“We must dare again to dream the impossible and to romance the world,

to feel and honour our kinship with all species and habitats,

to embrace the troubling wisdom of paradox,

and to shape ourselves into visionaries

with the artistry

to revitalise our enhanced and endangered world”  

Bill Plotkin (Wild Mind)

We need life-affirming visions

Many a wise person, from our parents to our spiritual guides have reminded us of our powers of imagination. And for me, these words from Bill Plotkin, who has been a particular inspiration for me and whom I interviewed on the earthconversepodcast, particularly stir.

Our life-enriching regenerative futures require our visions.  As Possible Futures dedicated to the Global South remind us, the s, the plurality is important. No one has the final say on what the future is.  It is up to each of us, individually and collectively, to explore what the future may look, feel, sound, smell and taste like. Where we embrace pluriversality and create a world in which many worlds fit.

For some, visions come easily or come unwanted.  For many, gripped in survival mode there is limited to no capacity to imagine a better future.  (The systemic issues that are keeping so many in poverty, medicated, incarcerated, and at war warrants its own piece).

For now, this is for you who knows it is within your potential and your responsibility to seek, call, nurture and honor your visions. And you want some inspiration on how to do it.

But what if we have a vision block?

How do we seek, call for, nurture and honour our visions?

I know from working with leaders, teams, organizations, and even communities that we find visioning challenging.  I know it for myself.  Are my dreams limited by my own imagination, my own synapse wiring? The fear I hold?  The openness of my heart? My contact with the cosmos?  Many a time I have just drawn not a blank. But black.  Unable to see anything except darkness.

Earlier this year, I hosted a community event for the english speaking population of our village, using the world-café process.  What did people want for our pueblo?  Mostly the conversation revolved around dealing with littering cyclists and dog poo. Which demonstrated the fact that it is often easier to access what we don’t want as opposed to what we do.  Where our attention is, is where energy goes. So to focus on what we don’t want, can mean we will get more of the same.

We are also so used to being told what we want, or used to looking to others for inspiration. Which means we can easily forget our own wisdoms, longings, desires and truth. It is only when we feel safe in our body and mind, and are ready to reclaim our own soul, that we can really see new possibilities.

How do we practice?

Even if it comes easily to us, to vision is a life-long practice.  We can always start working that muscle.  When we do, we experiment and learn with it.

Sometimes I play with the idea that we make a deal with the pluriverse.   We do our bit, it does its.  In a co-creation.  We do all what we can to prepare our intentions, open our heart, remove distractions, do our soulwork, stretch and flex, “get out of our own way”, and the cosmic energy field plays.  (For sure quantum physics has more scientific explanations.)

In many respects though, we are always visioning, anticipating the future, co-creating our own reality, seeing what we want to see.  But here I am talking about those conscious practices we can do to become the visionaries we are, in service of people and planet.

There are boundless gateways but below are my dreaming dozen (just made that up for the purposes of this).  I don’t know what your journey has been, but mine is a gradual intimacy and expansiveness with visioning.  Here are some of the key methods, processes and tools that I have met and have consequently offered to others along the way.  It may expand your resources and help you think of yours.   The point of course is to become more conscious of our visionary powers and how they can serve.

A Dreaming Dozen

  1. Reconnecting with our childhood innocence: Where we access those memories, that felt experience of the creative, innocent, imaginative child. Did you have an imaginary friend?  I loved talking about that with Scott on this episode of the Earth Converse Podcast.
  2. Day to day awareness: Appreciating that every moment invites us into awareness. Breathing, daydreaming, bathing, reading, writing, making art, making love, playing, talking, travelling, sitting … Each and every one of these are gateways and portals to our imagination and visions, and yet I am grouping them as those daily human actions and possibilities. The more that we are conscious and present with them, the more we can see their potential to stir our imagination.
  3. Intentional creative learning: We can explicitly seek out learning and creative processes that spark our imagination, fire our neural connections, develop our emotional intelligence and enliven our souls.  It can be as simple as using yes-and” to build on ideas, or doing what jazz loves to do.
  4. Questioning and coaching: Learning to ask powerful questions and to coach, to help others expand their possibilities and potential, was a fundamental turning point for me, in helping myself and others visualize new futures.  This the essence of coaching, and I have been helping leaders do this for over 25 years.
  5. Meditation: How can we really tune into our own heart if we don’t learn to tune out distractions and listen to it? Learning to be present, to observe the workings of my own mind, understanding the profound yet simple act of paying attention and being in touch through meditation and mindfulness are my roots to visualization.  They are essential for self regulating and accessing my intuition.
  6. Contemplation: Learning the difference between ruminating and speculating, and upskilling to contemplate in an embodied way is essential brain health.  Engaging in soul practices, and using tools such as journaling, free flow writing and active imagination – which are so accessible, have been invaluable to my visionary work.
  7. Future visualizations: I was first introduced to visualizations from sports psychologists and sports performers with Lane4.   Here is fellow ex-colleague Charlie Unwin speaking at TEDx, as “the secret imagination of elite performers”.   From the seeds of my coaching work, I began offering guided future visualizations, making them available on the bonus series of the Earth Converse Podcast, and became a teacher on the meditation app Insight Timer.
  8. Vision Boards: Many of you will already do this – where you literally create a visual representation of what you want.  Creating a vision board for me has become a new year practice, but of course you can do to it at any time of the year, on a personal level, or as a team.  And update it as you go along!
  9. Vision Quest: This is the ancient human ritual of purification and listening.  A practice of going out solo in nature for inspiration, knowing that signs and symbols will be reflected back.  Earth Converse and earthconversing, are a result of my own vision quest with School of Lost Borders.
  10. Dream work: Elle Harrison who wrote Wild Courage first piqued my interest in dreamwork, and it was working with depth psychologist, dreamworker and wilderness guide Ray Hillis over 6 years that helped me deepen my work with dreams. Here he is on episode 29 of the #earthconversepodcast talking about how dreams help us access different realities and are a window to our soul.
  11. Shamanic journeying: Probably the most ancient of practices, and the newest to me, I am humbled and inspired by what can be revealed through relaxation, breathing, sound, intention and the right guidance. This introductory 10 day course on Insight Timer may also inspire you.
  12. Plant Medicine: I am now learning with the teacher plants, and medicine woman Munay. Again in my conversation with wise man Ray Hillis, on the earthconversepodcast, we discussed the use of psychedelics, and looping back again to Bill Plotkin who explored hallucinogens in Soulcraft.  Even since this conversation (2021), it is incredible to see the research, Netflix documentaries and renewed interest flourish in plant medicine as a way to accelerate consciousness.

Cosmic love and our toes

Accessing visions may be one thing.  The real challenge is to honour them and their timing and put them into action. That they be integrated into our way of being and doing, from a place of wholeness and groundedness.  Where we manifest them in the material world in service of people and planet.

We must, as Elisabet Sahtouris says “bring cosmic love down to our toes”.

And this is why Munay, Matthew and I are manifesting the message of Gateway To Your Essence.   That there are unlimited ways to our essence and our visions.  And we are offering the space, support and stimulus for people who want to explore theirs and activate and align their Inner Visionary at a cellular level.  Follow the account on Instagram to get a sense of the Visionary Compass Cards as an introspective tool.  And for those of you called to accelerate your consciousness and contribution to the world, you will want to join us on one of our events and retreats.

And reach out if you would like support in knowing more about any of these practices.

 

 

My photo of Matthew (also Slimmer Productions) and Munay filming for our Gateway To Your Essence media. 

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