Imagination is a funny thing.
We spend so much of our time using our imagination to create stress in our lives, fill us with worry, and send us spiralling into sadness and in some instances, depression.
Look at us today, more than one third (35.7%) of the adult population in America is considered to be obese. Seriously, you read that right, one third! More than 1 in 20 are considered to be extremely obese!
So many people today are addicted to pain medication, anti-depressants, alcohol, or other drugs all in an effort to mask or avoid the symptoms of stress, sadness or depression.
Sugar has become the drug of choice for so many people, the sweet high of sugar keeping us as far from those negative feelings as possible.
Until you come down off the blood sugar high, then mega sadness hits again and the cycle continues. More chocolate!!
Seriously, we are so preoccupied with imagining disaster, imagining the “what if” scenario, imagining what our friends have, and what we don’t have, we are just so overwhelmed with all the negative possibilities.
We’ve even taken to not imagining, but simply voyeuristically observing everyone else’s social media highlight reels.
The Insta-life phenomenon is further killing our mojo!
We want what others have, but we can’t even imagine it, so we just long for their life, hoping some how that if we wish, and beg, and wait long enough, the pay day will come.
In the mean time we are maxing out our credit cards, taking out credit lines to pay the credit cards, taking home mortgage loans to pay the credit lines. We are shopping ourselves into happiness!
We are living a pretend life of abundance, sad really.
So how do we change all of this darkness?
We start imagining the life we want to have.
Yep, that’s it.
How can I do that you say? that’s not an easy thing to do. I have bills, and responsibilities, and people to care for, and on and on!
But if you can imagine all this drama in your life, why can’t you imagine freedom and possibility?
Really, why not?
Our brains are hard wired to lean towards the negative, so we need to jerk them out of that habit and apply some good old reverse psychology.
First thing we want to do is start to count our wins. Ya, you heard me, count your wins!
What does that mean you might be saying?
Well, each day you are going to take some time at the end of the day, preferably right before you go to bed, and you’re going to think of 1–3 things in the day that you did that could be considered positive.
It can be anything.
You got out of bed without hitting the snooze button
You ate a healthy lunch
You went for a 20-minute walk after dinner
You made it to the bank and got that deposit done
These are relatively simple things, but if you’re in a hole, sometimes you have to find the positive in the most malign of things.
If you are getting a little bolder perhaps you start counting wins like:
You completed a 45-minute HIIT workout
You finished a big project
You made an amazing meal for you or your family
You spent some amazing time with a loved one
You get the gist.
Counting your wins every night counter points your negative self-talk and finishes your day on a positive note. It tricks the subconscious into leaving the day on a positive rather than leaving the day on a negative.
It sets up the next day on a positive platform.
Once you gain some traction on your night-time practice it’s time to do some morning silence work.
Get up in the morning 15 minutes earlier. Get out of bed, find a comfortable place in the house where you can be alone, and either in a sitting or lying position settle down and close your eyes.
With your eyes closed focus on your breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Try to stay focused on your breathing, the sound of it, the feeling of it.
You may begin to talk to yourself, that’s normal. Each time you do, try to reconnect with your breathing.
Do this for just five minutes each day, every day for 30 days. If you miss a day or two get back on the horse and start again. Consistency is the key.
Once you’ve gotten good at five minutes, try to push it to 10–15 minutes.
Is this meditation?
In a sense yes, but at the end of the day, what we are doing is working on disconnecting from our thought stream, connecting with our breathing, and taking the time to be in silence so our mind can, in essence, rest!
It takes time to own it.
You will not be good at it immediately.
You might not be good at it for a very long time, but the action of making the effort creates time and space for you. Something we don’t do a very good job of these days.
We usually fill time and space with stuff! Sometimes its good not to fill it with anything!
Once we get used to silence in the morning, we can begin to fill that silence with our positive imagination.
What is a place, a space, a feeling, or an image you can see that makes you feel good?
If there is an image you can link towards that makes you feel good spend some time connected to that image. If you can see a moving picture of sorts, allow it to flow, and connect with it as well.
This type of imagination time doesn’t have to last long, again maybe five minutes in the beginning. Consistency once more is the key. Keep coming back to it and keep allowing yourself to fill the space and time with your positive imagery.
Once you’ve become comfortable with this type of imagery, try to move to the next level.
Imagine your life
If you could be anything, do anything, or if you could change your circumstances some how that would allow you to flourish, what would that be? What would it look like?
Don’t get stuck on how you’re going to get there, just focus on what that would look and feel like.
Now try to link with that image or picture of your life on a daily basis. Sew your “imagine your life” into your daily silence.
The simple combination of counting your wins and imagining your life on a daily basis will change your outlook measurably. You will truly begin to feel different.
You will truly begin to move forward when before you could only stay put.
You will begin to be inspired by your imagination. When your imagination begins to connect to you, there is no telling where it will go, but what I can tell you is it won’t be stuck in the darkness any more.
There will be light where once there was dark. Your imagination will inspire you.
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com