Yes to the Dream

catcircleThe Act of Commitment Changes Things: Goethe

 I procrastinate, resist getting down to the task at hand, distract myself in many ways. Resist putting on my walking shoes to get some sunshine and exercise; resist even the simple act of turning on the tap for a glass of water; resist switching on the little torch attached to my dream journal in the middle of the night to record the dream believing that it was so dramatic that I will remember it; which happens – i.e. that I forget –

But when I say yes to my psyche the universe responds. When I say yes to my dream world, my unconscious responds. For me it’s a commitment to take my dream world seriously, a way of answering a yearning somewhere in the recesses of my soul. I want that connection, to myself, the underworld, the depths, the mud and slime and grime, where Death resides. It helps an enlarging of my attitude to life and death, the highs and lows or, as James Hillman puts it ‘… to encourage an attitude that can live with the defeat of our desire to know’. * ref below.

I know that I cannot take my dream literally, that I must live with its ambiguity, its strangeness, its entanglements, its apparent illusions and allusions, and not be attached to what I think it may mean. Psyche, the unconscious, is always in motion, is never fixed and is thus like the dream. Making a quick interpretation kills the dream stone dead. Keep the image alive – let it have its way of change as it meanders forever in its depths …

Photograph taken by one of our sons recently of Angie the ginger on the bed forming a circle

*James Hillman: The Dream and the Underworld

69 Comments on Yes to the Dream

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! Here’s to dreams, yearning, and ambiguity. As usual, I love your quote, this time by James Hillman. Dream and the Underworld is one of my favorites.

    I’m getting close to the end of the alphabet. Here’s to ZZZZZs with dream breaks.

    • Thanks Elaine. Hillman is so great, one of my favourite authors. Yes I’m getting some zzzz’s in – and dreams – that become more and more peculiar.

  2. Hi Susan – interesting to read about the acceptance of a dream … a willingness to keep it or otherwise. I’m not really a procrastinator in real life … I do or do not … early on it was suggested I make up my mind on a difficult decision, if I really had to, I can always change it if I need to. It’s stood me in good stead … but I should also consider it for those general things where it doesn’t appear to matter if a decision is needed, yet for oneself it is important – allowing one to get on and now ‘wallow’ waiting. Thanks for making me realise this … dreams – well I need to have them … cheers Hilary

    • Hi Hilary and thank you .. for coming along and commenting as you have; I have much enjoyed your posts on Cornwall and they’ve made me dream of visiting. Susan

  3. Thank you dear Sis – so nicely put! I agree, I dilly dally about walking, not wanting to, resisting like mad (or any other task), but once I get going, all is different. I confess, I even feel a little virtuous afterwards for a good few moments, sort of ridiculously pleased with myself …

  4. Susan I was going to ask you if this was Angie – and then I read that it is she indeed. It’s a gorgeous picture of her, and very well attached to your Yes chapter. Reading through the comments I am glad to see that I’m not the only procrastinator. At the moment, my big challenge is to become ready and fit enough for my French Camino walk in June. I find when I do say yes (which I really HAVE) to do – sorry you don’t like the word “have” – and I walk 7km up and down hills in the suburbs with a small backpack containing a number of tinned foods, or do push ups and other exercises to strengthen my upper body, the sense of contentment far outweighs the reluctance I initially feel. Thank you for this – I will be more aware of the “Yes”.

  5. There are some dreams I do want to procrastinate over but some I do want to let go. I think when there is something important the dream is telling us, it becomes vivid and remains in memory.

    • Thanks Suzy – my only concern is that sometimes if I don’t record the dream believing I will remember it because it is evidently a particularly important one, is that it disappears. Which causes me to believe in the recording of them. But you’re right, some are particularly vivid and unforgettable …

  6. What a great picture of an adorable kitty! I think you’ve summed it up nicely when you say that it’s a commitment to take your dream world seriously. It is a commitment, and like all commitments, it isn’t always easy to dedicate oneself to the task. As always, your post is a gentle encouragement for us to embrace it. Thank you, Susan.

    • Thank you so much Sara for your kind words … ’embrace’ is a good word, makes me think of bracing … as in winds, fortitude, – those sorts of things .. 🙂

  7. Hi Susan, this post is written for me, so very familiar of what I do, I have been procrastinating, remembering my dreams and not recording, recalling every now and then to check I remember… thanks for this lovely series on dreams, I am glad I read every post of yours, and never missed one… you are an inspiration Susan and I am glad to have found you here in this challenge… thanks for sharing… forgot to mention, its a lovely picture… perfect

    • Thank you Genevive! Even this morning a dream was lingering and I ALMOST didn’t write it down but then I did and it came back to me in the writing, little details.

      And thank you for being such a lovely supporter of this series, I so appreciate it, as I have your lovely posts about life in India ..

  8. I’m sadly so familiar with that resistance, and the more important the task, the larger the resistance. Sometimes I think that I should use the feeling of resistance as a guide for things that I really should do.

