I stood in my own way twice in one week. The solution each time lay in my imagination. The first example came following a discussion with a friend. It was an uplifting dialogue, a meeting of minds, but it left me feeling anything but energised. Having described my preferred working arrangement – a combination of individual clients, group work, seminars, talks, writing, and reflection – she asked me a simple, yet disarming question: ‘Do you affirm that every day?’ My response was a brief ‘No’. I felt caught out and inclined to explain myself; a sure sign that I’m being made to see something important.
I knew at the time it was significant, but the conversation moved on and I felt relieved to have avoided the full challenge. (Again, that relief indicates there is work to be done.) Sure enough, by the end of the evening, the whole thing had caught up with me and I felt tired. The next day was even worse. I felt low; as if what I was doing was not enough. I was right, because as much as I thought I was creating my reality regarding how I want my life to be, there was an important final step missing: the feeling that my reality is already here; already real.
It makes a big difference when you imagine you’re already where you want to be. It has a greater power than just using words to state an intention. With your imagination you conjure up the feelings you associate with your desired reality. You instantly create and inhabit your chosen world. In doing so you make it possible for the final piece of the jigsaw – reality itself – to slot easily into place. The funny thing is, that final piece is there all the time, but we usually wait for it to be in place before constructing the rest of the jigsaw around it, in the belief that: ‘When my reality changes, then I’ll feel good.’ But instead of doing it that way, we can create a persuasive framework out of thoughts and feelings so that reality, which is actually waiting for us to make up our minds, knows exactly where to go.
The second illustration of me blocking myself occurred a few days ago during a yoga weekend. It was hard work. Intense but satisfying. The teacher held us in each pose for an age while she went around correcting everybody’s posture. Each time she manoeuvred me into the right position, I saw more clearly that I was holding myself back. I was being over-cautious, protecting myself from further injury after the pain I’ve experienced in the past. (Here, for example.) Surrendering into the pose I experienced none of the imagined pain. I felt ease, comfort, and relief; feelings I can generate again and again at will, shifting an old mindset and creating a different reality as I go.
There was even one twist into which the teacher had to help me, before turning my shoulders even further when I thought I was done. It made me gasp, but as I unwound myself I felt that the world had changed – that I was a different person to the one before the twist.
The muscle pain from that weekend is still with me, but as it fades I am left with greater confidence in my body, greater strength, and a greater conviction that I am able to do whatever I put my mind to. Not just the logical, persuasive mind of thought and argument, but also the imaginative mind. The one which creates worlds out of nothing, just as children do every day; which can generate feelings of well-being and oneness in an instant; and which invites reality to join in the fun. A mind which connects so easily and joyfully with the heart. It’s more powerful than you might imagine, when you imagine with all your might, that you’re already where you want to be.