Several years ago, Briana asked me, “What are your dreams?” and I discovered there was a hitch in my thinking about dreams. Somehow “dreams” had come to represent crazy or impossible things that would be fun to entertain but are totally unrealistic.
Maybe it’s imperfect that we use the same word to mean both “those bizarre stories that happen when we’re sleeping” and “a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.” Likewise, we have expressions such as in your dreams and keep dreaming that we use to mean that’s never gonna happen.
As we grow up almost everyone goes through a process by which we change our expectations about adult life, we revise our estimation of our ability to succeed, and we discover that many of the things we wanted as a child no longer interest us. Thus, it’s easy to convince ourselves that we don’t really have big dreams anymore, that we’re happy to just get by, that we don’t need to rock the boat.
But if I asked, “How would you like your circumstances and/or yourself to be different than they are – regardless of whether or not you think it’s possible, reasonable, or appropriate?” how many people would honestly answer, “I have no desire for things to be any different than they are”? Most of us have dreams – the question is whether or not we choose to own them.
(Incidentally, I’m not implying that there’s anything wrong with not desiring life to be different. By all means, accept and relish your present reality! And, without resisting the present, feel free to take an active interest in shaping a different future for yourself. This is your creative power.)
As I began to challenge my old thinking about dreams, I noticed that lots of people ARE living the lives of their dreams. Then we wrote the Dreambook and I began to witness firsthand, over and over, people clarifying their dreams and making them real.
I think the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective on the capacity to dream offers a useful viewpoint. In this system, dreaming is the job of an aspect of consciousness called the hun. The hun is what’s active when we’re sleeping and it also gives us the ability to dream in the aspirational sense. The hun is said to be able to “wander” outside of the body; that is, it enables us to project ourselves beyond our current reality and envision something else.
As you work in your 2022 Dreambook, I encourage you to take some time to engage your hun by projecting yourself into a vivid and detailed daydream of the best life you can imagine. See how long you can stay with it.
Do you get uncomfortable? Notice where that discomfort comes from. What’s it about?
Is there a part of your mind that protests that it’s too much, that it’s not possible, or that you don’t deserve it? Thank it for its concern and assure it that you don’t need it to blow holes in this dream; it’s safe and non-threatening. It can relax and enjoy this scenario.
Even in the midst of these protests, can you stick with the positive feelings this dream reality elicits? Open yourself to the happiness, relief, joy, and peace that go along with the dream.
Scan through the various elements and see which ones have the strongest positive charge for you. Imagine you’re exploring a vast palette of possible realities from which you can make selections. Which parts of this dream feel they’d serve your highest good? Which parts feel the most aligned with your Highest Self? Which parts feel the most liberating and peaceful?
Then actively claim these elements of your visualization. Transform them from dreams to choices. Imagine yourself stepping into a reality where you embody these qualities. Write your choices down and revisit them frequently. Then make a plan that includes some practical measures you can take toward the actualization of these choices. Even if you don’t know all the necessary steps, just being engaged will put you in touch with resources and avenues that will help you along your way.
Finally, if there’s someone you can share these choices with who won’t respond with doubt or criticism, tell them. Say, “Here’s what I’m going to do. . .” Ask them to believe in you and to hold you to the power of your word. If you don’t have a friend that can do that for you, visit the Dragontree Community & Conversations group on Facebook – it’s full of people who are excited to support each other in this way.