Have you been having vivid dreams lately? If so, you’re not alone. Since March of this year, people all over the world have reported having intense and unusual dreams on a regular basis. Contagion, social distancing, health dilemmas and relational strains are just some of the things the world has been dreaming about.
Sleep experts tell us that dreams are a way of working out our deepest concerns on a sub conscious basis. The pandemic has disrupted our schedules, and has made the unconscious more alive to us than ever.
But many of us have been thinking about life dreams during this time, too. Often the deepest dreams our hearts carry exist only beneath the surface for much of our lives. Many times we never take time to deliberately examine or explore them. The uncertainty of the last few months has prompted many of us to take stock and take steps towards fulfilling some of those inner desires that we’ve harboured deep in our hearts.
💓 Some have discovered dreams to be stay at home parents and are exploring whether they could live on one wage as a result.
💓 Some have started to put our talents out there and share them with those around; from crafts, to cupcakes, to original music.
💓 Some are on their way to becoming foster or adoptive parents.
💓 Others have realised they need a career change and are currently re-training online, or have gone self-employed.
💓Still others have decided to move towards major lifestyle changes, like moving to the seaside, for example.
It’s well known by now that some of the biggest regrets people have at the end of their lives are not doing more for others, not working at relationships, not spending more time with family, living according to others’ expectations, not finding fulfilment and not pursuing their dreams.
Do you sense dreams burning in your heart but don’t know where to start?
Here are some questions that might help you do just that.
1. What do you love doing?
So many of us think of work as work and free time as doing what we enjoy. But what is it that gives you goosebumps when you think about it? What makes you laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed before? If you have any kind of opportunity to make those things your work as well, make it happen!
2. What would you gladly do for free?
Take time to consider what, if you didn’t have to work to financially support yourself, you would do for free? If money wasn’t a consideration, what would you contribute? What could you innovate? Who would you love to help? And how could you reshuffle your priorities to make room for those things?
3. Who do you love?
Most times your personal dreams will involve those closest to you. Think about who is top priority in your life and move from there.
Your family is irreplaceable and precious.
Good friends are rare jewels that need looked after and cherished.
But there are also those you feel ‘called’ to invest in. Who is most heavy on your heart? The orphan? The poor? The enslaved? The abused? The homeless? The elderly? Never let those who are closest to your heart become a fringe priority, because you are burdened for them for a good reason.
4. What do people say they love about you?
If you are having a hard time identifying your best character traits, talents and gifts, write down what others have identified in you. Do your friends say you are generous and giving? Do they admire your creativity and passion? When you’re having a hard time finding the gold within you, let others call it out.
A list of dreams
Put all these things together and make a list of dreams. Here are five from my top ten, for example:
💭 I dream of writing things that encourage, heal and bless others.
💭 I dream of walking alongside hurting people until they reach wholeness.
💭 I dream of inviting people to stay in our home so they can have a real rest.
💭 I dream of having a close relationship with my kids when they reach adolescence and adulthood
💭 I dream that my friends will feel part of my family
If you had one day left to live,
What would you say, and what would you give?
If this moment was your last on earth,
What dreams would you dream, what ideas would you birth?
This time has cut comfort with a knife
And taught us of the fragility of life.
But it’s also brought what’s important to mind
To love, give and serve – and most importantly – be kind.