    • Thanks Celine, yes so true the greater the task, the greater the resistance. Thank you for the reminder of this. When I get into resistance mode, I ask myself (sometimes) what’s going on …

  9. Susan, sometimes when I read your posts, I find myself almost overcome with emotion–and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. I become so caught up in the day to day trials and tribulations of work, in trying to disentangle myself from the petty politics and stewing resentments, that I allow myself to forget that there is this whole other side to being a human being on this earth. Your posts remind me that my spirit not only needs nurturing but is deserving of that nurture and attention, and that it is my (other) job to ensure it receives them.

    Tonight my flashlight goes to bed with me. Tonight I’m saying yes to the dream.

    • When I’m deep in the dwang with regard to what’s going on around and in me (especially in me) I also forget Kern, that actually there is another side to me. What a relief as the inner lightens and my attitude to the outer is manageable; but also is very real while it happens. For me my dreams keep me animated …

      And thank you for being such a staunch supporter of this series on Dreams Kern. I so much appreciate it. It’s been so great re-meeting you through this process!

  10. Susan, I am only signed up for weekly updates from your site. I am so sorry I have missed out on most of your challenge this year. I have A LOT of catching up to do! I sure look forward to the rain days that keep me inside!
    By the way, way to accept the challenge again this year and run with it!

    • LIz lovely to see you here – I remember you well from last year, or was it the year before .. are you doing it this year? Crazy question to ask on the last day of it!

  11. I do keep the dream alive, Susan. –And I finally put on my shoes and my makeup and walked to the store today: I do procrastinate.

    So sure that I will remember this potent dream I have in the middle of the night, I do not write it down, and then in the morning …

    The thing about dreams is that you can’t rewind and rewatch them, not exactly as they appeared the first time.


    • Thanks Samantha for coming by. You’re right, dreams can’t be rewound and re-watched in exactly the same way, which is as well as our reflection keeps it fluid.

      So, today is Z day! Well done dear friend for doing the A-Z this year! So glad you did and those that found you will have been delighted as I always am. And thank you too for your support to mine not only during this challenge ..

  12. I love this Susan. Claiming that yes feels like such an important thing – I’m really going to be reflecting on that.

    Angie is gorgeous. It wasn’t until your comment that I realized gingers were predominantly male. Considering that I’ve had a lot of orange cat companions in my life you’d think I might have realized that before. Yet another bit of wonderful knowledge delivered via the A-to-Z. 🙂

    • Thank you Deborah. Angie is my son’s cat actually which he got a few years ago from the SPCA and that’s how I know.. I would never have known.

      Thank you for your ongoing support, much appreciated, and it’s bean a pleasure meeting you through your lovely posts.

  13. Angie, the cat, is gorgeous. So true, always good to wait before we read into the dream too fast, like with anything else perhaps. Think about it first, take a moment.
    It’s been such a great ride, Susan. And only one more to go. 🙂

    • Thank you Silvia, she is gorgeous isn’t she and actually a most affectionate cat, unlike Harry our other, though he’s mellowing.

      It has been a great ride and thank you for your ongoing support Silvia! Have you got yours done and scheduled? Zebra is my graphic for tomorrow! 🙂

  14. I can only hope your next A-Z is concerning procrastination. You’ve helped me to better accept my dream world and I am ever so grateful. You’re so very amazing Dear Susan AKA Light Olive Green Roo. Love you girl!!! Coral Roo

    • From one pogroo (pale olive green) to another, thank you Marsha for your always sharing and commenting. Coral Roo is perfect for you – the most beautiful gem.

    • Thank you Gillian … Angie is a she ginger, unusual but she is! Glad you’ve liked the blog and thank you for popping by when you have, much appreciated!

  15. Procrastinate?? Who meee? YUP! I used to be better at stepping up to the plate, but as I age, I’m better at finding excuses. I do enjoy your posts. Dreams can tell us so much about our life. Plus, the dreams can give us directions. There is an amazing amount of depth to dreams… we simply have to open our eyes to the meaning.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m in shock that I survived this far. Congratulations!! Great job!

  16. Goodness, another synchronicity! (your post and mine) We must meet some day! I love the photo, so peaceful, and self-possessed, as well as the Goethe quote along with it. Your first paragraph really resonates. It’s gorgeous. I’m definitely that procrastinator you speak of. Hopefully today I can head out for that all important walk. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • Thank you Stephanie for coming by! Take your dreams for a walk as well … dialogue with them. And you can walk them anywhere really – in the bath, doing chores, painting, reflecting, every day things …

      And thank you for coming by as you have, I much appreciate this. Will be popping along to your post shortly 🙂

    • Thanks for coming by Misha. Those night terrors are there for a reason, some dreams are particularly disturbing and are meant to disturb us, and wake us up! And yes it’s hard …

  17. The curled up cat picture is sweet. I like how you caution us to not interpret the dream too quickly. I have yet to wake up in the night and write down the dream. That will come. Sometimes they are so disturbing that they wake me up. Other times, I remember them in the daylight, and wonder if I’m supposed to be hearing a message.

    • Thanks Mary – those disturbing ones are worth one writing down even if it’s an effort. It gets de-potentiated in a way .. and you can wonder about it in the cold light of day without coming to any conclusions.

      And thank you for coming by as you have during this series, I really appreciate it.

