Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Benefits of Daydreaming
The more we try to be super-smart, on top of things, focused on outcomes, and mindful, the more we probably need to space out and daydream. As I get older and humorously bemoan the loss of short-term memory — I realize there is a new rule: you can only remember to take 2 things with you as you walk out the door to the car — I also realize that my inner imaginative life is pulling on me to pay attention elsewhere. There are moments now where I "wake up" out of my focus on the computer and my to-do list because my "under-consciousness" is trying to tell me something. I'm humming an odd song whose lyrics have a message, I'm thinking about an old friend from twenty years ago who embodied a certain courageous behavior that I want to increase in myself, I'm seeing images of a house by a quietly flowing river with trees and realize that may be the kind of place I want to buy.

Far from being an escape from "reality," my sense is that daydreams take us deeper into our process of seeding and fertilizing the next levels of our manifestation process; we're working on what's next, which must be created in its blueprint form first, then gradually pop into reality. I may not always know, in my conscious mind, what's best for me. As the Rolling Stones said, "You can't always get what you want. . ." I do believe, because I've seen it happen so many times, that the soul knows how to create anything, anytime, and knows just what needs to come next to propel us into our next level of growth — even if we are depressed, dull, bored, unmotivated, or stuck in bad habits. Our clues about what the soul is creating next come from paying attention to those sub-surface fantasies, images, desires, and daydreams.

Part of daydreaming may be processing experiences we didn't even know were important, finding the insight from a life lesson we're not quite consciously aware of yet. We may run down several tracks of possible ways of handling situations. Your inner 5-year-old wants to cuss out the annoying person or blow up his car, while your wise adult part wants to practice forgiveness and open your heart with some generosity. You live through several potential scenarios, testing them out.

Sometimes when we space out or leave our body, and it appears that "nobody's home," we're actually expanding to higher dimensions of the self where there is greater perspective, wisdom, collective knowledge, contact with our life purpose, and clarity about what and how to manifest the next part of our destiny. We are not being lazy; we're doing research, gestating, organizing at a very subtle level.

As part of intuition development, and dreamwork, I think bringing the stuff of daydreams into conscious recognition is an amazing, fascinating, and productive practice. If you can be more aware of what the deeper You is working on, the everyday conscious You can get in line with it, keep an eye out for opportunities, and act more purposefully. Creating new things will take much less effort and new things will suddenly occur. Imagining new realities and possibilities will be second-nature; we won't feel trapped by the last reality we created. You'll become a great opportunity-maker and problem-solver.

As you watch your daydreams, pay particular attention to your habit of looking at fear-producing, worst-possible-scenario realities. Sometimes those "dreams" show you simple data about what you don't want to do, what might happen without full attention. Other times, the fear sucks your attention and you become obsessed with worry and preoccupied with drama. Then all the positive visions are blocked. It's helpful to say to yourself: What am I paying attention to in my "under-consciousness" right now? What am I making myself aware of? Why is this information coming to me right now? Remember: it's just data and is not meant to scare you into inactivity. It's meant to put you in touch with your unlimited creator-self.

The most important bit is that, though daydreaming is fun, the ability to physically ground those visions is just as much fun. One feeds the other. Escaping from "reality" is actually impossible, since everything is real at some level. The real deal is to explore the realities you WANT to experience, for fun and learning. And just because you can!

Art by Jill Perry,