This world is but a canvas to our imagination. - Henry David Thoreau
We use our imagination all the time, whether we realize it or not. When we are worrying about a future event we are imagining the possibility of a negative outcome. When we are thinking about our next dream vacation we are imagining the place and what we may be doing there.
When we are being creative we are imagining scenes as we write, the cake rising as we mix the ingredients for baking, or the blank canvas giving rise to color.
Yet most of us don’t think much about the ways we use our imagination and the mystery of how it works. Most of us hold tight to the confines of the mind, living from its repeating pattern rather than being open to the infinite possibilities that live in our imagination.
All creative acts arise in the imagination. If we can imagine it, you can create it. When Einstein said, “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”, he was suggesting that we need to work less with our minds and more with our imagination.
So how do we do this when we are used to trying to figure everything out and understand how to change or create something. How do we play with this incredible capacity of imagination that we all have.
It’s like building a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes and the more we can trust it to support us. A willingness to play where we just pretend some this real and true, the way we did as children is a good beginning.
Try this. Talk to a tree. Whether it outside your window or in your local park. You don’t have to do this out loud. Just ask the tree a question about a problem you are trying to trying to solve or something you wanting a creative answer to. Then take a few deep breaths, relax, let your mind quiet a bit and see what comes to you. Or you could do this as a writing exercise where you ask the question of a tree by writing it on the page and then allow the tree to answer you through stream of consciousness writing where you just let the words flow.
The key is to have fun with our imagination. Know that it is the doorway to the expanded capacities we need in our live an the world today.