Posted on April 28th, 2015 by Dr. Andra Brosh

imagineAs children we all held the capacity for imagination.

Growing up has its perks, but as we get older we tend to abandon this part of ourselves in the service of becoming big.

As kids we used our imagination to ponder what could be.

Now as grown ups we use it to wonder what should be.

When my kids were small one of their favorite books was “If” by Sarah Perry. It was my favorite too because it was a book of wonders, and it showed that limitless possibilities are everywhere.

I pulled that book “If” out of the garage the other day where it has lived for the past 15 years.

Each page was a reminder of how my imagination has remained imprisoned by my rational mind, and how little I actually allow myself the opportunity to be ridiculous in my thinking.

I couldn’t help but smile at the silliness of the imaginings in this book.

“If music could be held…”

“If ugly were beautiful…”

“If the moon were square…”

Re-engaging your imagination as an adult is essential.

Without imagination we feel bored, apathetic, uninspired and lonely.

Children use their imagination to transport themselves to another world where they get to be (and do) whatever they want without consequence.

The opportunity to imagine anything isn’t a childhood need; it’s a human necessity.

Without letting our minds take us to places we can never inhabit in the real world we lose the capacity to play and dream.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~Mark Twain

Do not conflate imagination with fantasy.

Fantasy is an escape from reality, and often a form of denial. According to Sigmund Freud, fantasies are manifestations of our deepest and darkest inner drives, and they often land us in a state of anxiety, stress and fear when they go too far.

Imagination is the human capacity to draw an image in your mind, and then when possible, to turn it into a creation.

Your imagination is sacred, private and personal.

Just watch any child engaged with their imagination, and you’ll immediately feel the sense of freedom and joy it invokes.

When you imagine your future as single, retired or married you conjure up very real images of what it will be.

When you fantasize about these same things you daydream and get lost in the process.

The first is active and purposeful, the latter is passive and often unrealistic when brought into the real world.

Your imagination is tied to your faith, your hope, your creativity and your potential.

Don’t let it slip away. Just imagine IF.

April 28th, 2015

Posted In: Mindfulness, Therapy, Wellbeing

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