Dear Dream Tending Community,

We are in the first week of 2022. Many of us are asking the same questions: Given the situation in the world, will this year be better or worse than the year that just ended? How can I turn the tide and create a more generative life?

I suggest considering a different approach. In the world of today, new strategies and intentions for well-being are being asked of us. I offer this old yet new way of moving forward. It is simple really, and also takes courage: Place the creative imagination at the center of your life’s work and daily practice.

Before taking any action, invite your intuition to come forward and then listen. When you first feel anxiety or despair, turn toward your creativity, and then express yourself. With support from our Dream Tending and Imagination community, this practice is more than possible; it is quite achievable. Together, let’s embody these intentions and greet the New Year with creative imagination and soul-felt desire.

1) Take a moment, close your eyes, breathe, and touch in with your creativity. Make this as simple as possible. Remember a moment in time when you felt the presence of your creative imagination move through you.

2) Write a brief description of this experience on an actual piece of paper.

3) Now, get curious, listen, and notice. What image begins to form?

4) Create a sketch. Use your hands—not your mind—and allow this expression to move through you.

5) Take several steps back and bring your witnessing presence into relationship with this image.

6) Over the next several days, keep this sketch close by, either in its actuality or in your mind’s eye. Setting soul-centered intentions revitalizes your life force and genuine purpose.

7) When a difficult emotion comes forward or a challenging situation emerges, turn toward this image and evoke your creative imagination before taking action steps.

8) Each time you do this, offer gratitude to your intention of living a soul-centered life—a life anchored in creative imagination.

Together, let’s support one another in evolving a daily practice of turning first to the joy and resilience of imagination, before we meet the challenges/opportunities of our life’s journey.

I want to wish you a life-fulfilling and imagination-centered New Year.

Until next Tuesday…

In the dreamtime,

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Stephen Aizenstat

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned professor of depth psychology, an imagination specialist, and an innovator. He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies and institutions, and as a depth psychological content advisor to Hollywood film makers. He has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat is the Chancellor Emeritus and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.