Dreams…

I nap every day. I love to listen to people talk about taking a 30 minute nap or a disco nap. A nap to me is at least 2-3 hours. I recently heard a statement that hundreds of years ago, people slept two times a day for 3-4 hours at a time. That would totally work for me. I love to sleep, but I like to be up really late at night. They say the freaks come out at night and that’s probably true. I think I achieve more between the hours of midnight and 6am then any other time during the day.

Today, I kept waking up from my nap and falling back to sleep and waking up and falling back to sleep. It was…amazing. I love sleep where I fall back into a dream. Do you ever wonder where dreams originate? I’m not talking about neuroscience and sleep studies. No…I’m talking about where are our dreams born? Recently, I’ve even wondered if my dreamstate is reality and my waking life is my dreamstate. Sometimes, I confuse myself or think I’m going crazy, but I know I’m not.

When I was a little kid, my mom gave me a journal to write down my dreams. She said if when I woke up I immediately wrote down my dreams then I would remember them more clearly. I now remember my dreams very clearly. Sometimes…too clearly. Today, my dreams were very, very strange. I’m thinking about beginning to write down everything I dream about and turning it into a weird little book. I need a title though…that’s what keeps me from writing most of my books. Oh well…

What do you dream about? Do you write down your dreams? Do you remember your dreams? I believe dreams are a woven tapestry of our subconscious mind with souvenirs of our daily life. What do you think? I’d probably have more to say about it if I didn’t need to go to sleep and go back to dreamland…because we’re on borrowed time as it is.

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On Borrowed Time…

“We’re on borrowed time as it is”…As many of you know by now, my mom used to say this to me on an almost daily basis. How true, but I guess I think about it more philosophically than realistically. We are, in fact, on borrowed time. I was really thinking about this last night as I was driving home from work. For some reason I was having a Mom day, which means I can’t get her out of my mind and usually I’m a little bit more fragile than other days. I was thinking about how much I would love to see her just one last time. What I wouldn’t give for a little more time with her. A whole day…an hour…a half an hour. But what would I say? I’ve joked with people for the past three and half years since she’s passed away that if she came back for a day, we would hug and cry and laugh for the first two hours but then we would probably be bitching at each other again. If you knew us together, you know this to be true. We were like Italian alcoholics in recovery, downing coffee and screaming one second and crying and saying ‘I love you’ the next. It was insanity.

I was thinking about how many clients have told me how much they wish they could spend just one more day with a loved one who had passed away. The funny thing is, we never think about this on the days that we DO have time to spend with our loved ones. Honestly, how many days have you spent with your husband, best friend, mother or even your dog where you appreciate every second, every moment of the day. Even just a half an hour where you think to yourself, “I really appreciate this person. I love them so much and I am so present in this moment I am spending with them.” Don’t even think about it because the chances are you’ve haven’t. Most of us can’t conceptualize losing someone until they’re terminally ill or have passed away. It is only in those moments when we say we wish we could have them back to spend precious time. Oh, the things we’d say and do.

Why aren’t we doing those things now?

And further more, we grieve all of those dreams we wish our loved ones would have achieved. Why aren’t we pursing our own dreams on an intense level every day. In the end, we’re the only ones who can make them happen.

My mom had several dreams. She wanted to be a costume designer in Hollywood for epic films like Gone with the Wind. She adored the designer Edith Head who did all of the costumes for the Hitchcock movies and she dreamed of following in her path. She also wanted to be an actress or a writer. I have since found over 30 journals and an entirely completed manuscript. So she was, in fact, a writer. She was just never published. I do have the copy of her rejection letter from Robert Bly, the poet laureate of Minnesota, for his literary magazine. She always believed someday she’d win an Oscar and would talk about how she played the main character in The Bad Seed her freshman year of college at Indiana University. She was really going places. But most of all, she wanted to be a criminal trial attorney, living on a houseboat in San Fransisco harbor. She’d say, “don’t you think I would have made an amazing trial attorney?” And everyone would just stare like she was crazy, imagining Bobbie Monn in court, the judge unable to shut her up or pull her hands from the neck of a rapist…or Republican.

