Do we need dreams to come true?

Jeanette Winterson There’s a line from Happy Talk, a song written by Oscar Hammerstein for the hit musical South Pacific, that goes “you gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”

I used to dream a great deal.  In my late teens, dreaming and planning to travel filled hours – my twenties stretched out before me with trips exploring all over the world.

Though I have travelled since, those earlier dreams never saw the light of day – confidence, timing and starting a career all taking me off elsewhere.

Dreaming of course can fill an awful lot of time. I know that I’ve had a tendency to wonder and ponder without always following through. Taking some action would perhaps have had the job done in the same amount of time, with the added satisfaction of ticking a ‘to do’ off the list.  At the same time dreaming also keeps us safely wrapped up in possibilities, and away from the harsh reality of doing and failing.

Perhaps being snug in our world of dreams is a nice place to be.  We can imagine all sorts of outcomes that may be far better then anything we believe possible.

If only…

If the dreams of yesterday turn into the regrets of today, then we can be haunted by the inactivity of our past selves. However, what we often do when we look back, is to neatly gloss over the day to day details that prevented us – perhaps for good reason – from taking decisions that may have led us down a different path.

I say ‘may’, because hindsight is a wonderful thing. Replay and we may find that our younger selves actually did the best that they could, given skills, inclination and the support available from others at the time.

What if?

Would be writers often recall wanting to write since they were small.  In my case school based creative writing always came easily but never continued into adulthood.  The occasional periods of diary writing that then followed, ended with my own boredom at writing terribly introspective pieces. Even the odd occasions later when I fleetingly wondered about  writing, floundered on the belief that I had nothing of importance to write about.

Some people keep journals.  During my therapy training I was encouraged by my mentors to keep one.  I was always reticent about doing so, not caring to put in the time or feeling that the moment of revelation had come and gone, without the need for considered reflection.

All that changed at the beginning of 2014, when I decided to write.  Not so much of a New Year’s Resolution as a distinct inclination to take pen to paper, and yes literally writing rather than typing.  Indeed, even as the clock struck twelve a very strong desire was ushered in with the New Year.  Such was this wish that I found myself writing in my journal, I am a writer – and several lines were taken up with just that, ‘I am a writer’.

These very early ‘Morning Pages’ were inspired by Julia Cameron in her book ‘The Artists Way’ which has proved a wonderful stimulus to getting on with being creative; for me with words, though any form of creativity can receive a welcome boost through her ideas.

In a recent article, ‘Beating the Blues’, Julia also suggests that creative activity in general is good for us, especially our  health – a great antidote for a low mood.

Taking action

My dream now is to be a published writer.

A poet friend of mine encouragingly once said, if you write every day then you are already a writer. Whilst that was a kind thought, she actually made a very good point, how can I expect to become a writer if I don’t write regularly.

Dreams gloss over the graft, moving swiftly on to the outcome, without passing through the inconvenient bits in between. Write, write and write is my mantra from now on, to help me towards my published end.

There’s truly nothing like taking action to bring the necessary momentum to making a our dreams happen. I like to think of this as a process of bringing our dreams ‘down’ from the imaginative stratosphere of our minds and grounding these thoughts in – in other words making them real.

Once they stop flying about on a creative high, they have chance to become real because we can start to break them down from being high level grand plans, to smaller, mini actions that are much more manageable and achievable.

Do you have a dream?

You may have a dream that’s been with you from childhood or have been inspired by hearing about someone else’s life.  Alternatively, perhaps you’ve recently had a nudge, a wake up call that tells you to make a move before you run out of time.

What ever the motivator, having a dream, a vision, is the number one step to making a significant change in your life. This will be a theme that I will be writing about regularly, along how we can make our dreams happen and the creative approaches that we can use to help us take the next step and then the next and the next, until we reach our goal.

Over to you…do you have a dream and what would help to make it real?  Is there something that you could commit to that would help to take it from being a thought to being done? Do share in the Comment box below 🙂

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Author: Sarah Wiltshire

Sarah is a holistic therapist, supporting people to better health and happiness. Sarah uses relaxation techniques and holistic therapies: The Journey - a guided inner meditation, and energy balancing therapies - Quantum Touch, Heart Thread and Circuitry Alignment.