Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dreams Opening

Dreams a-Flutter, encaustic, 8" x 10"

I've had several conversations lately with wise women about actualizing dreams, and what I've come to realize is that dreams become real when we consciously open them and when we are energetically open to them.

There is both an active/doing and receptive/listening aspect to actualization. Visualization and dreaming are essential--we need to explore in our minds and hearts what it is we really want. But we also need to take action--physical steps that bring us closer to our dreams.

Many of us don't take the physical steps because of fear of failure or fear of having chosen the "wrong dream." In other words, what we thought we wanted we don't really want. Without action, however, we wouldn't know this.

When I was in massage school, I started with a class of fifteen. By the time I graduated, we were down to eight. That's almost half attrition. And the surprising fact is that several people dropped out right before the end. It took almost the whole experience for them to realize that this was not what they wanted. This could (and did for some) feel like a real blow. But it can also be seen as a blessing of the active side of actualization. It's movement. It's experience. It's progression. It's a mirror, reflecting to us what it is we do not want. Without it, we stay safe behind our thoughts and our "what ifs."

So I am going to ask you the same question I am asking myself right now as I swim in the river of dreamland: what is it that you want to do and how are you going to engage with both your receptive and active sides to open yourself to your dreams?

In the art piece above, the hand is the doing side and the butterfly wings represent the receiving side. The hand sculpts the world, the butterfly opens its wings to meet the world as it is.

When are you the butterfly and when are you the hand--and when do you know when to take active steps toward your juicy, dreamy land of possibilities?


  1. Hi Courtney, I love what your saying here, and completely believe what you are saying. Taking 'real' steps to achieve a dream is a huge part of meeting goals - affirmations, laws of attraction, and other positive mind models can only take me so far. I gotta get off my butt and do something concrete to go further! It helps to get the energy moving, momentum builds and dreams blossom. The piece you've made to represent your message is beautiful!!
    My primary dream currently is to get rid of the chronic pain I endure. I have been taking steps, and doing things that I don't actually like doing, like making a lot of doctor appts and trying more 'traditional' treatments that I've avoided in the past, in hopes of finding help for these health issues, so that I can return to my art full time, and my yoga practice. In the mean time, I use my dream body, moving with strength and grace, gathering healing energy in one way (mind-fully) until I can in other ways (physically as will as internally).
    thanks for a thoughtful and inspiring post!

  2. A gorgeous piece, C. Different than your more intuitive pieces--I can tell there was some real reflection happening in the process. I spend lots of time dreaming and but don't take much action. I keep this quote from Diane Arbus around to motivate me: The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind. I'm sure you've heard it before.

  3. Beth, I love how you've given us such a deep question to ask ourselves with such concrete images here.
    I had not heard the quote shared by Juliet and love it.

    My hand was always poised or moving, in the past. There were memories of butterfly wings but not
    a lot of real time spent there.
    More recently there were so many butterfly wings that I couldn't see my hand and it felt like my hand didn't know what to do so I began to enjoy looking at the butterfly wings. Today I am finding
    a happier balance and feeling and thinking are friendly with each other rather than competing for attention. I like this new balance AND I realized that there's even balance in the apparent imbalance because there is a time in my world for each and both to inform me of what my truth is and what is mine and not mine to do.

    I always love how you allow the art to inform you it is a beautiful example and hands and wings working together at their best!


  4. I am moved by all of your comments. Karin, how powerful that you are addressing your chronic pain with action, although I know how challenging this must be. Juliet, thank you for sharing the Arbus quote. What words of strength to carry with you. Karen, thank you for sharing your process with the "hand" and "butterflies" of your life. It sounds like balance is your goal and I look forward to seeing how you find this balance.

    Thank you for writing such thoughtful responses!