I never knew my lounge room was a stage, my balcony was the wings and my curtains were stage curtains. I just see a lounge room and a balcony but my five year old nephew sees so much more.
My sister and I spent Sunday morning in his dance ensemble, practicing our dancing on the balcony, and then graduating to the big stage.
Of course it was gorgeous, but it made me realise how much we lose our imagination as we grow up. And, how much fun it is to do crazy made up stuff that simply makes no sense.
Imagination and creativity is an important part of my life. It helps with problem solving and it’s how we all integrate experience into learning; and it’s not just for kids.
Here are five things I do to be more creative and use my imagination.
Research shows that just imagining something can have the same effect as actually doing it. I’ve practiced visualisation in meditation for many years. There is a place in my mind where I can go in an instant. It’s filled with butterflies, a waterfall, healing water and so much more. This place doesn’t exist in reality, but I’ve practiced visualising it so many times, just thinking about it calms me.
Think beyond what you perceive. Is that stick a stick? No, it’s a magical wand that turns rooms into butterflies. Pretend a rock is a car or that plane in the sky is a magic carpet on its way to you. Start pretending more, and see what happens to your creativity and imagination.
3. Do something new, often.
When was the last time you did something you have never done before, or tasted something new? Lose control; go on do it.
4. Be in silence.
I find that silence creates the space for truly creative thinking. Try sitting somewhere quiet for an hour or so, just in your thoughts. Allow whatever comes to mind, and then jot this down, or draw it.
5. Do some art.
Do art that is more about play than perfection. I have a colouring book and coloured pencils which I randomly colour in. I also collect sticks, vines and seed pods and create sculptures from them.
As Albert Einstein said, “Imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Just imagine, and you will believe.