Please, can we meet you? Tell us a little about your background.
I was born and raised in France. In my early twenties, I moved to Germany where I studied nuclear physics and obtained my PhD. After several years in the USA, doing research in physics and working as a science editor, I finally moved to Norway, where I have been living for almost 9 years. A need for more meaning in my life and for opportunities to help others led me to become a yoga teacher in 2010. I am now running a yoga studio. Guiding others on their path to more happiness and to a better life is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I still work as a freelance scientific editor. Teaching yoga and editing scientific articles is the perfect balance for me to honor both my spiritual and my scientific sides.
You help people improve health, find their personal pitfalls, passions and talents, can you tell us more about this?
Through teaching yoga, I reach out to a fantastic community of people who have the same goal: living a meaningful and joyful life. My role as a teacher is not just about sharing knowledge (such as technique for yoga poses) but also to meet everyone where they are, just as they are, and guide them so they can find their own answers and realize their true potential. The practice of yoga helps us develop the skills we need to welcome life and all it has to offer, uplifting experiences and challenges, with a heart full of gratitude. It is an amazing privilege to witness my students grow and find their own light. I don’t have answers for them, but I simply do my best to help them open the doors that have been there all along and find the courage within themselves walk through these doors, to leave behind what doesn’t serve them anymore, and to reach for their dreams.
Our focus in this interview is on Imagination, what’s imagination in relation to individuals’ success in life?
Society defines what success should look like, at least on the material level. Imagination allows us to look beyond that and to define for ourselves what success means. When we are honest with ourselves and aligned with our Truth, success will look very different for each of us. And imagination is the key that will set us free from a predefined set of measurementsof success. If you want, please name one of your personal experiences with imagination that lead to ‘success’. After obtained my PhD, my career was pretty much defined. I followed the expected steps for several years. But the more I advanced on that path, the more I felt it was not right for me. Imagination of a better and more meaningful life is what allowed me to set free from this route and take a chance in a different direction.
Children don’t have problems using their imagination, unfortunately, when they become adults they seem to have outgrown that. What do you think is wrong with adults’ mind and how can we rectify this?
As we grow up, we stop playing and we limit our creativity, mostly because we become too concerned with what others might think of us. Society expects us to behave a certain way and to fit in a certain box. As soon as we behave in a different way, others judge us, we judge ourselves. And those who need others’ approval will quickly return into the box. Only those who have enough confidence to follow their hearts can step out of the predefined box. Giving a lot less importance (none at all!) to what others think of us is the first step. Trusting our hearts is the second step. And remembering that life is meant to be enjoyed rather than endured is the third step.
Now, let’s talk about the power of imagination. Is imagination powerful either for good or evil?
The Universe, or God, is non judgmental. It merely responds to the vibrations we send out. Human beings, however, are judgmental and give value to everything. This is necessary for us to be able to live in society and avoid total chaos. I believe that thoughts become things. Whether they are “good” thoughts or “evil” thoughts is a human value. Imagination can be used either way. But I also believe that “good” thoughts are more powerful. We succeed more than we fail (we wouldn’t be alive right now other wise), and we laugh and smile more than we cry. This, in my opinion, shows that “good” imagination is more powerful than “evil” imagination.
How can one deliberately alter one’s life using imagination?
The simple belief that the future can be better than the present is the platform from which we are able to alter our lives. We might not know how to get to a better future, but we can imagine something better. Maybe not all the details, maybe simply a feeling, an emotion. It’s this power of imagining something different, something better, that makes us get up every day.
In your work with many people, can you share, perhaps, the experiences of people who have tapped into the power of imagination and as a result change their lives?
There are so many examples of people feeling empowered to leave a bad relationship or a job that holds them back, people finally accepting themselves just as they are. The practice of yoga gives them clarity and empowers them to see the possibility of something different. It then gives them the courage to make the necessary changes to leave behind what doesn’t serve them anymore. Through yoga, they are able to create enough quiet mental space to picture new possibilities. Imagining new possibilities is the first step toward making changes.
Is their difference(s) between visualization and imagination?
That’s a great question, and I hadn’t thought of the difference so far. But it now seems obvious to me that imagination comes first. We have to be able to create in our mind an image of something that doesn’t exist yet in our lives. Only then can we practice visualization to manifest what our minds and hearts have imagined. Without the ability to imagine something new, something different, something that hasn’t happened yet, how can we create it?
Is there any scientific bases on how imagination work?
Creativity is very powerful and is used in many forms of therapy. When we can’t express things with words or through a rational explanation, drawing often offers an alternative. Those patients imagine in their mind’s eye how a feeling or an emotion would look like and are able to share it through other means than words. There are many examples of people manifesting huge changes in their lives through the power of imagination and visualization. Many books have been written on the topics. For example, Dr. Lipton’s research shows how beliefs can change things on a cellular level. This is the study I am the most familiar with.
Your final words
Thoughts become things. We can only create what we think of, consciously or unconsciously. Even when we are not aware of it, we make thousands of choices every day, and every single of these choices, based on our belief system, is released in the Universe in the form of energy, creating vibrations that will then manifest in the physical world. Any practice that helps us bring more consciousness and awareness to our thoughts will ultimately empower us to create our reality in a more intentional way so that we can manifest our heartfelt desires.
Thanks for your time. Your answers have been very insightful. Keep on inspiring the people in the marvelous way that you have done over the past years.
I will launch my book, “Ontdekkingsreis Hoogsensitiviteit”, a practical guide and travel report on this HSP congress!
Next: ’3 must-knows about stress and highly sensitive people (HSP)’. Online September 21st.
Are you triggered by this article? Know then that I’m offering a (free) introduction session where you can get more general tips or tailor-made advice for your personal situation. Call 06-53667256 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are looking for inspiration to develop and strengthen the power of imagination in your life, just give me a call (06-53667256) or send me an email ad find out how you can use your imagination to create the life you want.
Don’t want to miss an article in the future? Sign up for my (monthly) newsletter with all articles and more interesting information! Go to: http://www.ankewebersmit.com.