SomaNews July-August 2020
Feeling the Sensation of Your Imagination
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.”
– Albert Einstein
I recently came across a quote, which I paraphrase here:
With imagination, our senses move beyond what is immediately given in order to find the hidden or invisible possibilities.
Feeling the sensation of your imagination? Yes, we visualize in our mind’s eye a new story – and then by entering imagination through a somatic orientation we’re able to sense or feel what it is to imagine.
I remember the old stories of imagination that come through my childhood, with powerful statements like, “Oh, it’s only your imagination” or “You don’t live in the real world, you live in your imagination.” Our culture tells us that little kids use their imagination, not adults.
Do you remember when you would play make-believe or dress up as a cowgirl or action hero? You became that persona. But as we grew up, our imagination was stifled or washed away. Just look at how technology and schooling has brought us into our heads, only thinking. We are taught that knowledge is the key to success. Yet when we live in our heads, thinking doesn’t nurture the growth of imagination. In fact, it is stifled.
You can use many ways to increase your imagination – stories, practices, videos. For example, watch this video of a Maori Rugby team doing the Haka Dance.
When I watch this video, the sensations of strength resilience and focus are felt in my legs, arms, deep into my core – and in feeling this my imagination takes me to the dance. I feel more energy in my body. I feel my length, width and depth, and through this energy I can imagine myself moving through my resignation or “stuck” place to move forward. I am imagining the sensation of strength, resilience and focus in my body to move me to victory over my self! Because the truest victory is victory over self.
One of my teachers once said, “Imagination is “ki.” Ki meaning energy. When we use our imagination, we are creating energy. An energy that can move us forward – helping us step onto a path that we may not have considered. Or we considered the path, but did not have the strength or resilience to walk it.
Imagination is much more than daydreaming. It gives us the ability to sense a new possibility – including smells, tastes, sounds, and feelings. Every goal or “new story” starts in your imagination, and through practice and embodying the story it turns to reality. Stories that allow you to sense and feel support your ability to embody new ways of being.
Imagination opens the door to what you want to achieve. Take a deep breath, feel the air enter your lungs, your ribs expanding. Imagine a time when you didn’t do that “thing” you wanted to do – take a dance class, write a story or sing. Imagine feeling your legs moving, or you holding the pen as you write, or your throat opening for the song to flow. Keep imagining in your mind’s eye that “you” and feeling in your body the energy that can take you to that new “you”. Do this practice two or three times a week.
Feeling the sensation of your imagination is to feel the poetic rhythm in your body. David Abram says imagination is an attribute of the senses themselves. It allows us to make contact with the other sides of things that we do not sense directly.
With imagination, you find moments when your ego lets go and allows the body to reshape where you surrender. It allows your body to say yes to a new imagining.
In short, using imagination in the process of change leads to transformation of your self.
"Everything you can imagine is real."
– Pablo Picasso
Let's imagine together...
Would you like to explore or deepen this gift? In my work as a somatic coach, I support clients in rediscovering the felt sense of their imagination.