Monday, April 1, 2013

Dream Weaver

The letter today is D. As in Dream. I am a whole-hearted believer in the power of dreams of all kinds. Today's blog, however, will focus on the type of dreaming that you do while awake, as opposed to the mysterious and intriguing stories that invade our brain in our sleep. I could write numerous posts on that aspect of dreaming alone, so I felt I'd narrow it down.

People often distinctly separate the importance of dreaming and doing. That yes it's nice to dream, but in order to achieve anything you need to do. And I do agree with that. In fact, I posted about it in a recent blog. But that blog was also about balance, emphasizing that both aspects in your life need to have give and take. Therefore, I'd also argue that in order to Do you need to dream. Not "do" as in get up in the morning, put on your pants, make some coffee. That type of action is almost mechanical. And I'm not even talking about writing those reports that your boss requires, even though it's your least favorite activity possibly ever. Again, that's one of those kind of necessary evils, at least if you want to keep your job. But I used the capital D in Do to differentiate it from the rote, routine tasks that we go through daily. I mean that kind of doing that really makes a difference in your life, in the long term. That type of doing, to me, requires dreaming.

Why? Because, quite simply, without a little dreaming - you can even call it daydreaming if you'd like - you wouldn't know where to start your doing. Think about it. If you woke up tomorrow with a clean slate and were told that you could be anything you wanted to be, that you had the skills/talents/ability to become anything you wanted,  how would you know what to do? You'd have to think of something. You'd have to reach into your mind and your heart, and say to yourself 'well what do I want to be, what do I want to do, if I have my choice of anything?".  Basically, you'd have to dream. And then, you could do. But not before you dreamt.

Dreaming, though, doesn't have to be so drastic. Our minds wander every day, numerous times. Daydreaming gets a bad rap - as in "she wasn't paying attention in the meeting she was daydreaming." And yes, it can be distracting, especially for those of us with conditions that already challenge our ability to focus. But it can also be an internal guide. If you find your mind wandering over and over again to something, or someone, there's a reason. It's something that resonates with your mind, and your heart. And it shouldn't be tossed aside as just a daydream. Because while you most likely won't wake up one day with amnesia and the superpower to have any talent you choose, your life also doesn't have to be a set, immoveable track. You do have the chance to create a fresh start. And if you're sitting at a meeting in your current job which bores you to tears, daydreaming about "if only I had taken this path and done this instead", perhaps it's time to give that some merit.

With some work - and yes, it requires work - you can start to turn that daydream, into a life dream. You can start to stop thinking of it as some fantastical idea that takes your mind off of a boring task, and start thinking of a way you can get to it. And if you don't think it's feasible entirely, think of how you can get there partially, or how you can satisfy that dream in another way. For instance, if you dream of being a touring rock musician but have little musical talent, can you take lessons for your instrument of choice? Or is there another creative outlet that you do feel you have talent in that you can use to have more creativity and play in your life? And, finally, are you sure you have no musical talent, or are you just judging yourself too hardly?

So yes, we need to do. We can't reach our life goals without effort on a regular basis. But in order to know where to start, we need to dream. What dreams do you want to follow? Why are these dreams so present in your mind? Is there a way you may be able to achieve them - and I mean not a probable chance but even the slightest? If you feel not, what else could you do to start fulfilling the need that this dream represents? Once you know this, you can start with baby steps. One tiny thing a day. And soon, that un-scaleable mountain of a dream starts to look like a more manageable hill.

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