It seems fitting to riff on one of the most famous speech titles of all times on MLK Day. Although I am not intending to talk about racism or equality today. I am writing more specifically about the dream – which ultimately ties into those things. So what dream am I alluding to? Well, the only one you can do anything about: your own.
I once worked with a teacher who asked very pointedly, “What dream are you dreaming?” He was not referring to our sleeping dreams either – he was talking about our aspirations, our intentions, our desires for who we want to be in this world and how we imagine creating impact. It may seem dramatic, but I changed the course of my life based on that question.
When we’re young, we hold our dreams very dear – they become the beacons that keep us on course as we are moving toward our goals. Sometimes we attain those dreams and sometimes we do not – vacillating between the two teachers of perceived success and failure. If we do toggle these well, we gain resilience and a stalwart quality that keeps us moving forward; neither success nor failure knock us off course. Yet, as we grow and evolve and do get knocked periodically off our path, we might lose hope, starting to believe that we’ll never attain the dreams we once had.
If you have taken the EVENPULSE™ Training, you know that we are forever emphasizing that the BASE-R Method™ that we teach is deeply woven into the fabric of who you are as a human being. The mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual aspects of the human condition can be found inside of BASE-R™ and be a guiding force for staying in balance when it comes to the stress response and building resilience.
The “S” of BASE-R™ stands for Simulation. And herein lies the basis for “the dream”. I want to emphasize that by the word dream I mean - imagination, vision, creative force, passion. The truth is that whatever we are simulating (imagining, visualizing) IS WHAT WE ARE DREAMING INTO OUR LIVES. It is the sum total of our creations. You are what you think, you are what you believe and you are, for better or for worse, what you simulate. Simulation is really a form of practice and the thoughts that fuel our simulations are the stuff our dreams (or nightmares) are made of. So ask yourself, what are imagining? What do you practice in your mind on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis? Just look at the life you are living for the answer.
Today, it’s all too easy to fall into anxiety-ridden imaginings that lead us into more stress and a contraction of the dream. It takes great strength to stay committed to productive thinking, quite different than positive thinking. I’m actually not a fan of “positive thinking” in and of itself, as it can simply be a bandaid for certain realities we are facing – personally or globally. But productive, intentional thinking is useful for creating awareness and choices over what we think and how we are guiding our decision-making.
Albert Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” It’s about time you use the power of your mind to take you to the outer limits of what’s possible in your lifetime. I beseech you to withdraw from the addictive intake of news, social media and other forms of information overload and begin to utilize the power of your own imagination to fuel your personal dream, to fuel reaching the goals and inspirations that are yours and yours alone.
For many of us, freedom is a dream we aspire to. We want to be free of fear, free of disease, free of injustice, free of concerns, worry, anxiety. We want to attain financial freedom, societal freedom, global freedom. I am not talking about the freedom wrapped up into patriotism. I’m talking about inner freedom – the inside game. True freedom is the kind that people reach deep inside themselves, deep within the human heart and psyche. It is something that cannot be taken or given.
Rev Martin Luther King, Jr spoke at Grosse Point High School in Michigan on March 14, 1968. Grosse Point was an entirely white school at the time, but that did not stop Rev King from daring to carry his dream of equality and justice. In that speech, he said, “Freedom is the bonus you receive for telling the truth.” That struck a deep chord in me – for the the truth of my dream is mine and mine alone and it is intricately linked with telling the truth to myself on a daily basis; for having the courage to face myself in the mirror of self-reflection and face my own truth, regardless of the world around me or fake news or dangerous times.
In spite of all that, I have a dream. Do you?