Thursday, 27 February 2014

balancing the gift and the curse of being a dreamer

Does the life of a dreamer seem delightful? A never-ending supply of get out of jail free cards, redeemable by switching off from reality and drifting away into another world whenever the mood takes? Free holidays into fantasy land or whatever land you want to create whenever you want to create it? Personality perfection achievable through imagination ...

Yeah, it's not like that. I'm a dreamer. I know.

Sometimes, being a dreamer is great - we'll see possibilities, imagine new beginnings and discover uncharted territory in which exciting discoveries can be made.

But sometimes, being a dreamer is like having a frustrating tick, a bad habit, a long coat-tail you're always tripping over.

Being a dreamer, you take yourself off to that new possibility, into the uncharted territory, before you've finished the task at hand. Concentration waxes and wanes, because being present where you are is impossible when you can see where you would prefer to be and are impatient to get there.

So the discipline for a dreamer is to allow the dream enough space to breathe, but not so much space that it suffocates you. Yes, it's like a person, a being, it has personality, and a demanding one at that. And the more air your dream breathes, the less there is for you.

The past week or two I have enjoyed a reclaiming of the air from a dream that had got a bit big for its boots. It is enticing, the possibility of a new adventure, possibility dangling before me just out of reach. But there is still much living to do here, now, today, and I metaphorically splashed some water on my face a couple of weeks ago to wake myself up out of the dream.

Since doing that, my energy levels picked up, my mood lifted, concentration focused and the smile has rarely left my face. It's an attitude thing - for dreamers, or whoever you are. Looking at the world, your life, with gratitude for what is doesn't negate the gift of a dream, but it stops the dream suppressing all the other gifts you already receive.

I haven't burst the dream, but I have let some of the air out, so I can breathe again - when you breathe well, you have more energy.

I haven't given up on the dream,  I have simply tied it to a chair to hang in waiting for its proper time - when you hold on less tightly, stress falls away, and you'll be in a better mood.

I haven't forgotten the dream I have remembered that I can be trusted to nurture it and give it attention along the way - when you know your processes you can trust them, and don't need to hold everything in your mind all at once, so you are able to concentrate on tasks in good order.

I haven't rejected the dream, it is still welcome, loved, with me - and without demanding all my attention, I don't resent it, so I can delight in it with hope and anticipation.

Being a dreamer is like anything - it's a gift, until it's a curse. To keep it a gift, you need the discipline to strive for balance. And an awful lot of patience.

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