Gavin T. Murphy keeps a blog on ilovebipolar.com and he looks to Ignatian Spirituality for strength and inspiration.
I finished my last blog post saying: “and do what you need to do in order to be fully awake to your emerging dreams!” To develop this thought a little, I find it useful to look at three factors.
The first factor – embracing the real – is actually pretty cool. In today’s culture it is easy to get bogged down on the ideal out of a want to be perfect. We may reach this incredibly high standard at times, but constantly striving for it will inevitably lead to disappointment and a sense of being distant from our deeply-felt desires. If we find ourselves getting lost, we can refocus on our real and burning issues such as relationship difficulties, achieving our goals, and wanting to help others. In this way we can make a real difference in our messy, imperfect world. And we are more likely to genuinely rejoice and to tap into the energy stream of our dreams.
The second factor – ordinary living – may not always be full of buzz and excitement, and we may be declared ‘boring’ at times if we choose it (so what?!). But following a ‘normal’ lifestyle of relaxation (including doing nothing), work, sport, fun, and so on gives us that ‘fire of heart’ sensation that is full of depth and meaning. Our hearts can mellow and we can become less attracted to what once pulled us. Being anchored in ordinary living makes us an oasis of calm for those around us, stirring the ship in the right direction. There is also a lot of wisdom in slowing down, lying in the grassy meadows, and listening to the running streams!
Moving into and remaining in the third factor – balanced mood – certainly aligns us with our dreams. For example, we can function in the common states of low mood or hypomania (‘overexcitement’), but a healthy mood range is best for all round health and productivity, maintaining our energy and direction throughout our days. A great way of being in a balanced mood is doing what we can do and letting go of what we can’t do. We can misuse a lot of energy (and our mood can deteriorate) when we don’t try at all and get distracted or when we don’t accept that we have our limits. And the stormy winds of life do not shatter us when we are on an even keel.
I believe that these three factors, which I may expand on later, will enable our realities and desires to merge. Dreaming is not about gazing at the stars. It is about seeing that which is right in front of us and responding with wisdom and love. And we can relax with the conviction that our future is in the right hands.