If you don't believe me, ask Einstein ;-)

Barb Toland Creative Sparks

It's been a fun week full of twists & turns — but I'm used to those by now, and I'm pretty sure you are too. The distance between 2 points is very seldom the proverbial straight line ;-)

But we're right here right now, and ready to focus on some relative theories brought to you by none other than Albert Einstein (of course that lame pun was intended!)

I think we can all agree that the man was brilliant. Among other topics, he had a lot to say about creativity, and how important it is to use our imagination to break out of the box of a humdrum life.

But before we get to Einstein, let's take a look at some pics I took while traveling in Ireland a few moons ago. And then we'll let them lead us down the path of imagination.

Below are photos I took while rambling across the limestone fields on the west coast of Ireland. These fields comprise an area referred to as "the Burren", and the limestone deposits were sediments left by a tropical sea that receded more than 350 million years ago.

As you'll see when we get to Einstein's quotes — he was big on flexing one's imagination muscle. I loved rambling around on the limestone & using my imagination to find interesting patterns & images.

This photo below reminded me of a dragon or dinosaur...

And this one looked like a horse's head...

And this reminded me of a doggy who's happy to see me, lol...

The next time you're outside on a walk, or staring at that old paneling on your walls that no one but you seems to care about updating, look at the patterns around you. What do you see?

Using the visual part of your brain this way (without judgment) is flexing that creative muscle. And as we'll see through Einstein's sage observations below — it matters!

Einstein was a genius, so I thought instead of listening to me — you just might listen to him. Let's face it, he has a bit more street cred than I do :-)

Come up with an idea, but think it sucketh? Think again. Einstein suggests that it just might be the seed for something awesome. Don't judge those beautiful, creative thoughts flying around in that pretty little brain of yours. They may just lead to a brilliant solution.

Einstein also has some powerful thoughts on imagination. Here he's saying that our thoughts & ideas are previews of our future life. Interesting & creative thoughts? Interesting & creative life. Dull & predictable thoughts? Dull & predictable life. The sides of that box we find ourselves in at times are not real  — they're merely the limitations of an untapped imagination.

Our imaginations are powerful. And one way or the other, Einstein believed that they just might determine how our lives unfold.

Einstein apparently thinks that truly understanding the problem at hand is more important than coming up with the solution. Solutions are relatively simple once the problem we're chewing on is more clearly defined in our heads.

Take a step back from something that's just not working. Hone in on the problem as clearly as you can, and use that creative muscle to look at it from different angles. Maybe you'll find another way out of your current dilemma. Or maybe you'll realize that it's not all that bad!

Yippee!!! Einstein is giving us permission to screw up. To not let that rational brain ruin all of our fun. Play. Fall down. Get up. Try again. Go outside our comfort zone — even if it's a single toe stretched beyond that line. So what if we make a mistake. It's useful information for our next attempt ... right?

Life is meant to be a mystery. We're not supposed to understand everything. We all need to be more present in life's everyday vignettes, to "pause to wonder & stand rapt in awe" as Einstein so eloquently puts it. To allow the question mark to exist in our lives. To let it be fully present without wishing or worrying it away. Give it space to breathe & dance until the answer comes.

Of course we're meant to have knowledge, it's how we manage to navigate our daily lives. But Einstein doesn't seem to equate intelligence with knowledge. Have you ever heard the adage "knowledge is power"? Well ... perhaps it's not. Is it possible that our real power comes from using our imagination & creativity to navigate our lives?

Is trusting ourselves to create our own authentic life a wiser way to go than to navigate using someone else's compass? Einstein seems to be nodding his brilliant mind in that direction.

Ok so this one is not an Einstein truism ... but it is the White Queen's from Alice in Wonderland!

Flexing that imagination muscle could be the key to unlocking the door to the magical kingdom. If Einstein & the White Queen say it's so, then it must be true.

Food for thought ;-)

And speaking of food...

Food for the Gods ©
Original painting for sale here

This is a painting I created a few years ago. I was in a stage where I wanted to grow my imagination muscle in my paintings more. So I started adding elements of whimsy, and pushing the creative envelope a bit.

It's a painting of a dolmen which can be found in the Burrens on the west coast of Ireland, some photos of which I shared with you earlier. This particular dolmen is estimated to be about 5,000 years old. The stone slab or "tabletop" is 12 ft. long, and the 2 upright pillars are 6 ft. high. Which is taller than most of us!

Needless to say I was pretty impressed when I saw it. I imagined this structure to be a table fit for a big, nasty giant to sit at. So I decided to include milk, a plate of cookies & the morning paper to hopefully appease him. If you look close you'll see the headline reads, "Giant Invades Earth".

I wonder.

Will he see that headline & realize it's referring to him? Or will he think he's normal size, and tremble with fear that there might be a giant lurking nearby? 😂

Oops, there's that darn imagination kicking in.

At any rate, what's most important about this painting? Something that can't be seen — the imagination muscle that became a little stronger while I worked on it.

Hope this has helped you see that mistakes are an illusion, creative intelligence & imagination are where your true power lies, and the most absurd ideas are sometimes the best!

And as always, I would love to chat art & creativity with you in the comments below.

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