"Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun." ~ George Scialabba
I like to get the most out of the accessories I was endowed with as a human. Such as my imagination. The things our imagination can do for us is limited only by, well, our imagination.
One of the things I do, when needed is get rid of painful obsessions with imaginary scenarios.
If you're creative, chances are you're also sensitive. High sensitivity is a gift in the creative process. Intense feelings are amazing triggers for poetry, painting, music, plays, writing, and large portraits of our moms riding Harleys.
Sensitivity is also a pain in the ass.
The unpleasantries of life can be amplified when you're a deep feeler. Experiences some people just brush off like lint can be experienced by the sensitive creative person like a haunted house where the same unnerving thought is lurking behind every corner, jumping out at you from under the sofa, and ruining a day that could be filled with reverie, laughter, and papaya.
Ever have one of those awful thoughts that won't leave you alone? Or your blood pressure gets out of whack because you're rehearsing a squabble in your head with THAT-THAT person?
Or sometimes you let your self-criticism buzz around your brain like a killer mosquito circulating your ears in the middle of a restless night? If you answered yes, read more.
If you answered no, you're done here.
So I'm going to share with you kindred creative-sensitives about how my slightly eccentric imagination saves me from life's cruel and merciless moments (which is a creative person's melodramatic way of saying, "life's stuff that happens because we're alive.")
So take a thought that bugs or terrorizes you. If you don't have one right now, apply this at the appropriate occasion: family? people who push your buttons? unfair politicians?
First, neutralize the thought by making friends with it. We're human and we sometimes get caught up in treacherous mind storms, replaying things over in our minds, and then coming down on ourselves for what we think we ought to have said, or we blame, resent , or engage in other garden variety self-flagellation at its very best.
Acknowledge that you are human and know that as a human, self-torment is kinda normal. Welcome to the species.
Now that you're aware of it, try something creative instead. Here's where imagination is activated and logic is suspended. Something Albert Einstein endorses.
Imagine that you could put the thought in a little tiny box with shiny silver wrapping paper, (perhaps with a hologramatic sheen), tie a multicolor ribbon around it (I prefer satin). Attach a little card that says, "Okay then, bye, bye. "
Place the little gift box with the treacherous, (now neutralized), thought on the down end of a seesaw (Remember those? Popular before injury lawsuits applied to playground equipment) … and stand back.
Look up, out of the white fluffy cloud-shaped clouds is a pleasantly rotund woman wearing a tutu, holding an umbrella, laughing wildly and I mean raucously guffawing and falling at just the right speed down to the upside of that seesaw. Boing!!!
The little gift box with the treacherous, (now neutralized) thought goes flying through the air to the nearest ocean which is conveniently located within your sight (because in the creative process things are NOT linear, they are free to be where we need them).
The gift is flying through the air, (as I said earlier but I have a short attention span so am repeating it again just in case you do too) and some sea gulls are batting it back and forth until they get bored with the little gift box with the treacherous... (you know) and it falls into the ocean where dolphins nab it and tag team it around in circles for awhile before they TOO get bored with the little gift box with the now, rather pureed thought and it falls to the bottom of the ocean and is eaten by a large sea turtle named Cecil because this happens to be on his diet this week.
(Sea turtles have a very hardy composition and annoying thoughts are filled with calcium which a growing turtle needs for good shell maintenance), and because it IS in fact delicious. Cecil breaks out in a huge smile so wide that his eyes narrow into two little happy slits. By this time the thought, because of this elaborately absurd (and yet delightfully entertaining — at least to the author) story, has completely lost all of its negative charge. If it hasn't and it comes back, I just think of Cecil's happy eyes.
And that's how the imagination acts as something that can salve ("save" with an added "l" for love) the highly sensitive creative person's obsessive thinking.
Other short cuts:
- Brush the thought off as if it is lint.
- Swat it like it's a mosquito.
- Replace the thought with an image of you flying over a field of radically majestic beauty.
- Do a yoga balancing pose like Tree. (Yoga muses wipe self-torment clean with a spiritual cleansing fluid unavailable in any store.)
- Imagine the thought in a cartoon bubble over your head, a seagull comes by and eats it, and then watch as the seagull flies over the horizon.
- Give your cat a bath. •