Nothing happens unless we first dream. -Carl Sandburg
If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time. –Marcel Proust
I’ve always been a dreamer. Night dreams, day dreams, free flowing dreams, self directed dreams – I love them all. Even my nightmares have been dear to me. All of those entertaining, mystifying, illuminating, amusing and puzzling visions have touched me. Some have cracked me wide open, others have delighted me, a few have tormented me. All have made me feel alive.
For many years I retreated a bit from my dreaming life, focusing more on the “real world” of work, family, and living well. I did what I needed and wanted to do to take care of my self and my family and to live up to the expectations of my clan. (My logical mind works just as well as my dreaming one and it certainly gets more recognition for its achievements.) Navigating our collective idea of what is real and therefore worthy of attention – consensus reality – shouldn’t be all that difficult if you get your head out of the clouds and pay attention, if you narrow your focus to what’s in front of you.
Eventually, though, the narrowing of my focus led me into a constricted box canyon. My body was first to sound the alarm, the first to let me know that the way I was going wasn’t leading me to where I wanted to be. Long sleepless nights and trips to the emergency room with my heart racing off the charts woke me up from the illusion I was living. The truth for me is this: I can’t live without dreaming. We can’t live well without dreaming. Daily life without dreaming diminishes us, separates us from a vast source of power and can lead us very far from where we want to be.
We are all doing the best we can to navigate the very challenging territory of consensus reality. The only way for me to make my way in the real world is with my dreaming intact. Because with my dreaming eyes I can see the bigger picture – the hawk view – as well as the next step in front of me. My dreaming mind keeps my real world choices fed from a deep well of meaning. My dreaming body knows its way to my truth, to my true north. My dreaming self married to my grounded, mundane self gives me a much better sense of direction and capacity to face the obstacles along the way.
So I invite you to tilt your head a bit and shift you focus ever so slightly so that you, too, can see through the dull and deadening illusions of daily life. We are all so very much more than the job description, than the consensus reality based, limited sense of our selves. We are all on heroic journeys of mythical proportions. We are all facing enormous challenges that demand our full capacity and super powers just to stay alive. And it takes considerable dreaming and daring to make our way.