Maiella National Park, Abruzzo, Italy
Maiella National Park, Abruzzo, Italy
‘I know how you feel, I know how bad, ugly, rotten to the core you are’. The truth cut deep, a slash of self pity and the start of the slow bleeding slide into another day of dull depression. Sweet relief just a sandman’s whisper away but my soul is stuck in poetic mode.
Uncertainty is bumfuzzling, it brings up fear, it shakes the cage of our knowing and shows it to be an illusion. Goals and dreams that we have been so confident about shimmer and dissolve like a mirage and instead we find ourselves coddiwompling through life, to a destination disappeared.
And there is immense liberation. Things are not how we think they are. ‘How it is’ shatters and its shards and fragments are flung into infinity. I am just a dust mote floating in limitlessness horrified at being blown to smithereens and then through a clink just wide enough I glimpse the wonder. The wonder of what else is possible, the elasticity and power of our connectedness, the mobilisation of ideas, the leveraging of technology. Brain freezing, heart expanding times. Truly exciting times.
Leaning into the exhilaration of expansion is what is calling me now. I itch to be in that sandbox. My best contribution is creative service. I am offering 5 free no strings attached, discovery sessions* to explore an idea waiting to be born.
*45-50 mins available until 31 March.
#crossingfrontiers #theimaginationtechnologist #openforbusiness #letsgetcreative #liberation
Photo of the day on Unsplash.com Subtle Cinematics
Ancient Technology That Powers Creativity – A talk on the People’s Stage, Wisdom 2.0, San Francisco February 2018.
Dont be confused by my accent. Born of Irish parents I lived in the UK until I was 10yrs old. I moved with my family to Ireland until my late 20s. Since then I have lived in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. My accent is chameleon.
The theme of my talk is that Imagination is ancient and it is a gift that comes ‘bundled’ in our DNA. The premise is that how you use your imagination determines your reality. My end result for the talk is to open up minds to the real possibilities of imagination and to pique curiosity to explore the magic of it.
We think imagination is child’s play – about playing make believe. But it is not. It is the key to FREEDOM when we know how to use it because with our imaginations we can make things up – we can make our dreams real and create what matters to us. We are fundamentally imaginative beings but there are two aspects to ourselves that vie to harness the power of our imaginations.
One aspect is wild, free, unfettered and focused on creativity – let’s call it SPIRIT.
The second is careful, cautious, rational and focused on past experience – let’s call it STORY.
Kodak is a great example of a company that was innovative in its time – founded in 1888 and up until 1976 had 90% of film sales and 85% of camera sales in the US. But then came Fuji followed by digital photography and Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012. Kodak developed a digital camera in 1975, the first of its kind, but dropped it because of the fear that it would impact its film business.
On the other hand Apple is an obvious example of a company that has a history of being innovative launching products that we didnt know we needed while Netflix and Amazon have revolutionised their market sectors in the way they approached business.
On a personal note I am a dreamer and a procrastinator. In the lead up to the talk I conjured up all sorts of inessential activity including a road trip from Seattle to San Francisco. For those of you not from the USA that is ALOT of driving! I got to hang with some of my very favourite friends BUT it did put the squeeze on my preparation time for this talk.
These two aspects of SPIRIT and STORY co-exist in me so having the ability to shift the focus of my imagination is the difference between creating a reality of my choosing or getting side tracked and loosing sight of what matters to me. As I am trained in using my imagination creatively I daily put my focus imaginatively into the Vision of being on stage sharing my passion.
The talk takes you through using your imagination to shift your attention in relation to a problem you have from your STORY to your SPIRIT. I use a problem I have in the demonstration taking myself through some questions that reveal to me where my focus is and use my imagination to shift my focus.
Pick a problem you currently have. It could be about work, a relationship, about something that you would love to create but you have not got around to it – the book, that sabbatical, a weekend of hiking or a weekend of doing nothing…..It doesnt have to be a big problem – it could be that they had run out of your favourite muffin this morning at the store!
Our STORY communicates to us through our thoughts and feelings. My problem is about the book I am not writing.
The first question I want to know the answer to is ‘What am I thinking?’
What are your thoughts?
The second question I want to know the answer to is ‘What am I feeling?’
What are your feelings?
Our thoughts and feelings reveal the STORY and our imaginations create our reality. How would you summarise your STORY? And what is the reality you have created for yourself?
My STORY is “who wants to read what I have to write that and I cannot afford he time”…..this STORY is POWERING my imagination and basically I am spinning wheels going nowhere. No book. Similarly your story is powering your imagination to create your reality.
It was Einstein who said we cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that we used to create it.
