*NOTE: I got so into daydreaming I took two weeks to write this post. This exercise also turned into the roots of this past week’s meditation for my class and inspired future passion projects to come. Well worth it I’d say!*
After listening to Johann Hari’s “Stolen Focus” on Audible, I got the crazy idea that I’d spend my Memorial Day Weekend daydreaming. And it was incredible. Of course, as a single adult I have the luxury of choosing how I spend the majority of my time. My dog, Vanna, sometimes thinks I should be spending it differently but our mornings mostly consist of reading, coffee in bed and this past weekend – lots of daydreaming. I gave myself permission to rest and let me thoughts roam.
The funny thing though is that I really needed some decompression to get there. Last Friday, I took myself to a movie (at an actual theater!) and left my phone at home. That night, I charged my phone in another room when I went to bed. The following morning, I fought the urge to scroll Instagram and read a book and journaled instead. I “let” my body sleep in instead of following my normal routine of working out to “check that box”. And it took some work to get my brain, my mind ready to roll with the idea of mindful daydreaming. But once I got there, wow.
I found myself remembering the simple joys of listening to birds chirp. I marveled at the sound of rain outside my window. I thought about how I wish I could rub my dog’s ears forever because of how soft they were! Then things got interesting. I imagined what I wanted my life to look like. I started noticing common traits between my late grandmother, my mother and myself (hint: it’s our love plants and connecting with people). I started clarifying what I want my business to look like. I began to see future projects to make a reality. I saw what COULD BE.
Yet when we are simply surviving the day-to-day grind, there is not time for this. There is only survival. When you do not allow your mind to wander, space for elaboration or expansion, or even time to just be still, we are missing a crucial component to problem solving and creativity. Perspective. The joy of being up the clouds is that you can see the entire picture below. When you are face-to-face, all you can see is what’s directly in front of you.
Now don’t confuse daydreaming with ruminating. That’s quite different. When that occurs, I usually have to physically move my body, talk to a friend or even see my therapist depending on what we’re continuing to stir up! Everyone should have a therapist by the way.
But mindful daydreaming, that’s the good stuff!
I’m proposing that mindful daydreaming is meditation’s carefree cousin. Cut from the same cloth. Both providing benefit and giving insight into a challenging world, in their own authentic way. Allowing room for the unexpected to weave its way into you life, connecting common threads into the cloth of your future and finding the pulls inside of you taking shape into tangible realities before your eyes.
You are the thinker of your thoughts. You are not the thoughts themselves. You can choose which thoughts to feed and which ones to leave behind. You can choose your breath over and and over, just as you can choose your thoughts, over and over again.
But thoughts and ideas can become plans. And plans can become your reality when you add intention, action, and heart.
Inhale, invite in what you need. Exhale, release what you do not.
And dream on, daydreamers!