Sunday, October 17, 2010

Protect Your Dreams

I had a dream the other night !

It’s not quite as big as Martin Luther King Jnr’s dream and I don’t think it will affect or alter too many people’s lives other than mine, but it is an important dream non the less and it’s MY dream !

I used to dream a lot as a child. I would dreams so vivid that I could smell and taste them, dreams that were so strong that I could get up several times in the middle of the night, get a drink and walk around for a bit then go back to bed and jump straight back into the dream where I left off. A dream world filled with adventure and mystery, a parallel universe to my reality world, a world that at times helped me understand my real world and then at other times poked fun at my real world to show me that it wasn’t as serious as I felt it was at the time.

They were very rarely nightmares and were usually pleasant and insightful. My dreams always seemed to help me understand my real world better and in times of confusion they helped me find answers.

I’m not really sure when I stopped dreaming but I vaguely remember stopping around the time that I left school and entered the workforce, a long time ago anyway.

I’m also not really sure why I stopped dreaming but suspect it was because of a lost connection with myself, a lost innocence and connection to my higher self, brought about by my temptation of a largely material world which I had been introduced to through the entry into the workforce and a supply of income that I never previously had.

Suddenly I didn’t have time to sit and contemplate, I didn’t have time to relax into a deep and secure dream world, I had lost the ability to STOP! To stop and smell the roses, stop to actually hear myself think and time to listen to myself. I was too busy to connect.

With my loss of connection to my higher self was the loss to understand my real would with the clarity that I once enjoyed and it also heralded a period in my life filled with chaos and self-doubt.

Interestingly enough, the loss of my ability to dream also coincided with my loss of drive or ambition to artistically create. I used to love painting and I actually won a few encouragement awards for my paintings and drawings back in my high school days. I also used to write a lot of poetry and always dreamed of learning the guitar and putting my poems to song like one of my artistic Idols “ Bob Dylan ”.

Nude Lady © 1985 By Andrew Swansson ( My Last Painting )

I have attempted to reconnect with my artistic side may times over the years but could never find that river to tap unless I was in a period of turmoil and self-reflection. Now while I loved the artistic fruits of these moments of deep self-reflection they were more times than not painful periods in my life and it got to the stage that I preferred not to connect rather than take my mind and soul to these dark places to find inspiration. I wanted to connect in the light again and was not willing to walk in the dark.

My life as it turns out has taken many rough roads over the last 5 years and in the process my life has fundamentally changed in many ways. With these changes have come the deep realisation of mortality and the realisation of what is really important in life. The realisation that life is limited and the most precious commodity that we could ever hope to hold. The problem with this is that we can’t buy more when we run out of our life’s allocation, once you have used, spent or squandered your allocation that you were given on the day that you were born, it’s gone. You can’t buy any more life, you can’t borrow any more life and you certainly can’t steal any more life once yours is gone.

So life is precious and the lives of those that you love and hold close are equally as precious. To share your life with another person, and to have them openly share theirs with you has a profound effect on the average life, it makes them Shine ! And when they shine they illuminate your world in such a way that it removes all the dark places and dark corners, it illuminates your life and allows you to see your world in a perfect clarity, it allows you to see the path forward.

Another thing I have learnt in recent years is that of priorities and the real importance of “ Stuff ”. It has magnified my “R.I.S.E” gauge. Now my R.I.S.E gauge or should I say “ Real . Important . Stuff . Evaluation ” is quite simply my assessment of what is really import and what is an illusion created by society and marketing.

For example, my awesome 42 inch Plasma TV can’t make my lonely heart feel any better on a cold winter night when I am home alone. Sleeping alone with 7 pillows in a top of the line king size bed and pillow top mattress is nowhere near as comfortable as sleeping in an old wire base bed and 15 year old mattress when shared with the one you love on a cold winter night. Having that impressive high flying corporate job that pays a squillion dollars means nothing if you go home to an empty house or even worse, a full house where no one knows who you are because you have so little time to spend with them and communicate with them. All that money will only help pay the solicitors arrange a settlement. Having a successful corporate career does not equal a rich and rewarding life. The sweetest sound is that of a child laughing, the most honest words are the words of children, the most important place to be is here and now, home is where your heart is, the truth is more valuable than the answer you were hoping for, Bigger houses are only better because they have more storage space for your stuff, cuddles are fuel for the soul, happiness is having yourself as your best friend and you can never lie successfully to the person in the mirror.

I wrote a poem a few years back called Love is Elusive and the first section goes like this “ Love is elusive, Love is a dream, Love is always there but rarely seen, our eyes are closed to the simplest of things, of what love is and what it means.” By connecting with our R.I.S.E Gauge we can all open our eyes and understand better.

As I started to say at the beginning of this Blog, I have had a dream again. In fact I have started to have many dreams lately and while I won’t go into specifics of these dreams the important thing is that I am having dreams again.

Partly due to being made redundant four and a bit months ago and partly because of changes in my life’s circumstances I have found myself stopping and listening to life. Listening to the birds in the morning, listening to my heart. I have been looking at life through the lens of my camera and actively seeking out beauty in this world. I have been listening to natures little clues to know which road to travel to find that next beautiful moment and to capture it in time with my camera.

I have been actively reducing my material possessions and distractions to a point of needs rather than just wants and I have been reducing my consumptions based on boredom and frustration until I reached the point of consumption based on needs.

All of this has made life a more real entity with purpose rather that a life based on distraction.

Now I don’t know if this is just a coincidence or an equal reaction to my actions but suddenly I am dreaming once again.

“ I Have A Dream ”


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