If we tell a child “that is just your imagination” we are sabotaging their natural ability to be able to connect with the world of creativity, to use what is innately their wisdom and way of thinking, feeling and creating story, art and poetry, to be connected to the mystery of life. We rob them of vision and insight and we are guilty of aiding the shut down of those valuable ‘muscles’ that keeps their fantasy world alive and open.
In shamanism we believe that the imagination is a natural portal to the spirit world; we encourage it by giving babies rattles, by singing sweet songs, particularly repetitive ones, little rhymes’ that we speak and sing over and over again as we lull them to sleep and into their dreaming state. We tell stories of wonderful tales read from amazing books by wonderful writers.
But as they get older and those imaginary friends that we do not understand begin to annoy us, and the things they see in the night and the dreams they have, and the visions they say are the truth become lies or untruths or simply an excuse to say “that's just your imagination” or even “it was just a dream!” think twice, take a breath and a pause. Remember when you could vision in freely, when you trusted what you saw in the games you played. Remember how important it was to be heard and believed and taken seriously.
Believe in your children, yours and others, be curious about what they see and what they dream! Because curiosity and imagination are some of the best ways to keep our minds alive, guiding us amongst the world of soul and spirit and the beauty we can see in nature, not just in the ordinary and mundane life of normality, but in the mystery, the nagual, the spiritual, the soul searching, poetic and energetic realms of the story teller, the seer and the one who knows a little more than what the ordinary eye can see.
Practice yourself to open that third eye, vision in the beauty and the valuable insights that give us much more than ‘make-believe,’ those that, when trusted, can connect us to our wisdom and the insights about who we really are.
Never say “that is just your imagination” to the children or to ourselves, but watch, feel, listen to the story that is unfolding, be curious, take time and learn what it means, once more, to be in connection with you're own innocence.