She never accomplished these things. I’m not sure she ever would have even if she lived to be 104. Fear kept her stuck in place. Fear keeps me stuck in place. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of commitment. Fear of the unknown. Maybe it’s just how I’m programmed that throws those walls up in front of me, but I think that fear harnesses my thoughts of “I wish I had one more day” instead of “today I will set out to accomplish everything I dream of and spend the time with the people who mean the most!” I remember while my co-worker’s father was terminally ill she beat herself up because she wasn’t visiting him regularly because of her demanding work schedule. Towards the end a friend told her, “Years from now, you won’t look back on this situation and wish you had worked more.” God…ain’t that the truth!

Take time today to really enjoy the day. Smell the air. Drink some really good coffee. Enjoy the freshness of a glass of water only the way it tastes, icy cold, first thing in the morning. Smile. Dance down the street. Be unafraid. Jam your music and sing at the top of your lungs, even if it’s Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music. No one cares! Have an adult lemonade stand. Start writing that book you always wanted to write. Or start reading the book that has been sitting next to your bed for months. Look up casting agents in Hollywood. Put your pictures up on Model Mayhem. Take some chances. Have great sex with your partner. Do the whip cream and chocolate strawberry’s you’ve been talking about forever. Stay up late watching a scary movie in bed. Tell old memories to friends. Make new ones. Eat lunch somewhere you’ve never eaten before. Eat dinner somewhere you’ve never eaten before. Get a slushy and mix the flavors. Buy a children’s book and read it to your dog. Take a walk. Take a run. Buy a bike! I did…just to ride around the neighborhood and say hi to my neighbors. Enjoy today…because you could be gone tomorrow…or someone you love could be gone tomorrow. We only have a limited amount of days here and no one knows how many.

At the end my mom looked at me and said, It’s not the things you did that you regret. It’s the things you didn’t do.” She was so right! And somewhere up there, I believe, she’s still dancing with an umbrella to Singing in the Rain, kicking at puddles on her front porch, splashing raindrops of dreams and opportunities for all of us down here….just smiling and smiling…because we’re on borrowed time as it is!

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Gifted With Creative Dreams Accomplished…

Tonight, I fell into bed at about 8pm to take an hour nap but ended up sleeping until midnight when Alex came to bed. Wide awake, I talked to the dog for awhile and then decided to go out for a drive, something I’ve become accustomed to as a way to fall asleep as well as put thought to my current dreams and writing ideas.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been going into my office late at night, throwing in a movie, typically some 80’s adventure movie like Romancing the Stone, dimming the lights and begin working on whatever creative project is current. I have designed a creative lair at my office and every day I add something new. Tonight it was a colorful, beaded Buddha that watches me from the corner of the room.

I always am most creative in the middle of the night, energized by the smell of the dark hours and the taste of mystery in the air. Tonight, I had planned to work on several interviews for our website, but instead I found myself going through a box of books I had brought into the office which had been housed in my basement for over three years.

At the bottom of the box were several blank journals with flowered covers, nothing I would ever use for myself. I laughed to myself realizing they were some remnant of my mother’s “wrapping station” where she kept dollar gifts she would give out at the last minute if someone had a birthday or party and she wanted to bring something such as a candle or a bookmark.

I laughed and quickly threw them into the trash, but something pulled at me and so I pulled them out, dusted them off and put them on my desk. After walking around my dark office for a few minutes I felt pulled back to those ridiculous journals and started thumbing threw them as I sipped a cup of strong coffee. Their clean, white pages stared back at me waiting to be filled.

