Fantastical Thinking

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What is Fantastical Thinking?

‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them’

Albert Einstein

Fantastical Thinking is achieved by combining the natural activities of the mind and the conscious use of integrity to generate options and solutions that are appropriate for everyone involved in the 'real' world. 

 

We set limits for ourselves around what is possible or impossible and these limitations are enforced socially, culturally and politically. To challenge the notion that something is impossible, and so increase what is possible for us, we can use fantasy. Fantasy can help us challenge limiting beliefs by using an 'AS IF' state. It allows us to step out of our 'perceived' reality and explore another reality. It allows us to stretch the perceived boundaries of what is possible. It allows us to contemplate the impossible and improbable. This is necessary if we are to imagine things we are not already experiencing, doing or in possession of.

You can make a massive and positive change to the way you feel and the world around by choosing to think about something positive. This will have an immediate impact on the chemicals produced in the body which will have an impact on the physical health of the body. Giving yourself time to think about something wonderful allows the body to have a rest from the normal levels of anxiety it deals with on a regular basis. This creates an amazing opportunity to exercise the imagination. Thinking about the most fantastic scenario you can gives the imagination the exercise it needs and makes it easier for you to come up with great ideas in the future.

This section will look at:

  • INTEGRITY: How to combine and ground compassion, imagination, intellect and intuition.
  • THOUGHT: How to interrupt and control your thoughts.
  • EMOTION: How emotion is related to thought and how to choose emotion.
  • SENSATION: How sensation is related to thought and emotion.
  • INTUITION: How to recognise the difference between intuition and fear.
  • DETACHMENT: What we mean by detachment and how to achieve it.
  • DREAM: How unconscious dreaming holds us back.
  • FANTASY: How conscious dreaming impacts on our being.
  • FANTASTICAL THINKING: How to consciously ground fantasy with integrity.

 

Integrity

Reviewing and understanding the intentions behind and outcomes of our actions is an important step in creating a more harmonious reality.

Integrity is a combination of compassion, imagination, intellect and intuition. It is to do with the solution for the highest good of all. It is about accepting, through whatever paradigm you feel comfortable with, that we are connected to everything else in the universe. To operate with integrity we have to integrate all of the variables and do something positive. Creating opportunities for the Self at the expense of everything else shows no integrity and is ultimately not very intelligent.

Success is not just about abundance. The relentless emphasis on manifesting wealth by the current wave of ‘Law of Attraction’ pundits is quite offensive to some people. In his lectures on success, Napoleon Hill, who wrote ‘Think and Grow Rich’ in 1937, said: “success, in the higher brackets of achievement, is something that can be had only by taking others along with you”.

People achieve their goals when their goals fit in with their own values and beliefs. For an idea to be truly fantastic it has to fit in with our core values. Another pillar of self-development work is Steven Covey. In his book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ he writes: “intrinsic security comes from inside out congruence, from living a life of integrity in which our daily habits reflect our deepest values”.

Reviewing and understanding the intentions behind, and outcomes of, our actions is an important step in creating a more harmonious reality.

 

Thought

We know from research into brainwave patterns that different types of thoughts correspond to different activity in the brain. This is measured in terms of the electrical messages sent in the brain. From this research we can know something about what type of thought we can have in relation to what type of activity is going on in the brain.

We can ask the same question about the same subject in each of the different brainwave patterns and we will get 4 different responses back. Things become a little confusing because brainwave activity is on a sliding scale. We might spontaneously slip into a brainwave pattern where we are capable of day-dreaming, relaxation, meditation or fantasy without realising it.

In summary the activity is divided into four basic categories as follows:

beta brainwave patterns

We can consciously choose what activity goes on in the brain. Just by interrupting the mind and getting it to re-focus on something that makes us feel safe and happy we can start to reduce the frequency of the brainwave activity.

alpha brainwave patterns

This, in turn, allows us to think and feel different things, which in turn can help to affect the activity in the brain.

theta brainwave patterns

 

What we think affects what we CAN think!

delta brainwave pattern

 

The first step towards consciously affecting your own brainwave patterns is relaxation.

This is a simple relaxation exercise.

When you are doing any mind work, always create a safe, protected environment and be balanced, centered and grounded before you start. You can learn how to do this in the HOW section of the website and get more information on where to get help to do this by clicking MORE.

Exercise

Create a safe space to work.

