervention to conveniently guide us into a situation that may inevitably compromise our own well being. When we believe our assumptions we justify them with unfounded beliefs, thus we can allow illusions to develop into our new reality. This results in lackadaisical and dreamy ways of living that can pull us away from our objective intellectual truths. This is where balance comes in, we can either spend our days living in an imaginative fantasy, or dreaming of a constructive way of being or creating.
So how do we maintain a healthy balance with our imagination? And how do we deepen our connection to the awareness of this balance? Balance in imagination can begin with habits we may already contribute a consistent amount of time such as reading, meditating, studying, movement medicine, journaling etc. These habits allow us to simultaneously have focus and the freedom to dream. While working within these habits we can question things, what would my meditation practice feel like if I did it upside down, what if I study the meaning of a butterfly as an animal totem and its evolutionary development? Questioning things or asking questions can allow us to validate or challenge our beliefs, this helps us to see where we stand between the world of illusion and reality. Balance in all things leads to equanimity, but balance in our imaginations can lead to creations that can change our worlds and the world as a whole. How does your imagination help you? How has it hurt you? And what do you do to find your imaginative balance?