Dreaming can make it so

Everyone I know has gone through a questing phase in early adulthood. During my questing phase, one of my neighbors introduced me to two wonderful books. Creative Visualization, by Shakti Gawain and Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. Each book provided a different, but similar way to realize one’s goals and dreams. The Gawain book by visualizing yourself and your surroundings as you wanted them to be. The Robbins book by acting as if. Both were enormously helpful in freeing my inner dreamer. They didn’t necessarily make my dreams come true. Most likely, that was my fault. Especially in the case of the Robbins book. I remember one segment where a couple was convinced they were going to win the lottery, so they began acting ‘as if.’ They bought the toys, moved to the desired house and, guess what, they hit the lottery. Now, I don’t have the courage for that. But I did have the courage to look forward in my future and see it the way I wanted it to be, and take the hard steps to work toward the goals I set. That meant if I wanted to write, I had to find the time to do it. And I had to put, in the early days, pen to paper. Now it’s fingers to keyboard. Writing meant missing out on some social events, and staying up way too late. Hum. I still stay up way too late to write. Maybe I better go back to the drawing board on that one! Even though I have not yet realized my dream of writing full time, I can see the path and I know how to get there.

Seeing what you want and figuring out how to accomplish it are keystones of both books. You have to have a clear picture. No fuzz or static. The ability to ‘see’ what I want has come in very handy in my writing. If I were to meet Hayden Kent or Catherine Swope strolling down the street, I would instantly recognize them. They are real to me. Their facial features, stride, and tics all as familiar as my own. I also know that when Hayden looks out her back window, she sees a rock pathway surrounded by tropical plants and a huge mango tree with a surrounding concrete bench. Down at the end of her yard are a riot of bougainvillea. If she goes into her house and walks through the living room to the hall, her bedroom is the second door on the left. Her office is the first door on the right. I know there is a door between the entrance to the hall and Hayden’s bedroom. I haven’t opened that up yet. I know that Catherine Swope’s bedroom door has a deep gash where a bullet tore past her boyfriend’s head and lodged in the doorframe. I know that when Catherine is stressed, she pulls on her sneakers and runs through the streets of her town. And I know the houses she passes are pastel stucco, some Spanish Mission style, other’s 1950s ranch. I can see her streets, and the Royal Poinciana trees that shade them. I know where she is at all times.

Did these characters appear to me in dreams? Did their settings arise full-blown from a vision? No. they grew on their own, but by seeing them and their settings as if they were real, by creatively visualizing them, I bring them to life, for me, and hopefully my readers.

What about you? Have you created yourself how you want to be?  Whom do you emulate? What drives your dreams?

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Author: kaitcarson

I write mysteries set in South Florida. The Hayden Kent series is set in the Florida Keys. Hayden is a SCUBA diving paralegal who keeps finding bodies. Underwater, no one can hear you scream! Catherine Swope is a Miami Realtor with a penchant for finding bodies in the darndest places. I live in an airpark in Fort Denaud, FL with my husband, six cats and three birds. And oh yes, a Piper Cherokee 6 in the hangar!

13 thoughts on “Dreaming can make it so”

  1. My questing phase took me to TM, where I learned to meditate and became a meditation teacher. Maharishi had studied physics in his youth, gaining an M.S. degree. He used to teach Vedic principles by means of quantum physics, especially the studies that demonstrate that consciousness and perception have an effect on matter. Dreams are thoughts fueled with passion, and that’s even more energy.

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  2. Great post. I’ve often heard that one of the keys to realizing your dreams is “seeing” yourself. I saw myself as a second-degree Black Belt for weeks before my testing. I see myself as a full time writer (some day!). And yes, I can see my characters. I see Jim Duncan’s house and his dog, the furniture left over from his ex-wife, but everything neat and tidy. I see Sally Castle’s apartment, a mash of shabby chic comfort, the squashy couch and the Amish quilt she curls up under when she’s cold or distressed. Those details are as real to me as anything in “real life.”

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  3. Therese, that is fantastic. I tried my best to get into tm when I was in college. I failed miserably (apparently I have no quiet mind), but those I know who do meditate frequently get so much benefit from it. your Maharishi sounds like a wonderful teacher.

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  4. Mary, isn’t it true. I feel that I can go visit my characters and be quite at home. I too believe the key to success is being able to visualize it. How else would you recognize it when you got there!

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  5. Cynthia, I know, it makes me feel kind of weird. I know it’s there, I see it in my mind’s eye, but I don’t go there, neither does Hayden. I think it is a part of Hayden she doesn’t want me to see yet. I think it might be her parents’ bedroom (she inherited the house). I wonder what secrets it will hold when we open it.

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  6. Right after grad school, my partner and I would look at each other and say, “I’m going to go pretend to be a professor.” “I’m going to go pretend to be a doctor.” After a while, we stopped saying the pretend part.

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  7. I want to wrap this post around me like a comforting blanket. I, too, love that unopened door. One of my favorite things about the writer community is that we “get” these kinds of things. Sometimes I find myself holding back, perhaps because I feel a little silly or intimidated or something else. And then I visit a blog or connect with writer friends and acquaintances and it feel like I’ve found myself all over again. Then I can visit with Penelope and take a walk in her garden, and it just feels good. (Oh, and I could never meditate at the dojo–quiet your mind?!? Are they serious?!) Great post, wonderful comments.

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  8. I learned “Mental Projection” at swim camp when I was in my teens, and I still use it to this day. Something about seeing yourself accomplish something that maybe seems out of reach can be very calming–and empowering, too. Thanks for this, Kait!

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