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May MindTamers Monthly

She holds your hand when you cross the street.
She kisses your skinned knee and stops the tears.
She fills in the blanks so you succeed.
She grows you in the womb of her love.

Alive or dead, estranged or living together, you and your mother share common memories. In the space between, that space where shared memories live, it is always here and now. Each memory lives in its own place. You visit that place anytime you choose through the power of your creative imagination.

In his book, Outliers, Malcomb Gladwell acquaints us with the idea that it takes about 10,000 hours to become a world-class expert in any endeavor. Think back to your little life. Before your formal education indoctrination, you spent the majority of your day at the imaginasium. If you had a friend (real or imagined) to play with, anything was possible!

The 10,000-hour rule works when the individual is actively trying to become exceptional at the task. Every infant, toddler and child with enough food, shelter and human contact to have basic needs met spends at least 5 hours a day actively using the imagination to create all manner of possibilities from whatever happens to be at hand? (Remember those kitchen pots, wooden spoons and pan lids?) She does that every day and in 6 years (10,000 hours later), she is a world-class expert at the use of her imagination.

So face it, you really are a professional imagineer!

Question is, when is the last time you practiced at it? We are stretching our imaginations in Razor’s Edge, the year-long mentoring program I facilitate with MindTamers. So far, it is uncomfortable to use a skill that is rusty…kind of like remembering how to ride a bike after a long while driving cars. It is amazing how with a few friends (we use the mastermind approach to the mentoring process), anything is once again possible. More than any of that, it is sheer fun!

Your creative imagination is waiting to be let out of the cage. Free it three ways:

1) Study your favorite secret agent.

Is it Bond? Mission Impossible’s Jim? Maxwell Smart? 99? Maybe it is your persona you created for the latest Macheist adventure.

Warning: Do not perform the following exercise in an airport. Your actions could be misconstrued and results would be predictable and unfortunate.

The next time you are in a busy place, become a secret agent. You are working in tandem with your favorite agent and you must do your part or your city will suffer dire consequences at the hands of the villain of your choice. Make up a task that you must complete with all the finesse of a secret agent and play your part. Don’t stop until you complete your assignment or attract undue attention from those who might inflict punishment upon you.

2) Sign up for a MindTamers study.

Conscious Thinking: Imagination is a three-hour seminar that is part of the Mental Muscles Series. On May 13, 2009 7:30-10:30 AM at 401 Congress Avenue, Suite 1540 in Austin, Texas get primed to resume your role as the chief imagineer in your field.

Ready to sink your mind into more than you can possibly chew? We have a few spots in Razor’s Edge if you have a big enough goal and are ready to make a year-long commitment. Email me.

3) Revisit three memories with your Mother.

Steal some quiet time and find that space between where that memory lives. Poke around in the corners of the memory and pull out every detail. Where do you smell her the easiest?

While you are there, invite your mother to enjoy it as much as you are. Even if she has already passed, you can imagine her with you even now, holding your hand as you relive the moment together.

Make that memory, the one of her in your present moment, sharing the moment of the past with you just as vivid as the memory of your past together.

It really isn’t hard.

After all, you are a professional.


Lori L. Barr, M. D.
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