A few days ago, I published a post on here with a quick meditation involving utilizing a positive image, to help gain insight, inspiration, and energy. As I mentioned in that post, however, that is really only step 1 of achieving anything – step 2 is taking that insight into the world. So today, in the interest of being helpful, and writing something I wish I could have read a few years ago, I’m going to focus on that step 2, and hopefully this will be useful to someone.
Because at times I do struggle to condense my whirling thoughts down, I’m once again going to use a personal example from my own life, and give a few meditation tricks that may be helpful. Meditation is helpful in this because, in all honesty, your goal is nothing less than living in a dream world.
I am a spacey person by nature; I am quite imaginative and my creative side is strong. I’m also a thinker, and in previous years, especially in my childhood, I would often be criticized for “living in a dream world”, or “being idealistic”, or a “being a daydreamer”, a “space cadet”. Honestly though, it kind of surprises me now though that I once considered these criticisms, even insults, because they are really, really not (though the people delivering these opinions usually intended them that way); they are necessary, vital qualities even, if you want to live a life a happiness. In my previous post, I used as my meditation image example the Priestess of Cups Motherpeace tarot card – a card that literally has the description in one of my books of representing “living in a dream world”. But that is truly what you have to do to meet any serious, passionate goals of yours; as I said above, Step 1 is, essentially, gaining insight on your goals and dreams and what to do about them.
Step 2 is LIVING that. Bringing out your dreams, giving them some walking around room, into your life, your world. So that you slowly, bit by bit, truly are living in your dream world. This is the harder step, and why taking the time to go through Step 1, of acknowledging your goals and passions and meditating on positive images/ideas of moving forward with them, is so important. So for example, I recently began drawing and painting seriously for the first time in a while. I used to, used to find great comfort and release through art; but after years of low self-confidence and lack of support, I stopped. But my daydreams frequently took an artistic bent, and my love of playing with colors never truly died.
A while back, I began drawing again, if only as a form of art therapy, which I present now as the first of two quick meditative ideas in this post (all of which are quite simple); for this, you will need paper, and something to draw with (crayons would be ideal).
- Take your blank piece of paper and crayons. Spend some time meditating on a challenge/fear/pain currently in your mind and life. Something holding you back. Allow yourself to feel this as much as possible, even if it hurts somewhat.
- Taking your crayons, pretend you can channel those feelings through your crayons, and allow your inner little kid to come out – the part of you who is unashamed of her own pain, fear or guilt. Begin picking out colors that represent to you what your pain feels like, and don’t worry about which color is the right one or is logical – remember again, yourself as a little child, who would happily color the sky purple or a cat magenta because that’s what makes her smile.
- Now, keeping in mind your idea of channeling your feeling through the colors you’ve chosen, and using those colors, begin to draw. Don’t worry about realism (often in these art therapy pictures I end up doing random squiggles all over the place, and stick figures); draw and color an image that represents what you are feeling, regardless of how “silly” anyone else might harshly judge them. You can spend alot of time of with this, or little – do what feels right, whether that means angry stick people drawn so hard that you break the crayon, or light, strange swirls.
- In general, when you feel done (kind of worn out, honestly) you’re done. Take a moment to admire your picture – pretend it now contains through your emotions and colors the pain itself, the thing holding you back. Accept that this has existed in you; remember, no shame.
- Say a goodbye to this, now, as vigorously as possible, rip it to shreds, and throw it away.
- Now, taking a moment to breathe, consider what you would like to replace that old baggage with, now that it’s gone. It can be something simple (love), or something more specific (love and support from my family and friends in relation to my art). Again look at your crayons, and pick some colors that represent to you what that new feeling would look like – also again, don’t worry, there are no “right” colors. Pick ones that represent good feelings to you.
- On a fresh sheet of paper, now imagine have this new wonderful quality already, and you can draw a picture of how it makes you feel. Begin to draw again now, letting yourself feel this as much as possible, even if you think at this point and time it is “unrealistic”. Simple is fine for this picture too, and actually preferable – let the feeling and colors speak for themselves.
- When you feel done, sit for a moment, admiring your picture. Choose to consciously accept that, even if this quality DOES seem unrealistic to obtain right this second, some version of it is possible. Be open to the chance.
