Making Space for Imagination and Dreaming to Live a Fulfilling Life

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of imagination.”

John Keats


As we were growing up, many of us were taught, intentionally or by osmosis, to be pragmatic and to get on with the “program of life”. Many of us shied away from deeper stirrings of our inner live for a myriad of reasons, one of them being the fear of being labeled as naïve.
 
It’s true that certain realities need to be faced if we want to live responsibly. However, if all we were taught to “live” life only from a sense of duty and obligation, our spirits will run dry. It wouldn’t take long for signs of this kind of suffocation and annihilation to show up in our bodies and psyches.
 
When I read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho for the first time in my 20s, the book felt like a breath of fresh air. Feeling miserable in my day job, I didn’t know who I could turn to with my heavy feelings, pain and a sense of being in the “wrong” place. I was also battling with a part of me that looked at people and was trying to convince that life is such.
 
No one in my family, my circle of friends and schools I attended, asked me what I truly desired, what I was dreaming about and what made me happy.
 

Paulo Coelho was giving me and millions of his readers, permission to dream and to LIVE our lives.

 

Image by Teddy Kelley on Unsplash

Through his main character, Santiago, he was conveying an important message: it’s ok to follow your true calling in life, it’s ok to search for your soul mate, it’s ok to listen to your heart, and it’s ok to dream. I say, it’s not only ok, but it is necessary for our well being, for living a deeply fulfilling and meaningful life.

If we choose this kind of life, it doesn’t mean that everything will fall into place magically all the time, that dreams will come into fruition overnight, or that there will be no obstacles on the way. Our challenges point us onto the road of becoming, of maturity, and of building the capacity to hold complexity.

Life is a mystery to be unraveled and savored one experience at a time and sometimes one breath at a time.

In the midst of that journey, taking out trash, paying the bills, cooking and grocery shopping, have a place too. We don’t abandon one for the other. We learn to dance with both, in a way that feels nourishing and live giving. We learn to navigate our relationships with parents, siblings, friends, and communities that we are a part of. Sometimes we leave circumstances and people that no longer serve our highest good, sometimes we are the ones being left.

As you allow your heart, your soul and your intuition to guide you, I invite you to also ground them into matter. Learn to anchor what you imagine into your real-ity.
 
One way you can practice this kind of weaving, is by taking a symbol of your desire/dream/vision and placing it into your body.
 
Notice what sensations arise…what feelings emerge…what sounds you want to utter… what movement your body spontaneously wants to make.

Pay attention to the way your soul and your body interact with each other. The way subtle energy comes into contact with physical matter.

 
I also invite you to not only dream for your individual life but also for your family, for your communities, for your country and for our world. May be if enough of us dream of a life that is wholesome, beautiful and sacred, we’ll one day live in that reality!

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