What if you could have a conversation with your younger self? What experiences would you share? What advice would you give? Drop in on the unfiltered conversation between Annie Younger, aged 25, and Annie Older, 35 years her senior. As references are made to prior episodes, the conversation is best understood if followed sequentially from the beginning. Click here to read the first installment.
Annie Older: So, let’s continue, shall we, Annie Younger, with our chat about how we carry on in our journey towards becoming our fantastic selves. You’ll recall I’m using the term “fantastic selves” in the sense of who we fantasize ourselves as being. Another way of saying that is our “actualized selves”. You—me— showing up as our real, actual, authentic selves, whose potential is starting to show.
Annie Younger: Hey, I like that—my potential is starting to show! What I’ve been fantasizing about myself is going to start showing up in real life. Is that what you’re saying?
Annie O: Yep. What you’ve been imagining and dreaming about may or may not manifest literally in your life, but whatever you’re focusing on in your imaginings and dreaming, that’s the direction you’ll move in.
Annie Y: Like flying! Do you still remember those dreams where I could fly? I love the amazing sensation of freedom and boundlessness of flying from my bedroom down the stairs—a couple of feet above the steps—out the front door that swung open for me and then soaring higher and higher up into the clouds. Swooping up and down. Sometimes flying just a few feet above the ground. Sometimes above the treetops. Out over the lake. So free! So weightless! So uninhibited! I wish I could command those dreams to come!
Annie O: I certainly haven’t forgotten those sensations, Annie. I don’t think I—you—ever will. The great thing is, you’re going to start to feel those very same, incredible sensations in your awake life! In fact, the more awake you become, the more fantastic and liberating your flight. Waking up has everything to do with enlightenment, as we’ve been talking about all along. But, back to dreaming. It’s a must. Our dreamland is that place on the map that we want to get to in life. If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you get there? As I just said, your dreams may not literally manifest: you’re not going to fly jet-pack-like without a jet-pack, and you may never get into a romantic relationship with an Oscar-winning, heart-throb actor, but you can learn to fly so friggin freely in a non-physical way, and you can move into a healthy place in order to form relationships that foster your growth and happiness.
Annie Y: Annie O, I can’t believe you’re telling me this right now in my life! I just finished writing that poem–do you remember it?–called Modeerf in the Noitanigami Sea? And when you see the names “Modeerf” and “Noitanigami” reflected in the still waters of the sea, they say “Freedom in the Imagination Sea”. The words to that poem came somewhere from deep inside of me, but I never really, truly understood what I was typing. It felt right, but I didn’t get it. Now I think you understand it! Now I know, someday I’m going to understand what I’ve written! Do you remember it?
Annie O: Of course, Annie Y. I’ve had the poem, as you’ve just recently typed it, taped into my scrap book for the past many years. Coming to understand those words was an A-ha moment for me. I’ve also come to understand that my active imagination, which, as you well know, has gotten me–you–into trouble often enough as a kid, and my love of daydreaming, are actually blessings, when they’re used for positive purpose.
Annie Y: What do you mean, “used for positive purpose”?
Annie O: Imagination and daydreaming can either be an escape from reality, or a catalyst to transform reality. If we go there, into our imagination and daydreams, because we are so unsatisfied with our reality that we need to exit from it, then we’re using it as an escape tool. Maybe you’ve heard that victims of trauma, be it from abuse or other violence, will mentally and emotionally protect themselves by psychologically sliding out of the traumatic reality into a safer, imaginary place, in which case this escape tool can be a life saver. However, when used regularly as a tool to escape from an unfulfilling, unstimulating or otherwise disappointing reality, and the dreamer does nothing more with it than regularly use it to avoid dealing with life’s unpleasantries, then it can be a life killer. You can’t develop a purposeful, rewarding life if you run away from the very life challenges that allow you to actualize your potential. And, I’m speaking from experience here, kid. I used imagination and daydreaming as an escape tool for a long, long while before I learned to use it as a catalyst to transform my life.
Annie Y: How did that happen, Annie O? How did you learn to use your imagination and daydreaming as a catalyst for transformation?