“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” Gloria Steinem
What dreams do you have for today or next week? Do you have to postpone some dreams because of the pandemic? Has this situation pushed you to create new dreams?
These are certainly days that challenge the dreams we used to have during “normal” times. Depending on the nature of the dream, there may be some we have to put aside or release completely. I won’t be traveling on an airplane halfway across the country to see the rest of my family. My husband and I won’t be traveling to Ireland or Scotland this year.
Having to put aside our dreams may depress us. Langston Hughes describes the situation very dramatically, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” While his statement is more poetic and I may sometimes feel like the “broken-winged bird, I prefer Steinem’s approach.
If We Begin, Others May Help Us Complete the Plan
For a number of years, I attended writing workshops and developed on-going relationships with more experienced writers. I dreamed about writing a memoir, hoping that the story of my spiritual journey would encourage others to follow their dreams. However, my fears of the publishing process kept me from completing the book. No publishing company was going to publish a memoir by an unknown person. Finally, I decided to do one thing at a time and the first thing was to simply complete the writing.
After the memoir was written, I was delightedly surprised by two experienced writers in my critique group who offered to help. They guided me through the technical details to self-publish a paperback book and one actually did the technical work on the e-book. Without the dream, this book would never have been created.
Dreaming is actually the first step in planning, for we have to imagine what we want to do before we can take any steps to get there. But even in the dreaming stage we may come across roadblocks, such as fear or limited time. What internal or external blocks do we have to overcome?
Self-doubt is often a major roadblock. If we feel we’re not good enough to achieve our desire, we may not even make the effort. I dreamed of being a dancer from a young age, but I was weak and my parents couldn’t afford classes. Still, I kept imagining what it felt like and improvised in my own ways. It wasn’t until I was in high school and had regular modern dance classes that my dream became a possibility.
As I gained strength and continued to train, I knew I was behind most dancers in those two areas, but what had once seemed totally impossible became a planned attempt to accomplish the goal of becoming a dancer. In the 1970’s the dream became reality when I was chosen to dance in a modern company.
What roadblocks do you have to overcome to make your dreams come true? Are they internal or external? It is not unusual to have both. Sometimes there is a roadblock because we have not taken the time to explore and imagine the many ways we could make a dream become a reality.
Explore A Dream Like A Detective
Why not approach the problem we wish to change as if we are detectives? What is really involved? Is what we need available? If not, is there another way to approach the challenge? Whose help do we need? What steps need to be taken? Do we have the ability to take these steps? If not, do we need to change our goal or find other steps to take?
During this challenging time of the pandemic, I am impressed by the way that people who have time on their hands are filling it. Some musicians are playing online daily and poets are presenting a poem every day. Those with carpentry skills are enlarging windows or making porches into bedrooms. Friends often mention they are cleaning or fixing parts of the house they had put off in the past. Since it’s warm weather, many are growing vegetables or sprucing up their simple yard with flowers and creating a beautiful garden.
Others who have lost jobs are creating new ones by sewing masks and clothing and selling them online. Restaurants and grocery stores have increased delivery service. Writing teachers are creating virtual classes as are many schools. These creations began with dreaming that became a plan and then reality.
Dreaming allows us to open our minds to a wider understanding than what the logical part of our minds can envision and to move forward in ways we may never have anticipated. Dreaming is creative and creativity is magical. It can open doors to amazing places.
© 2020 Georganne Spruce