Play, Enchantment, and Imagination - Michele M. Anderson

Play, Enchantment, and Imagination


Photo: Vita Marija Murenaite, Unsplash

We went to a holiday market at the local fairgrounds just before Christmas. A magical highlight was when we stepped outside for a moment into the sunlight to see a man dressed in motley and a top hat blowing giant bubbles for a group of children. The children laughed and raced about… trying to catch each hovering, enchanting bubble.

That’s what we’re all trying to do: catch that enchantment bubble. A feeling of joy.

In a chaotic world, we practice vigilance, being watchful, overly cautious, bracing for worst-case scenarios.

When we sit in our self-created watchtowers, guarded and fortified against potential threats, we’ve lost that feeling of enchantment.

What is the antidote for a chaotic, overly vigilant world? Enchantment.

Enchantment is that magical attunement with the world around us, a state of wonder.

I remember when a client said what she’d love most is “a care-free moment.” She was a mom managing an all-consuming busy family schedule.

When we practice enchantment, we connect with unplanned moments. Nature, the outdoors, is often featured as the playground for enchantment.

In my office, I have a gnome peering at me from between a few books. On another shelf reclines a Pink Panther (yes, from the Peter Seller movies). Of course, Wonder Woman stands in a commanding position on my desk.

We can invite enchantment into our work environment.

How can we connect with enchantment?

For fun and insight, I asked this question and drew three cards from the Creativity Oracle by Amy Zerner & Monte Farber. The subtitle of this card set is “Visions of Enchantment to Guide & Inspire Magic Makers,” so we know we’re asking the right source!

The cards that came up are these with three words: Play Nature Start


Horse Energy: freedom of movement, freedom of expression

The cards have these three images associated with them. These three cards form a mini environment with a theme of horses. The horses tell a story.

Two horses playing together in contrasting fields (PLAY), a horse walks in the moonlight exploring multi fields of experience (NATURE), and turns into a dancing golden horse (START). Imagine these horses and create your own playful story.

Horses move swiftly and powerfully; they are forward moving. They spend most of their time on their feet. Horses are action-oriented. Connecting with the energy of horses and horse imagery keeps us moving; unstuck.

I’m an avid journaler. Years ago, I heard this message clearly in a dream and recorded it in my journal and on an index card as a reminder:

“A good counselor uses horse energy.”

Horses represent freedom. Consciously bringing in horse energy into a coaching session and into your life helps you leap over mental walls and step into new fields of experience.

With horse energy, our creativity flourishes in open spaces that are not hindered by mental control. The dancing golden horse is not saddled with beliefs about how something should be done. It’s a process of discovery.

Play and Imagination

The key words on these creativity cards are: Play Nature Start

We can hear them talking to us: Play in Nature. Start now.

Flip the words around to get a different meaning. Your creativity loves this because you are looking from multiple vantage points. Turn things upside down and sideways for a 360-degree view.

Play Start Nature
Nature Start Play
Start Nature Play

What is our Play Nature? One that uses imagination.

Imagination invites enchantment. This cultivates a creative mindset that connects with invisible truths and magical possibilities. That’s where gnomes play among a forest of books and the sky is the etch-a-sketch of angels.

When we combine the energy of horses and these words “play-nature-start,” we get unrestricted movement. When we can roam and see where our creativity takes us, we feel free to inhabit larger spaces and experiment with shape and color.

Ask yourself: Where in your life can you give yourself freedom to play and use your imagination?

You can change the world with your imagination.

“We all have an obligation to daydream. We have an obligation to imagine. It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that society is huge and the individual is less than nothing. But the truth is individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.” ~ Neil Gaiman

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