I may or may not have come up with this idea in the middle of an argument. But despite its origin story, since then, my affinity for this concept has only grown stronger…
What is reckless dreaming?
To me, reckless dreaming is imagining a realm of possibilities without fear holding you back. A world where anything is possible. A space where all of your deep-set beliefs can be challenged. A place where anything goes.
Now I’m not saying you have to live in that world. Obviously, we live in a reality where there are certain physical laws we have to obey, like for example, gravity. But I think the nature of our physical reality and where we are right now, should never stop us from dreaming big. It’s about being completely open and completely free from preconceptions. Reckless dreaming may seem pointless at times; why would I think about tattoo designs if I know I’m never going to get a tattoo?
Because what matters is the principle. It’s about being open and taking anything into consideration. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything or act on everything, but entertain the idea, really hear it out. Because I think what happens when we don’t open ourselves up to reckless dreaming, we are protecting ourselves in a safe and limited world of thinking. If we can’t forcibly open ourselves up to ideas, then it’s almost certain that we have a world of limiting beliefs holding us back in other areas of our lives.
I’m going to assume we’re all familiar with the polar express for a minute. (If you haven’t seen the movie yet, take this opportunity to go watch it!) In the movie, the kids have a bell and you can only hear it, it only works, if you believe in Santa Claus. Now, I’m not saying you need to believe in Santa to reap the power of reckless dreaming, but I think this bell is a beautiful example of a physical manifestation of beliefs.
You see, I think part of the reason that people don’t question or challenge their belief systems enough, is because we can’t readily see how they’re affecting us. When it’s not exactly clear how having a closed way of thinking might be affecting you, there’s no reason to rethink it right?
The issue is that these beliefs do actually affect us; the effects are often unseen, or minute, or compound over time. But the effects are hidden and so without any kind of constant feedback, it’s much harder to iterate and improve. However, I think people are finally starting to realize the extensive effects that our subconscious beliefs can have on our physical reality.
I became even more aware of my belief systems when I started exploring lucid dreaming. My primary interest in lucid dreaming is that it is a physical reality that manifests our subconscious beliefs. What does this mean? By exploring the physical world lucidly in a dream, we can see our belief systems in action, learn about them, and maybe even find ways to change, improve, or expand them. How cool is that!??
A simple, concrete example of this principle can be found in flying. If you believe that an object in your dream has the power to fly and take you with it, then it will. So if I know, and truly believe, that my flip flop will help me fly, then it will. But if you start doubting how a flip flop could possibly support an entire human being through the air, then you might find the flip flop begins losing power and you may fall to the ground as a result. I adapted this example from Robert Waggoner’s Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, which helped me realize the profound depths and possibilities that can be found in experimentation with lucid dreaming.
So what does lucid dreaming help show us more vividly? Our belief systems affect our physical reality. They affect our choices, our actions, our emotions and much more. And that’s why it is so essential to make sure you’re in the habit of being open to new ideas. Because it is impossible to have a 100% correct belief system. And honestly, that would be no fun.
So how do we practice reckless dreaming?
Dream about what your first tattoo might look like, even if you know you’ll never get one…. I’m kidding; obviously there’s no one strategy to practice staying open to new ideas. What I’ve been doing a lot recently is trying to stay aware so that I can notice when I have resistance to an idea. If I feel that resistance, then it’s a signal to me that I need to relax my defenses and take more time to consider this idea than I normally would. Sometimes this means letting the idea simmer for days. Sometimes this means actively seeking out research and testimonies of people who support the idea. So in a way, using my natural reaction to push something away, as an opportunity to bring this idea in closer, and in doing so, expanding my possible ways of thinking and the breadth of ideas to which I am open.
I would say, don’t start with ideas you are vehemently opposed to. Since this is just supposed to be an exercise for fun, take it easy, and work your way in. For example, I’ve been hearing a lot about the law of attraction and manifestation for the past few years and to be honest, I’ve always thought it seemed kind of fake and really far “out-there”. However, recently I have challenged myself to explore this matter more deeply, especially since it seems more-or-less in line with my ideas about reckless dreaming, so I plan to make a youtube video exploring the subject more deeply soon. I think also, the most practical way to practice the idea of reckless dreaming is to start with ideas that sit right on the boundary of your beliefs. It’s much easier to be open to something that almost falls in-line with what you already believe than something opposed to it, so in considering these ideas you (1) practice strengthening your ability to have an open-mind and (2) might find some new beliefs that you actually adopt into your belief system, thereby increasing the size of your belief system as a whole.
I know all of this seems really vague, but the point of the matter is this: Dream big! Don’t be afraid to have crazy ideas. If you can’t even get out of your own way in your head, how can you expect to do so in real-life? It may seem pointless at times, to work so effortfully in the cubic foot that contains your brain, but what goes on in there can literally move mountains.
So don’t be afraid. Open your mind. Expand your world. Dream those big dreams. And don’t let anyone stop you.