Dream Effectively

Old habits die hard. We keep slipping into our oh-so-cosy yet so-so-cagey comfort zone. Despite knowing that they are detrimental to our well being, we can hardly come over the craving for one more cigarette, one more drink, one more hour of sleep, one more day of laziness and one more fight at the lost battle.

Actually, these things/people/habits entice us because familiarity has a magnetic charm. The more you try to distance, the stronger you are pulled towards them. The connectivity gets electrified, precisely because you try to plug it out. Strange but true !!

From childhood, I am used to daydreaming. I often let my imagination run wild. A little thought soon sprouts and becomes a huge tree in the fertile world of my creativity. As soon as a few words appear in my mind, I rush to the well of phrases, bubbling behind them. Stringing those phrases, building upon the foundation and creating a paragraph, happen in a jiffy. In Mind. Yes, not on paper or computer, but the entire story runs at breakneck speed in that intangible place of neurons and electric signals, we proudly call our brain!

I am often amazed at the sheer speed at which our thoughts are produced. They stumble over each other, collide, meet with gruesome accidents, a few of them die gory deaths, and yet the others run in to take their place. All in a matter of few seconds. Or if I put it in bodily terms, a few breaths, a few blinks, a few heartbeats, is all it takes. Same is true for dreams, whether they be seen with open or closed eyes.

However, one thing is certain. Daydreams are much more sensible, practical and tangible than Dreams, that we have during our sleep. At Least we do not imagine jumping from a 100 foot building or flying in air or stumbling into solid concrete wall or dancing with the Mr or Mrs Universe in our Daydreams ! It’s not as if we can’t think about these in day, but yes there is a certain conscious strain, we exercise upon ourselves when we are awake. However, sleep removes that consciousness and we get plunged into the most bizarre, disconnected, distorted world in our dreams.

Of late, I have been noticing that in my dreams, a bleak voice often murmurs, that the scenario being played out is impossible, you are in a dream, it is not reality. And, I find myself, stepping a little back and analysing whether I should continue to keep my guard down and let the dream overtake or should I intervene and put saddle on my dream horses. Don’t know whether it is safety mechanism, deeply ingrained into the Higher Self, always ready to jolt one back into the reality or it is just the fact that these day, I do not get the time and privacy to slip into deep undisturbed sleep.

Well, the habits, as I said, die hard. A little analysis continues in my head, whether I am awake or not.

Coming back to Daydreams, I would like to point out that contrary to popular belief, it is quite healthy. One does need to allow a thought to germinate and manifest, if goals are to be achieved. Unless you can visualize yourself as a well known writer or a successful businessman or a wealthy tycoon, I do not think you would ever be able to put in the efforts required to become one.

Nature has given us some basic instincts for survival. These reflexes or responses click in, without thinking or hesitation on our part. Attempt to pluck sweet ripe fruits nearest to the ground instead of climbing the topmost branches to get the huge but unripe fruits, is one such example. So, as an individual, we tend to gravitate towards goals, things, people, whom we find attainable. Even our Daydreams, are wired accordingly. If we know subconsciously that they are within our reach, we would be willing to slough out, even if tremendous effort is required. But, if we get a feeling that it is beyond our capacity, we tend to give up in the initial stage itself. So, in a way Daydreams are tangible evidence of your capabilities. The more clearly you can visualize the outcome, more enticing would be object of attraction.

However, of late I have realized that the visualization has its pitfalls as well. At times, one gets fixated on certain things, people, objects, only because they have tried attaining them earlier and they seem familiar. In such instances, initial stages are essentially replayed like a well scripted story. Almost effortlessly, we can proceed to the point where we left the dream incomplete earlier. Till this stage, going is smooth and easy, but the moment that point comes, everything gets stuck. All of a sudden, a mist of confusion clouds over and our mind and heart seem racing in opposite directions. The mind instantly recognizes the obstacle, and kick-starts the defense mechanism of flight, whereas heart keeps trying one more time, in a desperate effort to succeed. As a result, we get divided into two opposite camps, each vowing to stick with its agenda, tearing the soul apart.

All of us have experienced this precarious situation. And, more often than not, we feel broken at this point. The World seems cruel, the dreams useless and our existence unworthy. If not mended properly, it can leave a permanent ghastly hole in our personality.

So, what is the solution here? Should we simply leave those dreams unfulfilled and slip back into our comfort zone, getting solace from our known habits and old acquaintances or should we try just one more time, with a new zeal.

Well, there are no clear cut answers to the dilemma. Each person has a different attitude and tolerance towards success and failure. A few of us do not even like to acknowledge that we are constantly engaged in a battle, though there are no adversaries or opponents to fight. It is essentially a battle within ourselves, with ourselves!

No, I am not talking about the gory, blood shedding wars, we human often force upon each other. Rather, I am talking about the pleasurable, entertaining battles, all of us happily indulge in our favorite video games. As in the games, in life as well, the victory simply means, that we can march to the next stage and fight the not-yet-visible unhealed parts of ourselves while the loss means that we need to continue addressing our shortcomings.

Though, we have to remember that our past karmas bring opportunities, yet it is our present karmas that ensure whether we can hit a century or get clean bowled. Yes, life is essentially a game, a series of ups and downs. A vista full of enormous possibilities and uncountable chances. All we need to do is open our hearts and minds and let ourselves dream…..
Anupama Sarkar

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