I am a daydreamer at heart. In fact, daydreaming is one of my favorite pastimes. The site of my daydreams is a magical place to which I retreat when I want to embody a world of endless possibilities. It is a place where dreams can stretch and grow and my spirit can be renewed. There is no organization or defeatist thinking such as “that is never going to happen!” in a daydream world. This place is there for us to recover those dreams we had left behind in childhood and discover new ones that are beginning form.
The practice of yoga has opened up the old, rusted trunk where some of my old dreams had long been stored. The stretching, the breathing, and the visualizations that I have been practicing have brought new space to places inside of me that had grown tight, breathless, and withdrawn. One of those early dreams had been to be a writer. A lifetime ago, I considered myself one. Recently, I have dug up that daydream and that is how this blog was born. It is my first step. Do you remember how anything felt possible as a child? We could play and allow our imagination to take over. Or we could resort to daydreaming to take us to a place that we really felt we would reach one day. Impossible was not a word in our vocabulary back then. Why should it be now?
When we stretch our bodies, we stretch our minds. The movement, the fresh breath and the release of tension that was held in our bodies give us the ability to open doors that have been closed off by not living mindfully. Our society is built on a to-do list. It can be a habit to think of all the things we must accomplish in a day such as things to do, places to go, and people to see. Daydreaming does not work well in that kind of environment and it is easy to forget the joyful pleasures it can bring.
One of the ways that I connect back with my daydreams is to step onto my mat and take some deep, cleansing breaths. I keep a journal and pen close by. I stretch gently into the areas that feel tight and stagnant and allow those areas of tension to receive my breath. I notice how I feel. What is it that I need to release at this moment? Perhaps it is a thought or emotion that doesn’t serve me any longer. I write it down. One of my favorite ways to get back into my daydream world comes from a task in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. Julia asks us to think about our imaginary lives. This is not to say that we are unhappy with the ones we are living right now. It is just expanding it to include things we thought have long passed away. Julia asks the following question: “If you had five other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them?” Would you be a photographer, an artist, a cowboy, dog trainer, a gourmet chef? Try to keep your adult mind out of this process. Whatever comes to mind, write it down in your journal. There are no limitations. Continue breathing, stretching, and falling back in love with your dreams.
Julia Cameron is emphatic when she states that the next step is crucial. She suggests taking one imaginary life from your list and doing it this week. If you daydreamed about being an artist, sign up for an art class. If you envisioned being a photographer, could you spend one free afternoon this week taking pictures at the beach, in the city, or in a park and then offering the photos as gifts? If you imagined yourself a gourmet chef, plan a special dinner party in your home for a few close friends. No special occasion is necessary; you are simply living out your dreams.
Embracing our daydreams is to accept all the parts of ourselves that are visible and invisible. Practice daydreaming this week and notice what comes up. Invite an imaginary life into your world and play with it. What dreams have you forgotten about that you are ready to live and embrace again?
With love & light,
Image by miss mimee at d"Eviant Art