Close your eyes really tight and see if you can feel the world moving beneath your feet.
One says: Well, now that you mention it, yeah.
Now close your eyes and see if you can feel your body growing.
Ten say: Well, now that you mention it, yeah.
This is how I attempt to relate gravitational axial spin and geologic time to kids. Funny thing is, they get it. I think, more than anything, because they allow themselves the open space to feel it, or at least to believe that it is possible they can feel it. And to knowingly embody the physical law of gravity is a seemingly difficult task. It’s about as easy as feeling your own bones grow. And these kids get that too.
Comprehending change in space and time takes unyielding imagination. We are always experiencing shifts. Strange how as we get older we seem to feel our bones grow less and less. Instead, we replace those vital understandings with not-enoughs and too-muches. We rarely just stop and remember that the planet is revolving underneath our feet or that plesiosaurs once roamed our seas. More devastating, we stop wondering if we can even truly imagine at all.
Do you remember being able to play inside spaces of your mind that allowed you the ability to really connect into these kinds of moments? You know, like feeling yourself on a rock in space rotating around a ball of fire. Let’s give it a try.
Imagine, 90 million years ago you were under water. You weren’t you of course. You were anything else you wanted to be. I’ll suggest being a plesiousaur because this is my personal favorite, but an ichthyosaur or ammonite will work just as well. You are simply imagining another reality. A reality that may or may not have ever actually existed but that’s not the important thing. The ability to imagine it is what really counts.
Igniting our bodies and minds and hearts inside the stretching space of imagination truly is a vital part of ourselves, helping us dream up and then live out our most profound passions that only surface when we allow them without judgement. And when you stop and think about it, a thin line separates imagining you are a plesiosaur swimming in ancient oceans or imagining you are becoming the person you want to become. It’s all about flexing those conjuring muscles of play and possibility.
We, and the world around us, are always becoming.
We, and the world around us, are always manifesting what we can dream, imagine, and pretend.
Kids get it. Seriously. Ask a five-year-old anything. Or better yet, just listen to what he or she has to say. Is it really more discombobulated than talking about tax season, mortgage, world politics, the economy, or credit card debt? I personally prefer the imagination push-up of thinking of what it would be like to see an ancient sea creature swim past me in this very moment.
Kids play and imagine because no one has told them they shouldn’t stretch their minds and hearts to be as far as they can dream. The beauty is, this awe-inspiring ability of the human mind never has to fade if we don’t let it leave. Instead we can play with it every day in whatever way we want. And once you get on the journey of imagining the impossible, becoming a momentary plesiosaur is only the beginning.
So start today, right this minute. Imagine that exactly where you are that 200 million years ago something with big, shiny teeth was swimming by or eating out of a 100-foot-tree or sinking into a swamp. Imagine that this very space where you are right this moment will transform into something else in another 200 million years, something only the imagination can produce that may someday be real.
Imagine, imagine, imagine.
Stopping to imagine that the world is literally moving under your feet, is one of the best things you can do today. To gift yourself a glimpse into your own temporality. To gift yourself your own wild imagination. To gift yourself a moment to feel your own bones growing. To gift yourself the space to imagine the sky’s-the-limit you that can become exactly who you imagine yourself to be.
What kind of ancient creature would you have been 90 million years ago? What kind of person will you be tomorrow?