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Craving guilt-free creativity that makes your heart sing and time fly?

Welcome to your Creative Oasis™!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sound Advice from the Mad Hatter

Do you sometimes act like Alice? Do you tell yourself that things are impossible? That you're too old to learn to play an instrument? That you'll never finish writing your book? That you have no artistic talent? That you simply don't have time for the creative pursuits you dream of enjoying?

If so, at the risk of sounding slightly touched, I propose you try acting a bit more like the Mad Hatter and see where that gets you. His philosophy seems to be "It's only impossible if you believe it to be." Interestingly, by simply imagining that something we now believe to be an impossibility is a reality we open our minds to making dreams come true – to making the impossible possible!

In his wonderful book, "The Kaizen Way – One Small Step Can Change Your Life,"Robert Maurer, Ph. D. touts the powerful the practice of Mind Sculpting. This is one of the many transformative tools I use as a certified Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach. A bit like an amped of version of day-dreaming, mind sculpting is a painless, easy way to break through the barrier of "this is impossible" and into the satisfaction of "I'm really doing this!"

Mind sculpture has people imagine they are actually engaged in whatever action they'd like to experience. Rather than closing your eyes and watching yourself as if in a movie, you envision yourself from your point of view engaging all of your senses and emotions in the experience as fully as possible.

For example, if you have a watercolor kit that's been sitting in your closet still in the wrapper for three years, your first small step could simply be to close your eyes and imagine yourself reaching up to take the kit from the shelf, unwrapping the box, setting all of the supplies out on the table  and beginning to paint. What does the crackling of the cellophane sound like as you unwrap the package? How do the painting supplies smell? What does it feel like to fill a glass of water in which to dip your brush? Can you imagine taking those first few strokes? How good might that feel?

After doing this for only ten or fifteen seconds, your mind becomes more open and receptive to the possibility of doing it in real life. How cool is that?

This technique is used by many professional athletes, speakers and entertainers. As Maurer explains, the brain doesn't know the difference between us actually performing the actions or simply imagining performing them. "In one study, people who practiced a five-finger piano exercise for two hours a day showed a similar increase in brain activity as those who performed the exercise solely in their imaginations without ever touching the keyboards."

To create the image for today's Mid-Week Oasis Moment, I used photoshop, something that has felt far beyond my grasp until now. But, inspired by the Alice in Wonderland quote and excited by the prospect of creating a truly magical image, I chose to try on the Mad Hatter point of view for size and believe it was possible. Of coures there was trial and error, but by simply releasing the thought "It will be impossible for me to use photoshop" I opened the door to the possibility that it could work! 
(Cue lightening bolt and thunder for any of you Young Frankenstein fans out there.)

What about you? What's one thing you've been telling yourself is impossible? How would it be to close your eyes and imagine the experience happening – each and every delightful detail? Perhaps it's typing the last page of the manuscript you've been writing –  the clicking of the keys, the sense of satisfaction. Maybe it's sitting in comfy chair with a warm cup of tea and knitting a beautiful, soft sweater as the morning light streams in. You might envision yourself picking the fresh delicious ingredients for a salad out of a garden you finally planted – the earthy smell of dirt on your hands and the satisfying snap of a green bean from the vine.

Until next time, here's to opening the door to what's possible for ourselves using mind sculpting just 10 or 15 seconds at a time and saying Yes! to our creative dreams in the process.

All the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,

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