Dreams can come true: A journey to ‘Dreamland’

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Dreams, for me, always point to the ideal – the ideal life, the dream job, the best self, the perfect relationship. We dream of these ideal things because we want to build a good life and we believe they are our paths to happiness. The question “What are your dreams in life?” often evoke strong emotions and reactions from us because it goes straight to the core of our motivations. We can get a glimmer of someone’s inner landscape by listening to them talk about their dreams.

The power of dreams

Dreams, acted upon diligently and blessed by a bit of luck, have the power to move mountains or, literally, land people on the moon. Before Neil Armstrong took that monumental step, generations of scientists and inventors dreamt of space travel and exploration. Almost all innovations and discoveries in human history start from people dreaming about an ideal result. The women’s suffrage, a worldwide change in politics and society in the early 20th century, must have started from women’s dreams of being given a voice and the right to vote in elections. One of the most important speeches made during the American Civil Rights Movement is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” (1963). The importance of dreams to the human psyche is the main reason why metaFox developed a card set focusing on this theme.

 Earthrise taken by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission. Photo from Wikipedia.

Chasing dreams

The problem with ideals is that they tend to be unattainable as they often do not or cannot exist. When we dream of the perfect relationship, we most surely will not get it because, by definition, a perfect relationship doesn’t have flaws. But everyone is flawed and we constitute relationships. The logic doesn’t add up. When we use the expression “chasing dreams”, we visualize this unreality of achieving ideals – we run after them and still get left behind.

But perhaps it’s a question of definition. Maybe when we dream of “the perfect relationship” or “the ideal life”, we don’t necessarily mean no flaws or no problems. We could be dreaming of “perfect” and “ideal” and envisioning ballpark scenarios. A “perfect” relationship is one that nurtures people to be the best possible version of themselves. An “ideal” life is one without worries – not without challenges though. This is why we have sayings like, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” We’re approximating when we dream.

For us to achieve our dreams, we have to understand the why behind them. Oftentimes, we need to go back in time and remember the birthplace of our dreams. A dream job might be a reflection of past experiences in our family wherein reverence and respect are abundantly given to those who have a successful career. We may have developed an ideal self based on a childhood belief that being good at school and acing our academics will bring us pride and a sense of achievement. If taken too far our dreams can also impose a relentless struggle and, to stay with the example, force us to create ever bigger achievements.

We have structured the deep pictures ‘Dreamland’ card set to help you understand the why of your dreams. The Past Dreams category begins our ‘Dreamland’ journey. This stage guides you in unearthing your memories and past experience so that you’ll gather a big-picture understanding of your dreams and, by extension, your motivations. Moreover, the fantastic illustrations and meaningful questions in this category will also guide you in reconciling with your past self especially with the dreams you’ve let go (or need to let go).

An illustration-question combination under the Past Dreams category
An illustration-question combination under the Past Dreams category

From dreams to reality

We commonly consider dreams and reality as each other’s flipside. We even characterize people based on their tendencies – the dreamers versus the realists. Making dreams come true connote the movement from the realm of possibilities into the world of material existence. When we work for our dreams, we’re moving our ideas from abstraction into reality to give them concrete forms in our life.

What happens when we can’t seem to make our dreams real? How do we move forward when after making a dream come true, it’s not at all what we imagined it to be?

I personally struggled with these questions in graduate school. I had always dreamt of completing my master’s degree and pursuing a career in academe. Back then, I was convinced that this is the only work I’d like to do (and was meant to do) for the rest of my life. However, after successfully completing my thesis, I realized I need to get away from all things rigidly academic. Instead of the euphoric feeling I thought I’d get for graduating and earning the degree, I just felt a quiet sense of relief. Finally, I finished it. I can let this dream and resulting pressure go.

Certainly, it was devastating to be in the precipice of your dream and know that it’s not for you anymore so you have to walk away. But in the course of working for this dream, I developed in ways I didn’t anticipate. I started looking at the world in more nuanced, complex and critical ways. I learned how to cook. It’s possible to be so incredibly thrifty. I realized how very lucky I am to have my family and friends.

This image-question pairing is on one of the cards in the category Present Dreams
This image-question pairing is on one of the cards in the category Present Dreams

Present Dreams, the second stage into ‘Dreamland’, captures the continuous effort of working towards your dreams and personal development. We’ve designed the illustration and question combinations here to focus on how you can develop yourself further through your dreams. Whether our dreams come true or not, often it is in the process of bringing them to life that we grow the most and the end result is simply a bonus.

The possibilities of tomorrow

“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”

Bruce Lee

Being like water is a wonderful metaphor for living. After all, our bodies consist mostly of water. Scientific studies tell us that life on earth evolved from single-celled organisms in wet environments. We first lived in our mother’s womb, sustained with the help of amniotic fluid. It’s true: water is life.

Water carries so much wisdom too. It exists in a state relative to its environment. It evaporates to form clouds in very hot climates, solidifies into ice in very cold temperatures, and it stays liquid in moderate surroundings. Water takes the shape of its container. It is able to seep through the cracks of hard surfaces and, with time, breaks them down.

So it is with us and our dreams. We have to be like water in order to cope with the multitude of changes that will happen within us and outside of us as we weather through life. Thus, we may need to change or modify our dreams and ideals or even let go of a dream or two. We have to develop our resourcefulness and creativity to work for our dreams in an ever-changing world and society.

This is why we end our ‘Dreamland’ journey emphasizing tomorrow and its possibilities. This is the key theme of the category Future Dreams. We wanted to cultivate your flexibility and adaptability to changes. Here, we focus on opening your mind to future possibilities as well as welcoming these transformations and seeing opportunities in them.

This image and question combination is found in the category Future Dreams
This image and question combination is found in the category Future Dreams

Your journey to ‘Dreamland’

We designed the deep pictures ‘Dreamland’ set as a coaching tool that can be used in a variety of ways. We created this set primarily for personal reflection. You can use ‘Dreamland’ as motivational cards in your daily journaling or diary writing. We carefully selected the beautiful illustrations so you can pick a card for the day and use it as a visual trigger or pin it on your vision board.

‘Dreamland’ is also great as a unique card game you can do with friends or in group activities. You and your favorite people can gather around and spread the cards on a table or on the floor. Everyone picks a card that resonates with them or answers a question like “What is your dream in life?” Each person gets to share why they chose that image. In addition, they can choose to answer the question on the back of the card.

Finally, ‘Dreamland’ can also be used in coaching or therapy sessions especially when talking about dreams and goals in life. If ‘Dreamland’ brings you some inspiration, a little bit of magic or even a smile on your face, then we consider its purpose for being fulfilled. It would make ‘Dreamland’ a truly worthy and meaningful journey. And we thank you for coming along.

Love and light,
Liz from the metaFox team

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