Balls-to-the-walls, Mondo Beyondo, [Insert Similar Phrase Here]

I am taking a class in DREAMING.  Maybe this photo is appropriate for this announcement.

It’s true.  The skeptical side of me is laughing a little rudely right now.  But, this skeptic has also been mocking me for most of decisions I’ve made over the past 3 months (the yoga, the blog, the desire to be a Shivanaut– more on that one later), and I’ve rarely found myself happier or less anxious.  So, take that skeptical me!

The conversation with myself went down a bit like this:

“Laura, wouldn’t now be a really great time for your to invest some energy in dreaming big.”

“But I don’t actually need that, because I’m taking concrete, methodical steps to reach my goals.”

“True.  But, maybe you could use all of the help you can get.  And you have a coupon for the program.”

I’m a sucker for a good deal, so maybe that was the clincher.  And that’s how I’m here, starting week 3 of a 6-week daily dreaming class based out of San Francisco.  No surprise:  In San Francisco they can use words like ‘affirmation’, ‘intention’ and ‘universe’, and no one wonders if they are being euphemistic.  Here in Minnesota, those things don’t fly as well.

I might be less skeptical if I hadn’t been raised by spiritual parents in rural Ohio that casually used phrases like ‘your divine self’.   But here I am: a skeptic and a pragmatist.  I don’t want you to look at my aura, and I don’t need to go back to Sand, Sea, and Spirit, the ocean-side retreat that we went to when I was 10.  It’s just a little uncomfortable for me.  So in touch.  So much singing.

Here’s the thing, though: life as a skeptical pragmatist is overrated at best.  It takes so long to get things done, because your judgey parts are constantly showing themselves, and you’re always asking DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?  IS IT SUSTAINABLE?  So, lately, I’ve been practicing ACTION, which is way better than thinking.  I highly recommend it, in fact.  And, it was this little action voice that saved my ass a few months ago when I did two very smart things that started making my life a lot nicer:

:: I went to a therapist!  It’s true.  I actually only saw her for a few months, but it really helped me work past some things that were standing in my way and dragging me down.  Namely: me.

:: I bought the infamous coupon for 2 months of unlimited yoga!  And, I practiced being a beginner at something, and realized that it was pretty fun.  (More on that another day.)

From there, I got crazier I guess, because here I am….DREAMING!  This past week, as part of the class, I made a Mondo Beyondo list.  It’s called ‘Mondo Beyondo’ because it’s just that- a list filled with crazy, gigantic, seemingly unbelievable dreams!  It was hard for me.

I like goals.  But, goals aren’t the same as dreams, the wonderful Andrea Scher explains (you really should read her blog, Superhero Journal if you don’t already).  I have plenty of lists of goals.  But, a dream is your heart’s desire (I shuddered just then).  The aim is to get in touch with the things that don’t necessarily make sense; to get in touch with the less practical, seemingly unattainable hopes that you have.  Want to write a book?  Or study the art of cooking tapas in Barcelona?  Or ride your bike across America?  That kind of thing.

So I sat down, I did it.  I wrote for 10 minutes, without stopping, working past the goals I was familiar with into bigger and bolder dreaming territory.  Then I rested, and jumped back in for 10 more minutes.  It was liberating.  I gradually transitioned through the ‘who am I to do THAT?’ feelings, and into the ‘I could actually make that happen’ zone.

Then I sealed it up, as per instructions (I follow instructions very well), and will open it up in a week WHEN I AM INSTRUCTED TO DO SO.

There is a point to this (other than insisting that you write your list!), and that is….THANK YOU!  

My interest has always been in art as a means of participation and community, and one of my most gigantic Mondo Beyondo desires has been to develop community around the experience of being an artist & freelancer.  Thank you, friends, for sharing this writing on facebook, the twitterverse, and for your nice comments over the past couple of months as I’ve outed my blog.  I do see it all, but I’m shy and full of Minnesotan humility and inner conflict.

I’m excited about some future Mildly Minnesotan goals:

:: I’m aiming to post more often.  I have a whole lot of thoughts about freelancy/making your art a business kind of things, and I’d really like to hear your thoughts on these things, as well.

:: You will soon get to say goodbye to my totally janky iphone/instagram photos, because one of my action things is (drumroll please) learning to use our digital SLR.  You awesome photographer people: DO. NOT. JUDGE.  These are baby’s first photos, and they are works in progress.  But, I made it through my first lesson without getting snappy with Ben, and I even took notes and generated a few photos of my new spice jars!

:: This past week, winter arrived in Minnesota.  I’ve been putting a hold on my WINter project, but I expect to have it all up and running by the end of the week, and will post a link then.

So, go write your list.  I will go practice with my camera.


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