Play along with me and let’s see what happens in this visualization exercise.

Take three deep belly breaths and imagine yourself walking somewhere pleasant.

As you walk, you realize that you are near a large creativity center where all kinds of artists are working, playing, performing, practicing. . . and you are welcome to go exploring.

Notice what your creativity center looks like.

Is it a warehouse? An old brownstone? A Renaissance Fair–type atmosphere? Hear the sounds of people working, and as you walk through the space, notice what’s around you. What draws your attention?

Now, coming across the way and waving wildly at you, is your Creative Twin.

Your Creative Twin is like you, but also different. First of all, your Creative Twin is rich. Really rich. Super-crazy rich. And your Creative Twin is also a bit impulsive and free-spirited.

Your Creative Twin has been known to do things like buy a villa in Tuscany sight unseen and then lend it out to a friend of a friend. Your Creative Twin has gone off for six months to study traditional Japanese dance and has created art installations in the desert that can only be seen by helicopter.

Notice what your Creative Twin is wearing, and how your Creative Twin walks and moves through the world.

Your Creative Twin greets you with great enthusiasm and perhaps calls you by a special nickname. Together you walk around the creativity center, admiring the artisans and catching up.

Suddenly your Creative Twin stops short — inspiration has struck! Your Twin says, “I know! We must do a project together! This is perfect!” And your Twin begins to outline the project. Notice how you feel about this idea.

The day is winding down, and it’s getting time for your Creative Twin to jet off. As you say good-bye, your Twin gives you a word of advice. Then your Twin gives you a gift that you didn’t know you needed.

Notice how you feel about the advice and the gift. Place the gift somewhere for safekeeping, and wave good-bye to your Twin.

Take one last look around your creativity center, noticing any final thoughts or niggling feelings. Take another deep belly breath and come back to the present moment.

Now complete the following sentences about what you noticed. Perhaps one small idea will bubble up, or maybe the ideas will percolate and tomorrow you might have some blazing insight. Or maybe not. Either way, just let your mind stay blank as you write down your thoughts.

My “creativity center” was:
What caught my eye was:
My Twin was:
My Twin’s name was:
The project my Twin suggested was:
My reaction was:
My Twin’s gift to me was:
My Twin’s advice to me was:

A real-world version of this project might be:
Other things I noticed were:

Some students have wept with relief at encountering this freer, wilder version of themselves. Others have felt a little put-off, or just plain jealous that their Creative Twin had so much money and was so blithe about it.

There’s no right or wrong way to feel.

Take the parts of this exercise that inspire you, tickles you, or maybe seriously annoys you and play with them. See what comes up.

Perhaps your Creative Twin will lead you down an unexpected path toward a glorious new future.