I tend to think of imagination as something to tap into when being deliberately creative. But over the weekend I took a workshop that made me see how using imagination can expand our thinking as we address the challenges in our lives.
The workshop was about how to use imagination to enhance one's yoga practice. The instructor provided us with different metaphors or stories for each pose. And although the name of the pose stayed the same, the mechanics and experience of the pose shifted dramatically.
Imagination for Increased Profits
I wonder how this concept of metaphor might change other experiences in life. What if, for example, you're a business owner. You've worked the same issue over and over: "How do I increase my profits?"
Chances are, when you tackle this issue, you think about increasing sales and decreasing costs. There are dollar signs and spreadsheets. You rely on man-made tools to solve the problem.
But what if you looked to metaphors in nature to expand your thinking? What does it take to have a bountiful harvest? What seeds have I planted? Are they the right ones? How have I nourished the crop? Does it have enough fertilizer and rain to thrive? What weeds do I need to pull to make space for the crop to flourish?
Imagination for Increased Flow
Let's say you feel underwater and you feel like tasks keep backing up on your to-do list. This brings to mind a beaver dam. Beavers build dams for protection against predators. The interesting thing about a beaver dam is that the structure the beaver builds reshapes the surrounding environment, forcing the entire ecosystem to modify.
As you're considering a solution for your backlog, think about your own dam. What predators are you keeping out by building and keeping this dam in place? What changes in the system might be necessary? What barriers can you remove to let the water flow more freely?
Imagination for Increased Personal Growth
Perhaps you're a self-improvement junkie like me and you feel like you've been stuck in one place for a while. How can you use your imagination to reframe your experience?
When I think of the unfolding of adult development, a blossoming peony enters my imagination. The blossoming starts slowly, one petal peeling back at a time. Then suddenly, with a burst of activity, dozens of petals unfold at once. After the burst, things slow down until there's another rapid unfolding. (Watch the video by clicking the image of the flower.)
This same sequence is true of adult development. We open slowly at first, then evolve in a sudden burst. We must stay at that stage until we have the energy, depth of experience and willingness to unfold further. When is the last time you felt a petal unfold? What happened when there was a rapid blossoming into a new stage? What can you do at the stage you're in now to build the energy needed for your next burst of expansion?
Ready for Rapid Unfolding?
There are only a couple slots left in our upcoming Flourishing for Midlife Seekers Workshop on October 20th and 21st. This workshop is ideal for people going through a transition in life. Maybe it's the realization that you need a new job. Maybe you've just ended an important relationship. Or maybe it's simply that you don't feel like your life is where you want it to be and you're not sure how to make a change.
Whatever your reason for coming, you'll leave with a new understanding of the stories that frame your life, the values that drive your fulfillment and the purpose that only you can fulfill. Register today to reserve your spot!