What You Imagine, You Create

Photo by Ivan Babydov on Pexels.com

“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”Buddha

We have been having a week of glorious Indian Summer. Golden sun-splashed days gently yield to balmy open-window nights this November.

I sat on the deck one recent afternoon and listened to the rustle of leaves falling from the nearby sugar maple. (And successfully ignored my impulse to rake them up.)

I watched a flurry of activity in a group of yellowjackets who have apparently built a nest under the shingles of our roof. The wasps were frantically flying in and out of an opening too small and too hidden for me to see, desperate to find sustenance from the last few marigolds remaining in the garden.

Poor yellowjackets, I thought, uncharacteristically, since wasps are low on the list of creatures towards whom I feel tenderness. I tend to become a little bit frantic this time of year too. Maybe it’s the waning light or the approaching cold or the looming bustle of the holidays but November often stirs thoughts of action in me.

In the calm, clear light of the Autumn afternoon, I paused to consider what I am currently thinking, feeling, and imagining. What we bring into our lives matters. What we keep in our hearts is reflected to others.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I have been thinking lately about transactional relationships, specifically the you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours variety.

Transactional relationships as they relate to faith presently occupy my mind.

A young faith is often transactional. If I …(fill in the blank)…regularly attend church, read the Bible, tithe, pray correctly…I will be blessed by God.

The only problem with this thinking is that the Creator of the Universe doesn’t make deals. He is under no obligation to me, no matter what I do.

Blessings come solely by grace.

God is not safe, but he is good, to paraphrase C. S. Lewis.


Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

I have been feeling calm lately. And anxious. And elated. And scared. Resolute and quaking in my boots, patient and itching for action. These emotions come simultaneously and one at a time.

My feelings have been all over the map.

What does that tell you about what I am attracting?

Everything sticks to me. My fears, hopes, schemes, memories, and baggage weigh me down with their enormous gravity.

Learning to release them is a full-time job, a worthy one that encompasses much of my energy each day.


Image by motihada from Pixabay

I imagine living in a country where we can discuss difficult topics without rancorous words, without crouching in our usual defensive positions.

I imagine us having the confidence and the love, the grace, and the holy courage to be more welcoming, to listen to voices other than those in our own echo chamber.

I imagine a society where life is celebrated and community is valued.

I imagine living in a world where freedom and justice are for everyone, for the dirty, tired kids in detention centers along the border, the hopeless and traumatized women languishing in Mideastern refugee camps, the exploited sex workers who fear for their lives and have run out of options, the neglected children growing up poor in our inner cities with no hope, no future, and no family, in the company of others facing the same fate, and the police officers doing their jobs in the most stressful and fraught conditions possible. Justice and honor, freedom and peace for all.

I hope my imagining helps birth these concepts into existence.

What you imagine, you create.


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  1. I can very much relate to those feelings. I know sometimes I should feel grateful and I do. Briefly. But then other feelings fight for the right to preoccupy me. As you said, it’s a full-time job to try to keep them in balance. x

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  2. I’ve been thinking about the transactionality (is that a word? wordpress editor says no) transactionality of relationships over the past few weeks. To some degree, they are all transactional. If you don’t give, you don’t get, even if you seemingly can’t give. I’ve learned this in my personal life, and I’m trying to craft ways to correct this error, again. Sometimes, it seems, even when you give, you still don’t get, and I haven’t figured that part out yet.

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    • I think a lot of relationships start out as transactional but then evolve into something bigger than the sum of their parts. When I first met my husband, for example, I can’t honestly say I loved him. Now, I do my best to put his needs first. It doesn’t always happen, but it happens often. I do think altruism is real. Have you ever studied game theory?

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  3. Our thoughts are more powerful than we can ever imagine, Laurie, not only for how we keep our spirits buoyed in trying times, but also for the vibes we can send to others. I, too, long for a society that welcomes civil and decent dialogue and discussion, not “hit lists” suggested for those who have different opinions and stances. I do believe God is asking for us to humble ourselves in His presence, power and will. We need to trust in Him more than ever that true justice, His justice, be realized in this broken and fallen world. He will help us to only imagine the best!

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  4. I know what you mean about your feelings being all over the map, Laurie. I’ve felt that same way lately. I’ve taken to praying when I wake up at night, which is quite often, and God is using these moments to settle my heart and help me relinquish my fears and worries to Him. And the idea of creating what we imagine … that’s a helpful thought for me right now too. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me …”

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  5. Hi Laurie – I think that Christians have a head start in this area. We don’t have to imagine things, we just put them in God’s hands and assume he knows the big picture. In the meantime we go about living lives that reflect his values and doing good to others. Hopefully there’s a ripple effect – but at least we know that we’re not contributing to the problem and we’re being a positive influence to those in our radius.

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  6. Love your words and thoughts Laurie. Transitions, seasons and more bring me new and different ways of looking at life too. My recent ‘all good’ news health wise has given me freedom to choose and plan more that is nothing to do with health checks…and I am still loving the novelty of that! Denyse

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  7. Thank you for this, Laurie. I have never heard of that Buddha quote before. The three sentences are very profound. Do you find that running helps you to release all the emotional baggage?

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  8. Good thoughts on relationships –I continue to work on a no-holds-barred kind of love for God.

    And there us so much truth to the idea that we can contribute to the atmosphere we desire. I am not sure that’s happened yet in November 2020, but we can pray to that end…

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  9. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he’ is a KJV translation of ProverbS 23:7. Reflective piece, the challenge to create the atmosphere around us where life is celebrated and community is valued – much to think about, thank you!

