Clarence Road is also interesting from the point of imagination. In
imagining crocodiles, pirates, quicksand and bad guys, we happily and
eagerly put ourselves into the roles of heroes. The fun and excitement of
the day was played out in our imagination. We took on all manners of
danger with enthusiasm and fearlessness. However when we imagined
snakes, ticks, leeches and bandits in our new environment we found that
those imaginary things bought up fear and apprehension.
The only real difference is that in one example we imagined overcoming
obstacles and expected a positive or victorious outcome. In the other we
were imagining almost the same obstacles but expecting the worst possible
outcome. Although the battles were the same, one inspired excitement, fun
and action, whilst the other created dread and fear.
Once again, I relate this to my present life and remind myself that
imagination with a positive expectation can bring creativity, innovation and
excellence into my experiences, whereas imagination with an expectation
of a negative outcome, results in a most destructive force - FEAR.
Bring on the Witch
We knew for certain that the old man was grumpy and did not want us on
his property. The dog barked and looked really mean but to our knowledge
he had never bitten anyone. I have no idea about the man’s wife. We had
never seen a woman there, but somehow we believed she existed and that
she was a witch.
It is so easy, common and destructive to do this. I must admit that I often
need to stop myself and remind myself not to make up witches.
Exaggerating problems or obsessing over minor irritations will turn a
barking dog into a biting dog. Instead of defining a problem and seeking a
solution, we seem to add a witch and lose perspective, this is particularly
so if we are hurt or vulnerable.
You go First
Clarence Road is also a good example of how we prefer to travel on
cleared pathways. We really hesitate to go where no-one has gone before.
We also resist creating new pathways.
Often, we don’t do new things or try better ways unless we have someone
to take us by the hand and walk us through it. We want guarantees. We
want to know how far we need to travel. Often, it is as simple as my sister’s
statement, “We have already come this far, so at least we can attempt to
go a little further. You are free to turn back anytime you like.”
The initial trip into the bush was a little difficult, unfamiliar and somewhat
scary. The trip out was much easier, as we had overcome our fears, knew
where we were and where we were going with the added bonus that a bit of
a pathway had now been formed. With each subsequent visit, the pathway
became clearer and wider. Ultimately we could have manoeuvred that track
with our eyes closed.
Making pathways is one of the most fundamental challenges we face in life
Everything we ever learn in life begins as an uncharted landscape. We
imagine our results, consider our obstacles, evaluate our risks and bit by
bit forge our way through. Sometimes we bound into the bush with no
thought other than reaching the orange tree. Sometimes we creep
tentatively through potential snake pits. Most pathways have been cleared
by others and are less frightening. Even though others may have been
through before, we still experience some apprehension or awkwardness
when we venture into new territory for the first time.
Habits and skills are like pathways. Creating a new habit or skill may
involve a few slips and a bit of a struggle at first. They become easier and
faster each time they are performed until they ultimately become automatic
Our minds are creating new pathways all the time. Each day, our minds
record everything we experience. If something is repeated often enough, a
new pathway will be created. Repetitious actions or repetitious thoughts will
become automatic responses.
If a person has a habit of thinking pessimistically, then pessimistic
pathways have been laid. This means that the fastest and most predictable
response to anything new will bring up an instant pessimistic response.
If someone makes a decision to change their attitude and begins to
consciously instil new and positive thoughts, they will find that they will
experience an initial struggle. The pessimism pathway will be lightening
fast and the optimistic reaction will need to push and steady itself to make
its way through.
Clarence Road needed a new pathway to a better destination. It required a
new set of questions, some struggle, imagination and a belief in a positive
Perhaps Clarence Road is nothing more than an old bush track where the
local kids used to hang out. But, for us, it was our world. We discovered it
and we conquered it. Word spread and each week more and more kids
showed up in our new world. We were pioneers and local heroes for a
while. But really what we discovered that day was the greatest lesson of all:
The Question - How do I do better, have better and feel better?
Copyright Sonya Green 2006
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|How do I have Better do Better and be Better
Imagination and Fear
BY SONYA GREEN
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