By Barbara Bowen | Updated June 14, 2018
Most of us have experienced a range of night dreams. Some dreams seem unremarkable, as though our nervous system has reached its limit and decides to blow off stress. But other dreams have real impact in varying degrees, from minor to major. When you have this kind of dream, take note. Often, something from the past, future or the present is being pointed to. Dream images can help us summarize where we've been, reflect on our present, and guide where we are going. Let the dream story roll around in your consciousness, no need to rush into interpretation. Make associations, and the dream will tell you where it's pointing.
Well, goodness knows the avenues down which inspired souls have traveled to formulate their large and universal waking dreams. Spiritual leaders, social reformers and caretakers throughout history have dreamed of justice, fought injustice, and have a world of wisdom to share. We need only take a look. But the secret in this exploration is: to notice what resonates, what is in alignment with who we really are. Decide with your heart and soul, not with your head. There's nothing terribly inspired about working for the next Mother Teresa, if you feel miserable while doing it. We must learn what to give our lives and careers to with our hearts. Listen.
Our view of the past is a dream, in an sense. Our experiences thus far from childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and beyond form a sort of whole. Each day sends clues, though we may arrive at clarification only in larger increments of assessment. Past dreams led you to the present and, perhaps, to new dreams. Examine the path of your experiences as they converge into a whole. The path continues to lead you somewhere, to the new perspective, new growth, and perhaps the new career.
As past experiences coalesce into a foundation, present visions keep developing and changing. The future never really comes, when you think about it. We only have now. But in the now, we must be highly attuned to new experience, opportunities. Our new decisions must issue from the dreams we are most committed to. Life is a brief candle, and true aspiration will keep it burning bright.
This phrase most often refers to flights of fancy. Despite its pejorative ring, we need, in fact, to test our dreams against this reference. Testing is important. Inspiration is good and well, but an important tension exists between vision and actualization. Tension such as: realistic assessment of the present, viability of our plan, determination, grit, inevitable obstacles, consistency of action and willingness to persevere. And this is the tip of the iceberg.
In no uncertain terms, following a dream is work. An enormous amount of work. But if you are on the right track in other words, working at a project or career that brings happiness despite its challenges then you are in position to overcome the inevitable obstacles. You are, in my observation, a good way down the road to success.
©2010 Barbara Bowen. All rights reserved.
Barbara Bowen is a New York based professional writer and photographer, and founder of Gateways Coaching. She coaches artists and other art career professionals in transition worldwide. ...
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