Day Dreaming

I'm sort of a crazy dream addict. I love coming up with these crazy big ideas and day dreaming about them actually happening. Sometimes I've even gone so far as to write up investment proposals for my crazy ideas, other times I've just secretly held on to them in my heart. Many of them have come and gone faster than I can fully form them into words. Others have lingered, grown, and morphed. There were the  unfleshed out dreams like the dream to "build something", or "be part of something bigger than myself", or the dream to "change the education system", or to "change the church". And then there are other ideas that are more thought through.

I recently found a whole document I'd written just after graduating college that talked about the dream to start a high school for future entrepreneurs. Then there was the dream to have my own theatre company. And the dreams to start our own companies of various sorts, and the dreams to design and build our own house. There were the dreams to have land and animals, and the dreams to live in community and close proximity with others. There was the dream to travel around the world every year with our kids spending a few months on each of the major continents. There was the Life Studio dream. There was the dream to teach yoga and have my own yoga studio. And, of course, there have been more dreams and ideas that I can't even remember.

Then there have also been the dreams of others that have captured my imagination and become my own. Dreams like starting a church in Prague, starting a community of artists, starting a retreat center community, and so many others.

Lately, as I've been thinking back on some some of these  daydreams and ideas, I've recognized some consistencies and common threads between them. Ive begun to recognize some touch points for what draws me and what capitivates my imagination. Almost all of my dreams seem to have thesecommon threads:

  • Starting something. I want to start something, create something. I don't really want to come into an existing structure and work within it. I want to be a part of shaping and building something. I want to have a voice in what something looks like, and what it becomes.
  • Community. There is almost always a communal aspect to my daydreams. What I want to start and build is community. At various seasons the type of community has been different - an  entrepreneurial community, an art community, a church community, a yoga community, an intentional living/commune community, etc. But, always my dreams take on a communial aspect.
  • Physical Space. This is something that I'm only just recognizing, but physical space effects me and I ofte daydream in pictures of layouts and physical space.Even people whoknow me well, would probably never guess this about me, because it's not really apparent in my life. I have friends who are spacial beauticians, and that is NOT me. But, I do think in terms of space p, but it's the flow and form of space that interests me and when I day dream my ideas almost always take on an aspect of creating a physicalspace in my head that promotes the type of community I desire to create (sometimes I wish I had followed my childhood dream to become an architect!).
  • Creativity and Health. These are the topics of interest. These at the frame works that my ideas almost always fall into. The specifics of these look different at different times, but the ideas that captivately all have some aspect of promoting some form of creativity and/or some form of health.

Honestly though this part of me that loves to dream and come up with ideas has sort of laid dormant over the past few years since becoming a mom. I haven't written about it much but I did suffer from some postpartum depression after having Thad and one thing that I really noticed was it became really difficult for me to dream, or at least to get really excited about dreams. I no longer would think of some crazy thing I wanted to do and then get so excited about it that I would lay awake making the dream bigger and bigger and fleshing it out until I could fully visualize it.

It wasn't until Thad turned one that I started to feel like I could dream again and I had one dream in particular that I played with. But it wasn't really my own dream, it was more like I was testing the waters of desire again. I dabbled, I dipped my feet in, sometimes I even got excited translating their dream to fit with old dreams of my own, but I still kept some distance. Somehow I knew it wasn't really my dream to dream.

But, all that's starting to change. I feel it deep in my heart. I want things again. And isn't that the start of dreams? Desire. Ive realized something lately... In order to really dream, really desire and let your desires come to live in dreams there needs to exist a certain level of stability. It's hard to dream big dreams when all of your desires are for very basic needs - like sleep. That's how the beginning years of motherhood were for me - I was always tired, I was always hungry, I lived with a deep uncertainty about our future. I wasn't taking care of my most basic needs and I loved surrounded by instability and uncertainty. It was hard to look past those basic desires to the kinds of desires that breed dreams. But, that's all changing.

As I've written before we are stabilizing settling, finding our feet again. We've had a new start and we feel like we are coming into our own in this new place and stage of life. And I've started to dream again. Started to tap into my desires again. And it's fun. I've missed this side of me. So in the next post I'll tell you about my most recent crazy dream. It's a good one!

Rejoicing in the journey,

Bethany Stedman