Create experiences? Really? Why would anybody want to do that?
If your mind is asking these questions, then ask yourself:
Don't you want better things from life? Do you want to live in regret all your life?
If your answer to the above two questions are 'yes', then this information is for you!
Anybody who is looking for a different reality than the one they are presented with by life, will find the information on this page valuable.
Trainers and facilitators who are intent on creating different realities for their participants will of course find this page useful.
Create Experiences - the Background
1. When I was a teenager, I used to read novels almost constantly. Becoming the member of a local library, added to the habit of voracious reading. Like any other teenager in the late 70's, I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton novels - the Secret Five, The Secret Seven, Fatty and His friends were my favorites.
When I was not reading these novels, or not doing my homework, I would gaze into space, imagining myself doing the same things that the characters in these novels did, of course with a group of imaginary friends. I continued to do this until I was 17. Of course the plots of my imaginary stories changed and became more serious as I grew older.
I remember my mother commenting on my imaginations - "If you have finished writing your imaginary novel, why don't you come in the kitchen and help me out a little?" she used to say. My own mind was not very forgiving. I used to feel foolish, when I came out of my day-dreams, and most of the time the reality was so different, that I began to feel let down.
Then I stopped that completely when I was in 2nd PUC (equivalent to grade 12)
In retrospect, my day-dreams created experiences in the imagination. In them I was happy, excited, achieving, did not have a dull moment, recognized etc. The reason reality, when I came out of my day-dreams was such a let down, was that I experienced these emotions really, and not just in my imagination - an important truth.
The day-dreams served a very big purpose, come to think of it. They created a hunger for fulfillment and satisfaction that was lasting, rather than the transient. In all of my imaginations, I was never doing any routine work, I always was doing or seeking something unusual, creative and winning accolades for it.
Created Experience - Even as I write about it I realize that my current lifestyle reflects that reality - more or less. Not in a routine job (I am a consultant). Even if I am training teachers in the same thing most of the time - several of the training experiences I use changes, as the audience changes. By the grace of God, I am recognized as a trainer, who will not allow her participants to doze off, to say the least.
2. My next tryst (appointment) with creating experiences was when I became a facilitator. By then I had about three years of experience as a facilitator. The organisation had just put us through a 'training of teachers' called 'Dimensions of Learning'. As facilitators, we were expected to implement some important concepts in our own school leadership training modules.
Everyone was game to do all that was assigned to them, until the Director asked for volunteers to apply the memory module. The process required the facilitator to demonstrate instant memory on ten random words - in order, reverse order and in random order. There was pin-drop silence for a whole minute. Then to my horror I sensed my hand going up. Needless to say, the Director took me seriously, and everybody else looked pityingly at me.
After volunteering, I wondered several times, whether I had bitten off more than I could chew. Thankfully, the Director expected a demonstration from me. So, for the next couple of days I studied the module thoroughly and asked for guinea pigs who would listen to my mock presentation, before doomsday in front of the Director.
Surprisingly, all the mock sessions and the doomsday session were all successful. So much so that this module became a constant and a highlight feature of the organisation's teacher training modules. Although I always taught the participants the technique of applying it for themselves, my facilitator colleagues, never volunteered to teach this module. I suppose they didn't believe that they could do it.
Soon, I began to reflect on the 100% success of this session. Never once did the participants or I fail to remember the random words. We (the group of facilitators) began to combine it with another game, which also required the participants to remember the names of their fellow participants who they had just met. This too was successful a 100% of the time.
On analysing the two games I found that both of them used 'imagination' as a factor for retention of information - even though random. This facilitator guided imagination, encouraged participants to form a picture, feel an emotion and mentally rehearse a physical sensation, with each of those random words.
The goal for the participants (teachers and teacher leaders) was to use this technique to help students remember what they had learnt. Well, as we did not gather data on whether the teachers used this technique or not with their students, I cannot say much about its success with them.
However, I realized that as I taught and trained teachers in this technique, I became an expert at using it for things that I needed to remember in my life - successfully.
Created Experience - A few personal achievements:
1. I became an expert trainer and training designer using this technique of imagination - I imagined my desired outcome as a trainer constantly as I designed training for my clients. I understood the fallout of choosing specific activities over others in my designing exercise which helped me create the most optimum design and deliver very successful training sessions.
2. I even used imagination to remember to do certain basic things while driving. This improved my driving significantly.
3. Within a month of being trained in a new content, I was thrown in the deep end. I was assigned head of a training and implementation team for that new content as the former head quit the job. This technique of imagination stood me in good stead and gave me overnight success, here as well.
Apparently, Imagination was key to creating experiences of the kind that I desired
Create Experiences - Why does imagination work?
My journey into this exploration began when I began to wonder at the imbalance in my life. My educational and professional life was more successful than my personal life. As I thought about this paradox, I realized that for most of us, we actually apply ourselves to becoming successful in our educational and professional lives.
