Image / Wissawa Cinnacotra
When was the last time you had an idea that lifted your energy, made you feel excited, alive, expansive and capable?
Consider that this was a dream, an opportunity, an invitation from Life. Perhaps you dreamed of creating an experience or an environment, of connecting with another, of sharing or dancing or singing. Perhaps you dreamed of allowing words to flow through you that would bring laughter, healing, or understanding. Perhaps you dreamed of moving the course of your life in an entirely new direction. Perhaps, just for a moment, a whole new reality became visible to you, fully felt and distinctly possible.
How did you meet your dream?
As powerfully creative and intimately connected beings, we are often receiving dreams - visions and inspirations that could become reality, were they given the proper care and attention. Countless influences in our lives encourage us to turn our attention away from our own dreams. When we do this, we feel unfulfilled and restless. We feel as though our lives are lacking in deep, important and often nameless ways.
How and why do we turn away from, or orphan our own dreams?
We're diverted and distracted from our dreams in so many ways! Perhaps we give ourselves to the dreams of others, more or less unconsciously. Perhaps we give the best of our attention to the drama of the moment, constantly reacting to a plentiful and never-ending drama that has nothing at all to do with what we're here to do. Perhaps we fill our schedules so brimmingly full that we never have an intimate moment with ourselves - a moment in which our dream could present itself to an uncluttered mind, an open and receptive heart. Perhaps we're always running from this conversation with ourselves.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open...”
- Martha Graham
Often we're diverted by fear. Fear can tell us we're not capable of holding our dreams, of carrying them into the light of day. That we're not big enough, bold enough, or strong enough. Fear can say "who do you think you are?!" Fear can tell us we're nuts for even thinking about it. "Nobody wants your dream anyway!" - fear may tell us our dreams are silly or indulgent, meaningless tripe. Fear can say that dreaming is a waste of our time. Hooey.
Sometimes we're diverted by the fear of others in our lives. We may run into criticism and judgment from those close to us, if they fear that our dreams may require some of the attention and time they currently receive from us. They may fear our growth as a result of tending to our dreams - they may worry we'll grow in ways they don't like, or in a way that doesn't support our mutual connection in the form it's in now. They may fear that our dreams will be successful, and that they'll feel small or diminished in comparison. They may criticize us because they had dreams they never cultivated in their own lives. They may harbor guilt and anger towards themselves which they're projecting onto us, because that feels safer than owning it.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. A miracle worker is an artist of the soul. There is no higher art than living a good life” - Marianne Williamson, from A Return to Love, p.165
Vitality and joy in our lives arise, in large part, from our relationship with the dreams and inspirations which have been planted within us. Even when they aren't successful, even when they're not what we'd envisioned. The process of tending to and developing our dreams grows us - in trust, confidence, and joy - with Ourselves and with Life. Chronically shrugging off our dreams begins to silence them, and brings us to increasing disconnection and dissatisfaction with life. Listening to our dreams, learning from them, and playing with them brings us some of the highest-grade energy we can experience as human beings.
In the next post, we'll look at some simple and specific ways that we can begin to play with and nurture our dreams. Over the coming week, I invite you to take note of the moments and the ideas that "light you up". Invite them to make themselves known to you, notice them when they bubble up, feel them as they do, and write them down. Keep your list handy to play with next time.
Dana Wyss Healing Arts
Breathe deeply, practice often, be well.