Sitting down, I grabbed the first journal and quickly printed GIFTED on the first page. Underneath, I wrote instructions for the book indicating that “the purpose of this book is to give back to the world. Have you ever wished you could give a gift you couldn’t afford or seemed impossible? Or change someone’s life but didn’t have the power to do it? Now you can! Be as creative as you want. It’s all yours to give. And all that positive energy of giving is a gift in return. Write anywhere, anything, as much or as little as you want. There are no rules!”

I quickly turned to the middle of the book and wrote a picture of your first kiss. I turned back to the second page and wrote four front row tickets to The Grateful Dead when Jerry Garcia was still alive. And continued to write about ten more gifts. I closed the book, smiling, and placed it in the corner of the desk.

Picking up the second journal, I grabbed another marker and wrote WISHED on the first page. Below it I wrote “Have you ever wished for something and never got it and knew no matter how hard you tried you knew you’d never get it but it didn’t make a difference? The purpose of this book is to give life to our wishes and our dreams. No matter how big or how small. Be creative. Write anywhere, anything. There are no rules!” Spinning to the next page I quickly wrote To be debt free. To own a black Porsche with tinted windows. To have one more Christmas week with my mom in a cabin in Gatlinburg. And somewhere at the back of the book I wrote to finish my book and have it published.

I closed it and placed it on top of the other journal and walked into my client office, placing the books gently on the table, waiting to be filled by my clients.

I poured another cup of coffee, a sure fire way to fall asleep quickly, and came back into my office. I sat down and opened another book I had pulled from the box. SARK’s Make Your Creative Dreams Real. I read through the first 50 pages and closed the book, yawning, even though I was awakened by my immediate excitement. I had suddenly realized that the only thing holding me back from accomplishing my dreams was me.

It’s hard being a therapist sometimes because you often give advice you rarely take yourself even though it sounds so good flowing from your lips. I inspire and motivate my clients daily to accomplish their dreams. A year ago I even published a post about a “Dream Application”, stating that I would see anyone as a client for free who had a real dream, not a life change but a dream, they wanted to accomplish. I stated that I didn’t believe I was the overall master but I could be the guide for someone’s journey and if they were willing to listen to me and my guidance they could accomplish their dreams within a year. I don’t remember receiving even one concrete dream application…still waiting(And I’ll work by phone or Skype if you don’t live in my area!)

Often, I know what needs to happen to make other people happy and fulfilled, but I don’t do those same things for myself. Alex and I run a creative business on the side and we know exactly what we need to do to be successful, but we often become lazy and think too deeply about our next move. Dreams and creativity need to flow like juice from a pear down your neck, much like the wish and gift journals had come to me tonight, quickly and without hesitation.

For years, I’ve told clients, that with the exception of our physical attributes, har har, the only thing different between Tom Cruise and myself is that he showed up for the audition. And there is a lot of truth in that statement. Those people that are most successful in accomplishing their dreams are those that put action to their dreams instead of talking about what they want. Very few of us have dreams that are too big to be accomplished.

My mother always had three dreams she talked about with regularity. She wanted to be a trial attorney living on a houseboat in San Francisco Harbor. She wanted to work on a costume design team for movies, much like Edith Head for Alfred Hitchcock. And she wanted to finish writing a book. Well, she was definitely intelligent enough to be an attorney. She was creative enough to be a costume designer. And she finished writing half of her memoir, Dear Mick or Waiting on a Friend, a personal letter to Mick Jagger about the challenges of growing older as a woman. She could have accomplished any of these dreams. Fear stopped her cold in her tracks. Fear of change. Fear of being different. Fear of lack of acceptance. Maybe even fear of success.

What stops you from accomplishing your dreams? What is your dream? First you must recognize it and begin breathing life back into it’s lungs.

Tonight I filled the wall in front of my desk with inspirational reminders of things I want to do and accomplish for myself and our business to fulfill my dreams. I no longer will allow fear and laziness to keep me grounded and quivering with nothing to look back on but the regrets of things I never attempted to accomplish.

So expect to see my book at your local bookstore soon because I’m writing with a fury. Because we’re on borrowed time as it is…