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:
- Wiz-Biz a Business Mentoring program to inject magic into business – for wizard-business creators. A get together to serve each member imaginatively – this ensures that our businesses have heart, joy and real value for us rather than what we think the world wants from us.
- CO:LLAB – roving co-living, co-working project for like minded creators in beautiful parts of the world by the ocean.
- Halcyon Days – a collaboration with Thea Allison, 5 day retreats in Greece to restore you to the richness of life. Diving deep into what matters to you and starting the process of making it real in your world.
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