when you need to dream bigger, dream better [essay]

Space and time has us trapped by its laws and we have the option of moving through this reality in a spirit of expansion, aiming higher, growing ourselves ever larger until we are all encompassing and capable of entering into our dreamscape, ambulating through as humanoid giants above a galactic countryside. If we can dream it, we can somehow do it, apparently. Our dreams must exist out there somewhere. So it becomes a journey of discovering the path to that hidden pocket of the universe whence the dream called us. Think quantum Dr. Strange style shit… a dream could be a spot in the universe, sending it’s signal into our brain and then we are pulled to go find it and experience the imagined inside the present. Could we dream any bigger than this?

What are you dreaming? Quitting your job, running away to live in a pink VW van and watching sunsets on an exotic beach i your perfect body? Yes please. How about walking onto a big stage, spotlights shine in your face and the crowd cheers as you drop the sick beats. Yep. Those are pretty big dreams…how do we go even bigger? Should we go bigger? Is there bigger? I could colonize Antarctica or cure cancer or become a teenage mutant ninja turtle. But I don’t care about those dreams.Don’t go big for the sake of going big. It’s better to take what we love and explode it with dream steroids.

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I love to paint human size sunsets in my garage. → BIGGER → I will paint on larger canvases. → BIGGER → I will own my own art studio. → BIGGER → I will hang my paintings in a national museum. → BIGGER → I will sell my paintings at big art auctions. → BIGGER → I will paint artwork that is studied in universities. → BIGGER → I will inspire young girls to paint and be artists when they grow up. → BIGGER → I will lead artist retreats that fund a foundation or scholarship for girls’ art education. → BIGGER → I will be a spokesperson for the value of art and increase art funding in public schools. → BIGGER → I will retire my family with the money I earn from the paintings I sell. → BIGGER → My art will be elected as a representative of the human race when we send our cool shit out on the exploration rockets or whatever the fuck. → BIGGER → I will pick up a Guinness world record for painting an art collection under the ocean… I could go on forever with these ridiculously creative and yet somehow obtainable ideas.

As I make the list, my imagination is sparked. How fun to think outside of the box! But quickly, the game loses its appeal. Bigger doesn’t mean better. Most of those things I listed sound cool on paper but I seriously doubt if I would actually have the desire the follow through on the epic amounts of work required to paint under the ocean or the stomach to handle the highbrow critic-full art industry. It’s easy to dream so big up there in your head that you lose the pulse of your own heart, beating in your chest for the most simple of reasons, the most simple of dreams. I paint because it makes me happy. I love colors. I love being surprised by what comes out on the canvas and the joy of staring at the designs for hours after, the conversations that spark when people stand beside me and together we gaze on the art that came through me. It’s the same with the music I create. I love the music itself and I don’t care anymore where it goes or what it does with its life. Just as if the music were my children. I love them because I love them. It was pure pleasure and honor (and a fuck ton of hard work that made me feel even more committed to the loving of them) to give birth to them, raise them and send them off in the world. I don’t care what my kids do, I just want them to be happy. I don’t care what my art accomplishes, I just want it to be in the presence of happiness, being enjoyed by myself and by others. That can happen anywhere people know how to slow down and be.

The world is changed in the real life present moment. Only in our vague ass imagination do these dreams take up so much space that they actual convince us that our actions will wash over the world like a tidal wave that transforms everything. Not so. Even the pandemic pulses of politics and climate don’t rattle the steadiness of time and space and how they are still just right here and now, equanimous, unruffled by the waves of changing details crossing through the environment of human consciousness.

I drop acid and boom, I’m right here and now again. I look at my cat and she’s like “Hello, I’ve been waiting for you to chill the fuck out and join me here in the present moment again.” I meditate for ten minutes and squirm around uncomfortable and impatient and then around 15 minutes suddenly boom, I’m back in the present moment and my body, just like the cat, raises its eyebrows as if to say, “Took you long enough. Why do you keep leaving?” Whatever dreams materialize in this lifetime, you’re going to experience them in the present moment. You’re going to be standing on that big stage with the spotlights and you’re going to look down and see your piano, the same one that usually in your garage. You’re going to feel like you need to crack your back or you’ll be annoyed that your tongue is burned because you drank too-hot tea before you walked on stage. When you get to that dream moment, it’s going to be the real moment and if you know how to live in the present moment, then it will be magical…equally as magical as every other moment; no more and no less.

So we can dream and we can dream bigger just in the same way we can climb a mountain and get excited about which mountain we’ll climb next BUT the best and biggest dream of all is that we get to live fully along the way. Live in this present moment as you climb your mountain to your dream summits, take every step with loving care and you’ll build that mountain with love from the ground up. I want to stand on top of a mountain made of love, not a pile of shit and stress. When you dream your big dreams, pay attention to the little details of how you will live in that moment of reality.

I dream of performing at The Gorge Amphitheater (it’s my favorite dream and I visualize it as a reference for every song I create). How do I dream bigger here? I don’t need to dream of a stage that is bigger than the Gorge. That won’t make me happy. I want to play the Gorge. End of story. I dream BIGGER by dreaming better. Before I walk on stage, I have the most enriching meditation session overlooking the Gorge. I melt a piece of chocolate in my mouth and my senses light up and I feel so excited. I see all of my friends in the audience. I am on stage with people I LOVE playing music with. I feel confident to try out something new so I feel nervous and excited. I gave away some free tickets to girls who dream of being artists one day. I have my paintings on the stage behind me and on all the merch… oou my paintings could be printed on fabric and floating above the stage in the wind. That looks Gorgeous in my imagination. This is fun thinking this way. This is a much better use of my imagination than pushing myself to be in some national museum or breaking into that museum as a ninja turtle. Simply dreaming “big” might distract you because who decides what counts as “bigger” anyway? Dream better by dreaming bigger life into your dream. Stick with your original dream and fill that dream with bigger intention, bigger mindfulness, bigger heart, bigger love, so you can be more present in every moment on this journey start to finish. Bigger presence is the only thing that’s going to fulfill your hungry spirit, my love. LOVE ❤ CHA

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