This way of thinking about Imagination changes everything!
I often talk about imagination... and I get that it can sound like an abstract idea. It conjures up the kind of "Where do we even begin" feeling that I experience when looking at satellite images of our universe. Daydreaming is so often framed as indulgent, something we're taught to snap out of as a kid, something that stops us from being productive in the present moment. We're told we have our head in the clouds. We were shown images of hippies and told that real adulthood doesn't have much space for dreamers.
But I heard something recently that stopped me in my tracks. It was this quote, by adrienne maree brown:
" We are living in the ancestral imagination of others, with their longing for safety and abundance, a longing that didn’t include us, or included us as enemy, fright, other."
It got me thinking about how the world's resources have been intentionally, systematically re-imagined away from natural abundance... to exclude so many of us, to separate us from considering ourselves part of nature, to exclude the needs of the earth itself. And, most importantly, I've been thinking about the fact that every single idea must first be imagined and shared and spoken about, before it can become real.
There's a common thread across every coaching session I share with an individual. It's a yearning to be part of something bigger, for community, to trust that strangers can be welcoming, to be held in a space that feels genuinely free of judgement.
And more... to be able to make mistakes, to have time to process their thoughts and figure out the route that's best for them. People tell me that's what they value most about our time together: it gives them the impetus to go forth into the world and try the things they want to try.
Imagining is where it all begins. Imagination has no rigid walls. It's a place of creativity and experimentation. It's a place where we get to let go of the outcome. Where we get to indulge that part of ourselves that wants to dream and ask questions and stare at the waves and sink our toes into sand and sing in public and belly laugh and talk to strangers and listen and look at the world upside-down and feel connected to the past and rooted in the present and excited for the future.
It's where we want all those things for everyone else, too.
Imagination is the place where our future earth - thriving, nourished, respected - already exists.
So, how do we get there?
We start recognising imagination for what it is. We stop seeing daydreaming as opting out and start seeing it as vital. We learn to share our ideas, to take the seed of an idea and be courageous enough to say it out loud. We start listening to different ways of thinking about ecology. We remember how to trust our intuition and the gorgeous uniqueness of the contribution we can make. We start creating more than we consume. We indulge the kid we used to be, who would doodle and create other worlds in our minds, and write stories and read until after bedtime. We look around and find points of connection. We rediscover what's been erased, reconnect to what's always been there.
We give ourselves space to process, to collaborate, to find common ground, to disagree. We choose imagination over silence. We choose possibility over avoidance. We stop waiting for solutions and we learn to be OK with stumbling, with not having the answers, with not knowing "enough" but trying anyway. We begin to practice caring for ourselves and each other in new ways. We try until we find or re-discover or co-create what feels good for us.
We come out of our shells and we say, "This earth deserves better."
And we stop trying to do everything alone.
P.S. If the idea of a space to imagine (or just to be, or talk, or celebrate, or connect with others) sounds absolutely lush and just what you need, click here to check out all the upcoming Events.