One of the things that motivated me to create multidays.com was the idea that we can do much more than we think we can. It seems that our perspective of the world is constrained and limited in some ways. We have the thought “I couldn’t do that” or “I could do that but…” and the door is closed. Some times it may be true but I have come to see that life is truly an unfolding flower and what that fully blossomed bud offers is a thing of unimagined and fulfilling beauty.
The last few items that I’ve posted, have concerned people’s deep responses to their lives and how they have expressed themselves in manifesting these aspirations.
Looking back over this February’s posts there was Chris Carver who is planning on running from Otley to London – a journey of 210 miles. Chris developed testicular and lung cancer which has now been treated and which has enabled Chris to run over 140 miles in last years Self-Transcendence 24 hour race in Tooting Bec. To have doubts about the certainty of the continuity of existence is a psychological earthquake that Chris responded to with his life-affirming performance in the 24 hour. Chris found something within him that inspired him to go beyond himself and to carry that forward for others to share.
A few days ago Keith Godden sent me a link to Lee Chamberlain’s post on Ultrarunner.co.uk where he mentioned his upcoming attempt on the 7 day treadmill record. Lee made a previous attempt at setting the record in 2007 and he completed a distance of 410 miles but this wasn’t the record so Lee is trying again and this time his goal is 455 miles. Treadmills takes a bit of getting used to but running on a treadmill for a week is beyond comprehension for all but a few people. To accept and prepare for this challenge it is clear that Lee is motivated and inspired to reach new heights by a powerful force.
Katie Visco, a 23 year-old graduate from Boston, is planning a nine month run across America to inspire other young women to empower themselves through running, Christina Franco a 42 year-old Italian born model is planning on becoming the first woman to trek solo to the geographical North pole. Jesper Olsen, having begun his World Run II in July 2008, is currently in the Sudan – 10,000 km after starting his journey in Nordkapp in the Arctic Circle.
These are truly remarkable individuals who have had some vision or dream which they are able to manifest into reality or are attempting to make real.
How do we go about making our dreams come true?
It seems that there are different kinds of dreams and desires and these touch us in different ways and the nature of that dream usually determines how we can go about manifesting that as a reality in our lives.
One of the first questions that arises then is how do we have a dream? How do we have a dream of our own? What is a dream?
We have thoughts and ideas all the time. There is, in most people, a constant flow of mental activity that proposes perspectives, offers solutions, passes comments on perceived experience. Out of this daily crop arise thoughts that have more appeal, more humour for example and generally more significance than others. These thoughts start arising when we are quite young and become a major influence on how we interact with the world. Every now and then a thought will arise that will inspire action out of necessity. It is a natural meditation on thoughts of this type that enable the thought to blossom within ones consciousness and lead the mind to feel that there is something that can offer something for individual or collective growth, something to fulfil a greater need or for a greater good.
Thoughts of this nature can inspire people to run marathons and ultramarathons for charities for example.
Perceiving some benefit in this idea, not necessarily material or even personal, the idea carries or contains a way for it to reveal itself. As the idea emerges more and more clearly in the mind of its vehicle, so also will the way to that become clearer with further meditation and experimentation.
As an example, I guess Chris Carvers experience with cancer showed him a world that he could contribute to as a gesture of his gratitude for prolonging his life. It’s not a deal he has struck or payment for his treatment but a recognition that others have made sacrifices and have worked toward that which granted him a treatment for his situation and an opportunity for him to share in that offering.
Chris is a runner. He has the capacity to run. He knows how to do it. He knows that he can improve his performances with training. As there are no limits to how far a human being can run, Chris has decided to embark on a journey that he has faith and confidence he will be able to complete. He knows he will need food, fluids, shelter and how best to organise them so his body can maintain the activity he is asking himself to perform. He can select a safe route, schedule meetings with people along the way to help or support in some way or just to run with him. He has technology he can use, cell phone, website, the interest of the charity, friends, family to make the journey from Otley to London. There will surely be novel situations or circumstances that will present themselves to Chris along the way, just as they do in day to day life but there is a special energy that coalesces out of that seed idea that came one day and that will be available to help him overcome obstacles and challenges. Chris is creating an event in this world that stemmed from an inner experience. He has the the means that will enable him to reach London and be able to offer money or an enhanced profile to the charity which will be a concrete expression of a feeling or idea that Chris saw or felt within himself, a dream that he is making real.
I don’t really know Chris. I saw him at one Self-Transcendence 24 hour race at Tooting Bec but I am pretty sure that this is how it is, as it is for most people – some special moment happens when an idea or a feeling or understanding is born that we grasp and nurture and bring to live in this world.
The people I have mentioned here have all been through their own version of this and in their own way and this is something that they are able to give their lives to. On different scales we are all able to interact with ourselves in this way and take our inspirations and do something significant for ourselves as well as for our worlds.
Sri Chinmoy, a man who has inspired me in many many ways wrote:
Our heart’s gratitude
Produces a sleepless energy
Which helps us bring about success
In each and every aspect of our life.
From: “The Inner Running and the Outer Running”
If we can set aside our fears and doubts we can not only have a dream but we can live our dreams and with perseverance and determination we can make our dreams come true and live richer more fulfiling lives.
“We see that the world around us is not so great, and we aspire for it to change, but we have become wary of universal panaceas, of movements, parties, and theories. So we will begin at square one, with ourselves such as we are; it isn’t much, but it’s all we have. We will try to change this little bit of world before setting out to save the other. And perhaps this isn’t such a foolish idea after all; for who knows whether changing the one is not the most effective way of changing the other? …”