We study (not just cram information, but take time to think about it and assimilate it meaningfully - essentially use our imagination to actually see what we are learning in our minds) to perform well in school, college and workplace. We do not take time or make the effort to do the same in other aspects of our life - especially our spiritual lives, i.e our relationship with God.
I had begun my relationship with God when I was 17 and I took His help extensively when I applied myself to becoming a successful student and later a successful professional. I have several testimonies of His miraculous actions in my life in these areas.
Until the end of 2011, I did not prioritize my relationship with Him. Although I thought I had put Him first, He was actually 2nd or 3rd on my list of priorities. By then I was really tired of fighting the battles of my personal life. The failures there were beginning to affect my professional life too. I finally decided to call it a day, and quit my job.
I decided to focus all my normal working hours to learn about Him and get to know Him personally. I did this for a full year and a half. In between I did a few sporadic trainings when clients demanded it, but otherwise my 'work' was to get to know Him.
In retrospect, I had a 'rocking' time. One of the key things that I learnt at that time was to 'believe' in Him. The process I ended up using was to mull over His words - found in the Bible - until I 'saw' them, first in my imagination. As I saw them, I became excited at the possibilities. I allowed myself to feel the emotions that the words aroused and rehearsed the physical sensations of them coming to pass. (Sound familiar?)
My personal life began to change - slowly at first, then the pace increased. I got back into the workplace in the middle of 2013. I have continued to give first place to knowing Him and I have learned better and better things, which has given Him space to work my life around, rather than my messing about with it and coming up with worse and worse outcomes.
I learnt about faith, which is an off-shoot of mulling over His words in my imagination. Faith, as I held on to it, brought about the manifestation of success.
Other than better relationships in the family, which was one of the things that I yearned to see, I also am becoming a compulsive giver (After all, I was believing God that He would take care of my needs). I began to give away quite a substantial part of my income to others who needed it.
I added two more streams of income by faith. I was able to visit the US for two weeks - again by faith and debt-free. I got a new and bigger car fitted with modern stuff by faith - again debt-free.
At first I was not conscious about the process that led to the faith. I struggled to have faith. As long as I struggled, the journey seemed to be never ending and the end nowhere in sight. When I stopped struggling and just believed that things would happen in good time, they began to happen.
I still had not made the connection between faith and carrying the Word of God in my heart, until a few weeks ago, when I heard a man talk about his experiences with imagination - imagining what the Word of God says and beliving them to be true - bringing to fruit the desires of his heart.
God started to remind me about my day-dreams, my experience with the memory module, and my experiences in the past couple of years of carrying His word in my heart and the fruit that it had borne. The pieces of the jig-saw puzzle began to fall into place.
The last piece in this section of the puzzle (I think, because, there are thousands and thousands of His words that are remaining to be carried in my heart) was when I read a unique definition of faith.
According to the Bible,
The definition of faith that I thought was rather unique, gave me a picture for the Bible's definition of faith, its quality and the process of getting it. It says: "Faith is information (instructions) we get from God for us to act upon." by Jay Snell.
Faith is not something flaky. It is information about God's kind of world that one uses to guide one's actions. This definition clarified the process that I had gone through since late 2011, and why imagination was key to success. As I imagined the word of God and carried it in my heart, I had begun to focus on the information given by God, which had then turned to faith.
As an aside, the converse is also true, "unbelief is information we get from the world (which does not give priority to God) for us to act upon". What you carry in your heart, through your imagination, is what gives you results - desired or undesired.
So how about making a choice to give God first priority. If you would like to, say the following with your heart and aloud with your lips:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that You died for me to forgive me my sins, to take the judgement of death for my sins and to take the effect of sins - others' and mine - on yourself. I believe that you rose from the dead after 3 days to justify me that indeed my sins have been taken away along with the accompanying judgement. Believing you in this way has right this moment changed me into a child of God, in the same way that you are the Son of God. This has been God's plan for me from the day I was born, and today I am born again in Christ. Fill me with the Holy Spirit - Your Spirit and give me the grace to walk in the Spirit and not according to this world. Make me like you, kind, loving and forgiving. Thank You Jesus!
(I did say this article will have a Christian world view)
If you prayed this prayer, begin to read the Bible and talk to the Lord Jesus, to grow in your faith and relationship with Him.
Create Experiences - Getting back to the main thought. Now that I understood the role of imagination, I am beginning to experiment with more to create experiences of the kind that will bring God and His goodness to action here on Earth.
Steps to Creating Experiences of the God kind:
Just as an example: let's see the verse
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever."
"Being Born again (pic below)
corruptible seed (pic below)
incorruptible (pic below)
by the word of God (pic below),
which lives and abides for ever."
If you have been motivated to follow suit, you can follow the above steps.
You can also use the above steps in a group setting and increase the number of inputs and pictures generated. This makes for longer retention. Of course in this setting, the members of the group have to report back on the success rate.
If you do, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the outcome.