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Make your dream a reality by taking action [column]


By Richard Wagamese, Windspeaker Columnist








You dream yourself into being. That may sound esoteric and fraught with New Age mysticism or some earthy tribal spirituality, but it’s true nonetheless. I’ve discovered this truth over the course of the last 10 years especially. It was going on years before but only in this last decade has it become a foundational truth of my life.

When I was being introduced to the spiritual teachings of my people after being lost for 24 years, I heard teachings like it. I still hold to those teachings. I still believe that the dream world and the concrete reality I live in hold the same amount of sway over my daily life. I also believe that dreams have concurrent power and that they exist to help me to see and experience reality better.

What I’m talking about is not a shell game. It’s not Shopping Channel hucksterism. Rather, it is something that I have learned to do virtually every day. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, the practice is the same for everyone. There’s no tribal voodoo or ritualistic sacrifice necessary to attain it. It’s with us from birth.

Let me give you an example. I’ve had great success as a writer and an author. Right now I’m writing my thirteenth title and I continue to write freelance journalism pieces for numerous newspapers and radio stations across the country. It means that every week I am faced with deadlines. It means that in order to make ends meet I have to maintain a very disciplined, dedicated work flow.

I enjoy my work. It gives me the opportunity to work at home and I can stop whenever I feel like and go for a walk up the mountain behind our home or along the shore of the lake. But back in November I wanted something more. I wanted to have fun writing again like I did before it became my job. So I asked myself what I wanted to do about that.

I recalled my favorite writing job. It was as a music writer for the Calgary Herald 20 years go. I got to interview artists, attend concerts and review the newest CD releases. I loved it.
Essentially I was paid to listen to music. I got paid to do what I’d do every day anyway. So I told myself that I had a dream to be a music journalist again.

I acknowledged that and asked myself what I had to do first in order to bring that dream a little closer to reality. I needed samples. The writing that I did for the Herald was done before the proliferation of the Internet and pretty near impossible to retrieve.  So I wrote a few reviews of CDs that I had in my collection in the style I wanted to write in. Then, in order to bring the dream even closer, I asked myself what I needed to do next.

It was obvious that I needed someone to read them. So I sent them off to a few places and waited. Eventually I got an email asking me to write a music column for Canada.com the digital site of Postmedia, one of the country’s largest newspaper groups. I’ve been doing it every week since. Mind you, I’m doing it for free right now but the potential for a paid gig is there the longer I continue.

But unless you get paid for something it’s really only a hobby. So again I asked what else I needed to do. The answer was to write some serious music journalism and I booked interviews with a couple of major music artists that I will turn into features and market. I got the interviews because the record labels loved my CD reviews. When I do those features I will be a paid music journalist.

I dreamed myself into being. I had the dream and took the actions necessary to bring that dream closer to reality. That’s the trick of it. You never work on the dream. You take action. Each action brings the dream closer to being real. Each small step brings it closer to being able to live it.

When I look back at my life I see many instances when I did the same thing. Nowadays, however, it feels more empowering. I’m older. I’m considered a senior in some places and the process of reinventing myself is supposed to get harder the older I get. I guess I didn’t read the right articles. I reinvent myself all the time because I know how to dream myself into being.

Every dream asks us to take action. Every action is a degree of realization of that dream. We become able to do the improbable. We reinvent ourselves. We come into being.