This summer my kids developed a fear of tornadoes that absolutely drove me crazy. In July, their older cousin, who they love and respect very much, innocently mentioned the anniversary of the tornado in Edmonton and from that point on they were convinced that there would be a tornado and any sight of the leaves blowing set them off. My son was terrified of going outside. It lead to lots of conversation about what to do in case of a tornado and then trying to explain the unlikeliness of this occurring.
As much as my kids are driving me crazy with their fear of an imaginary tornado - I have to admit that it had me looking at my own imaginal fears. How often do we witness a sign or signal and we allow our imaginations get a hold of us and take us the extreme possibility of what might happen. Someone we admire or respect (a family member, a boss, coworker, a person in the media) suggests something and we latch onto that idea and start to imagine the worst case scenario - we start to think about it, worry about it, begin to lose sleep, we lose our appetite (or get a bigger appetite), all because of the fear that something MIGHT happen.
When all along, just like the tornado, the likeliness of the worst case scenario is pretty low.
What To Do When Your Imagination Takes Hold
- Is this happening right now?
- Is this something that I want to happen?
Our imagination is a key tool in creating a life we love. Einstein said that "Imagination is more important than knowledge, because knowledge is limited whereas imagination encircles the world". So, if it is that important, and powerful, why not use our imaginations to serve us instead of torment us?
After asking those two questions, begin to entertain the possibility of the best case scenario - ask yourself what if it all worked out - how would that feel. And then use your imagination to determine the outcome that you would love to experience.
In our house we will continue to celebrate our kids using their imaginations and support them in imagining greater possibilities - not always an easy job, but absolutely key in producing results you would love to experience.
To Your Imagination,