Thursday, December 1, 2011


"Most people equate the imagination with unreality. Nothing could be further from the truth. What we consider imagination is a reality beyond the normal world." So wrote author Ted Andrews in his book, Animal Speak.

Every truly creative breakthrough -- in art, science, and life -- involves an imaginative leap -- often through apparently unrelated metaphor. Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine, held imaginary dialogues with the polio virus that helped him crack the genetic code of this virus. Thanks to Salk's playing around with character and story, polio has been virtually wiped out in the world.

Einstein doodled and came up with the theory of relativity. Early in his career, Bob Dylan found songs in montages of Civil War headlines that he poured over in the periodicals room of the New York Public Library.

Your work and life can be transformed in the same way. Metaphor -- whether poetic, narrative, visual, melodic, dramatic, or dance-inspired -- is the language of the Threshold. This is the space between the known and the possible, the half-lit place where sudden and profound change can happen, the ground of transformation.

What we call miracles are actually breakthroughs into this larger reality in which we live and rarely see. Except through our imagination.

So be not afraid to imagine the life, the work of art, the job, the mate you want. Doodle everywhere all the time, be open to the stories unfolding everywhere around you, write fairy tales, dance your dreams. (Same goes for disappointments: pain quiets, perspective changes when given safe, structured, creative expression.) Sing the song of your deepest self.


Here's the master's -- Leonardo da Vinci's -- recipe for breakthrough thinking and living. For this list, I gratefully acknowledge Michael Gelb's lively book, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, (Thorsons, 1998).

Keep an insatiably curious approach to life.

Persist; be willing to learn from mistakes.

Practice continual refinement of your senses through art and nature.


Embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.

Maintain a balance between logic and imagination.

Cultivate grace, flexibility, fitness, and poise.


Recognize and appreciate the interconnectedness of all things.


Which attitude listed above most resonates today? Your intuition may be guiding you to what wants to emerge in your life now. This is your fertile ground for growth and change. Turn the English words into a first sentence and start writing...!


And buy the book. It's a great read and a terrific holiday gift!

by Juliet Bruce. All rights reserved.

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