You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.—John Lennon
I remember when John Lennon died. I was devastated. I was ten years old, living in a little farmhouse at the top of a hill on 120 acres in Vermont. It was winter and there was plenty of white, fluffy snow on the ground. We lived a good eight miles from town with no kids nearby, just cows and trees and fields of corn. We had a little black and white television set with rabbit ears that got one channel and only had reception when we put aluminum foil on the rabbit ears, so I didn’t spend much time watching it. Instead, I read or listened to music, records, which we had plenty of, if I wasn’t playing outside, exploring nature. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones.
My favorite band was the Beatles and I grew up witnessing their evolution. Like nature, their music and their look, seemed to change like the seasons. Effortlessly, they went from short-haired, leather jacket wearing rock n’rollers, to long-haired contemplatives who meditated and spoke of peace and love. For hours at a time I’d listen to their music, studying the lyrics on the album covers, memorizing them. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, the White Album, Magical Mystery Tour, Let It Be. After the Beatles broke up and John Lennon went on to create his own music, Imagine was my favorite song because it prompted me to do just that.
As a child, I was extremely shy. I spent a lot of time on my own, buried in books, watching and studying nature. I imagined myself writing books and living in New York City one day. I imagined peace in the world and everyone getting along. I imagined meeting someone one day, someone I could share my deepest feelings and thoughts with, to laugh and experience all of life's mysteries. I imagined living and learning with people from other walks of life, ways that I was unfamiliar with, ways I found mystical and fascinating. I imagined knowing what love is. I imagined having a family someday.
The miraculous thing, the incredible thing I realized as a kid, was that music, that words, art and imagining could help me to create a whole new world. And as I grew, many of the things I imagined and dreamed up as a little girl came to pass and each time they did, it seemed, a miracle.
I went to New York City and was offered a job there, teaching writing but it wasn't for me. I needed more quiet. A few months later, I wrote a full-length fiction novel. I have lived and learned with people from many other walks of life, in many different places and have learned fascinating and mystical things. And eventually, I met someone I could share my deepest thoughts and feelings with and then, had a family. There's a lot more I still imagine and am looking forward to seeing it manifest.
When John Lennon was singing “Imagine” I think he was saying that it's a gift that we all have, the ability to imagine. Visualizing what we want in our lives and in the world is a gift we all have. We have the privilege to help shape the next seven generations with the intention of our focus, of imagining and visualizing our lives, health, relationships and the world the way we want to see it.
What do you see for your health and your life?
What do you want to see in the world?
Here's a little exercise for you.
Make some time for yourself and write down your answers to the following questions. Have fun with it! Give yourself permission to go as deep and as "out there" as you'd like. Be specific. Add as much detail as you can, including using all the five senses (hearing, tasting, touching, smelling and seeing).
Visualize: A Writing Exercise
Do you remember your dreams when you were small?
What were they?
Have you realized those dreams or forgotten them?
▪ What are your wild and/or peaceful dreams now?
▪ Why do you want these dreams?
▪ Who else knows about your dreams?
▪ What is one thing you can do today to take action on creating these dreams?
Imagine that this one action step you take today can contribute to peace in the world. Because it can.