Recently I had to make a couple of phone calls of the kind that I dread the most: to a huge company with endless voice recognition phone trees and long waits to talk to a real person, and enough money to buy as many lawyers as it takes to grind little people like me into dust. I’d dealt with enough such companies to straighten out snafus in my life that I thought I knew what to expect.
But then I tried a visualization I recently learned to let all that anticipatory energy just flow back out into the Universe. I imagined instead that the people I contacted would be understanding, that the situation would unfold easily, and that everything would work out as I hoped. I held that imagination in my heart in prayer, and made the calls.
It worked. Probably because I approached the situation already calmer than I would have been, I didn’t immediately put the person on the other end of the line on the defensive. One of the calls has had a follow up, and the man who called me was gentle and kind, with a sense of humor. Though the situation isn’t fully resolved yet, it looks well on its way to being finished with a minimum of stress and fuss. Amazing.
A couple of nights ago, I had a dream which is difficult to put into words, because there wasn’t any action. I just remember that I was experiencing a full understanding of how we beings create the physical world using our imaginations in a non-physical space. It was profoundly comforting and I saw, for a moment anyway, exactly How It All Works.
I had some experience with this when I was younger, imagining that a cut on my finger healed more quickly than normal and peeking under the Band-Aid in the morning to discover that indeed it had. Clearly there’s a mind-body connection at work in that example, and the more I play with imagination the more I understand that the mind’s beliefs influence greatly the physical experience of the body, so I’ve tried to make a practice of imagining that my pain has eased, that my body is healthy and strong. If it hasn’t always worked to the degree I hoped, at least it has helped.
It’s unfortunate that in our culture we tend to regard imagination as the province of writers and artists and inventors, when in fact it is a birthright we all share and is essential to our survival. Our dreams are full of imaginative events, people, and creatures. We use imagination when we map out a route to take for an errand across town, or when we plan a party or strategize about any future event. If we can take the time to imagine that everything will work out for the best, the chances are greater that it will, if for no other reason than we’re prepared for it to within ourselves and are less likely to sabotage the outcome.
I like to imagine a world full of greater compassion, a world where we can look each other in the eye and see our similarities more clearly than our differences, where we function out of love rather than fear, where art is valued as much as any other human endeavor, and where we treat our world and the other beings in it with care and respect. And why not? I found a compassionate human being at the other end of the line in the kind of company where customer service usually means getting the runaround. Anything is possible.