Why is being imaginative important for self-growth?
I invite you to pause and visualise an image of a person having the sun as their head. Hold that image in your awareness and/or draw it out on a piece of paper. What do you see? How does it make you feel?
When I visualise this image I see a person that is joyful and energetic with bright orange streaks shining outwards. In return, I can instantly feel myself breaking out in a smile. Images are powerful ways of telling our stories that can either enable us to move forward or can keep us stuck from living in the present moment.
In Greek mythology, Helios is the personification of the sun. He played an important role in the survival of the Greeks. He rode in his chariot through the sky carrying the sun from east to west each day. He was an all-seeing god, a light and life-giver.
I would like to introduce the myth of Helios as a metaphor for a new 21st-century ‘Helios human’. A human with a great mind as a sun able to spark new ideas and inspire others to carry creativity from one place to another. That way we would be able to expand and create new, different stories to shape our collective and individual consciousness.
Learning how to use our minds to unlock self-awareness can help us shape our experiences. This way we feel freer, authentic, fluid and able to understand the power within. I see the process of creating images to express who we are in the moment as a fluidity of self mindset by which we are empowering and choosing ways we are viewing ourselves.
Over the last 30 years, we have developed many tools in a digital world that can connect us with a click of a finger. Gone are the days of having just one way of seeing things. For example, thinking that we are our thoughts. A traditional way of looking at mental health is through the clinical lens, dominated by psychiatry. Seeing mental health as a disease of the mind that needs to be treated often with medication or talking therapy. It is no longer that way.
The western world is adopting and expanding its traditional ways of viewing mental health. We are following an Eastern philosophy trend of storytelling, mythology, and mysticism like meditation to bring about the change that is much needed.
Coaching, healing, educating, self-support and peer support is an addition to the mainstream offer. It is becoming the norm for us to look after our well-being. Collaboration as a tool of how to build relationships between clinician and patient is used to shift binary role division.
I offer an analogy for looking at self-development more fluidly by imagining ourselves walking in nature. We might be on our own to start off but then we see a river that needs to be crossed. At that point, we want to find someone that can help, and share with us if there is a bridge. Or we might look for ways to cross the river on our own, researching the best way to do so. Lots of things can happen unexpectedly until we are able to cross the river. And at the time when we are crossing it, we think that is our only goal and when we do so we will be OK. However, as we walk on further along another thing can come up or you might choose to go for a different walk and so on.
People are realising they're walking their own path. At times they would like someone to walk alongside them because they're unsure which route to take. They find a person to join them for one or two moments of contact and then they go their own way, like a coach.
As a coach, I always hold in mind that I'm not telling someone what path to take. I realised that I'm honoured to be with them for a short time and perhaps further down the line. It is about inviting them to see multiple ways they can listen to themselves, paying attention to what's around them, to help them find their next steps. Sharing also my life journey to inspire them that they are not alone and we are on a collective journey just like ‘Helios human’ - sharing our creativity and becoming self-aware.
Why don't you give it a try? Next time you are experiencing difficulties on your path be curious to find support along the way.
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