Go through the first relaxation exercise in the thought section of the site, then:

  • Make yourself comfortable wherever you are, whether you are sitting or lying down.
  • Start to notice any sounds you can hear. Notice, accept without judging and let them be.
  • Bring your attention back to yourself and start to notice the body.
  • Ask yourself: Q Am I as comfortable as I can be at the moment?
  • Notice your response. Accept without judging.
  • Make any adjustments you need to make to become even more comfortable.
  • Ask yourself: Q Is the breath that I am taking the breath that I need?
  • Notice your response. Make any adjustments you need to make.
  • Using the body as your focus, start to command your mind to a task:
  • Now, start to ask yourself: What does it feel like in the bones in my toes?
  • Practice noticing. Whatever you notice, accept without judging.
  • Feel gravity beneath you. Affirm to yourself: 'I am safe, I am supported'.
  • Let the weight of the body be supported by gravity and the core of the earth.
  • Now ask: Q What does it feel like in the tissues surrounding the bones?
  • Practice noticing. Whatever you notice, accept without judging.
  • Let the weight of the body be supported by gravity and the core of the earth.
  • Affirm to yourself: 'I am safe, I am supported'.
  • Now ask: Q What does it feel like in the fluids serving the tissues and bones?
  • Practice noticing. Whatever you notice, accept without judging.
  • Let the weight of the body be supported by gravity and the core of the earth.
  • Affirm to yourself: 'I am safe, I am supported'.
  • Now repeat this, moving through the different areas of the body.
  • When you have gone through the whole body bring your attention back to your centre.
  • Imagine a layer of protection around you. Let it be fantastic.
  • Ground yourself by affirming your intention to be grounded as:
  • 'I am an energy being in human form on earth. I am safe here'.
  • Feel your feet firmly on the ground. Keep pushing your intention down to the core of the earth.
  • Start to gently move your fingers and toes, limbs and torso, neck, head and face.
  • When you feel ready, open your eyes and be ready to engage in the world around you.

 

Emotion

Brainwave activity also corresponds to types of emotional responses as well as thought scripts and physical sensations. Fear is more associated with the 'beta' pattern whereas true joy and bliss would be associated more with 'theta' and 'delta'.

Whatever emotions you are experiencing, it is useful to be aware of the thoughts that you are experiencing at the same time. We can have an impact on the emotions just by interrupting and changing the thoughts. Choosing to think about positive things has a positive impact on how we feel.

 

Sensation

For every thought and emotion we have there is a corresponding sensation, whether we are aware of it or not. Most people have experienced butterflies in the tummy which is most commonly associated with fear or excitement.

When we pay attention to what we experience in the body we can start to build a catalogue of experiences associated with different environments. This is useful because we start to become aware of how we normally react to situations and this allows us to change those reactions if and when we choose to.

We also start to recognise signs in the body that let us know if we are out of balance. The body is our home and our friend. If we have symptoms we need to send the body love and reassurance rather than fear and anger.

 

Intuition

Intuition is often called the sixth sense. It is the part of the the Self that knows the Self. It is an attribute we all have but which we are not taught to develop or exercise. As such, intuition often gets diminished, sensationalised or mistaken for something else. For our intuition to be operating properly we need to be totally free from fear.

Events in the world around us or even the normal chatter of the mind can generate fear and anxiety. When we are in fear it will compromise our intuition. The fight or flight response to fear takes us back into a 'beta' brainwave pattern. Q How can we work with fear in 'theta' or 'delta' without being dragged back into 'beta'? The answer is, we can detach from it. This means we notice any fear that is present but accept it as it is without attaching any more fear to it and stay in the centered, balanced, calm Self (see the HOW section).

We can choose the most fantastic response we are capable of. To do that we have to know what the most fantastic response could be. To find out we have to ask ... Q What would be really fantastic? The best place to get that answer is from our intuition. To optimise the function of our intuition we have to keep on detaching from fear and holding ourselves in a quality of energy which is Love without judgement.

 

Detachment

Thoughts, emotions and sensations are often learned habits that we develop in response to triggers in our environments over time. These learned thoughts, emotions and sensations are different for different people, so we know they can be variable. We have expectations on the basis of what has happened to us before or what we have been led to believe is possible. We anticipate what is going to happen before it actually does. This anticipation and expectation generates fear because we become attached to our hopes for a specific outcome, and we worry that if that outcome does not happen, things will be bad!

Detachment is the opposite of this. It is not attaching fear to an expected outcome or even having an expected outcome, and instead, just waiting to see what happens. To be detached we have to trust that whatever happens we will have the resources to deal with it if it does. The attitude for moving into a more detached frame of mind is to notice what is present and accept it is there without attaching any fear to it. Detachment is a state of mind that becomes a way of being. It gives us a perspective.

Being detached is completely different to not caring or taking part. Operating with detachment as much as we can allows us to be more courageous, more compassionate, less judgemental and more resourceful human beings. It allows us to make choices about how we respond and behave rather than behaving in the same old habitual ways.

We can observe our own thoughts and behaviours without attaching fear or judgement to them. We can notice things about ourselves and others and accept them without judging them. We can become kinder and more generous as human beings. When we get used to operating in this way we are much less fearful. When we are less fearful we are more able to trust our own intuition.

