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Last week I was listening to BBC Radio 4 You & Yours episode, Dreaming the Dream in the Third Age, just after the New Year no less. Another year gone, another year older and hopefully we all mentally or emotionally grew a little bit in 2016. It’s funny how the end of the year always seems like it comes up so quickly, despite us have 364 days to acknowledge the passing of time. The podcast focused on finding your passion after retirement and having the freedom to pursue it, as well as, the impermanence of our lives as a whole.
We can talk all day about the stresses of our lives and needing to put them aside but considering your dreams and spending time being grateful is another great way to naturally diffuse the tension in your day. I don’t mean what you dream of for dinner, or a fantasy world or even having a pinterest-ready apartment. What do you dream about being, doing, seeing? They talked in the podcast about having the financial freedom to pursue their passions, but for some of us it takes a long time to figure out what those passions are. Some of us don't consider our dreams very much until we give ourselves the time to, and it can take up until retirement to really discover what we love to do. When we start to put thought into these ideas every day, to open our minds and hearts to new ideas and to try new things, we start to discover a whole new side of ourselves. We start to realize those dreams.
The second part of the podcast discussed the recognition that we are going to die. There are a couple ways to take this and on a general whole, we all think of death as a morbid and upsetting topic. Why do we consider the inevitable end of life this way? Whether consciously or subconsciously, the idea of dying naturally brings up a sense of regret-- I meant to do all these things, I meant to spend time with these people, I never got to go to these places. This, to paraphrase, is what tends to inspire the “mid-life crisis”. Suddenly, after 40 or 50 years of age we realize that one day we will die and now is the time to do all the things we said we would and open ourselves to new experiences.
My question is, why wait? Why wait until you are halfway through living to question your priorities and be conscious of death? Recognizing that we will die doesn’t have to be a depressing thought, it can be an invigorating one! Yes, today is temporary, so make it count! Reflecting on this idea can inspire us to live the lives we really want to be leading and help us identify our true priorities in life. What matters most to you? Do the things you say you will do. Spend time with the people who are important. Put energy into your own dreams, every day.
Another year has begun and 2017 could be the year of dreams. The first step to taking on your dreams is waking up with a fresh and calm mind so you can think clearly. Listen to Sleeping by the Sea tonight to relax completely and wake up rested tomorrow. If you need a longer meditation to help your mind settle this evening, I invite you to contribute to our fan-funded Patreon page where for a small donation you can listen to many long play sleep meditations that can help you relax and fall asleep in a way that supports your desire to make your life the best it can possibly be.
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