the vocabulary to dream

I recently wrote my Mondo Beyondo list. This list is supposed to be made up of all your dreams and wishes in life, no matter how big or small. Some items on the list could be construed as goals, but the idea is to be fanciful. Allow your imagination to play without the inner critic getting in the way. Allow your soul to express its deepest desires. Allow yourself to dig into possibility.

And, yet, at first I found it so difficult to just let go and dream.

My own cottage in the south of France. Um, who are we kidding? That’s not going to happen!

I also found that many of my dreams were fuzzy and enigmatic. Have a colorful life. Hmmm…and how am I supposed to know when that dream has come true?

As I was dreaming up my list, I remembered that I had written something similar a few years ago when I took a class at Capes Coaching. It was called the Desire Rant. We spent 20 minutes, non-stop writing all of our desires. I wondered if my desires had changed since then. Or maybe I had forgotten some really important ones for my Mondo Beyondo list. So, I pulled out my old notebook, and a quietly funny thing happened.

As I was reading my Desire Rant, I realized that many of my dreams had already come true without me even being aware of it. These were the hazy, unshaped dreams that didn’t have a concrete “how.”

  • Genuinely laugh a lot
  • Make other people laugh
  • Find a community to belong to

It hit me so hard when I came to realize that these dreams were happening now without me even actively pursuing them. While working towards a very concrete goal: go out on 30 auditions in 3 months, I met a casting director who told me to take an improv class and “get back to her.” Improv was no where near any of my desires and dreams–in fact, in all of my years of acting, I purposely avoided it at all costs. After I got over my initial fear, I signed up for Level 0 (yes, as in zero) improv. I figured that another one of my goals was bound to happen once I took this class: I would get back to that casting director, who would be so impressed that I took an improv class, that she would then cast me in an indie film.

Well, that never happened.

Instead, I ended up falling head over heels for improv. I spent hours a week laughing out loud. I made other people laugh. I found a community of friends. And now I am a member of an amazing all-female improv group, Goldie & the Hawns.

I don’t think any of this would have happened if I had held onto these dreams so tightly, if I had tried to take “action steps” towards them, if I had fretted over them and gave them a deadline. It was in the act of dreaming them up, writing them down, and then forgetting them entirely, that they had a chance to grow and blossom in my life in a way that was natural without any pushing or pain.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re in NYC, come check out Goldie & the Hawns’ upcoming show Saturday, April 30, 2011, 10pm, at the People’s Improv Theatre.

2 Comments on “the vocabulary to dream”

  1. kalanicut says:

    Hi, popped over from Mondo Beyondo class. I love your story. That’s awesome. I was possibly going to be in NYC the last week of April but it fell through yesterday. I would’ve definitely come to your show. Good luck!

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