Believing in Six Impossible Things Per Day

It’s time to start imagining. This could be a really fun exercise. Do NOT answer these questions rapidly. Answering rapidly is an indication that you do not want to give reflective thought to these questions that—let me point out—you have never been asked before. Therefore, you can’t possibly know the correct response right off the top of your head. These questions require reflection. And they are questions in search of responses versus “answers.”

  1. Define what’s impossible versus what’s possible for you. You’ve said to yourself, “That’s impossible.” What were you talking about when you said that and why was “that”—whatever that was—impossible? Too risky? Too much money? What would you risk looking foolish for—love, success?
  2. What’s the key difference between what you see as possible versus impossible? In particular, challenge yourself to carry this description all the way to the point of including “consequences.” That is, what would be the consequences of the things in your life that you decided were impossible. In identifying the consequences, you are naming what you are really afraid of experiencing.
  3. Everyone travels backwards because everyone has a history. The object now is to determine this: How often each day do you travel backwards in time? All day? Most of the day? Occasionally? And where do you go? Sad memories? Regrets? Unfinished business? Happy memories? And how long do you dwell in your past? I think I’m an odd duck on this one—I rarely look back, whether for happy or sad reasons. I am not especially sentimental but I have never liked that feeling of heaviness that I am left with upon “returning” from remembering.
  4. Are most of your decisions aimed at keeping your life as it is or introducing change? I love that question. You cannot answer that question without taking time to observe the way you think. It may take you days to realize how you make your decisions. What is your rationale for your decisions: Safety or new experiences and adventure?
  5. Do you tend to dismiss the creative ideas of others, looking for why new ideas or suggestions won’t work as opposed to why they could work? Some people by disposition block the creativity and imaginations of other people. They are intimidated by the liberated and free floating way other people think and so they put up roadblocks by finding ways to argue with their suggestions—or be obstructionists. (What comes to mind here?? Hmmm). Everyone suffers as a result.
  6. Is there some part of your life that you would like to move forward that would be assisted by believing in six impossible things?

Start anywhere. Or you can build all six impossible ideas around a strategy, all supporting the desire to break through something. Imagine something in your life you would like to be different or other than the way it is. Imagine something absurd, for instance, or doing something you have never done before. For example, wearing something you’ve always wanted to wear, or speaking to a neighbor that you really do want to meet, or even imagine yourself climbing a tree.

Here’s the real point of this exercise: Holding these imaginings is symbolic of the White Queen in Alice—pure new thought. Consider the Red Queen the aggressive part of your mind that will come to do battle with pure thought, pure imaginings, pure creativity. The Red Queen will always try to destroy a creative gift as the Red Queen represents the opposition of the collective unconscious as well as your external world and your own inner saboteur, so you must meet that force on your inner battlefield. If you can grasp that, then you can understand that the object of imagining the impossible is a multi-leveled discipline that introduces you to the power of your imagination and creativity as well as to your inner saboteur.

But imagining is ultimately not enough. You need to do more than just imagine. You need to act on something that you imagine. You need to bring it forth and give it life. The “impossible” requires vigilance and dedicated attention and constant courageous choices as well as a willingness to allow your life to change in “impossible” directions—directions transcendent of north, south, east, and west. Imagine that.

How often should you make a list of six impossible things? That all depends on how daring you are and how bold an imagination you have. In this regard, there are no rules. You decide. My own list is endless.

Just go for it. Enter the realm of impossibilities. One of the most delicious lines Emily Dickinson ever wrote was, “Dwell in impossibilities.” She not only fell down the Rabbit Hole but resided there as well. It’s no wonder she is my favorite poetess.

Find out about upcoming programs with Caroline Myss at Kripalu.

This article was originally published on Caroline's blog.