Start with First Things First
Q: How should people go about achieving their dreams?
Most people are inclined to put the cart before the horse. It’s valuable to have dreams, but most people don’t know why they have the dreams they have. Many have them because they’ve fallen into them and don’t know what other dreams to have. Yes, through dreaming, people create their own reality and lives. But so many of these dreams get shaped at times in our lives when they’re not consciously chosen for healthy reasons but are a reaction to something we’re experiencing.
Thus, many dreams are overcompensations used to fill up misguided desires, insecurities, and ego needs, and are so ill-thought-out that even if or when one achieves them, they feel unsatisfactory or a poor fit because they don’t fulfill the innermost need, the essential part of who we really are. This is because many use their dreams to fit the mask they’re trying to create to gain acceptance in the world, hoping that once they have acceptance in the world, they’ll find acceptance for themselves. That’s putting the cart before the horse.
If one were to live one’s life fully awake, moment to moment, accepting who one is, seeing and understanding oneself for what one is, one would naturally know where and how to create a meaningful life of self-expression, and what would be an appropriate fit in terms of friends, partners, careers. Then you are driving the dream, rather than the dream driving you.
Q: With all the programming that we get to be the way you just described, how do we get back to putting the horse before the cart?
It always comes back to the work of becoming clear. Read as much as you can on self-awareness, spirituality, and self-improvement. Cleanse the emotional self through healing and counseling, journal writing, and meditation. If you were to make your utmost dream to be self-clarity, that would begin to put the correct order in motion.
Many people find this scary because it could mean giving up the dreams they’ve been attached to for decades. It may mean giving up your persona, to which others have become attached and know you by. It may mean changing a lifestyle, career, friends, or a partner.
Nearly all people have some basic sense of self-awareness, though the degree can vary greatly. The place to start is with what you know about yourself that’s true. Keep asking yourself questions, to keep uncovering more truths. Ask the mind, the body, and the spirit how you feel about this or that.
Q: How do you talk to the body and the spirit?
Talk to the body by centering your attention on the solar plexus and notice what you feel there. You will feel it as a bodily sensation. Is there a tenseness, a sense of relaxation, an anxiousness? Talking to the spirit is often the sense of talking to something outside of oneself, like talking to a guardian angel that knows what’s best for us but isn’t often consulted. Talking to the spirit is most easily done in meditation or journal writing.
It’s important to be able to separate the cultural training from who you are and what’s right for you, along with developing the ability to look for the truth and speak the truth to the best of your ability. Ultimately what we’re discussing is how to break down the ego so that who you are can really be born. The ego is merely the casing that all people are stuffed into to fit within a particular society. This may have little or nothing to do with who you actually are, but only with how successfully trained you’ve been to fit in with the current standards.
Anything that helps you think outside of your cultural conditioning is helpful. Read about other cultures, past and present, to see how many different ways there are to dream the same dream. And how many different ways there are to find the true self.