Swinging merrily from star to lustrous star; relishing rainbows, drinking diamonds, and gulping galaxies from the Quantum Wave Cafe; she hitched her hunger, wrapped her rhythms, and rode her gleaming ardor to the gateway of her fantasies. “You are living your dream!” she exclaimed proudly, illustrious tears of love falling from her heart’s enchanted eyes, forming the lacy wings that lift her loved one higher.
“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Awakening to My Dream
Once upon a crisp December morning, an eight year old pudgy geek was visiting his grandparents at their farm. He was beyond boring, grotesquely undignified, and still controlled by his flatulant fears and urges. As he traipsed across the snowy barnyard, toward the glittering winter sunrise, he stopped suddenly, as if frozen to his footprints. Now he was a reasonable chap, mind you, at the top of his third grade class; and well respected, as much as little boys could be. He played piano for the church, loved to give, to help, to listen; and valued people, plants, and animals all the same. He was slowly going blind, believed in miracles and magic, and treasured his parents like the wind adores the sunshine.
He stood there riveted with uncertainty, not knowing whether he should scream, pee his pants, or smile. He heard, or sensed, supernal choruses of light streaming radiance synesthetically all around him. His breath became the wind, which blustered fiercely. His awareness noticed ravens on the power line above, and he somehow sensed their penetrating presence and scintillating words. “We are you, and you are us. We are all here to discover. You will suffer and evolve, and then help others.” He would never forget these words; warm and bright and clear and wonderful; from the ravens on the power line at dawn.
Henceforth, following the effulgent radiance of this wondrous experience, except during the hormonally-induced amnesia of his adolescence, he knew that he was here to evolve, help others, and create. He was aware that he could influence the wind, communicate with animals, especially birds; and that when he listened to the suffering of others their pain would somehow lessen. Whenever possible, he would practice joining with the wind, stirring up its fervor, or slowing it to just a cosmic whisper. He would intuitively connect with birds, dogs, and cows; realizing from an early age that his family was more extended than discussed. He belonged to the wind, water, earth, and fire; the whole of the animal kingdom; and somehow knew this, although of it he could not speak. His music fostered feelings, his presence peace and promise; his purpose lay before him, that little geek.
I knew from an early age that my purpose was to evolve, help others, and make music. Although this realization occasionally eluded my conscious awareness, it was always there waiting to be rediscovered. I started playing in a band on the road at age 14. Clubs, amphitheaters, and dive bars were the first of the many universities I attended. I learned more about people in their smoky, seductive shadows than during the 14 college years spent acquiring my Ph.D. I am now a successful therapist, shaman, and spiritual teacher; poet and singer-songwriter; living my dreams with my beloved in our home by the sea in sweet Hawaii. Would you have predicted that a greasy, fat, blind kid from a materially poor family in rural Illinois would have attained these and countless other goals? Me neither.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Seven Steps to Living Your Dreams
What are your greatest passions, and what is the purpose you wish to fulfill? Is your deepest desire to share the resplendent radiance, sensual silhouettes, and collaborative creations of a romantic relationship? Do you know, like me, that you are here to evolve, heal others with love, and paint acoustic watercolors of life? Do you really, really want to write a book? Do you hunger for happiness and thirst for meaning? Are you ready to ditch the paycheck-to-paycheck struggle to manifest greater material abundance for you and your family? Do you see a scientist within you who will discover the cure for cancer, aids, or heart disease? Do you have a zest for technology that could lead to the development of a neuroelectronic interface, providing computer access to those without the use of their vision, hands, and voices? There have probably been times in your life when you have seen and known. Following are seven steps that could help you live your dreams.
- Discover It: The first step in realizing our dream is to find it. Research has demonstrated that “95% of that which blocks dream realization is psychological“: 60% fear, 25% irrational beliefs, and 10% lack of knowledge. The remaining 5% is physical, such as blindness, and even when the physical condition cannot be changed, it can be accepted. So remove the egoic barriers (fear, irrational beliefs, and lack of knowledge), put yourself in a meditative state, and experience the peace and beauty of your true nature. Within it lies the passion of your dream, fully formed, waiting to be discovered. When you see it, you will remember. Fight the urge to summarily dismiss it again. Begin declaring its existence, believing in its eventuality, and establishing your health and happiness today.
