Row, Row, Row Your Boat: Exercise Your Imagination!

 

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“There are no Strangers;

all are cut from the same cloth.”

I received this awareness as stated above while I was working out at the YMCA the other day, using the opportunity to do a spiritual exercise with my eyes closed while on a rowing machine. I do this often, really. I close my eyes and row, row, row, visualizing being on a lake usually, but this time my inner experience went much deeper.  The rowing became a means of fueling a bullet-like “Inner-space” capsule.  It brought me to another Planet (purple then later lavender skies with a pale sun and a green luminescent Ocean of some substance other than water. The capsule also let me row through this fluid sea then onto land and into a city covered by a dome, with a Temple at its center. I continued to row this capsule (now on some form of antimag energy) through a channel like a tube that I could set to arrive at my destination. Once there I left the capsule and walked through this enormous, vitalizing Temple structure, filled with gardens and libraries and classrooms and Beings of Light itself, so it appeared.

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I found myself in a contemplative space within the Temple. I was being asked to explore and to share openly some feelings about my future plans here on Earth. As I aim to retire to a small town where I am not likely to know anyone at least in the beginning, I was sharing my fear of leaving familiar friends behind as I relocate yet again in this lifetime.

“There are no Strangers;

all are cut from the same cloth.”

I returned from this inner adventure where I received this and another insight related to a different question I had posed. Both insights are ‘right on’ in helping me resolve and move forward in understanding. Since this experience I have been looking at people and all beings a little differently; though we may not know each other outwardly, we are connected in Spirit substance, always!

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This Innerspace capsule is a modus operandus for inner exploration and Soul Travel. Next time when you’re working out at the gym (or at home or as you prepare for sleep and dreaming), I invite you to allow yourself to be transported via some vehicle of your own creative imagination into the Depths of unconscious and/or spiritual dimensions.

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images from pixabay.com

For me this was an excursion of my own IDEALIST nature, an Adventure into the Heights and Depths to illuminate beyond the limited scope of everyday ‘outer’ perceptions.

GO AHEAD THEN…Do What You LOVE!

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On one of Sachemspeak’s blogs this week he mentioned “Julie and Julia” and an associated blog site, Salon.com .  Julie Powell did exactly what I have been suggesting all this week; she did ONE THING that would propel her to achieve a larger goal. Julie was a writer but she was having trouble getting published. One thing she loved was cooking, so she decided to build her public visibility platform by writing a blog about cooking. Since she had long regarded Julia Child as a role model, she wrote about preparing one Julia Child recipe from her landmark book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, every day for one full year. The blog was a huge success, drawing much attention to Julie Powell as a writer, and she ultimately published Julie & Julia, her book adapted as the popular film about Child and about Powell’s own writing of her blog, and she has never stopped writing and publishing since.

As I also can attest to, writing a blog is an excellent writing tool, not just for platform building but also because it is addressed to a general, public audience. It is certainly ONE THING any writer can do to help launch their dedication and progression toward publishing their works.

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Most important to finding and acting upon the ONE THING you can do to launch you toward fully manifesting your Life Dream, or to revitalize your motivation to accomplish that, is to DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Clearly your Life Dream is a goal based on realizing your deepest love in life; it fulfills your Life Mission, what drives you and fuels your creative imagination and your desire to serve. Your ONE THING then will also be something you love, something that will light you up as it orients you and sets your course deliberately and clearly toward your bigger picture goal.

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So, stop for a moment, close your eyes and DREAM! Where would you LOVE to be three years from now, five years from now, and in the fullest expression of your Life Vision, your Dream Life? Center in that Goal, develop it, nurture your ambition to achieve that Goal for the highest, better interest of everyone concerned. Now then, what is ONE THING you can do in the plannable future that will be an intermediate, definite BIG STEP in the direction of mobilizing and actualizing your Dream?

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So now then, go ahead and PLAN IT! Set it up. Follow your intuition, carry it out! Your Inner ARTIST will be there right beside you all along, helping you to REALIZE your VISION.