  18. Yes is so difficult as is the dream–stumping and challenging thinkers and philosophers throughout the ages of time…

    • Thank you Susan, no easy answers for sure.

      And thank you for coming by Susan as you have during this series. I really have appreciated your support and your to the point comments.

  19. Susan,
    Love the kitty. I am struggling today to address all the needs of my property — long neglected with invasives and fallen trees and the desire to focus on native species and minimize my work… step by step, piece by piece. I will get a plan and do what I need to do. But the motivation… that’s what I need!

    • Beth, good luck with motivation – that’s a hard one for me sometimes too! But sometimes it’s 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!

      And thank you so much for coming by as you have Beth during this series, much appreciated!

  20. I think all writers (humans!) are familiar with the tactics of procrastination you describe here. I am, for sure.

    A while ago I read a book entitled The Sumer of Yes by Karen Leahy. Affirmation and significant life changes were part of the narrative arc. I think you’d enjoy it!

    Only Z remains. Brava, Susan!

    • Thank you Marian! Nice to know I’m not alone in my procrastination 🙂 .. What a lovely title of Karen Leahy’s book! The Summer of Yes, thank you for mentioning it!

      Thank you for stopping by as you have Marian throughout this series. I really appreciate it so much!

  21. Hi,
    Thanks for a wonderful series. I too go through those same things sometime when it comes to doing the best for me. I procrastinate and find every reason in the world for not doing the things that will move me out of my complacency. However, like you, I have said yes to life, yes to exploring and getting to know myself and each time that this unwillingness happens, I am reminded to be true to myself.

    I love the picture of the ginger cat, Angie, balled up into a nice cuddly, relaxed form, living the moment. I must continue to learn to relax like Angie and enjoy the moment. To let the moment be.

    Congratulations on a successful series. Each day was for me a highlight and I look forward to tomorrow, but right now, I will enjoy the moment of my yes, just like the ginger cat, Angie.


    • Lovely Pat thank you so much! How well you put that ‘… each time that this unwillingness happens, I am reminded to be true to myself’.

      Thank you for your always lovely comments Pat, and for your great support during this series.

  22. A thought provoking post. Thank you, Susan, and for the lovely photo. As a writer I love to connect with the unconscious, and dreams are a path. It’s important to say yes, as often as possible, to create balance in thought. The other side of us is longing to speak, and you never know what will be revealed!

    • Thank you Sharon for your thoughtful comment. Yes, the other side – one never knows! But the longing is there for its voice to be heard in some way or other –

      And thank you Sharon for supporting this series. It’s been great sharing it with you and everyone.

  23. Of late my dreams are so busy that I wake exhausted. They are the dreams of someone who has taken on a new job I think. I’ve dreamed with this ferocity when I was directing plays. Details – my mind a whirring hamster wheel -I long for rest. In my spiritual practice I am encouraged to treat a dream as any thought -label it thinking and go back to my breath. I struggle with this notion. I am not practiced enough to be lucid while dreaming but my struggle is more of being fascinated, attached to my dreams. It is a curious dilemma for a Buddhist psychotherapist who loves dream work.

    • Thank you Jan for coming by. The Buddhist practice is good in that all is fleeting or flees and is impermanent. I would imagine that one would enhance the other … i.e. the dream that lingers and does not flee and the zen-ness of breath and impermanence. What a lovely dilemma! Almost like being caught in the opposites .. at least in my view …

      Thank you Jan for being such a lovely supporter of this series, much appreciated 🙂

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  24. I love the depth of thought in today’s post. One thinks of the inner universe and outer universe; the psychology of struggle with states of mind such as, in one particular instance, resisting to say YESS to dreams; and, the symbolic meaning of the dream stone.

    I also love the photo of Angie the cat that forms a circle. This striking photo is a symbol of the Uroboros, as Anthony Stevens, 1995, page 349, said, “…the cycle of life can proceed on its uninterrupted course.

    • Thank you Joseph, you put it so clearly. And yes, to the stone.

      I almost included my photo of my painting of the Oroboros from a dream sometime last year. I wrote a post on it .. Anthony Stevens is a lovely author.

      Thank you for being a staunch supporter of this series Joseph, I really appreciate it.

  25. I am so with you on this- the conviction that a vivid dream will be retained and the reluctance to come out of it to record. My dreams are now concerned with earlier dreams that are lying in fragments. I dream I have forgotten dreams! I attribute it to the effects of loud hailing, and social (is that an appropriate description?) media!

    • Thank you Philippa for commenting. I read your comment a few ways .. and am unsure precisely what you mean! Broadly, recalling fragmented dreams is no bad thing – it keeps the dream alive. Maybe the function of loud hailing and social media also helps? And thank you Philippa for supporting this series when you have …

      • I did not express my meaning well. What disturbs me is being aware within a dream that other seminal dreams connected to it are mostly forgotten. This dislocation of continuity (dream to dream) seems to have become worse because I am doing little creative writing to ‘anchor’ insights. Or so it seems.

        • Thanks Philippa I also imagined that …maybe just record whatever you can and let it cook and be anchored before being creative about it? Fragments never disappear, even though they be tiny, invisible …

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