Wednesday, May 6, 2009

To Dream or Not to Dream

To dream or not to dream....and why would we have to make that choice? But we get conflicting messages on this all the time. We're told to live in the "present moment." Ancient traditions and modern philosophers tell us that being in the moment is the key to happiness. But can we do it all the time? And would we want to? The ability to imagine is the key to creativity, to having the curiosity to see what's around the bend, to creating works of art, and to envisioning possibilities. And we do all this imagining while in a daydreaming state of mind.

My point is we don't have to make the choice. We don't have to pit one against the other---living in the moment against taking off on a daydream now and again. When we understand how our mind works, we can have the best of both worlds. We can learn to live in the present when we want to--when we choose to meditate, or focus on nature, or the presence of someone we love. We can let our minds wander, guilt-free, when we're taking a walk or puttering around the house or doing something else that doesn't require full attention.

Let's stop feeling guilty for having the glorious human capacity to daydream. Focusing is necessary, living in the moment is rewarding, but the ability to dream and daydream is glorious, and we should really celebrate it.

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