While most of us cultivated the fine art of daydreaming as an escape from boredom in school (a practice which serves some of us well at work, too!), daydreams can be used to bring us to new places, teach us more about ourselves, and enrich our lives.
Your daydreams are magical passports. Here‘s how you can travel with them:
1. Find a place and time where and when you can do nothing. This kind of daydreaming requires your full attention, so find a place and time in which you have no responsibilities. Unlike ordinary daydreaming, this is not about escaping from something. It is about going to something.
2. Close your eyes. If you have your own way to relax, feel free to employ it, but definitely close your eyes. Our eyesight can be a distraction, and we don’t want to be distracted from our daydreaming. You might want to take a few deep breaths, inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling slowly through the mouth.
3. Think of something you have wanted to do and have not yet done. Don’t just think about it–actively imagine what you want. The more specific the images, the better.
4. Do what you have wanted to do. Here’s the key. In a dream we can do anything, we can be anywhere. We can travel through time and space. We are not bound by logic or practicality. We can visit the dead, speak to the unborn. There are no limits here other than those that you impose upon yourself.
Again, be as concrete as you can be. If, for example, you’ve wanted to visit France, be specific. France is a large place, but the waterfront, at, say, Marseilles is more specific. I’ve never been there, but I can conjure up a breeze from the sea and the smell of fish. Which leads to…
5. Pay attention to all of your senses. The problem with visualization alone is that it focuses on one of the five senses–the sense of sight. We do more than see when we dream. We feel, and sometimes we smell and touch. Surely in our dreams our sense of sight is foremost–that’s how we’ve been trained. But in a daydream we can use all our senses.
In my Marseilles daydream, I’d allow myself to imagine not only the sight of the harbor but also the smell of the fish, the feeling of the sea breeze on my skin, and the sound of the seagulls. The more senses, the merrier the daydream.
6. Let yourself explore. Now that you’ve reached the place where you’ve wanted to go–explore. Walk, fly, swim if you want to.
7. Do this more than once. Daydreaming takes practice. The more we do it, the better we get at it. Once again, more of what we call daydreaming is about getting away from a particular situation. In imaginative daydreaming we create something to go toward. It takes practice. The sky’s the limit!