- Declare It: There may be something you love to do, such as sculpting, but have never allowed yourself to consider a viable possibility. If you think you don’t have a dream, then dig a little deeper. When you discover it you will realize that it was always there. Whatever it is, you do not need to become it. You are it. It is part of your true nature. Others may have noticed. If someone knows you intimately, ask them “What do you think I am really good at?” or “What do you see me doing with my life?” After discovering your dream, “declare it to the universe.” Believe in yourself, focus on your dream, always remain hopeful, and continue removing the barriers from its realization. A diamond is a diamond whether encased in rock or glittering in the saffron-scarlet radiance of the sunrise.
- Elevate Your Consciousness: Increase the vibrational frequency of your thoughts and emotions through education and daily practice. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or PTSD you may need to ditch these unwelcome visitors first, before being able to take this step. Such symbiotic guests can limit our range of thought, perceived possibilities, and courses of action; inhibiting the hope, happiness, and peace needed to elevate our consciousness. Daily practices of meditation, exercise, gratitude, helping others, gourmet sex, and genuine smiling will help us rise above the mind to find the pure land from which dreams become the day.
- Believe It: You may possess talents, skills, and abilities that others have been pointing out to you your entire life. You may have been too anxious, preoccupied, or overwhelmed to pay attention to them. You may have dismissed what they said due to possible biases, probable impracticalities, or evident self doubt. It may have seemed too risky, too far out of reach, or too selfish. Everything in life involves risk and requires faith to some degree. Remember, 95% of the barriers to dream realization are in our mind. We need to believe in the possibility of achieving our dream before it can externally manifest. Our courage to take such faith-based risks may be the key that unlocks the gateway to our dreams. Until we are able to find this faith, we may be able to get started based on what others see in us. My girlfriend’s belief, vision, and love for me; along with my parents’ undying support; gave me what I needed to get started; until I had experienced enough progression to allow myself to believe. Others’ faith in me, combined with my intuitive awareness of conscious infinite light; became my anchors, vision, and cheerleaders until I realized that they, too, were already me and the substance of my dream.
It can seem a little confusing until we realize that life can be a process of shifting back and forth between the higher consciousness of our spirit and the lower vibrational frequencies of our egoic mind. In one place we know one set of things, and in the other, another. For instance, my relative awareness of the limitless possibilities of universal consciousness derives from spirit, while the doubts and fears which precipitate my perceived need for the support of others comes from my egoic mind. We may clearly realize certain higher things, and then suddenly find ourselves living a completely different life; based on the fears, self doubt, established habits, and perceived possibilities created by the mind. Our relative ability to distinguish between our true nature and egoic mind, remove the mind from the equation of dream realization, and identify solely with spirit; will correspondingly streamline the dream realization process.
- Develop It: Do your research, and begin investing in its outcome. For instance, I loved to help people heal, was losing my vision, had considered medical school, but decided that psychology offered the optimal opportunity for me to do what I loved with or without external vision. I began researching options, selected a university, secured funding, and enrolled. YIKES!!! Next I had to figure out how to get materials read aloud or on CD, have exams read to me, get notes taken, and get back and forth from my apartment to the various classrooms. My blindness created more work, but through this labor came relationships, organizational skills, greater confidence, and increased self acceptance. Don’t get me wrong, it was a long and rocky road, but the process was as important as the outcome. After we discover, declare, believe in, and begin developing our dream; we must accept its variations on a theme.
