I collected my grandson from school yesterday, he is 5 ½, he and his friend were playing in the trees just outside the school, a small area of about a dozen trees with some bushes and undergrowth. They were having a fabulous time, they found some sticks and were using these to push their way through the branches. After a while a few others arrived, “what are you doing?” they said. Exploring a jungle was the reply.
When we got home, he asked if he could come up to my office with me so that he could do his work. I sat at my computer answering emails, booking appointments in my diary and designing a seminar whilst he sat at another desk in my office with my notepad pc and practiced his alphabet; ever so often asking me how to spell something. The little boy who lives next door was calling to him across the fence and he replied “I can’t come and play I’m busy working with Tina”.
A childs imagination is wonderful. I remember Richard Bandler telling a story about finding toy soldiers in pot plants in his house where his son had created another universe with his toys.
Our imagination can be used for many things some of them just as wonderful as the games created by children at play; and sometimes our imagination creates bad feelings, fears and anxieties.
I spoke to a 16 year old girl the other day whose diet was extremely limited. She lived off bread, potatoes, chocolate (funny but chocolate always seems to be OK), diary produce (milk, cheese, butter), chicken and fish. She didn’t eat vegetables or fruit – she could eat tomato ketchup (thats another that seems to get through peoples filters), creamed tomato soup and orange juice.
Her GP sent her to a dietician who told her what she should be eating ..........
She knows what she should be eating, but she doesn’t want to. Ever since she was a very small child she has had a problem with her food. Apparently as a toddler she nearly choked on something and from here decided that certain foods should never be eaten. She wont eat anything with lumps for example, and the food that she does eat she chews for ages before swallowing – this means that each meal takes an age.
When I asked her if she had eaten any soft fruits, I was surprised to find out that apparently raspberries had huge pips which made them difficult to eat. I hadn’t noticed.
On looking for something that she would be happy to eat at the end of our session, I suggested grapes but apparently eating a grape was like eating a blister. YUCK I thought that would definitely put me off. I then discovered her strategy for avoiding food, each food had a disgusting association attached to it. Her imagination had run wild for years stopping her from eating many foods.
A lot of people problems are caused by what they are imagining in their head, and all they have to do is imagine something different to change their feelings. Ah yes but how do they do that you may wonder.
Well thats a story for another day ............