In his compelling and brilliant book, The Mosaic Mind, therapist and founder of IFS (Internal Family Systems), the exciting, newish model of helping relationships grow and stay healthy, Dick Schwartz, makes an important critical point about images and imagination.
He says that a “mystical principle” is at work when we imagine, when we use metaphors and dive deeply into our imaginations. We are actually entering into “other dimensions,” and leaving the tiresome logical parts of our brains behind as we experience new sensations and ways of being.
He says that when we experience the images or new perceptions we imagine, we are directly experiencing the inner parts of ourselves, actual aspects of who we are that are simply dressed in the images.
In essence, then, the imagination endows, gives “voice and shape” to the invisible, often surreal stuff of our thoughts, emotions, and subconscious.
We can not, then, imagine anything that is not already within us.
Images and metaphors are a powerful language, an actual way by which we can all consciously interact with our internal process, our inner lives and the world around us…it’s a way to communicate at a level that bypasses logic and allows us deeper levels of understanding.
Images and metaphors solidify an idea, a concept and problem; an issue we are dealing with that is otherwise inaccessible.
The use of metaphors allows us to understand/realize the unknown, the “non-graspable,” by connecting us to something we “can grasp” in our lives.
But rather than think of the the Imagined and the Real as being opposites, (“Oh, that’s not real, it’s all in your imagination”), the Imagined actually allows the true nature of things to be more real.
For example, imagining our anger not just as an emotion, but “seeing” it, or imagining the anger as a troubled, confused teen, the anger changes shape, becomes more vivid, takes on a new and different life. It provides an opportunity for effective dialogue between us and the anger dialogue, and paves the way for change.
Watching how our pets interact with family members, significant others, can be a terrific learning experience.
We can enhance our interpersonal relationships through the fun and engaging metaphor of Animal Communication.
For example, ever notice how your dog or cat or even your bird greets your partner or other family when they arrive home?
If you have a dog or cat, very likely she will drop whatever she was doing and give a totally present and full greeting. These will be a clear expression of joy and love.
What if we could imagine doing the same thing, being totally present. Imagine making the active choice to love and cherish each other (especially our partners) the same way. Imagining doing so is the first step in...doing so!
Our pets set wonderful examples, by the way.
We become what we imagine.
Without imagination there is nothing. A sterile plain upon which nothing grows, or moves. No light or shadow play.
Without imagination there is no play.
Conversations with all living beings (animals, trees, plants, flowers) are taking place all the time.
How often have you said, “What a beautiful tree?” to a towering pine or complemented a lovely flowering bush?
What if you actually said, out loud, instead, “You are a beautiful tree. I admire you!”
What if you imagined, if only for the moment, that the tree heard you and was grateful you took the time to compliment her?
What if we applied this to our personal relationships?
Instead of thinking your colleague did a great job, and saying a quick, “Thanks, I appreciate it.”
What if you were more expressive. Directly saying how much time he saved you. How much his/her work mattered to you, and how much you would like to take him out to lunch?
Instead of vaguely being grateful your child has gotten good grades or honored his curfew or was happy to have meals with the family, why not directly write a poem sharing your gratitude. Directly exposing and expressing your heart?
May be awkward, sure. But imagine the emotional stretch, the “chance-taking” that will work to keep your heart open and your relationship that much more precious.
Are you interested in becoming an Animal Communicator? Consider learning from the master: Nancy Windheart. She gave me my start in the exciting field of Animal Communication, and I highly recommend her class.