This piece was inspired by a story John Mellencamp told at his fall of 2010 concert at IU. Since junior high when he was still known as Johnny Cougar, I have been inspired by the music and especially the poetic lyrics of Mellencamp. He shared with us that night that he had just turned 60 and how strange it was for him to have the young guys passing him on the street seeing an old man when he didn't feel that way at all. He added that he wanted to tell the youngins' that one day believe it or not, they will be old men too.
Before he sang his new release "Save Some Time To Dream," he told the back story. Mellencamp's 80 year old dad had phoned him and he was telling his dad ALL that he had going on and that life was happening at a frenetic pace. His dad listened and from the wisdom of 80 years on this earth, he advised his son, his child: "Don't forget to save some time to dream, Johnny."
This is my INVITATION to you all: SAVE some time to dream as dancing with the universe includes sitting still...DO. BE. DO. BE. DO.
Life expresses uniquely through each of us. These various expressions are the birthing of dreams throughout our lives which stoke the fires of an adventurous journey where we listen with the heart and let its wisdom guide us. The Yogis say the longest 18 inches is the journey from our head to our heart. The head often gets stuck in the expectations of family and culture, defining success as it has been conditioned to see it. Dreams are born of the heart which is the wisest part of us, the keeper of the truest self that is free, fierce, untamed and full of possibilities.
I remember the feeling of when I was living one of my dreams, owning a thriving business that I gratefully gave myself to day in and day out for over twelve years. And I remember the feeling when the dream that had been was no longer. My life had become stale, joyless, over-burdened with obligations. The passion was gone and I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid of jumping off the crazy-train because it was familiar and worried what others would think. I didn’t know who I was outside of what I did. I feared my husband wouldn’t love me if I wasn’t bringing home the money we had grown accustomed to and I grew increasingly bitter toward him for being so happy and enjoying life while I sacrificed myself (for us) like a good martyr.
There was a stirring within that wouldn’t be dismissed, a struggle to repress or flow with what wanted to come through, but I continued to hide from myself with chronic busyness.
My brother had been battling metastatic prostate cancer and had received word that there was nothing more they could do. Looking into his eyes, I asked him, “How does it feel to know that your death is imminent?” His silence said what he couldn’t. In this sacred space, I felt safe to share with him that I wanted to write a book – something I didn’t want to admit to myself. He urged me on saying, “Don’t wait.” I knew he had experienced many dreams come true but many he had postponed would die with him. It became clear that life is now and someday may never come.
The next day I began to write my book which was a 2 ½ year expedition. I imagined myself gleefully typing away, but in actuality, I found myself on the floor in a puddle of tears wondering what the hell I had done, as I cracked open wider and wider. I had to let go of who I thought I was to allow more of myself to surface and this continues to be true as more life emerges.
Today, I understand fully the gift of this moment, this day and measure living the dream by loving my life. If I am not feeling the love, I assess what is blocking the flow of life and make choices that free me.
Meditation: The ancient Greeks did not write obituaries. At the end of a man’s life, they simply asked one question: Did he have passion? How would those who know you respond to this?
Action: Listen to John Mellencamp’s song, Save Some Time To Dream and read the lyrics: Save some time to dream…save some time for yourself…don’t let your time slip away…or be stolen by somebody else…save some time to dream ‘cause your dream might save us all.