In a culture full of entertainment, advertisements, and constant input, we sometimes forget to use our imagination. Imagination games are mostly considered child’s play. Like muscles that don’t get flexed very often, our imagination can atrophy without use. When we do bring it out, often when we’ve set aside some special time to get creative, our imagination may feel weak and undernourished.
One easy way to exercise the imagination is daydreaming. When we were growing up, many of us were told that daydreaming was a waste of time. On the contrary, it’s a wonderful way to let your imagination play and dance. It’s free, and can take up as little or as much time as you wish. Daydreaming is exercise for your creative faculties and can easily be combined with other parts of your daily routine.
For example, during your daily commute or when you’re driving around doing errands, turn off the radio and the cell phone and let your thoughts drift. Keep your eyes on the road, but allow your mind to drift a bit, not to the list of things you have to do that day, but rather to whatever fanciful thoughts happen along.
When you go for a walk, imagine scenarios and ideas that have nothing (or everything) to do with your surroundings. If you need ideas to get your daydreaming started, wonder how that tree came to live there, or what type of person resides in the pink house. Look for faeries among the hedges or listen in on the conversation between some neighborhood cats.
If you enjoy creating art of any kind, keep a small notebook with you in which to capture some of your ideas. A few jotted-down words or a brief sketch can lead to unique creations – even if they stray far from the original daydream. Daydreaming can also help you solve problems that have come up in your life. A creative solution can emerge when you lessen your conscious hold on the situation and let your subconscious self play with ideas. Whatever your intention, or just for the sheer fun of it, encourage your daydreams to flow. Your imagination will thank you for the delicious nourishment.