“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein
Picture yourself slicing through the rind of a juicy yellow lemon, exposing the inside of the fruit. See yourself holding it between your fingers, squeezing it, and lifting it to your mouth, allowing a stream of tart juice to splash on your tongue. Are you puckering and salivating—not just in your mind’s eye, but in “real life” as well?
If you can experience this phenomenon, do you also see how your imagination can affect the decisions you make?
Think about something you’ll enjoy doing. When you imagine something pleasurable–perhaps a trip to visit a good friend–all the images and sensations you experience add to your decision to further pursue your plans.
Now think of something less enjoyable. Maybe you fear speaking in front of a large group or visiting someone you feel obligated to see. What images do you conjure up prior to moving forward? What affect do they have on how you proceed with your plan?
Imagination can be both friend and foe. It’s our choice.
When we write, our imagination is a valuable tool. In fiction, we use our imagination to create scenarios for our manuscript. In a memoir or biography, we use it for recall.
Whether for personal or professional fulfillment, writing is a beneficial art and practice:
1. Writing enlivens our creative spirit and elicits our focus. When we start to write, our page is blank. As it fills with the different components—descriptive words, dialog, commentary, etc.— we are creating something from nothing. In the end, whether or not it meets our expectation, we have created an original piece of work.
2. Writing can be very healing. We can relieve our minds from unnecessary rumination by writing bothersome thoughts on paper. If we’re in conflict with another, writing about it can help us to see things differently. In both cases it
gives us objectivity.
3. Writing teaches us how to organize our thoughts. Once we acquire the knack of telling a story, we learn to communicate our thoughts more clearly.
4. Using the mind improves mental agility and stamina and develops brain cells. If interested, this link will give you more on that subject. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/16/why-does-writing-make-us-_n_900638.html
Want to try your hand at writing? Here’s a fun exercise.
Think of a guilty pleasure—something you feel guilty about enjoying. In my classes many choose a particular food or drink for their subject. Here’s one I wrote before I finally kicked the habit.
Glug, Glug, Glug!
The way it explodes in my mouth slides down my throat and gives me a borderline brain freeze—sheer ecstasy—better than chocolate. Some can drink it out of a can or a bottle. Not me. Either a glass or a large paper cup, light ice and a slice of lemon please. Doesn’t matter how bad the day gets, where there’s a diet coke, there’s a way.
Leaving the workshop, I agree to meet all the facilitators at Linda’s. I’ve arranged to drive alone. My mind scans the route from where I am to our meeting place about a mile away. Lucy’s corner market appears in my mind’s eye. I head in that direction, my mouth watering as if I’d been in the desert for three weeks with no fluids and none in sight.
I park my car, walk to the entrance, open the heavy metal framed glass door and the smell of freshly baked pastries fill my nostrils. But I’m not deterred. I’m on a mission. I head to the back of the store where the soda fountain lives. I pull a medium sized cup from the stack; press it against the middle prong labeled ice and fill it about one quarter of the way full. Then to the label marked DIET COKE. I press the prong with my cup and listen to the fizzy, dark bronze liquid hit the ice. The cubes click as they rearrange themselves making room for the bubbling treat and my mouth salivates. Unable to control myself I pull the half-filled cup from the fountain and take two long gulps of the cool, heavenly liquid. My body relaxes and I finish filling the cup to the top. Ah, the satisfaction. I glance at the other selections – Dr. pepper, Diet-Pepsi, Squirt-nothing compares.