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  10. I might be naive….probably am…but just the IDEA of this new administration makes me feel like these imaginings are POSSIBLE. The election makes me feel like the small splashes I make when I toss my pebble in the puddle or pond can actually help. It’s good to have some energy and vision behind our dreams again!

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  11. I am grateful you are able to put all this into words so well, so wonderfully well. I think some of these things and get tongue tied, or simply afraid to say them. Thank you for your courage and honesty. Sharing this on my Facebook page. Blessings, Michele

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    • Michele, as a pastor, I can only imagine how carefully you must watch your words. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you! Oh, and I have been enjoying the photographs of Bourne. Thank you!

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  12. me too…. me too… and we’re not alone. We are actually in the majority but peace is not what loud people are after so we hear them too often. Let’s start a movement, and get loud about working together toward a goal not one of power for an individual but one for common good. Imagine… singing the John Lennon song…

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    • You are so right – peace is NOT what loud people are after. Yes…let’s start a movement! I thought of the John Lennon song when I wrote this post too! 🙂


  13. Great post, I imagine much of the same. I wish all these concepts become reality. Our country needs to be united, freedom and peace for all, more love and less hate. Take care, enjoy your day! Have a great weekend ahead!

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  14. Laurie, hi! This right here is so very good –> ‘What we bring into our lives matters. What we keep in our hearts is reflected to others.’

    A good self-examination like you’ve modeled for us is good for the soul. Thanks for taking us there!

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  15. I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships–I’ve had to let go of some very important ones this year. And some not so important ones, but still… It’s been a lonely time for me. It’s not that i can’t tolerate people who don’t think like I do, but concepts like human decency, caring for other, equality–I’m struggling with people in my life who don’t share those values. I don’t understand how people can subscribe to a false narrative. I just don’t.

    Deep thoughts for so early in the morning! You’ve given me plenty to think about on my pre-work run.

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    • I have had to let one long-term friendship go since COVID. It wasn’t because of political differences, I just couldn’t take the negativity anymore. It’s not easy letting go – at least for me. I agree with you about not understanding how people can subscribe to lies. It is crazy! Hope you had a good run!


  16. I would like to think I am positive person with a great outlook on life. I know sometimes when things go on in this world it’s hard to think like that. Hopefully better days are ahead of after this Pandemic is over. I always tell myself this too shall pass no matter what the situation you may be in.

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  17. These are especially hard times. And we take our freedoms for granted. We complain that we can’t go out to restaurants. Then there are folks that can’t put food on the table.

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  18. I love that you shared that quote by Buddha. It is so true. I’ve been feeling a bit blah and attracting that, too! lol Life is not bad, but yet not the usual. Thus, I need to do better and get with it! Thanks for this post and reminder.

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  19. Hopeful and relieved are how I feel and if COVID had not continued its ravage on the world, perhaps the constant barrage of bad vibes could have run off our backs a tad easier, but there becomes a limit when you just say “enough – no more.” I welcome the new regime.

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  20. This quote, in a slightly different way, is one of my favorites. This time of year is very hard on me. The lack of sunlight, the short days, the cold that isn’t very inviting — it does a number on me. I felt much better in winter when I lived in TX, but I don’t live there anymore, so I keep trying to find a way to make this time of year easier.

    When I took Bandit to the vet, he was nosing at something on his leg. I brushed it off and then I ended up with a wasp on me! It was a very warm day, and I had to wait a long time, so I sat with the car door open. Only to have yet another wasp fly in. And recently Mr. Judy noticed a huge hornet’s nest on a neighbor’s pine tree, one we stopped at with the dogs a LOT. None of that has anything to do with what you wrote, of course, but WASPS!!!!!!

    What am I thinking about these days? That is a good question to contemplate.

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    • I have been saving that quote to use in a post for some time. I love it too. I can imagine how you feel about the cold and lack of sunlight. I used to wonder if I had SADD when I taught. Now that I am retired, it doesn’t affect me as much. I think because I get outside more, even if it is cold and gloomy. When I taught, I used to go to school when it was dark and come home in the dark.

      Ewww…those wasps! I used to not go trail running in the summer for just that reason. I sometimes do now, but I am looking forward to the time when they ara all gone!

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  21. You are so wise and write so well. It is such a pleasure to read your blog and to reflect on your message. One of the Bible verses that warms me is Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I had to look it up to be able to quote it correctly. But I think right now our hearts are full of all the feels. It is hard for me to focus, to remain upbeat for long. And yet, it is hard for me to remain downcast for very long, too.

    I am glad you have had a beautiful autumn to distract you. To entertain you. To warm you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your very kind comment! I love that verse too. And I have to look up the chapter and verse for most Bible quotes. I know the quotes and generally where they are found, but I always have to check to be sure I have it right! 🙂 Right now, I think most people are struggling to remain upbeat. I know I am. I enjoy reading positive, encouraging blogs like yours to pick up my spirits.


  22. I’m a strong believer in the ability to create our lives based on our thought processes. Over and over again I’ve experienced evidence to this effect. It’s not a perfect science, but there is actually a science attached to it (the science of positive psychology). Anyway, I hear you! Great post. Thanks for joining the Lovin Life Linky

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do have more ability to create our own lives than we think. This is one of the basic things I always used to try to teach my sons before they grew up and moved away! 🙂 Thank you for hosting.


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