CHANGE

It has been said that the only constant in life is change. And boy have we all experienced it in the last 2 years. I remember praying for the return of normalcy, only to be presented with new challenges. It is truly inevitable.

I think part of our tendency to avoid or fight change is the feeling that we are losing control. It might be overly philosophical to question if we ever truly had control in the first place, especially when we see daily evidence that seemingly supports the notion that we do have control. Take for instance your decision to get out of bed, brush your teeth, and go to work every day. While some might agree that there could be a higher power that woke you up in the first place, you did have to make a decision at will to commence your day. It is not as if there are magnets underground dragging you to your intended destination each day. Or are there?

I would like to believe that we do control a good portion of our lives by what we say and how we think. A few years ago, I made a (daily) commitment to write down my goals for the year every day in a notebook. As the year progressed I found myself actually checking off items from that list. By the end of the year, all of those goals had been achieved. Writing it down and seeing it every day changed something in my psyche and in the world around me. It was as if everything in the universe was working towards propelling me towards that goal.

I am sure we have all encountered individuals or groups that did the exact opposite. You may have told them your goals or expressed a certain vision that they could not see or appreciate. Rather than encouraging you or helping you find resources to make those goals a reality, they researched all the ways your plans would fail and made sure to expedite their doubts and negative energy to you as often as they could. This world is full of energy that is constantly looking for balance. How many times were you successful in environments like that? Places where you felt you were stupid for dreaming? Places where “reality” was shoved down your throat in the name of “being honest” or “support”?

If you are in the aforementioned situation, I urge you to leave IMMEDIATELY. This world is already too grim to have the flames of your dreams extinguished by those who do not share the same winner’s mentality. You have to surround yourself with people who get it. People who understand that just because you do not have it now, does not mean that you never will or are not supposed to.

This concept reminds me of the times that I would try to get a job in retail as a teenager. Every job I went to wanted me to have prior experience in the same field. But I had never worked a day in my life-where was I supposed to start if they all wanted a pro at the cash register or doing store inventory?

The same applies to your dreams. Obviously they have not come true for you (yet), but those without vision will explain to you that since you are not experienced in having this dream become reality, that you should stop dreaming. Or if they simply cannot imagine this dream coming true, they will dissuade you from pursuing it. Do you want to know why it is called YOUR dream or YOUR vision? Because it is YOURS to understand and YOURS to fulfill.

So to close, I will leave you with a playful anecdote about the little engine that could (SPOILER ALERT). A small engine train was sent on a mission to pull another, larger train that had broken down over a mountain. Now I am sure that the bystanders were looking at the train like “Are you serious? You think a train as small as you can accomplish this daunting task? We had better get a bigger train in here to fulfill this mission.” Sorry to spoil the ending to this children’s story for you if you have never heard it, but the little engine train accomplished the task. And do you want to know what the driving force (no pun intended) was for this train? The little train repeated the phrase “I think I can” over and over again until she made it to the other side.

I THINK, THEREFORE I AM.

Remember the power of positive thinking, positive affirmations, and a positive environment to nourish your desires. I promise you, the formula is that simple! All it takes is will power.

A Different World

Last year, I declared 2019 as a year of sowing seeds; the fruit of which I would harvest in 2020. There was so much anticipation for the new decade on December 31st, 2019! The decade of practicing as a board-certified physician, the decade of perhaps staying in once city for more than a few months! The decade of stability. For the most part, everything has come to fruition. It really felt ALMOST like smooth sailing until those first few news reports about COVID-19.

Flash-forward to April 1st and it truly feels like a sick joke. If someone had told me that within the first half of the year, a pandemic would ensue, claiming the lives of so many, and practically shutting down the world as we know it, I would have laughed hysterically. And yet here we are. So where do we go from here?

I think it is really important for us not to lose sense of who we were prior to all this chaos. I, for one, had several rules and regulations for how I was going to conduct my daily business. And with the present circumstances it has been extremely tempting to backtrack. The fact of the matter is this can be toxic and detrimental to the success you have already made. Take, for instance, the undeniable isolation that many of us feel at this moment. It feels almost obligatory to reach out to any and everyone and let bygones be bygones. But during one of my usual musings, I realized that I do not owe anyone who I would not have spoken to prior to COVID-19 a conversation. Because once all this is over, and hopefully that will be very soon, there is THAT to deal with.

It is a time that has made me go back-and-forth about my duty as a Christian and my duty to my sanity, which I truly hope go hand-in-hand. None of us have all the answers. But we tend to do what makes life work.

And then I realized that all those great things I planned for myself ARE still happening. Just not with the ability to be outside as much or celebrate the way we would have before all of this madness.

So in case my words become a time vault of times long gone to a future reader, I will say this. Aside from the barren grocery store shelves that were once stocked bountifully with toilet paper and hand sanitizer, all is not lost. We still have humanity. We still have love. We still have life. We have the ability, duty, and right to express ourselves the best way we know how. All it takes is courage, wherever that may be at this present time. Find it, value it, and never let it go. Because when we can hug each other and be closer than 6 feet apart from our neighbors, I pray it will be a different world. One that has changed for the better.

DREAM INTERPRETATION

Have you ever woken up from a dream that felt so real, you thought it was happening? I have periods of time when I dream, and periods of time that I call “dry-spells”, no dreams whatsoever. I have read several articles in which the writers believe that dreams are a reflection of our subconscious. Some even go on to say that dreams can provide a window into the spiritual realm. I am a believer of both.

This post is by no means meant to be scientific, but just a collection of thoughts and summary of my feelings towards dreams and their role in our lives. In all my life, I can say that I have had a handful of dreams that I still remember. And the reason why I remember them is either because they were super weird or scary, or because they were hilariously outlandish.

Some dreams have even caused me to literally wake up and PRAY. I pray over my life, my family, my goals, my dreams. To someone who may not be spiritual, this might sound like an absurd practice. But for me I believe that dreams should be taken seriously to some extent. Especially if you are of the opinion that dreams reflect the subconscious.

During our busy lives, our subconscious picks up on nuances that our conscious minds might neglect or fail to prioritize. When we sleep, our brains can make sense of these nuances, and string together what might appear to be unrelated thoughts or feelings. In other words, our dreams can provide clarity for situations that, while awake, might be foggy. This is probably the premise for the old saying “I’ll sleep on it” when we are confronted with an issue that might not be able to have a quick solution.

How about the dreams that depict terrible circumstances? Like danger, illness, or even death? If you are not spiritual, what do you do about those? Do you just ignore them, or do you feel compelled to do something about them? Do you try to Google interpretations about key objects in your dreams, such as bicycles, certain animals, or even certain time periods? Can you talk in your dreams? Do you see color or are they void of any hues?

Personally, I like to talk to trusted friends or loved ones about dreams that concern me, or those that excite me. I don’t think it hurts to try to at least analyze the components of this mirror of your subconscious mind. I also try to take these interpretations with a grain of salt. Sometimes what you do or think prior to going to bed can influence your dreams.

One of the most memorable dreams I had was when I was studying abroad for my Basic Sciences as a first year medical student. I was fighting a snake woman, a medusa of sorts. And I had a Rosary wrapped around my wrist and started praying, and she was set ablaze. I told my mom about it, and she said that meant that I had defeated my enemies (whoever they were). That dream was so crazy, I ended up fasting and praying the whole next day. I felt that compelled! I have also had funny dreams, like the time I dreamt that I met Ellen Degeneres while having dinner at an outdoor restaurant that probably does not exist in real life. I actually chuckled at that one.

I am interested in hearing about your thoughts about dreams. Please share them below. And if you feel comfortable, what was your most poignant one?