What might happen if you gave thinking a break and instead dreamed your way to a new life?
Dreaming your future
Valuable as checklists and plans are, they can limit our options if we rely only on them. They come from the mind which can only offer what it knows. But what if we bypass the limits of the mind and dream? Without censorship? Of all we could be? All we could do?
Who or what is having the dream?
Some call it our soul, our spirit, our higher self or higher mind. Whatever the terminology, it is that part of us that is more than the human mind and knows no limitations. Of course we will use our mind too – but not yet.
To encourage the dream (some might call it inspiration or guidance) we can use mantras or meditations to keep our minds busy and stop them interrupting the dreaming state. Although we might be looking for the dream, we can also be totally unconscious of it until it presents itself to us. Sometimes the dream is so important for us that it will present and re-present until we recognise it.
For example, I am unhappy at work. Instead of consulting employment websites and limiting myself to ‘something in my field’, I sit in meditation, opening beyond my mind to greater possibilities. I see myself in front of a class of young children teaching English and I’m excited. Alternatively, happy in my job I help out at my child’s school and love the experience. I feel I want to teach English to children. Looking back I see a thread of occasions when I’ve been able to explain things to people and present information and how much I’ve enjoyed those times. I recall how as a child I was always the teacher when we played ‘schools’ (and not necessarily just because I was the bossy one!).
The dream was always there but in neither case had I connected with it. It is something I would never have thought of but now I’m compelled to explore further. It has been waiting for me to see and claim it.
The field of dreams
How is this so? ‘May the road rise to meet you’ is a well-known Irish blessing and a lovely image for weary walkers. It also has a deeper meaning. For the Celtic Irish ‘The Dreamtime’ is the eternal source of all creation from where everything in our material world first originates from its energetic blueprint and to where everything in our world returns. It is a place of infinite possibility, of dreams waiting to be dreamed, of paths waiting to be taken – if we will but dream.
This is where we go when we open to beyond our minds. Existing energetically, these dreams are always seeking us. They rise up before us and reach out for us. To connect with them is to give ourselves a great gift.
The mind’s role
What then of the mind? The role of the mind is to support the realisation of the dream. However, for those of us prone to self-doubt or self-criticism, if we allow our minds to seize the dream and list all possible pitfalls or deficits on our part or go into overdrive, seeking to control the outcome with endless attention to detail, we will kill off our dreams. They cannot survive in that environment.
That is why we need to claim our dreams totally (without censorship, remember) before we let our minds anywhere near them. We need to draw them into the fabric of our being. Then we can mindfully look to what is next. Perhaps we will know we have achieved this when their colours deepen or we become even more excited by them. This is still big-picture stuff – dreaming, not thinking, about the details.
Two other tips
Firstly, this is not the time to focus on what we will leave behind. We need to put our energy and attention on what we want to gain, not what we fear to lose – otherwise we will struggle and can’t progress with ease.
Secondly, I suggest that we take care as to when and with whom we share our dreams. Well-meaning or not the words of another can be as supportive or critical as our own minds.
The dream continues
From my earlier example, I continue to dream about teaching English. I daydream about it until I see it in colour; until I find myself writing lesson plans and enjoying long school holidays. I don’t worry about how my wages may drop or that I will have to study again. I keep dreaming and connecting to the resonance of what is now my dream.
Strong in myself, I am not dissuaded when a friend says she cannot see me teaching and it is financial suicide. I acknowledge her viewpoint, avoid any discussion that undermines my dream, and move on. Then someone else mentions teaching English as a second language, overseas. Such a suggestion honours my dream. If I adopt it, it has helped to crystallise my path. If it does not attract me, it supports my original dream of teaching in a school. Either way I can use it to empower my decision-making process.
Can flowers show us the way?
In many of the Celtic Irish stories, the choice of the next step is made because our favourite flowers grow along one route or a tree falls across the other. Perhaps a ‘god’ or guide beckons us to take a particular direction, or the sun is shining on one road but storms gather over another. In other words, once we embrace the dream, the road to its realisation will rise to meet us if we allow it to do so.
Encouraging the mind to be playful and look for clues can be very helpful. Perhaps we notice a seminar or book that looks useful or we speak with a person we meet by chance and they turn out to have good advice or contacts for us. If we allow it, this phase can be fun, not hard work and after this we can employ the planning mind as we get into details and into the action phase.
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