“What’s the dream?” he asks in his baritone voice with a hint of California drawl.
My coach, whom I’ve been working with for months, is not talking about the standard night-time dream with convoluted images and messages, but rather what is the dream I’m working toward?
I’ve always had resistance to this question. It’s felt elusive to me. Primarily because it is an underworked muscle. Lack of attention and my limiting beliefs or “gremlin” mindset have prevented me from fully experimenting with my dreams as an adult. Dreaming has become an atrophied muscle for me. It’s easy for my mind and body to remain focussed on the daily “to do” list or the weekly tasks at hand - but dreaming, imagining - that is the stuff of luxury. Or is it?
I’ve noticed similar responses with my own coaching clients. Dreaming can feel “unrealistic” to some. Others have a hard time visualizing anything in particular. What’s the value of it? How does it serve my daily life? What’s the point of it?
In my experience it is a tool for unlocking possibility; opening up to new perspectives.
As the dreaming conversation continues with my coach I begin to realize that ideas and inspirations come to me when I’m moving; I access freedom and possibility when I’m walking in nature or dancing in my kitchen. I realize the dreaming muscle is closer at hand than I’ve allowed myself to see.
“You’re a kinesthetic dreamer” my coach announces. I pause when I hear this, feeling curious and called to action. And so my practice of kinesthetic dreaming is birthed and named.
Many of us identify with kinesthetic learning - learning that takes place by the student carrying out a physical activity. Kinesthetic learners are often known as “do-ers” according to Wikipedia. But what I’m curious to explore is more of a state of “being” rather than “doing.” I want to bring a sense of play to dreaming, not make it another heady exploration, but to access new avenues and experiment with my body’s intelligence.
My process begins with taking my awareness into my body.
I pause to notice what’s there. I feel a gripping sensation in my shoulders. I use that as the starting point - beginning to breathe and do small movements to start the exploration. Other sensations become apparent - a dullness in my upper back, a heaviness in my legs. I begin to make more spontaneous movements and link my voice to that process. My body intelligence takes over. I let some non-sensical sound, a “plaaahhh” out of my mouth. I’m trusting that my body knows what it’s doing and I let it guide me. I’ve had experience with this type of exercise in my past acting training, but this feels different - it’s freeing and energizing. I check in with myself - what is my body asking for? What is the physical expression of my heart’s longing? At this point it feels like a clearing process, sifting through grey matter to rediscover dreams I’ve forgotten - or more correctly, new dreams that want to surface. I pause and feel a flowing sensation down my arms as if cobwebs were dripping off my fingertips.
I am opening up the channels of receptivity - building the dreaming muscle.