Importance of Imagination

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

–Albert Einstein

What they never taught you in school is that imagination is just as valuable, if not more, than intelligence. Anyone can memorize facts with enough repetition. But intelligence will get you nowhere if you don’t have the creativity to apply it.

There is some kind of stigma against imagination, like it’s a useless and childish thing. It tends to be perceived as something fake, to be suppressed and ignored. It’s seen as the opposite of fact or truth. It tends to be assumed that the greater your imagination, the lower your intelligence.

However, imagination is absolute truth! It is the portal to our souls. It reaches beyond the world of limitations and allows us to see what our stunted little brains are unable to comprehend.

The progression of science and technological advances are due to imagination. It is a realm of infinite information. Only through accessing this realm, are we able to grow as individuals and as a collective whole. It waits for us to discover all the secrets and hacks of life.

When you actively incorporate imagination into your daily life, you challenge your brain to think differently — to see things in new ways. Imagination opens your mind up to new possibilities that you would have otherwised dismissed. You allow yourself to discover hidden truths that you would have normally blocked out. It is an invitation to discover the unseen.

Some people may find it especially difficult to use their imagination, especially on a daily basis. Some truly resist the pull of entertaining thoughts that have no concrete base in reality. It can be uncomfortable to let yourself slip into another world, worried you will spiral down a deep hole.

There is no step-by-step guide to imagination because it is so unique, sacred, and personal. The best way to embrace it is to let your mind wander. Walk down the paths you used to avoid, open the gates you used to keep locked up. Let yourself think more than you actually know. Be in touch with yourself, your needs, your desires. Spark creativity and tend to the fire. Watch your life become enriched, your mind wider, and your knowledge stronger.

Mystery Monday ~ dancing mania

Perhaps the strangest plague of them all is dancing mania, which mainly broke out in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. The outbreak has been documented and known to have affected thousands of people of all ages. Those who are infected with the mysterious disease are overcome with an urge to start dancing, keep on dancing, and never stop dancing! They can dance for several days in a row (sometimes weeks, even months!) until eventually dying from exhaustion, starvation, dehydration — sometimes heart attacks and broken bones.

The first known outbreak appeared all the way back in the 7th century. The plague gained momentum by the 14th century, and continued virouciously spreading until the 17th century. From then on, the disease suddenly disappeared, without ever finding a cure. Modern doctors are perplexed by this strange disorder and struggle to understand what is was, how it affected people, and why it no longer exists.

The most popular dancing mania incident happened in 1518, when a woman started dancing in the street and others gradually joined in, eventually reaching 400 people. Most of them danced until they literally collapsed.

Most cases happened in small groups, sometimes even solo. The disease is not always deadly: for some of the victims, they faced an annual infection. There are cases of people who forced themselves to participate in the dancing mania on St. Vigil’s Day for twenty, thirty years straight.

In some cases, the condition went beyond dancing and turned into jumping and leaping around, singing loudly, crying and screaming, and engaging in inappropriate behavior with one another — causing great commotion and disturbance to the residents. Often, those infected were foreigners from out of town, yet not always.

As with most diseases during this time period, cause was thought to be due to by evil spirits or demons. Many specifically blamed it on St. Vitus or St. John the Baptist. There is a pattern of outbreaks happening at sacred sites dedicated to that saint, or around the time of the feast of St. Vitus. Treatment typically involved praying to the saint, isolating the patient, and/or performing an exorcism.

Today, the cause of dancing mania remains debatable. Some connect it to other known health issues such as epilepsy or ergot poisoning, however these theories only account for some, not ALL, symptoms. Others say that it is not an actual disease, but a social phenomenon, or maybe due to stress and tension, or possibly a staged ritual for religious purposes. There are many possibilities…

The most notable trait of dancing mania is how the dancer falls into an unconscious trance. And even if they consciously decide to join in, they still end up losing total control. Dancers who reach a trance will “see visions” and experience hallucinations. Some reach a total state of complete, absolute ecstacy.

Dancing mania is an intriguing phenomenon — weird to think that it was a real plague. I wonder what the reason is for its sudden, random disappearance after affecting people for centuries. Who knew dancing could be so dangerous…

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Ladies, let go

The problem with girls is that we can be brats. We don’t want to work for anything and feel like the world owes us something. As little girls, we are catered to and adored because of childlike cuteness, and we learn to rely on this. Then we turn into princesses and we expect perfection not just from the world but also from ourselves.

In gym class, we never ran or got sweaty. On the playground, we never got dirt on our clothes or scrapes on our skin. In the fairytale books, we learned our role as the one who quietly and patiently waits for someone else to come to us.

We always hold back. We never try too hard. We are conditioned to wait… to expect… and to be disappointed. They told us we had to be perfect. They told us to never take control and yet never lose control.

Women are not programmed to live in their bodies the way that men are. We have to stay away from our bodies, cover them, hide them, be ashamed of them. So we chase after the perfect body that the media tells us to have, and we tell ourselves only after we have obtained an unrealistic image, are we safe to do so — which of course never happens because the perfect body does not exist.

Men can even make jokes about bodily functions and women are expected not to laugh but to get offended and embarrassed. We aren’t comfortable enough with our bodies to joke about them. We take it too seriously. That’s how we are conditioned.

We love to see men working out, sweating, pancing, faces turning red. And yet we won’t embrace this ourselves. Whatever the truth is, all women believe that no one (whether man or woman) wants to see us like that. There are female models who get surgery that stops their armpits from sweating because they are so repulsed by it.

Personally I like to work hard for something and I have always been this way. I like to put my blood, sweat, and tears into something before I earn it. I like to be challenged and second guess myself. But the world has always told me that I should sit and wait, to be perfect and expect perfection. So it’s a struggle between what I want verses what I think I want.

They profit from our struggle. Clothing shopping, makeup products, and hair dying are illusions of us living in our bodies. Instead of fully living in our bodies, we try to control them. We want to live in our bodies the same way men do, but we dont want to lose that control. We want to feel our bodies and make people notice our bodies without feeling vulnerable or going beyond our comfort zone.

More women than men struggle with eating disorders and dieting. Woman are more likely to obsess over the power of controlling their bodies. When our mind tells us to lose weight, and the body listens, it’s a high. And yet, men have a much easier time losing weight. Perhaps it’s because they listen to their bodies without viewing it as the enemy. They can eat intuitively rather than taking unrealistic measures that lead to starving and binging. Our bodies retaliate against our orders when we refuse to listen.

The mind is easily fooled but the body never lies. The body has infinite wisdom. Don’t feel disgusted by it. Listen to it, respect it, trust it, embrace it, and love it.

And never let yourself feel like a failure just because the world never fell at your feet. That’s not how life works. Prove yourself! This is why so many women are never satisfied, so uptight, so distant.

So I say, ladies, break the conditioning so you can live a happier and healthier life. I know it’s easier said than done. But you were born to live your life, not to be everyone’s doll.

Memorial Servive for Gram

Yesterday was the memorial service for Gram. She will be missed dearly. The whole family was there, many who I haven’t seen in a while, as well as friends of hers who it was nice to meet for the first time. The service was just what she wanted (she literally planned it out before she passed away!) We sang her favorite hymns and I read one of her favorites, Psalm 100. People shared delightful and amusing stories of her. Afterwards, there was a slideshow and a collection of photos from her life. There was also some of her favorite foods — ice cream, pie, and candy. And we did the Schnitzelbank in her honor! Her spirit was certainly present through all the laughter and celebration of her life!

The family
My little brothers!!!