The Care and Feeding of Your Imagination
Do you have a vivid imagination? I know I do. I have since I was a child. My turtle sandbox was a ship and my mother said I cried when she emptied rocks out of my pants pockets to do laundry. I cried because she was throwing my money away. It got so she had to wait until I was napping and empty my pockets out the back door just so she could wash my clothes without tears.
When I was a teen I remember reading “The Mist” by Stephen King. I distinctly remember my mother telling me it wasn’t a good idea and that I’d never want to go out in the dark after reading it. She was right.
I’m not even gonna tell you about when I read “It” back in 1987. I was freaked out for MONTHS.
Whether you were born with an active imagination or not, we all have one. At least I’m pretty sure we ALL do.
But just because you have an imagination doesn’t mean it doesn’t need some help to get fired up when needed. Your imagination requires care and feeding. Your imagination needs nourishment just like your body does.
What kind of care and feeding does your imagination need? Try some of these ideas.
Change jobs. Just because your job is “safe” doesn’t mean it’s serving you. It takes a great deal of courage to take on new challenges versus staying in the safe zone.
Even if you in a place where you are quite content, the world around you is changing so rapidly that new opportunities to learn new things and try something out of your comfort zone are probably popping up almost daily.
Read more. Creativity and imagination is sparked by learning. One’s willingness to learn new things gauges one’s ability to accept and adapt to change. It improves one’s adaptability to imaginative reasoning and creative thinking.
Tell stories. People love to listen to stories and each person has a story to tell. Practice imaginative and creative thinking by telling as many stories as you can. Let it be descriptive. Let it allow you and your listener to visualize what is being told.
Visualization also involves one’s sense of touch, smell, taste, and other senses. Visualization enables you to imagine the story being told or the object being described. The more imaginative and creative the mind becomes, the more elaborate one’s visualizations can be.
Be curious. Children tend to be more imaginative because of their curious nature. Our desire to seek answers or to learn new things does not disappear over age. Feed curiosity by learning and experiencing new things and notice how your imagination improves.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Challenge yourself to try something new. Often. Every exploration from having something different for lunch to travel to a place you’ve never been before is great for your imagination. And imagine all of the stories you will have to tell!
Expand your interests. Creativity is fueled by passion. Expand your interests by shifting your focus to include other interests that you may be passionate about. Or not. Part of trying new things is learning about what you don’t want to spend your time doing. It’s all good.
Develop your talents. Everyone has a set of skills or talents. Focus on developing and honing these talents to express your creativity and imagination in areas that you excel in or in things that you know how to do best. Again, don’t be afraid to make ugly things. Give yourself permission to make a whole lot of ugly. It takes time to develop talent.
Spend time with creative people. Make the most of your energy by spending time with people who share the same interest as yours. Brainstorming, planning, or simply talking to people will keep creative juices running, giving new and fresh ideas.
Look at things differently. At the points when you feel tired or bored, and, and you feel that your creativity is running low, look at things in a new perspective. This will give you a fresh approach to things that may even trigger new ideas that you once thought were not possible.
Condition your mind to relax through meditation techniques. A well-rested mind has a higher potential to learn new things and come up with more creative ideas. There are various meditation methods that you can do to help increase imagination.
One of the best things about midlife is that we finally have time to explore the world around us again. To see what is out there, expand our horizons AND our minds.
So what do you feed YOUR imagination?