This I Believe

It’s a snowy day here in New England. I have a few minutes before I head out to work so I’ll share some cross-pollination news with you. Have you heard of the international project, “This I Believe?” It started in the 1950’s and since then has engaged people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives. I’ve listened to it on NPR for years, and I’ve often heard my quiet voice say I’d like to do that. Last summer I got my wish in a very creative way.

An invitation came from the Unitarian Church in Westport, for speakers to contribute to a lay-led service filled with closely held convictions and jazz. How could I resist? I spent several weeks and many drafts creating my essay. My writing critique group inspired me to strip away the layers until I got to the heart of my message, and members of the church committee guided me to clarity. The results were that I gave back to my community; met new, bright and articulate people; modelled for my critique group that writing can take a long time; and after a few minor changes, I submitted my essay to “This I Believe.”

Five months later I heard back from the international project — my essay “I Believe in Dreams” was selected for the permanent collection.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Just do it. Show up for your life and the rest will follow.

Dreams: Snakes, eels and me . . . oh my!

You may be asking right about now, “What do snakes and eels, of all things, have to do with being creative and how the heck do they relate to wellness?” Dreams, my dear Watson, dreams. Our nighttime dreams hold the wisdom of our souls. They offer us the equivalent of decades worth of free psychotherapy in our lifetimes. As a dreamer and as an educator about the wonderful world of dreams, I have learned over the years to trust in my dream imagery 100%. Dreams provide us with an uncensored window into our waking life. Knowledge garnered from nighttime dreams actually helps me create the life I love.

Recently snakes and eels have shown up in my dreams. Their appearance helps anchor me in my own symbolic mythology. In everyday life I may shutter or jump at the sight of a snake, but in my dreams I receive the emotion that is in the dream, without editing it. Using the art of metaphor, I glean my dream’s message. It’s like unraveling a ball of yarn, tugging at possible interpretations until one feels right.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Listen to your nighttime dreams. Refrain from judging your own symbolism. Let your nighttime dreams speak to you in their unique language of colors, animals, and intricate texture–your waking life will be richer for it.