Our imagination can be used to imagine the negative, or we can turn our imagination toward the positive.
“There will always be hurricanes.” ~ my son, Adam Schiffli
I was enjoying a phone conversation with my son, Adam, listening to his warm voice and delighting in his news. After a few minutes, he announced he was going to the beach along the Gulf Coast on vacation with some friends. I sat up with a start; my happy Mama flow was now interrupted with stabbing worry.
A storm was coming. Maybe two.
I brought up the National Hurricane Center maps and could see Tropical Storm Fred’s predicted path was heading right to where he was going. And on Fred’s heels was Grace, forecast to become a hurricane.
I started doing what I always do when fear takes root within me: I desperately tried to control all the variables to somehow ensure his welfare. As I began rattling off safety measures and my concerns, Adam very calmly and gently said, “Mom, there will always be hurricanes.”
I exhaled and sat back in my chair.
The Power of Imagination
With one, simple statement, Adam reminded me that no matter what, I cannot pull the strings to control the outcomes of living life. No matter how much efforting I devote to the cause, I cannot hold back the never-ending tide of the nature of existence and its eventual storms.
There will always be hurricanes.
We all possess powerful imaginations, and isn’t it interesting how we often leverage those imaginations to concoct negative scenarios? Elaborate, detailed imagery of doom?
Why isn’t our first impulse to use our power to positively create in our mind’s eye what we want to have happen instead?
I chose to leverage Adam’s wisdom and create a coaching tool. Transmute inevitable hurricanes into outcomes I desired. Over the course of this past week as I worked with clients, I discovered this works for both our business dreams and personal goals…anything we want to create. We can turn imagination positive.
A Formula To Turn Imagination Positive
Here is the formula:
1) Identify the “hurricane scenarios” you currently are playing on repeat in your mind. The fear-based blurts that have you stuck in place and riddled with self-doubt. Write them all down in your journal.
2) Take each doom and gloom scenario, one by one, and leverage the power of your imagination to formulate a profoundly positive replacement scenario. Be as thorough and detailed with your imagined, wildly-joyful, replacement scenario as you were with your fear-based, icky one.
3) With a different-colored ink, write down each replacement scenario beneath its counterpart.
4) Review your list. Notice how the entire list of scenarios is simply a construct of your mind. Both versions are imagined, correct? Which one do you want to make your reality?
5) Select the scenario from your list that calls to you the most. Which one pulls at your soul with the most power? This is likely a long-held dream you return to over and over, approaching and avoiding, like breaking waves on a shoreline.
6) Settle back in your chair and bring your scenario to mind and see each aspect of it clearly. What are doing in this dream? Who is with you? Where are you? How are you feeling? Why is this so important to you? Lock in on every reason why this goal is vital to your well-being.
7) Set a timer for 15 minutes. Without breaking flow and while suspending judgment, take your pen onto a blank journal page and start doodling. You could make a variety of shapes or choose to draw the same shape over and over in a variety of sizes. You could draw lines, spirals, zigzags, or waves. It doesn’t matter what you draw or how it looks. The trick is to keep the pen moving and not think. The goal is not to make a lovely picture (although you may!). The goal is to move your hand across the page and lay down ink.
8) As you draw, come back to your goal and the details you brought to mind as you saw yourself living the reality of it. Sink into your imagination on an even deeper level now, and see more details this time. Keep doodling. Feel in your body what it feels like to be in your imagined scenario. What’s happening within and all around you? Keep doodling.
9) When the timer goes off, sit back in your chair and take in all the marks you made. Scrutinize them not for beauty or quality, but rather for their power to seat you back into the open focus of a creator. This world of a suspended, light state of being is our bridge across the chasm of fear and into the world of unlimited possibilities. This realm is your true self.
There will never be a shortage of storms. We can decide if we want to resist in fear by contributing to a downward spiral of energy within, or instead, yield through the power of choosing carefully how to frame and reframe our focus.
Alchemy is always an option available to us, and its artful practice is who we truly are.