Feeling Stuck? Turn Around

Imagination Apps

When I am trying to change my perspective or behavior in a specific way, having a visual representation that I can upload to my mind is a big help. Think of it as a kind of imagination app—an image or scene that supports and guides us through new, uncomfortable territory.

For example, I am easily drawn toward doing too many things (and thinking too many thoughts in too many directions) at once. The imagination app I use to bring myself back to the moment is to visualize having a dozen tabs open on a computer browser, and then closing them, tab by tab, until only one is left. The now tab.

It really does help.

Here is another idea. How often do we fight to open doors that we cannot open? They may be locked by someone else who holds the key. They may be so old and have been shut for so long that they simply are permanently closed. They may be barricaded from the other side or the key may be lost.

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In other words, how often do try over and over to change what is not in our control to change? We try to do too much at once. We mentally fight other people’s choices and behavior. We wish that life itself would be different. How much time and energy do we spend trying to enter doors that cannot be opened through our will or efforts, thinking that what is on the other side is necessary for our happiness or fulfillment?

In times like this, I try to picture myself in a large, circular room. I am standing in front of a door, pulling at it, pushing it, leaning into it, rattling it with everything I have, but it will not budge.

Not until I remember to turn around do I see that I am surrounded by dozens of doors circling the room, some of them similarly locked or stuck, but others with locks for which I have the key or unlocked or ajar or even swung wide open, just waiting for me to step through to see what’s on the other side.

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What imagination apps help you to adopt new habits and thought patterns?

Photo credits: Padlocked door by Camilla Reenberg; open door by vailiki.


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