I have mentioned the practice of Active Imagination here and there throughout this site, but this week let’s focus on Active Imagination as our focal topic. Many forms of meditation, contemplation, yoga, mantra chanting, children’s creative play, nighttime dreaming especially when lucid (aware of dreaming while in it), daydreaming, fiction or drama or fantasy writing, journaling, prayerfulness, and Mindfulness techniques all could constitute Active Imagination practices, as long as You are Present and Aware. Active Imagination entails an exploration and exercise of your own imaginative faculty within your own perceptual multi-verse.
When was the last time you ‘just’ sat (or laid down on a bed of meadow grass, for example) and imagined; deeply and fully? I did that this morning (written on Thursday). I went to a café, opened this laptop, started a new file called JOURNAL, and engaged for an hour or so actively envisioning on the page my future life after retirement. Every fear I privately nurture about that transition I allowed myself to feel and yet when I envisioned in words various aspects of the life I may live, I felt my fears greatly reduced and a relieving sense of freedom entered my consciousness instead.
From the journal (a brief sample):
… Maybe I will mainly be alone with my pets. Then Cheryl will be not far away, and there are many places to visit that will feel familiar (Lewiston, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Canada). Will that feel weird with no one other than my pets to share it with wholly at this advancing age?
… Put Academe behind me. Hike in the state parks, get a used motorboat; go boating with Sophie and alone or with Cheryl (my sister) and her friends. EXPLORE, outwardly and inwardly. EXPAND HORIZONS. Contemplate. Write. Offer workshops and life mapping. Present spiritual events, facilitate and join satsang and book discussions. Join a Scrabble club. Fence with seniors if I wish to. Travel and enjoy visitors. Learn at Chautauqua. Write to my heart’s contentment! Publish more. Go deeper philosophically, spiritually. READ MORE. DREAM DEEPLY. IMAGINE. EXPAND.
Honestly I can tell you that after taking time to creatively envision, freely and without constraint, I felt even physically better than before I did this: less encumbered, lighter, less blocked. And the rest of the day (now 11:20 PM on the same day as I compose this), my imagination remains open and I feel like a child again in relation to a greater acceptance of Trust and of Possibility!
Oddly synergistic events also transpired after engaging in this active imagination practice. Without my having scheduled it directly, men showed up to clear trees from my yard, removing debris and clutter more than I had even expected this team to do when they would arrive. This clearing of clutter is a big step in the direction of realizing the future of my imaginings, as I am gradually working to improve my home’s condition in preparation to sell the house before moving. It was like…Magic!
So I invite you to take ample time to JUST IMAGINE. Exercise your Creative imaginative PLAY via direct, daily contemplation; journaling “alternate future lifescapes”; writing “from the future”; composing magazine image collages or creating mandalas. Many techniques such as these are included in the Life Paths Handbook, to come. Remembering to simply take ‘time out’ for IMAGINING can help you to “live INTO” your goal or life dream with creativity, building a clarity of intention while remaining flexible to new ideas along the Way.
I WELCOME YOUR INSIGHTS AND STORIES