“Dream as if your life depended on it; because it does.”
Someone said recently, “Dream as if your life depended on it; because it does.”
Considering the number of us baby boomers facing our (ahem) older years, this quote is a good place to start. How many of us in our 50s or 60s or 70s can say we have lived our dreams? And are we still dreaming, or have we put all that aside by now?
If you lack energy and positivity, if you’re feeling old, if you feel disappointed, or like a failure, it could be because you no longer cultivate your dreams.
It’s necessary to be in tune with your dreaming or it will fade away. You have to do three things:
- Encourage dreams to come,
- Remember them when they occur, and
- Value their meaning.
Many of us in middle age or older have been very successful in life; and it’s also true that many of us have not. For whatever reasons, we are now either proud or rueful or (much more likely) some mix of the two when we consider the products of our years.
But no matter how we feel about the past, it’s more important write now to take care of the present; and that definitely includes dreaming.
Jump start your dreaming if it’s been sluggish, or boost it if you already maintain a healthy dreaming practice, with a week of journaling focus.
Something like this:
Monday – Routine
It’s not every day that you have a meaningful night dream or create an important day dream. But every day must contain dreaming for your life to feel lively.
So, remember that routine that you followed yesterday? Do it again today. Practice to increase your openness and make notes in your journal about the practice. Then write about your dreams of right now.
Tuesday – Night and Day
To be sure, there’s a vast difference between night and day dreams. Night dreams come from the subconscious, day dreams from the ego and super-ego (you might say, from the mind and conscience). Night dreams seem much more out of our control than day dreams.
Compare and contrast the two, as they appear in your life, when you journal today.
Wednesday – Inventory
Journal a list of your dreams as they exist currently. Dreams for your life, for the next year, the next day, the next event you’re anticipating. And don’t forget night dreams, as well; what do you remember of them? What are common motifs in your slumber visions?
Thursday – Analysis
Identify the kinds of dreams that are in short supply for you. Do you lack hope for the future? Do you believe things will always stay the same? Do you ignore dreams from sleep? Write about why you don’t allow yourself these dreams. Consider what would happen if you let such dreams into your life.
Friday – Love
Who or what do you love? Make a list and then circle the two or three things or people that you love the most. Journal about each of them, indulging your appreciation for their loveable qualities. Journal about their weaknesses, as well, and about how, ironically, even these faults are loveable to you.
Saturday – Strategy
What could you do to increase your dreaming in any particular area? Get inspired! If you are sick of your job but fret about losing the income, browse the classifieds, talk to friends, take a career aptitude test, learn a new skill. If you’re disappointed in life and you just don’t bother to dream, use the love items from Friday’s journaling to intentionally motivate fresh life dreams.
If you tend to ignore night dreams, resolve to take a moment when you wake to write out a few impressions.
Sunday – Just Do It
You can’t force dreaming. If you try, the result will be artificial. You can, however, open yourself to dreaming so that “what dreams may come” will be allowed in.
Today, focus on opening, however you best achieve that. Maybe an outing or physical exercise works best for you; or listening to music or meditating. Whatever brings you a calm mind, relaxed muscles, and a compassionate viewpoint. Spend time there, and then journal about the experience.
Now turn to a new page and write a dream.
I love dreaming of all kinds, but I don’t spend enough time on it. C’mon, I dare you to follow these prompts and tell us all about it in the comments. What are your dreams?