Working With An Imaginary Mentor

creative flowerImagination is everything. It is the preview to life’s coming attractions. – Albert Einstein

I’ve been asking myself, how can I best help empower others at this time of great global change. The first answer that came in the flash of inspiration was the word imagination. Einstein regularly insisted that imagination is more important than knowledge. But the thing is, it’s not just for geniuses. It’s for everyone. We have just be taught to favor the rational mind at the expenses of capacities that actually can help us in amazing ways. It’s easy to reclaim.

Years ago I learned an exercise from Jean Houston, noted author, visionary and one of the founders of the human consciousness movement. It involves working with an imaginary mentor to get advice on any question that we have for any area of our life. Using our imagination and intuitive mind give us access to a deeper wisdom and way of knowing beyond the capabilities of our linear mind.

I have used this exercise for years in teaching writing and with creativity coaching. I have been amazed and delighted that my students get much better advice than I could have ever given with all my years of experience. Everyone in class could hear the wisdom coming through as we shared our answers. Most remarkable is that the answers actually sounded like they were coming from the individual asked. If someone asked Mark Twain, the response would sound like something Mark Twain would write. Tapping your imagination and writing in flow can give you access to expanded awareness and better answers you could think up.

TRY THIS: Pick someone you think would give good advice. It could be Einstein, Plato or your grandmother. Imagine you have written him or her a letter asking a question you have about anything in your life. It helps to be specific. Then using the technique of free writing (writing as fast you can without censoring) you write the response to you as if it is coming from your imaginary mentor. Really let go on this one. Don’t think. Just let the answer flow out of the pen or the keyboard for at least ten minutes. Then read the answer with an open curiosity as if you really have just received this letter in the mail. Be open, be objective. The more you play with this, the stronger the muscle of your imagination grows.

OR TRY THIS: You can also go for a walk with your imaginary mentor and have a conversation with them in your imagination. The key is to play and be open. Let go of thinking that you have to figure out everything with your mind.

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