I have such a good time writing these newsletters in large part because of the opportunities it provides to observe and learn from life around me and to speak about things I find meaningful. Something is usually ‘in my face’ or in my heart that wants to be worked through or shared; an opportunity that I also appreciate. So what is it today that I want to explore? Not sure. It’s something about dreaming and the role that dreaming plays in creating a worthwhile future. I’m curious to see where the topic leads…
From Chaos to Clarity
Life events move us from place to place, event to event, ending to new beginning. Somehow, in the process we move along a path from a least authentic self to a higher, bigger, more aware, more authentic version of self. We can remain content with where we are in life, or in relationship, for quite some time… until we’re not. Until we catch a glimpse that there’s something more interesting, or freeing, beyond our current life circumstance we may not look for it. At some point we become aware that the same old same old just isn’t enough… something new is making its appearance. But what is that something? Is it a job change, a relationship change, a move to a new home, country, or environment?
Maybe you know what the new thing is but don’t know where to begin to implement it. Or maybe you were once living a dream that you liked and counted on but were upended by life circumstances and you need to start again.
Perhaps you want to…
- have a more positive outlook
- tie up loose ends and focus your energy in a new direction
- set limits and define yourself with friends, lovers, or relatives
- have new love in your life or an improved relationship with a current love
- have satisfying work
- reach a new level of health
- create a home environment that feeds you
- regain lost confidence
- have a supportive circle of friends
- have a more meaningful connection with God/Spirit/All there is
- have better relationships with your kids/parents/siblings/boss, etc.
- get out of a funk and into happiness again
- sort through the tons of creative ideas in your head and begin to implement at least some them (chaos to clarity)
Where is Your Discontent?
Once awakened, your current situation becomes a point of discontent. Something is missing. Something could be better. Something compels you to move forward. You have a bigger vision for your life than you’re currently living. Where is your current point of discontent? If you let yourself dream of something different, where do your dreams take you? Chances are you’ve been dreaming of something new, different, better for quite some time even if you haven’t consciously realized it. Dreaming is a continual activity of the mind for most people. Remember the saying that if you can dream it you can conceive it? That is mostly true. We sure can get close.
I’m not the kind of coach who promises that you can have the life of your dreams instantly, or in 3 easy steps. I’m more realistic than that. If having a great life were easy everyone would have one. If you currently had the means to create the life you want you would have done it by now. A great life isn’t just handed to us. We can’t pray hard enough for something like that to fall into our laps. It takes concerted effort. A famous golfer once said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Knowing where to apply the effort is the tricky part.
Aim for the Stars…
It will take some time for you to become the person who can create the life of which you dream. “Aim for the moon and even if you miss it you’ll still land among the stars.” There’s nothing wrong, and a whole lot right, with dreaming big. Getting even a little closer to those broad dreams means you’ve distanced yourself from the place of discontent you are currently in. It all begins with dreaming.
Goals and dreams are exceedingly important. Dreams allow you to structure an ambiguous future in a way that you want it. Structure as in building a structure out of something like Legos. Dreams allow you to escape the discontent of this moment via the hope of something different and more meaningful down the road. Goals then provide tangible steps toward creating what you want. But the most important part of dreaming and implementing your goals is how you will change and grow in the pursuit of your dreams. I know that I am not the person right now who can create the life I ultimately want. But I am confident that I can become that person, and, have a really great life along the way as I figure it out. I endeavor to remain appreciative of the level of discontent I must live with along the way.
But I Want it Now…
Pulling on the leaves of a tomato plant will not make it grow faster. There’s a pace to life within which we must all operate. We learn the needs of the plant, we water, we fertilize, we endeavor to duplicate ideal growing conditions, but the plant must do the growing. When it comes to dreaming we identify our dreams, we do what we can to cultivate them and provide ideal growing conditions, and we let them grow according to their own schedule. (The movie ‘Field of Dreams’ depicted this well. Costner’s character plowed under what was tangible and sure because of an ambiguous dream. He then became the local laughing stock as he waited in doubt and discouragement without knowing if the dream would ever manifest. Such a true depiction of the haphazard way dreams do, or sometimes do not, become reality.)
Our instant gratification society, with fast food, drive up banking, and on demand everything gives us the false impression that we can have what we want the moment we think of it. That kind of thinking flies in the face of reality. Knowing that makes it easier to live with the tension of the way dreams choose to manifest.
I love it when I have my own ah-ha’s. I am realizing how much I live in that frustrated I-want-it-now mode, so I speak to myself as much as anyone when I say this: Relax. Manifesting our dreams isn’t going to go any faster with worry, fear and anxiety attached. Those dreams will come around in their due time. We must the steps we know to take and let go of the when and the how. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that the tricky part is to continue to dream, to envision what I want with as much clarity as I can muster, to take the steps to manifest it to the best of my ability… and then… to let go of the outcome. Such patience! But it is the only way.
The Ultimate Goal of Dreaming…
Pondering all this has led me to the ultimate higher purpose behind dreaming. Since this post is already long enough I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to talk about my discoveries of what that higher purpose is. Look for it.