The Life of the Imagination

Photo by Aracos the Bardtographer at this year’s Beltane on the Beach

I enjoy living a “Life of the Imagination.” The phrase itself came to me at some point several years ago, popping into my consciousness and immediately embraced as something that describes me, at least when I’m at my best.

What does it mean? It’s about letting your creativity flow, allowing yourself to be whimsical and fanciful, and noticing (and being amused by) those little fun quirky moments that arise in life.

Everyday life in the mainstream culture doesn’t encourage us to live this way. We’re “all business” much of the time, doing our work, taking care of practical needs, keeping our heads down, and getting things checked off the to-do list.

Our leisure time is often filled with things that come from other peoples’ imaginations – movies, music, and TV shows that are no doubt entertaining, but aren’t an expression of our own essence. Advertisements urge us to go shopping in order to be happy.

So how do we shift out of this serious, boring mode and encourage ourselves to use our imaginations? I like to think of my imaginative aspects as part of my fae self.

Here are some ideas for encouraging your faerie spirit:

  • Play games that bring out your imaginative powers. Role-playing games like D&D are great for this. If that’s not your cup of tea, how about I Spy, Charades, or 20 Questions? For a real workout, hang out with some young kids and play imagination games with them for an hour or two.
  • Be mischievous! With kindness in mind, play benevolent tricks on your family and friends. Make up and share new jokes or tongue twisters. Write silly poetry. Draw cartoons on your friends’ white board or grocery list. Post goofy sayings on their Facebook wall.
  • Dress to express your unique self. I adore the fashion statements that many preteen kids make, many of which have nothing to do with the latest trends. Add some accessories or combine colors in new ways, just for fun. Or go all-out with your own “look.” If people stare, smile and give them the peace sign!
  • Connect with others who allow their unique selves to shine. Our society encourages us to try and keep up with the proverbial Joneses, but aren’t the most interesting people the ones who are a bit, well, strange? Encourage them to keep it up!
  • Look for odd coincidences and synchronicities, and say thanks to the Universe for them. If you see something that is strange, fun, and unusual, take a picture or describe it to a friend. For extra credit, create your own!
  • Laugh out loud for no good reason. Dance in the grocery store. Speak in made-up languages. Or whatever feels right!
  • Get away from your usual routines. BlackLion and I are about to head off for a long-awaited vacation in the tropics. We’ll be playing and imagining our way through the next week – and along with swimsuits, we’ve packed notebooks and art supplies! Time off, and away, is vital, especially for creative types like you and me. Maybe it’s a playful vacation, a transformational retreat, or even a long-weekend road trip.

I hope you’ll take the time to try some of these tips. I’d love to hear how you express your imagination in your daily life!

Tell me what you think!

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