- Accept It: It is important to have a clear vision of our passion and purpose, but it is equally as crucial to be flexible pursuant to their form. If we attach to a particular outcome, appearance, or manifestation; then we may fail to recognize them when they appear. It is also imperative to realize that the entire process, from discovery to realization, is the dream. Further developments and additional outcomes will likely occur. We do not want to consider any particular goal attainment as the end game or process completion. It will never end. It is alive within our true nature. It is who we are. When I realized I loved helping others, when I went to college, when I worked at a Native American community center, social model alcohol rehab, psychiatric day treatment center, employee assistance program, and Department of Defense (DoD) installation; when working in my private practice; while composing loving or healing music; when supporting the needy; while writing motivational articles; etc.; I am living my dream. This is who I am. This is who I will be. My progression along a process may change, its manifestation may change, but there is no point at which I will be living my dream. I have been living it my entire life. My awareness of it has varied, in correlation to my identification with my mind (as opposed to spirit); but it has always been there. When we accept ourselves, the reality of who we are, and the inevitability of our passion and purpose; and when we lovingly focus our belief-based attention on its creation; we will experience our dream realization.
- Create It: After discovering, declaring, believing in, developing, and accepting the passion and purpose of our true nature; we must untiringly strive to focus our belief-based attention on its continuous realization. By doing so we will be literally selecting this outcome from among the infinite pools of coexisting possibilities of quantum consciousness; choosing the quantum wave function of our dream rather than allowing a chance possibility to randomly collapse into being as our life. By doing so we are creating our dream as our life; and hence creating our life as our dream. The higher the vibrational frequency of our consciousness, the more it will directly interact with universal consciousness; increasing the clarity of our awareness of its manifestation (which will be perceived by the mind as occurring faster, more completely, and more intensely). Our ability to create material world experiences that align with our true nature make us more aware of our true nature (although the mind-based perception of this is usually that we are experiencing greater effectiveness or abundance pursuant to our dream. We are simply, through these experiences, becoming more aware of our true nature.
Dream Revelation Exercise
One way to identify your dreams is to welcome your true nature into conscious awareness. You have probably stumbled upon it before, or your life may be manifesting its peaceful acceptance; as the outer harmony of your inner spirit song. If the life you live is in alignment with your true nature, then you may want to skip this little exercise.
Please initiate whatever form of meditation best helps you clear your mind and free yourself from sensory distractions. When calm and clear, please ask yourself the following questions. Allow your answers to take any form, including thought, journal entries, poetry, music, pencil sketches, watercolors, songwriting, lyrics to existing tunes, or calligraphy. After capturing your answers, make a list on your smart phone or tablet that clearly represents them. Remember, you have probably had glimpses of them throughout your life, especially before your hormones kicked in, and after you adjusted to their influences. You have probably also been influenced by your ego, based on its issues and defenses, and may believe you need to do certain things in order to be good enough, accepted, successful, or loved. This is not your true nature, and we want to recognize the difference between the two (true nature and ego) in order to separate them. Our ego-driven goals will prevent dream realization.
Relational: Write down, or otherwise capture, your wishes for relationships; with your intimate partner, friends, parents, children, or coworkers; and anyone else in your life. What would you like to experience from your relationships? You may want more, less, or different. You may long for greater privacy, clearer boundaries, or increased connection. Be careful not to judge, or base your desires on what other people say. Would you like to experience more conscious communication? Deeper appreciation? More quality time together? More control over your life? More love making? Less arguing? Less perceived obligation? Make a note of your answers.
Spiritual: What would encourage your soul’s evolution? Would you like to begin a meditative practice? Study with a spiritual teacher? Start journaling? Initiate a yoga routine? Go to church? Perhaps you long to learn more about a particular philosophical tradition, or would love to read uncensored spiritual texts. Take note of your answers, and incorporate them into the growing awareness of your passion and purpose.
Developmental: What skills would you like to improve upon? Do you desire increased stimulation through learning a new language, or studying a different operating system? Would you like to learn how to play a musical instrument? Have you always imagined yourself a writer? Do you long for more time to play or develop a hobby? Write down everything you want for your physical, mental, and emotional well being. Keep these answers with you always, and read through them at least twice each day (when waking up and at bedtime), and before each meditation.