Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Come Join Me on "Imagination Street"

There's A Place I Can Go to Every Day

"There's a place I can go to every day
So easy to get to and not so far away
A place of real creativity
I call it Imagination Street

I just close my eyes and flow into a dream
I walk a road with a slate that's wiped clean
I carry a palet and a color scheme
on Imagination Street

This is a new generation
All of the old rules melt away
Inside an open mind
there is beauty every day
Oh Creator within me please make sure
to keep these aspirations pure
On Imagination Street

There's a place I can go to every day
So easy to get to and not so far away
A place of peace and prosperity
Where you release my creativity
On Imagination Street
On Imagination Street
On Imagination Street..."

Ganga Fondan, 2000

I remember when this song came. Everything was starting to click and my life was beginning to experience huge bursts of fantastic joy again. My heart wanted to write song after song and at that time my Teacher, Tulshi Sen, encouraged me to open the floodgates and express everything I was feeling. I had never been able to access that kind of flow before. Grief suddenly became episodes of fantastic joy.
Tonight a digital art picture expresses this feeling to remind me of my journey again. Nowadays children's minds are so stifled with useless information that we must offer them every tool to activate their creative urges and take control of their thinking. The power of imagination is crucial to shape a powerful and beautiful future. It is a faculty every child is born with in unlimited amounts.

I remember in my own life how vividly my brother and I used to play our childhood games of "let's pretend" and we would be lost in our imagination for hours. We used to role play with costumes and accents and enemies. Our poor dog never knew what was happening. We would be running away from pirates or travelling in a spaceship to the moon or riding on the wagon train in the wild west. He would be wagging his tail and barking at the phantoms with us. The surprising truth is that we used very few toys to occupy ourselves with. The vacuum cleaner was a great motor, piles of blankets and odd shaped wood pieces our furniture.

Somehow over the years while attending school and growing up, I began to suppress that desire to activate my imagination. Those years involved alot of memory work and repetition. The odd writing assignment would excite me but somehow I lost faith in that kind of creativity as being valuable and necessary for my freedom to think in this world. It became more useful to memorize facts and listen to what the experts had to say. There was never a time when I did not listen to the radio or crave to watch television to escape a growing emptiness inside. Looking back at that time, I now believe that many of my anxieties and physical ailments were partly due to lack of creative expression.

Then, after years of searching for a way to fill the hole in my life, I met a teacher who would challenge me to use my imagination again. He would challenge me to ask myself over and over why I do the things that I do. Why do I wear the clothes that I wear? Why do I listen to the music I do? What or who do I think God is? Where did that idea come from? Why do I want to have a certain amount of income? How do I want to make my living? These questions all required tremendous stretching. Some answers eluded me while others began to open the "Aha chakra". Much of what I did and believed was taught to me by others. It was not through direct experience that these ways of seeing the world became mine. What a wake-up call.

It was very hard to change and know what was true for me. My mind would chatter on and on and I did not know what I truly deserved to feel in my heart and experience with my life. Stretching my mind and learning to trust what my heart was telling me felt excruciatingly painful at times. Meditation and chanting helped me to remain peaceful and the visioning tools helped to activate my imagination and seek out audacious new possibilites for myself. Like relearning to walk there was a lot of stumbling and falling. Over the years, all I wanted to do was write songs and keep the aspiration alive in my heart. It was the only way to really feel and hold on to what I was learning inside. Singing over and over for many years these songs made me stronger and stronger and revamped the wonder of imagination in my world. This time the imagination would help to build the life of my dreams.I get closer and closer all the time. I remember to see the destination but revel in the journey itself.

Now I begin to recognize how the 21st century information saturates our children's minds with so much excess, I wonder how they will be able to cope in an increasingly competitive world. I wonder who will stand for them and protect their right to think the thoughts that they want to think. It begins with each of us getting in touch with who we are in relationship to the whole. That is why I feel so passionate about what I have learned through direct experience. That is why I sing and blog and create this message over and over. It becomes stronger within me and others who are taking charge of their lives. We must set the example for the next generation. We must assert for ourselves the power of imagination. As my Teacher so clearly writes:

"When you have trained your mind to realize that whatever you have imagined is your reality regarless of the external conditions, then only will it accept, then only can you dwell in your Imagination and bring in the mighty focus of concentration and form your Vision." (Chapter 20: Four Steps to Visioning)

Then we can truly imagine the world we want to live in and create it. Then we will know that anything is possible. Then we will know how to guide the younger generation to the tools that will build a prosperous and wonderful future. Then we will know in our heart that nothing is impossible.

Remember to ask yourself why you do the things you do. Journal the answers and learn about yourself and who you really are. Believe me there is no journey more exciting than the one we take inward.

"When I close my eyes and I see how things will be
That image sets me free
and only then do I see
there is still so much joy inside of me
inside of me on Imagination Street."

Dare to dream the impossible.


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