Imagine

After a month of exercising creative imagination by creating AtoZ Alliterative stories, I’m reminded of how energizing it is to use imagination in a positive way. Feels great!

Go Where You Imagine by Sheri J. Kennedy 2015 All Rights Reserved

It’s also got me grooving on images and intuitive connections I see between things. I came across these scans of artworks I created in 2015 for The Sketchbook Project, and I’ve decided to share the rest of them coming up soon. But I chose these two first because of their parallels to things I’ve been thinking about, reading about and working on lately.

I’ve been reading about how our thoughts shape our reality. In other words, what we imagine forms, or at least significantly colors our moods, our self-image, our relationships, and our worldview. Eventually our thoughts and feelings will manifest to change our physical health and environment as well, since these things greatly influence the energy we have and the choices we make. Here’s an interesting article my positively creative blog-friend, Sue Clancy recommended on the subject: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/imagination-tool-for-change-0224124/

So imagination isn’t just a tool for fun ideas, inventions or for making artwork and writing fiction – though that’s awesome! It’s also a powerful tool that can provide coping mechanisms during crises, strength to build your future, or when not used well can cause rifts in relationships or paralyze you with fear. It can cause you to gain weight or lose weight, empathize or misconstrue, feel more depressed or more motivated.

Danger, Jack Robinson by Sheri J. Kennedy 2015 All Rights Reserved

Your imagination shapes things whether you consciously direct it or not. If you don’t decide what to put there, something or someone else will. So it’s important to acknowledge and explore what you’re thinking. Where did you get that idea? What’s it based on? Do you like the idea? How does it make you feel? What do you do when you feel that way?

Once you’ve considered these things, you have the ability to imagine a new direction for anything that you want to change. I’m not meaning that you can just ignore reality and it will go away. Not in an instant, anyway. But you can change how you respond to that reality by how you frame your inner world around it.

A very personal example for me, is that in the last couple years – like many of us during pandemic lockdowns – I gained a lot of weight. I lost fitness levels too. When I began to huff and puff on short walks, my imagination went in a negative direction. “I can’t exercise anymore. I’ll never lose this weight. I want to get better, but I can’t. If I try, I’ll fail.” And guess what? I gained more weight and lost more fitness. My thought shaped my reality.

Then I got some advice… (happened to be from Noom) You’ve probably heard it before: Speak some affirmations, and imagine yourself the way you want to be. I thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo at first. But I adopted two things. “I can choose anything I want to do at any time.” (In other words, “I CAN.” and “I CAN NOW.”) And I imagined what my successful self would look and feel like with this newly felt ability to do it.

You know what happened? I lost weight, and I gained fitness levels. But that’s not the amazing thing. What astounded me is I feel better. Sure, losing weight and exercising is energizing, but I mean I feel better INSIDE. I believe in myself again. It was my negative, false imaginings that were the toughest part of my situation. I thought (THOUGHT) I was stuck and that I was powerless ever change that again. When I changed my thoughts and imagined (IMAGINED) I could do better, I did. Starting by imagining positively, changed everything for me.

You can make these sort of changes too. Instead of thinking about the terrible things someone said to you, or imagining all the worst things that could happen at work or school, think about the nice things someone else said or that you can say to others, and imagine how your work or school day could go well. What good things can you add into your day? What would your life look like if every day became that way?

I have a long way to go on my weight loss and fitness journey – the rest of my life. But by changing my negative imaginings to positive ones I’ve jumped from depression and defeat, immediately to my real end goal of confidence, happiness and energetic motivation. My health is better too – mental and physical. (Back to that article, in case you skipped it above.) The changes I’d like are easy to work toward, not impossible. I just needed to change my mind. Do you want to change yours? Just imagine.

8 thoughts on “Imagine”

  1. Nice work! Actually, knowing that you CAN is something that really works. I was never able to follow a diet plan. Restricting myself from certain foods only made it worse. But then someone from the gym told me that I can eat sweets every day (in moderation) if I want to, and I’ll still lose weight. It was a challenge.
    But that ended up shifting my mentality. Knowing that I can eat junk food whenever I want, THAT made my brain stop craving for sweets. I have them in the house. I know I can eat whenever I want. But now I don’t feel the need and I rarely, rarely eat them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s my experience too. Knowing I can choose to eat whatever takes the weird craving to eat bad stuff away and I find I want to choose the good food instead or skip snacks altogether. Moderation is incredible. As a rule my nature leans that way, but once in a while I get too obsessive with a behavior. Often it’s somewhat productive, like too much writing and editing. But if I let it tip too far it throws everything off balance and I have to work to mitigate it, like I’m doing with my weight plan at the moment. Thanks for the encouragement! Good to know it works for you too.

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  2. So true…I thought positive affirmations or self-talk were corny too but when I tried it during a tough time, it really helped. It was a rather stupid-sounding phrase that I said to myself over and over again but , “I can do it. I can problem-solve” got me out of a horrible, self-destructive place. Being surrounded by so much negativity for the last two years, how could we not let some of it seep in and infect us? Metaphorically or not! 😉

    I like what you did with the first collage – the colors and the composition choices. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! These collages were random intuitive collections, and I constructed the final works with nearly no self-editing on my choices of what to include and how to arrange it on the pages. Interesting exercise. Sketchbooks can be so freeing. This colorful one is a favorite of mine too, though second fave in the book… More to come. 😀
      Yes, it felt as if the whole world was trying to dim our lights for the last couple years, and it felt near impossible to combat at times. That’s why I liked the – rather negative – collage to represent that. The woman’s figure is positive behind Jack and negative on the other page.
      I too was amazed at how simple and basic my affirmation was. It seemed ridiculous that I wouldn’t just know this when I’d lived by it so many times in the past. But I printed it and put it on my monthly calendar page on my office wall and read it at least once a day. It started seeping in and I felt much stronger and able to do it. I love that it worked for you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a wonderful post! And thanks for the shout-out! It really is amazing how changes in attitude affect the perception of reality. My adopted Dad often talked about picking something and doing what you can in real life to make a positive change and if you truly can’t affect a change in the world (i.e. it’s raining and you planned a picnic) then change your attitude about it. Anyway it sounds like you’re doing that !! Yippee!!! I will share a link to your post on my next post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sue! Yes, I grew up with the coping mechanism of changing my attitude toward what didn’t go well, which is a huge help in many situations. Unfortunately, that was emphasized so much that I missed the boat on feeling that I could actually change situations. I held an ‘accept what’s given’ attitude to the max. Part of maturity for me has been, and continues to be, embracing my ability and responsibility to change things for the better. It brings so much joy to fix something rather than accept it’s broken or to add something new to the world instead of always being okay with whatever comes. There’s a balance there somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes!!!! Totally!!! I can so relate to what you say!! One can accept that a chair is broken but that does not mean you have to sit in it and only in it. Accepting that the chair is broken only means that you can now do something practical about it . Gotta run just now… love and appreciate your comment!!

        Liked by 1 person

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