Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The other day, I heard Deepak Chopra speaking about the way we use our human minds. Wisely, he said, "The best use of your imagination is creativity. The worst use of your imagination is fear."
My mind instantly switched the word "fear" to "worry," because worry is truly about letting our imagination wander down a dark street and conjure up images of all the dangers that might lurk there. "Fear" implies many things, some real and some imagined, but worry is when we spin a yarn of gloom and doom---and that requires a vivid imagination!
Hearing Deepak's words reminded me of the advice a friend gave me decades ago. She said, "Jill, you are a very creative person. Make sure you always have a creative project going so you don't get bored and start looking for trouble." It wasn't until I heard Chopra's statement that I realized what she meant. Mentally (or emotionally) creative people have to maintain a healthy exercise program for their imaginations---or they start creating internal dramas.
This week, I ask you to consider your use of imagination. Are you a particularly curious, creative, or theatrical personality? Do you tend to be anxious? If so, you might be more likely to fret than a practical thinker or someone who takes life as it comes. No worries---here's what you can do:
1. Evaluate whether the fear is justified, or if you're in an unproductive worry cycle.
2. Decide if any real-world actions are called for. If so, take them. If not:
3. Stop for a moment and feel the actual fear, instead of keeping it at bay in the form of nagging, low-grade worry. Have compassion for yourself.
4. Remind yourself that the worry is not helping, and that it's putting an unnecessarily negative spin on the situation, and on the future.
5. Decide to use your imagination super-powers for good, and deliberately dream up a fantastically unexpected, desirable scenario to replace the scary, depressing one.
6. Thank your imagination for this new (better) creation.
Good luck, and I hope you have a stress-free week!