Detachment is a really important tool to use in Self-awareness work. We achieve detachement by noticing our stuff and accept it without judging it. In so doing, we immediately transform the 'stuff' by remembering it is just something we are experiencing at that time rather than part of the Central Self. It is just 'stuff'. We recognise it is there without becoming it. We notice, 'there is anger' rather than saying 'I am angry'.

Detachment allows us to CHOOSE whether we focus on a situation or not. Another way of saying this is that we can decide whether we give a situation any energy or not. When we are operating in a detached way we can transform our 'stuff' even more by exercising CHOICE and choosing our responses to situations rather than reacting in habitual ways.

Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974) developed an exercise to help us dis-identify with our fears. By noticing them we take one step away from them and even that one step disempowers them a little. 

 

Dream

Notions of impossible and improbable events come to us in dreams. When we are dreaming the brain is said to be in 'theta'. When we are dreaming, we don't have the normal constraints on our thoughts. Dreams can be chaotic and generate quite extreme responses in us.

Dream carries strong energy with it. If we have a scary dream the fear can take us back into a 'beta' brainwave pattern and wake us up. The uneasy feeling can even stay with us when we are awake and dis-empower us. We can have strong thoughts, emotions and sensations associated with dreams.

So we ask ourselves again, how can we work with fear in 'theta' or 'delta' without being dragged back into 'beta'? As we saw above, one answer is that, we can detach from it, which means we notice it but accept it as it is without taking a position on it. To do this we have to be awake. Fantasy is dreaming when we are awake.

In waking consciousness, in a calm relaxed state, preferably after relaxing enough to get the brain into a 'theta' or 'delta' pattern, we can use the most positive content of dreams (if we can remember them) to generate new ideas or we can re-work negative themes that come up in dream and create outcomes that make us feel stronger.

 

Fantasy

We are capable of fantasy and dreaming when the brain is in 'theta' and 'delta'. The major difference between dream and fantasy is that we can be awake when we use fantasy so we can have a more conscious choice over fantasy than over our dreams.

Fantasy is like a waking dream state. It is day-dreaming with intention. Fantasy allows us to be more creative with our ideas and build a more authentic experience of a possible new reality by allowing the imagination to ask questions like what will I see? What will I hear? How will I feel? What will I think. This keeps us focused on the idea for longer, keeps us out of anxiety for longer and helps us build a stronger more positive image of what we love. This will affect the chemicals produced in the body and our overall wellbeing which, in turn, will make us capable of having more fantastic ideas.

When we are goal-setting, designing something new or trying to come up with a new way of doing things, we need to have new ideas. To have new ideas we need to think in new ways and use the imagination. Fantasy allows us to exercise the imagination. It allows us to be innovative. It allows us to think out of the box and be creative.

At the very least, fantasy allows us to think about something wonderful. If we fail to challenge our own limiting beliefs we are subject to the projections of what other people tell us is possible for us. This makes us feel powerless and contributes to feelings of frustration which lead us into anxiety and then back into a 'beta' brainwave pattern where it is more difficult to have new ideas and think creatively.

The most important thing about fantasy is the quality of experience it brings. As with dreams, fantasy can give us an almost real experience of a situation...real enough to change the energy in the mind, emotions and physical body. It is this shift in energy that changes our relationship with the world around us.

Remembering the 'Law of Attraction' is to do with energy attracting like energy, if you think of the most wonderful, most fantastic possible outcome you can, not just for yourself but for the world around you, you have already started resonating with a higher vibrational frequency of energy in your environment.

Cultural and historical associations have made us less comfortable with using fantasy as a mind tool. Sexual connotations have taken 'fantasy' away from the day to day user and made us feel bad about the concept of using fantasy. We are more comfortable with terms like day-dreaming and visualisation.

Fantastical Thinking is about using fantasy as a tool to shift our consciousness and create a new reality. It is time to take back conscious ownership of fantasy as a working mind tool, generate some really fantastic ideas and get on with making our world a better place.

 

Fantastical Thinking

In Self-development work one of the biggest problems people face is identifying a goal that they want to work towards. If people don't have goals they can't achieve them. We become consumed with coping with our daily life and operating within our limiting beliefs.

How do we generate goals without losing our ability to deal with the here and now? We use our imagination. Imagination requires us to use dream and fantasy to explore the impossible or improbable. Fantastical Thinking is about capturing images and ideas from the imagination, making them possibilities in the 'real' world and ultimately creating a new brighter, lighter reality.

Fantastical Thinking is the real secret to working with the Law of Attraction. When you do Fantastical Thinking you are bringing the situation to you rather that projecting your thoughts out to it. You are changing your energy NOW rather than only focusing on changing the future. Changing the now automatically changes the future.

Goal setting, repetition of intention, taking action and all the usual tools of creating a new future are of course important, and these are enhanced and empowered by Fantastical Thinking.

 

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