It comes first as a fleeting thought somewhere between frustration and joy….that “what if”, that imagined possibility, the idea of a correction or addition to your life course. What do you do with that dream? Do let it pass with a sigh or do you hang on to it, letting it simmer on the back burner of your mind until it is totally delicious and ready to use?
We live in a microwave society of instant gratification where “simmering” is generally shunned. We like our information delivered in Gs; the more the better. And the getting to the bottom of the list has become what is most important rather than the individual items on the list. BUT, realizing a dream only happens in the simmer mode in the absence of this speed.
In his book “I Imagine” Jonah Lehrer writes about the idea of Conceptual Blending; how inspiration and invention is achieved through the combining of already understood information during that AH HA moment. It happens when the subconscious and conscious mind roams around searching for how the puzzle pieces fit together, in essence, simmering on thoughts and dreams until they come together.
My husband has finally come to terms with my occasional response to his need to settle something quickly, “I can’t answer that question because I don’t have enough information yet.” Snap decisions cannot be made in the dreaming process and what may seem like a snap decision from the outside is probably the result of accumulative information that has been simmering for some time.
So as we come to a close of the first month of the new year, consider putting aside impulsive resolution lists and dare to dream your dreams. Let your mind simmer the possibility until all the pieces come together into reality!
This is how I realize my dreams:
- I embrace what I love and try to think “why not, why not me?”. This is how my dreams are formed.
- I let myself lose focus on occasion, letting my mind wander to be open for input from the world around me. This activity lets my mind be in “search mode” to be looking for connections and revelations that will help me realize the dream. David Lamb, New Hampshire’s current artist Laureate, a friend and neighbor, and I have discussed this noodling process. I let myself do this while cleaning the house, gardening or taking a walk and he does it as he putters in his shop or takes a walk.
- I research, confirm and get a visual for my thoughts once they come together. I search the internet, make sketches & diagrams, write out my thoughts and make graphic designs. I use a form of Levenger’s circa note books filled with the Behance Method of Action Organizing. I like the un-lined pages that accompany the method because it helps me free-form my ideas with words and allows me to sketch them. You could start a scrap book or Pinterest account, bookmark websites or rip pages out of a magazine to start a dream book.
- I try the idea on for size. Once the idea starts coming together and it seems possible then I physically go to that place or try it out to see what it feels like. If I feel stressed or anxious, it is not meant to be for right then. If I feel relaxed and calm then it is a good fit. A word of wisdom, however, do not be attached to a time line. Dreams can materialize when you least expect them and sometimes later than sooner. Don’t give up!
- When it is right, then go for it! Dreams do not happen unless you take action.
Follow the foot steps that lead you to your dreams!
6 thoughts on “Daring to Dream”
Jonah Lehrer’s book, “Imagine” was one of the best I’d audiobooked in a while. Amazing factoids on how our brains work. There was some controversy about the Bob Dylan passages, but I wouldn’t let it stop anyone from reading the book. Great post, Jane!
Thanks Lynn. I know you are good at realizing YOUR dreams! Can’t wait to hear how they all come together this year…Jane
This is a lovely post, Jane, and so wise–just what I needed to hear at this juncture. I get so caught up in the “to-do” list, as you say, that I completely neglect my “what if” list. :-/. No good. And if there’s any way that I could be a fraction as creative and successful as you and David, I would be completely thrilled! Big hugs to you… Lori
Thank you for the sweet validation Lori. It sure means a lot coming from someone as talented as you! We all learn from each other, right? oxoxo
Great post, Jane. You are so right. We do forget even how to dream in our busyness, called life.
I am so glad this post meant something to you Rhoda just like you mean something to me. 🙂 xo