Creative Visualization

15541549_10154808096969655_9204891255238104112_nRecently I was feeling a bit silly and rather serious at the same time. Practicing a little creative visualization, I sheepishly snuck an advance reader copy of my upcoming book, Walking the Heart Path, into my local Barnes & Noble, found a few favorite authors’ books for companions, placed my own on the shelf, took out my camera, and began to snap away. No, I didn’t leave it there, but I did pause for just long enough to breathe in the moment and visualize possible outcomes . . . specifically, to envision and consider what success might look like for me.

15589980_10154808096974655_5275041062588752987_nCrazy? Perhaps; Will it work? Possibly; Has it worked in the past? Absolutely. Many times, in fact.

Too early to know for sure, what I do know is this:

We become what we imagine and believe is possible. We should therefore learn to dream with our hearts wide open. 

No, I’m not suggesting that everything is possible. If you are an active asthmatic, for example, the U.S. Air Force is not going to let you pilot their planes. Some rules  (including the laws of physics) are, at least in this present moment, what they are.

But I believe in miracles. I believe in dreaming big, working hard, and acknowledging that while not everything is within our control, the possibilities for our lives do in fact expand or diminish in proportion to our courage and commitment to our vision AND our willingness to make sacrifices and do the hard work required along the way. I believe in the power of Faith, prayer, and honest intention, too — which collectively calls us to both dare to dream and be willing to simultaneously surrender to unknown outcomes.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

If we’re not careful, fear (whether of failure or success) and its close cousin, pride, will show up at our party, often unannounced. Invited or not, letting them roam freely in our minds is the sure fastest way to sabotage our dreams. Left unattended, they will plant seeds of doubt and/or create a lengthy list of reasons why we deserve something less than we imagine is possible (or perhaps have yet to imagine), though trying to smother, silence, and bind them only fuels their fire and determination to squash our spirit.

So what is the answer?

As Elizabeth Gilbert suggests in her book, Big Magic, make friends with fear (and feed your pride some humble pie while you’re at it). Acknowledge fear’s presence, but while you’re at it, step up your Faith, paint the picture you want to see, and learn to lean into love.

That’s where the real magic resides.

I’m curious to know and ask…

Do you find it easy to dream or do you find yourself holding back? What are the biggest obstacles that keep you from pursuing (and therefore realizing) your dreams? Have you ever painted a picture in your mind and/or created a physical visual of your desired outcome? What was the result? How does creating a vision for your life (or project) help move you closer to realizing your dreams?

p.s. Want to read a great book on daring to dream? Pick up a copy of Whitney Johnson’s book, Dare, Dream, Do, and while your at it, a copy of her latest book, too — Disrupt Yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

 

Leveraging Limitations

Thought for the day:

So often we seek conformity in the face of limitation; we assume change is neither feasible nor possible, and from that place, seek to fearfully ‘fit in’ to the status quo. But what if instead of accepting our limitations, we leveraged them…allowing them to creatively push us into new ways of thinking and behaving; allowing them to be the catalyst for growth and innovation?

Hiding in Plain Sight

Panther_Chameleon_(Furcifer_pardalis)I’ve always been fascinated by chameleons and their ability to adapt, blend-in, and hide in plain sight.  An instinctual response to their surroundings and the threat of attack, they are genetically wired for survival, though are not cognizant of their ever-changing colors.

As humans, we too change colors, adapt, and blend-in.  Far too often, we hide our truths, our gifts, our struggles and our vulnerabilities — whether to avoid conflict, protect ourselves from threats (whether real or perceived), and/or create connection through assimilation with others. We are rewarded for conformity and often shunned or shamed when we attempt to step out and beyond those boxes that limit and confine, whether of our own making or others. In the process, we rob ourselves of authenticity, stifle creativity, and deny the world the gifts we have to share that are uniquely our own.

Recently I was introduced to film-maker and poet, Nic Askew, architect of the inspiring series, Soul Biographies. One of my favorite films is The Balls to Stand Naked, a powerful and provocative interview with Sting’s long-time guitarist and writing partner, Dominic Miller, that both invites and challenges viewers to reflect on the nature of creativity and the personal power that comes from a willingness to be vulnerable; to stand naked and be fully seen.

As you take a few minutes to reflect on this short video, consider the following:

What if we re-framed our thinking about how we choose to be in this world? What if we dared to take off our masks and stand in the total truth of who we are? What are the costs to ourselves and others when we choose to hide in plain sight? What might we achieve if we allowed ourselves to be fully seen; to create from a truly open heart?

Creative Expression

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If creativity extends from a mindset of possibility; if heart centered living is the outward expression of our most authentic selves, how do you choose to express yourself in the world?

Just as we can change our narrative and write a new story, we can paint new strokes of possibility on the canvas of our life. Whatever our past or perceived limitations, we can build upon these layers of lessons to create textured beauty in our lives…bold strokes of courage that reveal the deepest truths of our heart.

I’m curious

Is your life an intentional expression of your deepest truths or a carefully constructed mask designed to hide your deepest fears? What do your life choices reveal about your heart? How do you choose to express yourself in the world?

Creative Possibility

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