Captains Curious: The Reactivation of My Imagination

Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. The newest contributing member is Ruth Kellogg! To learn about the other Captains Curious, please click here.

Imagination, Curiosity and Infinite Possibility

You and I both know that imagination all by itself has unlimited possibility. When was the last time you really used yours? Do you know that most people have about 90% of the same thoughts day after day?  Unless you are in the arts and creating on a regular basis, you probably fall into that category. Scary, huh?!

Think about your day, the routine of your day. Most of us have our lives down to a system of one sort or another. You know the drill… get up, shower, brush your teeth… in some order. Within that system, we typically have routines or jobs we love and those we dread. There are subsets within the system – you know, relationships, work, family. We may get imaginative if we are planning a vacation, or a party, or we may hire someone to do that for us because we are too busy doing what is required on the list every day.

What does Imagination mean?

In fact, let’s look at the definition. Imagination is the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality. What would it be like if you could rekindle your imagination? Who has time for that? You may ask, ”Why would I want to? I am not a creative person! What is the point?”

I am glad that you are asking “Why?” because that means you are curious.

What does it mean to be Curious?

Let me give you Webster’s definition of curious; there are three. 1) Eager to learn; 2) Unduly inquisitive; prying; 3) Arousing interest because of novelty. Read this again! Does anyone want to appear unduly prying, or feel as though they are arousing interest because they are a novelty? I contend that even when we allow ourselves curiosity, we are restricted by the parameters of what it means to be a good person in polite society. Curiosity is pretty much bred out of us, except in structured or controlled environments – in which case it is no longer genuine but contrived.

We are told from the time we are little that too much curiosity can get us into trouble. So we learn to do what is in front of us, do what we are told and taught in good faith; doing this will get us the success we aspire to. We stop asking questions – at least questions that don’t allow for an answer we already think we know. I believe that when we go along with this guidance, which most children do, a piece of us dies; that innocent, childlike Essence within us is given no room to play beyond our early years – unless we carve it out for ourselves and make it happen.

The reactivation of my curious imagination

In my work as a psychotherapist and a healer of deeply hidden emotions, as well as in my personal life, the reactivation of my imagination has meant everything to me. I remember the first summer my son came home from college after my husband and I had separated. He was sullen, and did not speak to me much unless it came out angry.  He was also displaying typical teenage boy behavior of not picking up after himself and not actively looking for a summer job. If the family hadn’t been going through a major adjustment, I might have just harassed him.

Instead, I decided to allow my imagination to help me. I began to ask my inner wisdom, “What can I say to him that would create a doorway into his silence that wouldn’t offend him or make our relationship more tenuous?” By living in this question for a few days and not succumbing to my frustration, one morning upon waking a simple idea came to me.

I asked him if I could ask him a question, and when he said yes I asked, “Are you not talking to me because you are mad at me or because you are just mad?”  His response was, “I am just mad.” I sighed in relief and told him, I was happy it wasn’t me, and I was here for him. Within a few minutes he started to talk. His talking to me came from a place of trust with him, because I was simply curious without an agenda. This short conversation set the stage for a heartfelt summer versus one of adversity. It took a couple of days of asking myself the question, and searching for a new way of being with my young adult son, to come up with something that simple.  However, the time and result were well worth it.

Without our curiosity…

I contend that without our curiosity, our unabashed (without judgment or preconceived notions) ability to ask “what is this?” even when this is something we have seen a hundred time before and we think we know but we want to see with new eyes, we are very close to being automatons: Human machines that do pretty much the same thing everyday.

The alternative

When we are willing to ask, “What is this?” and we ask with genuine willingness to put aside whatever we think we know and allow our inner wisdom to form a mental image of something not present to our senses or current reality, we open a window to a new sense of aliveness. When I was willing to assume I didn’t know what was going on in my son and start from there, it opened a doorway into a summer of conversation instead of stress.

When we are willing to use curiosity coupled with imagination, we are activating our right brain, and bringing a new balance into our bodies. We activate an aliveness within ourselves that creates satisfaction and a sense of connection. Curiosity, combined with a willingness to be imaginative in ways we think or believe we have forgotten, opens doors of infinite possibilities in whatever areas of our lives are stale, or stifling and dreadful. Try it! See what your inner wisdom will bring alive in you.

A great resource for activating your right brain and imagination is “Breaking The Rules” by Kurt Wright.

Please leave a comment below!

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Ruth Kellogg has extensive experience in both the worlds of psychotherapy and business. She has owned her own businesses for 30 years, and has been a licensed therapist since 1986. While she has not always been in the healing arts, the healing arts have always been her passion. Ruth is a gifted intuitive who uses her ability to uncover the emotional pain her clients carry in the invisible pockets of their unconscious emotional body, mind, and spirit continuum. She helps them to release the pain that silently runs their lives and anchors the beliefs that keep unwanted recurring patterns in place. Find her online at http://www.RuthKellogg.com and on Twitter @ruthkellogg.

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Would you like to submit a guest post on the subject of Curiosity? Send an email to susan {at} susanTblake {dot} com with the subject line: Captains Curious.

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5 Responses to Captains Curious: The Reactivation of My Imagination

  1. Jesse July 14, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Love this!

    Opening up to the possibility that our preconceived notions might be deceiving us creates the real potential for good connections.

    I cherish the curiosity and imagination in my kids. That’s partially the reason we home school, so that curiosity doesn’t get squashed out of them any sooner.

  2. Ruth July 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Hi Jesse, thanks for your comment. I applaud you for home schooling your kids. I believe that to keep our imagination alive is to keep our very Essence consciously working on our behalf toward the fulfullment of our purpose, whatever that may be. The richness of life is always in the experience of our aliveness.

  3. Emily Rose July 14, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    I have always been a curious gal, sometimes it has gotten me into trouble, and it was just because I was wondering about something no one would talk about and when I said something (that I guess i wasn’t supposed to) it turned against me. But I am glad i never gave up on wanting to know more, to know why, to know and to learn as much as I can! I am so thankful for my curiosity.

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  1. Imagination Curiosity and Infinite Possibilities « focusonfulfillment - July 14, 2011

    [...] This blog is a copy of a article written as a guest host of Captain Curious  http://susantblake.com/captains-curious-the-reactivation-of-my-imagination/ [...]

  2. Imagination Curiosity and Infinite Possibilities « focusonfulfillment - July 14, 2011

    [...] http://susantblake.com/captains-curious-the-reactivation-of-my-imagination/ [...]

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