So lately I have been doing some healing work with my inner child and my adult Self around play. IT has been a struggle for me because I have forgotten how to play, not saying I don’t have fun, but it seems there is always a reason or purpose behind doing the things I find fun. When I do the work to uncover a disowned part of myself, I dove headfirst into playing.
First, of course, was the analytical … how can I play? What do you do to play? And this led me to reflect on how I played when I was a kid and observing how my niece and nephew played. And I realized a lot of it was around imagination. OK great, start imagining, I thought.
So I tried and let me tell you it was like I malfunctioned!
There was fear, (panic really) and judgments galore. I dove deep into the feelings and what I realized is my adult brain could not compute imagination. It needed a purpose to imagine, ie visualization. It needed something plausible, it did not like anything non-logical and nonsensical. Which is exactly how children play.
Think back when you were a child you had a magic toy that could do magical things. Or you had tea parties, and you completely imagined the tea in the pot and the glasses. It didn’t need to be there because in your imagination it was there.
My adult brain did not like this and when I tried to imagine scenarios of like me being swept off my feet by a prince and riding off into the sunset like a princess. My brain was like “NOPE”. It couldn’t let go of its grasp on reality and wanting to figure things out. It went straight to ‘how is this going to happen?’. ‘where could you meet a prince’, logistically ‘how could they sweep you off your feet?’.
I found all of this interesting and it got me to thinking, what happens to us that we lose our imagination. Is it gone, or does our mature brain just poke so many holes in our imaginations that it eventually ceases to exist? Or maybe it is that we are ‘smart’ now and we KNOW that there is no tea in the pot. Either way, I found it sad really that I could no longer imagine and play with stories in my head.
As with all my personal healing/growth work, I persevered and am happy to report the other day when I was swimming, I imagined I was a mermaid! So slowly but surely my imagination muscle is being flexed and I can play a bit more.
Now you may be thinking why would I want to pretend to be a mermaid, or that there is tea… I am an adult! I get it, it does sound weird but there are wonderful things that we can do with our imagination muscle that we are limiting ourselves from doing by keeping this part of ourselves suppressed.
Wouldn’t it be nice to instead of on your commute home you could imagine a fairytale story rather than running through your to-do list or judgments about your day? Wouldn’t it be nice to, before going to bed you could imagine anything that you wanted? What if instead of concentrating on self-judgment and internal dialogue you could create fantasies in your head that were probably never going to happen but you could just do it … for fun? What an escape that could be to have the freedom to just imagine anything, and oh your inner child would love this experience.
Play and imagination I have found are essential parts of living authentically, to owning all of who you are, to being creative, and to finding hope. See in our imagination we can disconnect from whatever stresses we are feeling and whatever negative anxiety-producing stories our mind is feeding us and instead focus on something magical, something fun, something non-sensical, something that can make us laugh and smile. We can use our creative mind to create positive outcomes, instead of the negative ones it likes to focus on.
The impact of this is enormous in the sense of the law of attraction and manifestation. Not to mention in the positive energy that we would be putting out. We hear about this all the time how we need to ask for what we want, we need to visualize what we want and you can create it. I do believe this, but I have to say it wasn’t till I started playing with my imagination did I realize I was missing the one critical component to the formula for manifestation. We need to just let our imaginations soar. See when I used to try to manifest things into my life I would visualize and then my adult brain would kick in and come up with the specifics on how this needed to happen or how it is not plausible (just like with the teapot). Now that I am playing with my imagination, it is not restricted in the logistics anymore, I just get to imagine what I want and truly feel into it and that is the winning recipe for manifestation!
I do have to say I am still working on imagination but the more I work the easier it gets, and the more I feel my creativity and play coming back to me and it feels fantastic.
Now I know where all the unicorns went, my adult brain banished them into the darkness like it did my imagination (and every other disowned part of myself), and it only took conscious intention to bring them out of hiding!