Childsplay and Active Imagination Techniques

 

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I consider myself to have been very fortunate as a child to have shared a best friendship with Karin, who was as much interested in creative imagination and adventure as I was. We were so interconnected through “childsplay” of various forms that when I remember my past in this life, I often say that my Childhood WAS Karin (…later extending to Barb, Diane, Ro, Pattie, Franco, Sebrena, Kery, Jan P,  Jan J, my sisters, Corinne, Gianmichele, Zvia, and Kathleen; gratitude for all these human companions, plus always my beloved pets!). But Karin and I had a special latitude in our very actively imaginative play, from when we were around 7 to 12. She lived with her mother in a beautiful, woodsy area in Pennsylvania; there were willow tree vines on which to swing across a creek, and lots of little green clearings within circles of large trees that made excellent forts, or rooms, or spaceships, or hiding places, or worlds. We played outdoors a lot in her yard: we played WWII soldiers, Indians (never cowboys), spies, and horses (that was my fave; we were just horses, wild and free, or one of us–playing a human–would rope and befriend the other, leading to many high spirited adventures!) Then indoors, when not practicing our violins together (we aimed to play “Santa Lucia” together at Carnegie Hall one day), we built elaborate universes, mansions made of Golden Book walls filling the upper and lower areas of a ping pong table at my family’s home. We created lives there for her Barbie, my Ken (yes, always the tomboy…); and we would weave adventurous, intricate life stories for our alter selves extending for over months at a time.

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I am glad I had Karin as my playmate, along with family and other friend adventurers throughout childhood and beyond. I don’t remember ever closing down this creative flow and in fact I can gratefully say it has continued always, through writing, dreaming, daily contemplations, daydreams, reading, and travels. Compiling the Life Paths Portfolio Handbook as a self-help toolkit, based on coaching people who have used this method for their own life mapping adventures, has helped me remain engaged with my own Active Imagination playground!

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One vital tool for using active imagination as a personal growth and development sandbox is to establish an ongoing “Archetype Dialogue” contemplation and journaling practice, which I highly recommend for anyone. This is what Carl G. Jung engaged in, which he in fact called an active imagination process. For Jung it resulted in his The Red Book: Liber Novus, and it spawned his general approach to understanding and working with “Archetypes of the Unconscious.”

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We all can have some access to our unconscious archetypal sub-selves—what I like to call our ensemble cast of mythic characters–through engaging our imaginative faculties and by remaining attentively engaged with our dreams. While some psychologists and others who have read of Jung’s forays into his Unconscious Archetypal domain through active imagination and journaling concluded this was evidence of Jung’s own psychological imbalance, he countered that since he was in control of when he would engage his archetypes and since he used these inner encounters to gain a more balanced and integrated Psyche, quite the opposite was true. Joseph Campbell similarly has cautioned that when people do NOT attend to their inner archetypal impulses, that could result in a form of ‘schizoid’ split in a person from “not listening to” their own inner selves, or Soul.

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 Many scientists, artists, and writers have likewise relied upon active imagination to keep open to the Creative Wellspring within each of us that allows us to be adaptive, flexible, playful, creative and productive in making of our lives that which we would fashion out of choice rather than only of necessity.  It is said that Edison never slept more that 20 or so minute catnaps at a time in order to stay primed at that creative aperture of consciousness between waking and sleeping.  Many artists share how their ideas have come through visions either sought or unexpected, as have scientists such as Kekule, who in 1890 dreamed of a snake swallowing its own tail and thereby developed a model of a benzene ring. Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA with Watson, theorized it is important to use dreaming to ‘forget’ our non-productive or fixed ideas so that the subconscious mind can better explore and reveal its secrets.

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The book and recently released film Heaven is for Real adds a spiritual dimension to the practice of active imagination which I believe is also very important.(Or, read Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander in this same vein.) OOBE’s, NDE’s, and some forms of dreaming (e.g. lucid dreams, prophetic dreams, past-life dreams, etc.) can reveal to us that there is so much more to Reality—and life and death—than can be understood by physical science alone.

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What are some favorite ways YOU exercise your Active Imagination?

Where does it take you to?

I welcome your Comments, Insights and Reveries!