Rev. Elizabeth Rowley is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at revelizabeth@cccsl.org.

The ability to imagine things influences everything we do, think about, and create. It leads to elaborate theories, dreams, and inventions in all professions, from academia to engineering and the arts.

Imagination boosts the brain because it makes us think in a non-standard way, outside-of-the-box, as it were. As a result, we can come up with unexpected solutions and create scenarios that solve problems effectively.

A great way to provoke the imagination is to seek out environments with which you have no experience. When we experience something enough times, our brain becomes more adept at processing the information, the neuron connections become more effective, and the brain doesn’t have to work as hard.

Reading a book offers an opportunity to imagine, dream, and visualize all the characters, scenes, and experiences you are reading. However, when you see a movie made from a book, you don’t use your imagination, as all of the characters and story details get presented to you in a particular way.

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Photographer Om Malik believes the unseen is what fuels the imagination. He captured a series of photos of a horse, and the one image that grabbed him was where the window frames of a stable hid the horse’s eyes. Imagine.

Japanese aesthetics comprise a set of ancient ideals that include wabi, sabi, and yugen. Wabi is considered a transient, stark beauty. Sabi is defined as the beauty of natural aging. Together they form wabi-sabi, a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

Yugen is a profound awareness of the universe that invokes inexplicably deep feelings too mysterious or profound for words. The experience triggers a deep emotional response. Examples of yugen are moonlight and its reflection on the water, birds flying high in the evening sky, or the sun rising over the ocean. I enjoy seeing groups of birds flying together, either swarming around or in a perfect vee. It stirs me on the deepest level every time.

Ernest Holmes wrote, “I am guided by the same intelligence and inspired by the same imagination which scatters the moonbeams across the waves and holds the forces of nature in its grasp.” He was open at the top and used his intellectual brilliance to weave the words of great thinkers into a Divine tapestry illuminating Spirit in wondrous and mind-expanding ways.

Let’s carve out time in our busy schedules each day to become quiet, still, calm, and refreshed so that we might let our imaginations run wild and gallantly forward toward our highest and greatest good. Life is a great adventure, and our dreams will become a reality if we fan the Divine spark with faith and conviction.

To be sure your imagination gets sparked to run toward your highest good and not triggered to run away from it, remember to take enough time daily to cultivate a calm and receptive consciousness. Be still and know, remain poised, connected, refreshed, and in the flow of Spirit.

And so it is.