“There are literally no limits to what you may now choose to experience within the context of this physical form…. One must now take total responsibility for the focused intent that underlies one’s choices.” Oneness, p.299
As I read these words of Oneness, I ask myself the questions: “What do people who are aging dream and imagine? What do I dream and imagine? Or, have I given up believing in dreams; that I’m too old to have my dreams come true?”
Dreaming and imagining are essential components of our human psyche. At every age, through stories, music, imagination and play, we cultivate the capacity to make-believe: we make our believings into reality. We imagine ourselves as heroes and bad guys. We imagine ourselves as royalties ruling over our domains. We dream of being super power people, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Never do we dream of being depressed pathetic losers…
Dreaming, imagining, and fantasizing utilizes and strengthens our powers to create. Within our dreams we are inspired to make things happen. If you look around at everything that has been made by humans, it is all born out of creation, which is born out of imagining and dreaming. Science, music, philosophy, medicine … all of it comes from dreaming and imagining.
Quite often we stop dreaming and creating when something or someone tells us we can’t make our dreams come true. We lose faith, and we lose trust in ourselves. We begin to think small and play small, and inevitably depression sets in; for after all, depression is what is left when we take away our powers to be the fullest expression of our essential selves.
My client Randal, when he was 13 years old, dreamed and imagined himself being a hugely successful musician. He had all the details worked out and he knew, without a doubt, that he would make his dream come true.
When he shared his dream with his dad, he was shattered by his father’s ridicule and insults. Randal was told in no uncertain terms that the life of a musician wasn’t something to strive for. His father told him to give up the dream. And, so, he did.
Randal, being a creative person found other outlets for his dreams and creativity, but, now in his 60’s he realizes the dream of singing and playing music has always been with him. The dream and the dreamer never died.
For decades, Randall put off allowing himself to even know his full capacity of making his dream come true. Today, he is beginning to put some muscle behind his intention, and has taken up a practice that will ultimately bring about the fulfillment of his dream. The most important part of this practice is taking full responsibility for the degree to which he will make it happen!
Some people would say – as Randal says himself, that it’s too late, he doesn’t have the resources, the time, or the young & sexy youth; he will never know whether he would of been successful at fulfilling the dream of his childhood. Randal actually knows nothing about what’s possible, and to a huge degree, it truly doesn’t matter. What matters is that his dream wants expression in the real world, and Randal is committed to making that happen.
Where, as young children there are no limits to our super-powers, as we progress and age, our imaginings become more logical and pragmatic. In our teens, we consider careers, schools, traveling, education, relationships, and what’s going to make the money. We create within the limits of possibility. We begin to make-believe based on what the real world reflects is possible and what is important. Our dreams begin to be shaped by what other people think and want: what’s currently possible, affordable, & doable. We stop believing that everything, and I do mean everything, is possible.
In our 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s it appears as if we are implementing the bones of our dreams and imaginings, and making them real. We get jobs, make money, some settle done, get married, have children. We plan for retirement. Many people are supposedly living the dream, but whose dream?
When we imagine ourselves in, or actually be in our 50’s, 60’s and older, what do we dream and imagine? What is the stuff of our imagination? My hopes and wishes are not the same as my dreams. I hope to remain healthy; I hope I can sustain my lifestyle; I hope to see my children more regularly… These are not dreams. So what are my dreams?
That we dream is an essential core to our being human – not unlike breathing. That we have limitless capacity not only to dream but also to fulfill our dreams, is as plain as the petals on a flower. That we choose to limit our abilities to fulfill our dreams is only based on the interpretations within which we make-believe. Here are some common beliefs I hear: “I’m too old; I don’t have the resources; If I had more time; I’m going to fail; I’m afraid I am undeserving of having my dreams come true; What’s the point of fulfilling a dream – where’s it going to get me?; If I were someone else I know I could do it.” And, one of my favorites, “I only dream dreams that I know I can make happen.”
It takes courage and strength, at every age, to take full responsibility for the focused intent that underlies the fulfillment of our dreams. To dream or not to dream, doesn’t matter so much as choosing to ask two questions: “Am I living my dream?” That’s a scary one. The next question could be even scarier, depending on how you answer that first: “Am I willing to cultivate the courage and strength to dream, and to live into that, regardless of the outcome?“
I’m sitting with these two questions myself. They are stirring something within me. In this moment, I dream to be as courageous as Randall. Why? Because he is willing to risk facing his worst fears for the sake of experiencing the truest expression of himself. He knows the outcome will most likely not be the fame and fortune he dreamed of as a child – though, given his convictions that is undoubtedly a huge possibility. Regardless of the outcome, he is going for it!
If you’d like to join Dr. Rosie in the AGING – Who Me in-person discussions at the Orcas Island Senior Center, they are meeting this coming Tuesday – May 9th, from 10 – 11:30 a.m. If you’d like to set up a coaching session, call her at 360-376-4323.