- This picture you will save – pretend it is a type of lucky charm, or good omen, and put it somewhere you can see it often (or, if you live with others and are a little shy, save it somewhere you can go and look at it often, where you won’t loose it).
This exercise, though simple, is in fact a powerful one; because by taking your pain and blockages, the things holding you back, you acknowledge them, confront them – you can remove something you refuse to admit is there. And by drawing a picture of what you hope to achieve, you are taking a even more powerful action – you are doing a preliminary version of what I described as being so important above:
You are bringing your dreams out into the world. You are giving them that walking around room.
Spend a few days after this considering the implications of this, and doing what I mentioned in the second-to-last step of the exercise above; consciously choosing to believe that some version of what you desire, your dream, is possible. Consider what small steps you could take. For example, after doing this, I began to consider what types of art I make I enjoy the most, what types of images I make are most meaningful to me, what I would have to do to make myself comfortable with the idea of showing my work to others. You may have to do the exercise above, and the one from my previous post several times, and be kind to yourself if you notice yourself getting discouraged (everyone has rough days). You don’t have to believe right this second that this will happen. You just have to understand that some version of it, somehow, is possible.
After a couple days, or whenever you feel comfortable, you may have several ideas come to you; for example, I realized I would have to start setting aside a little bit of time every day to at least consider my artwork, and things I would like to make next. If I wanted to start showing others, I would need to find like-minded people who I knew would at least give me a chance; most of my art relates to reclaiming female sexuality as a positive, powerful force so this alone seemed overwhelming. But not impossible.
Bravery is necessary here. Not big macho-man bravery, I mean, but instead bravery of soul – the kind of bravery that is self and Goddess/Divine fueled, that comes from accepting you are afraid and going forward anyway. It helps to have some sort of calming mechanism in place, as you go to live in your dream world. Consider using a form of grounding exercise, like the one I posted here; again the goal is not to ESCAPE your dream world – but instead, bring it into reality, ground it (and you) in the here and now. But being here and terrified is not really all that helpful either. As you go out and encounter others in your quest to fulfill your goals, consider the following quick mental exercise to help you relate to others, and interact with confidence. This is a quick version of what I’ve referred to before as living in the presence of the Goddess, though you can use any image/idea of divinity that works for you.
- Using the image meditation from my previous post, imagine you can breathe an image of the Goddess of your choosing directly into your heart.With each breath in, see/feel Her go deeper into your heart center; with each breath out, imagine your heart, and the image of Her in it, expanding. Do this until your heart and Her are the size of your whole being. Imagine as you go into the world you can bring Her with you from now on. Know that in fact She was already there from the start; you may have forgotten before this, but you have never been alone. It is easy to forget this, especially when we are stressed, but now you remember, and you will never forget, or need to feel scared again. Pretend you believe this if need be – there is nothing wrong, or weaker, about playing pretend if you can’t accept this for whatever reason at this time.
- As you go out into the world, and meet others, consider that She is in them all this time too – they have forgotten. As you speak with people, particularly someone who makes you feel insecure, pretend you can speak, and are speaking with, the Goddess within them, as opposed to their day to day personality.
This sound very simple, and I suppose to some, silly. But again, the actions you are taking here are powerful ones – you are inviting and accepting, even if you don’t believe in the Mother, positive feelings at least into yourself; you are accepting yourself as worthy of them. And those you encounter, and speak to the Goddess-within, will notice a difference as will you – it is hard to be afraid when you speak to your Mom.
….Of course, none of this means that every single dream, even with all the bravery, contemplation, meditation, and planning in the world can exist exactly as it appears in your mind. My childhood fantasy of working with Scooby Doo to solve mysteries seems unlikely. What I CAN do, however, is live some version of that dream – I can read up on local folklore and mysteries and ghost stories in my area, go on guided ghost walks/tours, take part in real-life modern day paranormal investigations, if I choose.
Some version of most dreams are possible; it’s about being open to variation and possibility.
As I write this, I just came back from a feminist-oriented local book and sex shop, where the owner enthusiastically agreed to look at some of my art next week, and was excited at the idea of selling locally-made, feminine sexuality-oriented artwork. And even if that doesn’t work out, I’m enthusiastic, brave, and excited to see what will happen next.
Live in your dream world.