What happens when you don't dream?
"Nothing happens unless first a dream."Carl Sandberg
I'm not a big dreamer; never have been.
I don't lie in hammocks and think about potential. I don't gaze on the horizon and think about what "could be." And I certainly don't zone out when I drive and mentally solve the problems of the world.
Nope. Nothing profound happens when I'm in those situations.
I'm more likely to be reading, sleeping, or listening to REALLY loud music. If I'm being ambitious, I'm mentally sorting my "to do" list or wondering if I've given the dog his heartworm medicine.
My brain doesn't settle down very easily. I would rather "do" than "be."
If I'm candid, "being" and "dreaming" feel boring. Moving and grooving is much more fun!
Maybe you can relate.
I have long considered this "non-dreamer" habit as a shortcoming. Sometimes I feel disqualified from doing big things because I'm too busy being focused on the immediacy of finishing the next thing.
And the next. And the next.
If I'm not careful, I've planned life through Christmas and haven't paused long enough to be strategic.
Morning pages are my life-line to clearing my head.
They help me dream while I'm "doing" something. Because the pages are stream of consciousness, the junk in my head gets out with little effort. I sit for 20 minutes before getting the kids up and I write three pages. I write quickly, without filters, proper punctuation, or coherent logic.
It is cathartic.
I have had two conversations with friends who have started (or restarted) their morning pages recently, and the consensus is, they are invaluable.
If you've ever wanted to strengthen your creative muscles and figure out if dreams even exist for you, writing morning pages is definitely the place to start.
My second discipline is blogging.
Writing this blog is nothing, if not an exercise in slowing down and thinking. After almost three years of writing and pushing publish, I'm even more in touch with how little I know.
My friend Susan calls it being "consciously incompetent" which is better than being "unconsciously incompetent," but trust me it's a challenge nonetheless. And please know, I'm not asking for encouragement or affirmation -- you guys are categorically WAY too generous to me -- I'm just admitting that the process is a discipline and organically has its own ups and downs.
I wouldn't trade it for much of anything.
Still, I hope to make this space better in the days (months? year?) ahead.
I guess that's a dream after all!