If you could do some exercises to improve your physical sight you’d do them, yes?
Whilst there aren’t exercises to sort out my short-sightedness, stigmatism and opacities, there are exercises to improve my ability to see the future
(It would be more accurate to say, seeing a future rather than the future – the future doesn’t exist but it can be shaped.)
I’ve been reminded how it’s possible to relive the past into our future in unimaginative ways: repeating what we or others have done before, yet Life invites us into a game of original play, a story of spontaneity and originality – James Carse reminds us, ‘Whoever must play cannot play.
When past successes and behaviours and hurts shape our future it isn’t playing, it’s being trapped within a “script” that has to be acted out – maybe to prove a point to ourselves and others (though in proving a point we’re agreeing with the very thing or person we’re trying to make a point against).
The alternative is to be the author of a openended story.
The reason we can see the future is because our imagination is lighting up with hopes and dreams and want to turn these into reality – when we want something together we have a movement.
Lighting up our imaginations and inviting us to play are three exercises:
Firstly, to know ourselves: what we can and cannot do, what we are energised by, how we are comfortable in relation to others.
Secondly, to know what we have, to regard and count all our resources – relationships and things – as employable for and in creativity.
Thirdly, to create ways and means of taking our passions and our resources into daily practices and habits of making something – whether an artefact, a relationship, a journey, or a community.
When these three things are happening in our lives, we can be astonished by the number of possibilities for the future we see – even to the point of having to choose which we have to pursue and which we must put away.
You may recognise these as our purposeful companions: Humility, Gratitude, and Faithfulness, helping us to avoid the lose blindness which hubris, greed and foolishness can afflict us with. Instead of enacting the past, we are able to live towards the future with creative originality.
I’ve no idea what this might exactly mean for you, but I’m sure you’ll wow me with what you come up with.