P1. Do you play in your dreams? Do you play in your life? Do you take yourself too seriously? Do you wear your mask lightly?
Your dreams reflect your attitude to life. Take a look at them and see what sort of feelings you have in them. Do you dream for fun, for fear, for desire or what?
I find fun in my dreams. I do dream4fun. I rarely get nightmares, or feel chased, or feel oppressed or other negative feelings. This hasn’t always been so, but it is now.
How about you?
Life is tough. That’s a line I grew up with. I used to take life very seriously. I used to have a serious face. I felt that what I did really mattered.
In job interviews, in banking, I was measured by my “gravitas”, which in London, UK meant dignity, seriousness and solemnity. It meant I was someone to be relied upon for important work.
I am not saying this is bad, but I am recognizing it for how it was. For when you are young, you do want to take a load in society and prove you can be someone of importance.
You can take the gravitas thing to far though. It caused enormous stress, fear and spilled over into my whole body. I remember a close friend of mine was hospitalized many times for acute stress. The doctors threatened him with a colostomy before he managed to step back a bit from the brink.
Playfulness may be something you want to hide a little if you are a banker because it scares off the customers. But an internal attitude of playfulness can really help a lot.
Unfettered playfulness is best kept in the nursery if you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a banker, etc but internal playfulness is worth considering (seriously).
I often dream of work situations and people I used to know, but I am never fully part of the team. My role is always being introduced or being included or as a helper. I am not a brick in the establishment. I am always an outsider who is free to behave differently.
An so it is in life. You don’t want to identify with your role too strongly. Otherwise you are trapped. You want to be able to put on or take off different “masks” or “personae” as appropriate. In a management sense, this gives you the benefit of flexibility of styles. In a personal sense, this enables you to live an authentic life.
The cliche that began with Shakespeare in his play, As You Like It, is:
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts …”
It makes sense in life and it is borne out in dream, because dreams hold up a mirror to your life. Your dream self will show you different aspects of yourself and act out different behaviors that you may prefer not to see ordinarily. It may also reveal parts of your repressed personality. It’s certainly worth taking a look.
If you take yourself less seriously and more playfully, you will
- Have more life, more spirit, and more energy
- Enable better healing, allow transformations and create more awareness
- Find muddy puddles as places of fun rather than obstacles to avoid
- Find more fulfillment, more meaning and more purpose in your life
- Find more opportunities to reconnect with your “inner child”
Treating life more as a game will “enlighten” yourself by taking the weight of the world off your shoulders. Your dreams will take on a sense of fun and creativity that comes from freeing up the outpouring of energy into the world through your life.
Dream for fun and play with them. The more you have fun, the more you smile. The more you smile, the happier you will be, and so will everyone else too.