Recognizing Dreams When We See Them
I haven’t written lately on paper (or screens), but I’ve been thinking a lot. Often I write blogs in my head while I’m driving, and I’ve been driving more lately as part of my job. Sometimes when I am sleeping, I dream about things to write in my blogs. I’ve even dreamt plots for novels — novels that seemed brilliant in my sleep, but I didn’t remember the finer points or what was so great about them when I woke up.
Last night I had a dream that was kind of interesting. I was at a Christian concert and was sitting separate from my friends because of assigned seating. A young man kept talking to me, and I wondered why. But instead of listening to the music, I stopped and listened to him. I don’t remember the conversation, but I then asked him what he did for a living. He said I am a pastor. I asked about his church, and he said his church meets in his home and there is nothing electronic in his church or his ministries. He preaches and they read the bible. He said he has never been on Facebook or any social media and doesn’t want to be. While he was telling me this, something was providing me with food for thought, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it was. I woke up still feeling kind of warm, like I “got it” but don’t remember what “it” is I was supposed to have gotten. I do sleep with a pad and pen, but somehow that doesn’t work. (Yes I’ve wondered if the message was to stop using social media!).
This evening I was watching Celtic Thunder on TV while I was doing chores. I love Celtic music. They sang the song Streets of London, which I hadn’t heard since I used to go to O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub with my travel companion I often went to London with. Boy did that song bring back memories. I was feeling pretty warm and fuzzy about remembrances of listening to live Irish music and traveling to a city that I love so much. Then another song came on, and POOF, feelings gone.
These two things that happened today reminded me of how fleeting life is. We are given pearls of wisdom, beautiful moments, memories, ideas, dreams, and all kinds of gifts, but we either don’t recognize them, we don’t appreciate them, we don’t see the significance, we forget them, we write them off as unimportant, or we move on to the next thing before we have finished the last thing.
My bestie and I were talking about this. We don’t take the time to enjoy our moments, we don’t take the time to dream, and if we do dream, we don’t take the steps to make them come true. Perhaps we see those dreams as stupid. Perhaps we see them as impossible or unreachable. Perhaps we don’t recognize them when they are presented to us. Perhaps they enter our mind and then we forget them.
What are your dreams, truly? Do you want a fulfilling career? Do you want to see the world? Do you want to meet the love of your life? Dreams can be big, or they can be small. LIstening to the song Streets of London and thinking of my trips to England made me happy. Watching a beautiful sunset makes me happy. Enjoying a breeze makes me happy (especially in July). Seeing my flowers bloom makes me happy. Whatever your dreams are, big or small, recognize them. Make them come true. Enjoy the moments. LIfe is fleeting, we have to turn off all of the noise and stop jumping off to the next thing. We need to slow down and be in the moment.
How do we learn to enjoy the moment? We have to become aware that these moments exist. We won’t recognize them unless we train our minds to notice things in the present time. One way to do this is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simple. At the very least, every morning before I leave the house, I tell Alexa to set the timer for however many minutes I can spare – sometimes it’s 2, sometimes it’s 10. I focus on my breathing and the here and now. Slowing down our minds does work. When I said that ideas come to me when I am asleep or when I am driving, this tells me something. This is a time when my mind is quiet and I’m not multitasking. In those times I become creative. We can all be creative if we learn to slow down, turn off the noise and allow our minds to be free.
One final thought about dreams. Don’t wait for the time to be perfect to start working on them. There will never be a perfect time. If you have a dream, start working on it now. The perfect time is now.