So lets switch from the consciousness of our STORY to the consciousness of SPIRIT. We do this by connecting directly to our imaginations. Our SPIRIT does not communicate to us through our thoughts and feelings. SPIRIT talks to us directly through our imagination. The language of imagination is symbolic – that may be visual, sensory, auditory or just direct knowledge or awareness. As we are unique our language of imagination is unique.
Developing a creative relationship with imagination is about developing your ability to interpret and translate what you receive. You may already have a working relationship with your imagination or today may be Imagination 101 for you. Whichever it doesnt matter. As it is your language you can choose to learn it as you go.
Take a moment to be aware of your breath, it is helpful to close your eyes. There is no need to control or manage your breath, just allow it to oxygenate your body. To do what it does naturally and automatically. Now choose to be of SERVICE to yourself. Your heart is your highest level of intelligence and your highest good is its number one priority.
Notice any thoughts, any feelings, notice your STORY. Whatever is going on in this moment doesnt matter. Imagine that you are somewhere that makes your heart sing – it may be outdoors in nature, or somewhere cosy with a good book. Your happy place. Wherever that is imagine you are there.
Experience that place right now. Feel it. Hear it. See it. Taste it. Breathe it in.
Now imagine a golden circle. A clear clean space in this realm that you are in. Imagine this circle represents what really matters to you. You don’t need to know what that is just that the circle is a representation of that. Now imagine stepping into that circle.
Observe the first thing you get – it may be a feeling, an image, a sensation, a symbol. It can be anything but it is the first thing you get. You don’t have to know what it means but ask yourself:
what could it mean about you?
What could it mean about what matters to you?
What is the emotional quality of this space?
What does that emotion make you feel like doing?
When you are ready open your eyes and return to normal consciousness. Capture what you got on paper if you want to. It may make sense to you but dont worry if it doesn’t. Connect with the experience of it, the emotion of it.
What did you experience?
What did you learn?
Feel free to share in the comments below.
This is just a taster using this ancient technology. Innovative creators are renowned for their ability to bring together disparate ideas in new and unique combinations. Powered by SPIRIT imagination connects us to everything past, present and future in a non linear quantum reality. It is powerful, innovative, rule-breaking and life changing. It is radical. It is not for wimps. Innovation is not a function of DNA but rather a function of the ability to be able to determine the focus of your imagination.
I am not special BUT I have developed a living relationship with my imagination. I am using this technology to create an alternative STORY which I call my MYTH. A MYTH which is real, tangible and rich with meaning and magic. Some of my imagination creations:
Phil Knight founder of NIKE writes in his memoir ‘Shoe Dog’ of a moment long before his multi- million dollar business was a reality
‘I had an aching sense that our time is short, shorter than we ever know, short as a morning run, and I wanted mine to be meaningful, and purposeful. And creative. And important. Above all….different’
Phil was a runner before jogging was invented. He loved running but being a athlete wasn’t all that he wanted. So he wondered ‘What if there were a way without being an athlete, to feel what athlete’s feel? To play all the time, instead of working? Or else to enjoy work so much that it becomes essentially the same thing’. Phil’s words speak to me.
I love working with the technology of imagination, infinitely curious about what it reveals to me and my clients about what is important and to the crazy, beautiful, possibilities it inspires us to step up to. It is play, glorious play and it is heart warming to liberate people’s minds and open their hearts.
We sell ourselves short when we argue that unique creativity is only available to the chosen few e.g. Mozart, Picasso, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk. Imagination is neutral. We all have it. Being uniquely creative, being an innovator is a choice about how we use our imagination. Before I learnt that I could focus my imagination I was using it to power my STORY. Now I use it to power my creativity.
I am reminded of Don Juan in the writings of Carlos Castenada as he muses
‘Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t.’
Why wouldn’t you choose the path of your heart? My invitation to you is to connect with your SPIRIT and feel the freedom of your IMAGINATION to focus your energy and your gifts on creating and innovating rather than resolving the problems in your life.
If you want to road test that process again you can access a FREE DOWNLOAD here
‘Markets that deal in human futures are inherently pernicious’ Shoshana Zuboff – very interesting and considered observations on a new type of capitalism emerging as our experience becomes a commodity.
I, for one feel threatened by this scrutiny of my experience but Shoshana’s message is that it isn’t personal and we don’t have to be powerless when we understand that we are in ‘a moment of discontinuity’. Rather than thinking ‘our house is on fire’ understand that the very essence of who we are has now been commoditised and turned into data, data used to predict behaviour and shepherd our experience. We can be afraid because we do not know how to deal with this or be present to the bigger landscape turning our attention to deeper questions of awareness, responsibility and our collective vision for the future.
Let’s not be tinkering with the deck chairs on the Titanic rather consider a new paradigm of the future together.
