Today is the first day of spring or the vernal equinox. Vernal means spring and equinox means that day and night are pretty much equal in length. Today is the day when Mother Nature begins her renewal process and we see buds on trees, flowers peeking their heads above ground and warmth returning to the Northern Hemisphere. Also poetically this is supposed to be the time when our hearts turn to the land of our dreams.
This vernal equinox romanticizing is not the same sort of dreaming you experience when you’re asleep. That one is full of thoughts, images and sensations which are uncontrolled and are produced mainly by eating spaghetti or a lot of rich foods before retiring for the night.
The romanticizing we’re talking about during the alluring days of spring centers around our fancies or desires concerning love and the like. Somehow it’s all wrapped up in Easter and new frocks and new significant others.
Then there’s that other type of dreaming that we indulge in the rest of the year—materialism. We used to daydream about nice things happening to us and let it go at that. Nowadays though, many people have gone ballistic in the daydreaming department.
They no longer are going to have simple reverie. No, they are going to take the bull by the horns. They join prosperity workshops where they are told they can make kazillions and become successful and famous if they only follow certain protocols. These new modus operandi consist of participating in guided imagery, cutting out and pasting their dreams on big paper boards or repeating certain mantras a number of times or writing down their prosperity goals and burning them in a blessed, bronze pot or do any certain number of poppycock rituals.
Prosperity gurus have sprouted up just about everywhere these days. Their specialty is promising us if we can envision and believe it, wealth can be ours. If we only pay big bucks to their workshops, they can almost guarantee that you’ll be driving a Rolls Royce, living in a 48 room mansion, sailing on your own yacht and throwing gold coins to the peasants who run after you. All you have to do is believe.
Many people actually pay big bucks for such sessions that preach money and fame and good fortune. Bah, humbug! In one of my books (TEDDY BEAR MURDERS) I have quite a few examples of such nonsense. I based my book on a woman I actually know who for twenty years now has made her living off of running prosperity workshops, writing success pamphlets and tending to the needs of the material needy for a price.
How does one realistically approach dreaming if the dream merchants are out there trying to sell us our dreams? In my book mentioned above, I have a character who sets the needy main character on a realistic course in making life come true. To me, the solution is as simple as choosing between BIG dreams and what I call “baby dreams.”
In BIG dreams, you are vain and fanciful and over-indulgent with your materialism. You dream of the words millionaire, yacht, mansion, fame, power and popularity. You indulge yourself in silly paranoia like prosperity workshops while you reach for another bong of marijuana or cocaine hit. OR you can do a series of “baby dreams.” In the latter, you bite off just enough to accomplish what you’re after via normal effort.
I’m talking about a life where you sing your own songs, dream your own dreams and try to do something sensible in the process.
One has to watch how much one narrates the future. It can be overdone and turned into unrealized daydreams. I know of so many people who say they’re going to write a book. They see all the perks and can almost smell and taste them–like book signings, book clubs, discussions, autograph seekers—yet the book never happens. The trick (as the character in my book points out) is to do things one “manageable dream” at a time—in other words, a “baby dream.”
I dreamt of getting out of Okolona, Mississippi (my three previous blogs will tell you all about Okolona.) I knew it was going to take realistic dreams—baby-step dreams–not giant-step dreams. That is the route I found that would actually take me into these other levels of living. Baby-step dreams are like a road map. You don’t dream of the end of the road; you dream of only the next achievable step—one in a long list of steps. Make each of these little dreams happen individually before you go to the next—and so on until you actually find yourself making progress. That is how I believe you turn a big dream into a reality.
I did via my baby-step dreams make it out of Okolona, I did travel all over the world, I did write books, I did learn to speak foreign languages, I did write screenplays, I did act in films.
The one thing I didn’t knock myself out with in my dreams was “the tons of money and materialism angle” of dreaming. I realized early on that (1) living life to your fullest potential and (2) reaping tons of materialism didn’t necessarily go hand in hand.
For most people they have to choose one or the other. A few lucky people can have them both–famous stars for example. Others try to have both at the same time but turn to drugs to help them with their dreams–and many as a result end up a total mess.
I chose living life like enjoying a giant tray of hors d’oeuvres rather than achieving materialism over anything else. I’m pleased to report that’s what my existence has been about—experiencing life. True, I don’t have bags and bags of money, an Armani wardrobe and own several homes but materialism by itself doesn’t necessarily mean happiness. You have to live life first, I believe.
Happy dreaming during today’s equinox.