First off, let me apologize for the long delay since my last article. Some of you have noticed my absence (Sorry, Rosy!) and given me a gentle prod to write more. So, without further ado, I’d like to write about something that has been on my mind quite a lot lately:
Allowing ourselves to dream.
There are a couple of things to consider with the above sentence:
- Dreaming is the inspiration from which all action springs forth;
- Dreaming is the foundation of gratitude, excitement and enthusiasm for life.
Allow me to explain.
When we dream (daydreams or otherwise) of achieving a particular goal or fulfilling a vision, we become fully immersed in a virtual world in which the outcome we desire has already been realized. Literally, we are looking at a possible future in which our wishes are fulfilled. Note that I wrote possible future, not imaginary or pretend. It is important to always consider our dreams as being attainable. Without that perspective, all we are doing is engaging in fantasy.
Fantasy will get you nowhere.
I really enjoy my dreams. I have aspirations. Some of these aspirations are quite grandiose. These dreams don’t involve me being famous or necessarily rich, although I think that realizing my dreams will bring with them financial abundance beyond my current experience. My dreams are, however, replete with laughter, smiles, enthusiasm, health, well-being and satisfaction at all levels.
Above all, I view my ideal future as being full of excitement, enjoyment and gratitude.
I look at the realization of these dreams and goals the same way as I do a journey. When you’re embarking on a journey, you set your destination, you make all the necessary preparations, set a departure date and set your course to the best of your ability. There are times when travelling that you run into roadblocks and need to make a detour. The relaxed traveller smiles and takes these detours in stride, knowing that unexpected changes in direction always offer unexpected vistas and experiences.
Relaxed travellers also know to expect the best. When driving on unknown roads, sometimes during foul weather, the better drivers know to stay relaxed and alert. The combination of relaxed alertness enables one to make good decisions quickly. At times, this skill keeps one alive. In any case, being relaxed always makes the journey more enjoyable.
You cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.
The relaxed traveller always trusts that they’ll arrive at their destination. If there does happen to be an event or chain of events that make the destination a bust, our intrepid explorer knows well that something unique is happening and that unexpected opportunities are coming.
Some of my most profound experiences have occurred in times when I’ve quite literally been lost. I remember driving home from Toronto to Lindsay after work once and taking random turns along the way. I ended up at a quiet lake in the middle of nowhere. I sat at water’s edge as the sun set and dusk followed. It was a glorious evening and I was utterly thrilled to have stumbled upon such a perfect setting to close the day.
As this was in the days before GPS and cell phones, I never knew where that lake was and never found it again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that left a profound mark on my soul. I was truly lost. And in that moment, I found joy.
So, back to our dreams.
It’s not necessary to have all the steps perfectly laid out to get from where you are to where you want to be. Ask any hitchhiker; as long as you have good weather, a bite to eat, some water and a place to stand, you can eventually get headed roughly in the direction of where you wish to go. Actually, hitchhiking is a great analogy here because there is a lot of trust and going with the flow involved. It is in the excitement of not precisely knowing where you’ll end up and trusting that it’ll be good that epic adventures are created.
Anyway. Dreams. Do you allow yourself to dream? Or have you convinced yourself that dreams are unattainable by normal people and that you need to settle for what you’ve got? If the latter, I think you might want to reconsider.
Everything in our world was birthed from an idea. Thomas Edison reputedly crafted some 25,000 non-functioning light bulb designs before finally finding one that worked. It was an idea whose time had come, but it only became a reality because of the determination that Edison had. If he had given up at 24,999 designs, we might have continued using torches and candles for a long while.
Dreams that manifest into reality are commonplace. Many do it! From quitting smoking to designing a new reusable rocket ship, ideas are brought from raw inspiration to reality every moment of every day. Think about that: Every moment of every day, somebody makes their vision a reality.
You can do that, too. You just have to allow yourself to dream. Without limits. Think backwards from the outcome. Imagine those breadcrumbs of action required to take yourself from where you want to be BACK to where you are.
Most of all, thrive on the excitement of the journey. Allow yourself to see you achieving milestone after milestone. If you have cancer, imagine the joy as you visit the doctor month after month and he keeps disbelieving the results because you keep getting healthier and healthier, but your doctor doesn’t know why. Allow yourself to cry with joy as your doctors shake their heads in collective disbelief as you have gone from Stage IV to completely cancer-free.
That joy is an essential ingredient in manifesting your desired outcome. The brain doesn’t recognize the difference between fantasy and reality, so as you imagine yourself getting healthier, the brain will look for ways to replicate that in reality. The dopamine and serotonin produced in your joy state are also healing.
Don’t stop there, though. Now that you’ve imagined yourself as healthy, imagine all the steps that you took to get there. What did you do that made you so healthy? Did you do yoga daily? Meditate? Eat organic foods? Exercise regularly? (All of the above, I hope.) Once you’ve imagined all the things you did to create the outcome you desire, begin doing them! Start little by little and as each small step becomes more comfortable, add more steps to your journey.
Without realizing it, you’re now no longer just dreaming of being healthy, you’re taking the actual steps that will make that happen.
Some of you might be asking yourselves, “But what if I’m afraid? What if I fail?”
To that, I have to say that there’s no use in being afraid of the journey. Whether you’re on the journey of your choosing or whether you just get swept away by the flow of the universe, you’re going to be ON a journey no matter what. Given that you’re going to be heading from where you are now to someplace else in the future, wouldn’t you want to steer the course of that journey? I know I would.
So, where does that leave us? We’re going on a journey no matter what. We can’t really have a happy ending to a lousy journey. And maybe the biggest point of all: Death is the inevitable ‘terminal point’ of each of our journeys, so it makes no sense whatsoever to avoid having an adventure because you might die. Death is a given. It greets each and every one of us at some point. Death at the end isn’t the point; living along the way IS.
I remember Dr. Wayne Dyer talking to a caller on his Hay House podcast once in which the caller was dreaming of going back to school to become a doctor. She was in her 50s and friends and family told her she was too old. Dr. Dyer asked her two questions:
- How old will you be in 6 years if you go back to school for your degree?
- How old will you be in 6 years if you don’t go back to school for your degree?
The point is that in both scenarios, she’d be the same age. In only one scenario, however, would she be living the life of her dreams.
How old will you be in x years if you take the plunge and go after your dreams? And how old will you be if you don’t? Which choice will fulfill you?
Dream big. Dream often. Go after your desires. Find excuses to giggle and find your joy. Forgive yourself and others for perceived wrongdoings and just get on with being a creator of infinite joy and possibility.
You can create anything!
Namaste. I love you. Peace.