I was prompted to write this post after listening to Shoshana’s webinar on Surveillance Capitalism as part of the Presencing Institute’s webinar series on Dialogues on Transforming Society & Self, (DoTS). Her book is available on Amazon.
My peer group On A Mission will be hosting a Pura Vida, a Creative Summit in Costa Rica in September 2020 to consider exactly that; new possibilities and paradigms to foster collaborative synergy based on consciousness, evolution & celebration. Watch this space for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more.
Photo by Cristina Cerda on Unsplash
I experience an increasing tension about the impact of my convenient lifestyle. Over 25 years I became accustomed to the fast pace of growth driven business at the heart of the disposable consumerism of big city London.
In the past 3 years I have come to question the primary drivers of business that gobble up our time, our joy, our spirit and our planet. I let go of living in London and of sacrificing my wellbeing and talents to a vision that didn’t belong to me.
I have found living directly connected to the elements of nature e.g. by the sea or in the mountains grounds me in a different rhythm, I think about light switches, own a bag for life and a reusable coffee cup, I choose zero air miles vegetables over world traveller imposters, cringe at plastic packaging, have nightmares about water bottles and the decimation of our oceans, walk more, spend less and sleep better.
I choose to live in the creative orientation, beyond the normal constraints of survival e.g. 9-5 job, regular income, a fixed abode. It is a wild ride at the extremes of existence that few people purposefully choose to do. I actually and metaphorically choose to voyage in unknown domains.
I choose to tread lightly on this earth; the call to be a hermit is seductive. I am passionate to leverage the genius of our collective creativity but I cant be bothered with kudos, conferences or the whitewash of feel-good collectives. I embrace the achievements of science, technology and innovation but don’t know where to begin to use them to transmute and transfigure life on earth.
I believe that we are better together, contributing the best of who we are to receive the fullness of who we can be. I believe that every human being has the potential to be part of the global synergy.
From the bottom of my heart I believe true collaboration is simple and it is the biggest challenge we are being invited to face at this time.
There is maverick community of early adopters out there, those with their toes in the water. I am called to join them and thanks to technology I can find and connect to them on line but is no avoiding the truth that the substance of collaboration is love and love calls for intimacy and vulnerability, for physical as well as ideological closeness, for kinship, sharing, eye to eye connection and the ability to be with and hang out in the messy entanglement of humanness.
I would happily stay at home – as I said earlier the call to be a hermit is seductive – especially when flying and many forms travel have such a polluting impact on our environment. Fortunately I have a friend who has a mate who has founded a company that helps those of us who caught in the carbon/climate predicament https://www.clevel.co.uk/flight-carbon-calculator/
I love taking photographs and using them on my posts and website but it isn’t my primary focus so unsplash is a treasure chest for me. There is always a photo to capture the essence of what I would love to share.
If you don’t know who unsplash (obscure name) are you found out here – Unsplash is a community where anyone can share high-resolution photos for anyone to use freely; open source for photographyI have been using this site for over 2 years and unlike most sites I subscribe too I receive very few emails and the ones I do receive are gentle reminders of this cornucopia of creativity that I might like to visit. Crediting isn’t required but is appreciated – and why not.
With a focus on connecting & sharing rather than competition & profit it is impacting the industry, Mikael Cho, founder, writes ‘We didn’t start Unsplash to reinvent an industry. We started Unsplash because we thought it might be useful.’
And it is useful – not just for me who wants to use photographs but also for photographers who want to get their work out there BUT there are cautionary notes. Unsplash has grown rapidly – there are mixed feelings from photographers, despite downloads work is often not credited (it can be easy to forget). Zero financial exchange may feel like a new way of doing business but it brings up mixed feelings on both sides; receiving something for free isn’t always reciprocal receiving. As an occasional user I dont mind being an anonymous ‘client’ receiving occasional email but as a contributor with 50K downloads anonymous or soliciting emails don’t cut the mustard (see online stories from disgruntled photographers).
The razors edge for unsplash has to be the line between the kindness, consideration & reciprocity of community and insatiable growth for growth’s sake which is part of the old paradigm of business. I don’t know how unsplash intends to evolve but evolve it will; the challenge is to direct that evolution always tweaking and adjusting.
I congratulate people & companies that are changing the way WE do business, not by changing the way THEY do business but by choosing to create from the source of a passion or a dream.
I work with entrepreneurs and change-makers to master and direct evolution. Feel free to contact me if you want to have a no obligation conversation about your business and how to stay on track and true to your original intention & vision.
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
#TheImaginationTechnologist #CrossingFrontiers #BeTheChangeInBusiness #BusinessReimagined