Dreaming, Wishing, Then What?

by Belinda Munoz on January 11, 2012

All good things, they say, never last.

It had to end. The holiday state of mind, that is. City-dwellers know that feeling when giant pine trees begin to look smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror as hints of civilization slowly appear up ahead then tract homes and big box stores come into full view. You miss your high-style metropolitan ways but you realize there’s much to love about the country just as you’re leaving it.

And someone, always, is bound to get cranky.

Before you know it, your systems are buzzing, the laundry is piled high enough to blow your record, and slow cooking a la Alice that felt so right in the country means missing all kinds of important meetings.

It’s really quite something how we’ve managed to turn civilization into such a brittle and frenzied state. Always on edge. Poised to crack and crumble.

Who’s responsible for this, anyway? Our predecessors who built the first successful enterprise? Those geniuses who hold the world record in productivity? Our egos so big we cower at their presence? Our evil twin who masterminds evil deeds but never leaves fingerprints?

Dreaming, wishing.

While some of us are ranting about who’s to blame, others are getting busy building a better version of our current collective realities.

William Arthur Ward says if you can dream it, you can become it. We’ve all seen this adage play out in our own lives. But we come to find that dreaming and wishing for oneself has its limits. Sooner or later, we’re itching to expand the dream and including others in it. After all, moving closer from dream to real is that much sweeter when shared with others. And think of all the happy celebrating that takes place when we get there!

What are your dreams and wishes for yourself and others?

I wish for a warmer civilization where nurturing, encouraging and caring for others is the norm. Our current situation is more combustible than warm. I believe we can move toward a more compassionate community as is evidenced by how we can count on an outpouring of support, time and time again, in the midst of catastrophe. We will tap into this reserve of compassion more easily as we gain more confidence in the role we play.

I wish that we’d let our big hearts overrule the big bucks. What’s all that pile of dough anyway besides being just a whole lot of pennies? Money talks, they say? Perhaps, but I myself am moved so much more when I listen to someone who speaks from the heart. And if we one day learn to power all the excess money in the world with our big hearts, do we dare imagine what happens?

I wish that we’d know the difference between urgent because I say so and urgent because humankind depends on it. We see this in the Occupy movement that Elizabeth Warren predicted would happen. We see this when big banks reverse their abominable transaction fee policies because without customers, they’re toast. We see this when women who’ve been hurt build a shelter for themselves and for others just like them so that they may heal together and draw strength from one another. People working together can make a huge positive impact. Do we want to see more of these examples, and if so, what will we do about it?

Though I love feeling the warm sun everyday in January, I wish we would all be attuned to the loud and strong message we’re getting from our surroundings, our planet, our climate. I wish I were overstating this issue, but many really smart scientists who know how to use all kinds of scientific tools have studied the facts. It’s time for us to make drastic changes about how we treat the environment. Making incremental changes may be too little too late and denial is no longer an option.

Dreaming and wishing are fine things.

But let’s not forget:

1. to thank and support those who grasp fully what’s at stake and are unafraid to lead us toward fulfillment of these dreams and wishes.

2. that these dreams and wishes are extensions of ourselves, waiting to be transformed by the work of our able hands and hearts.


Has your holiday state of mind lingered or are you fully immersed in the unfolding year?


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rodolfo in Reverse January 11, 2012 at 6:44 am

Thoughtful post, Belinda. I’m new here…dreaming and wishing of starting my own blog very soon and finding many wonderful posts to inspire me. I actually live in the country, so I often have the experience you describe at the beginning of the post in reverse: I leave the lights and activity of the nearby “big” town behind to drive back to our country cottage and the quiet life. Your final question is what really got me…I don’t know if I’m fully immersed in the new year and its possibilities yet, but your post got me fired up. Thank you and I will return to the halfway point early and often!


2 Mimi January 11, 2012 at 9:09 am

I found you through a spirituality website and have been following your blog ever since. Your questions resonate with me as I, too, feel the sense of urgency that you communicate through this post. Thank you for asking these questions.


3 BigLittleWolf January 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm

What a thoughtful, intelligent, encouraging post. Wishing and dreaming are so much a part of the human animal, and we should be happy with that. But wishing and dreaming become more possible when we are inclusive, especially if the dream is for more of us to share the dreams we have as individuals and families and communities.

And when you peel away the “everything” that so many people think they need, what they truly need – and want – is about self-respect and the affection of others, and meaning.

Thank you for bringing us back to meaning.

After dreaming and wishing?

Action. Small actions in reaching out, in speaking out, in reminding ourselves and each other what matters. In doing something so more people can enjoy what matters. Going beyond wishing and dreaming.


4 ayala January 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

A great thought provoking post. Actions at times can be small yet speak volumes. It can be overwhelming to have the desire to help all those that need it, but we must reach those that we can. Wishing and dreaming is always positive.


5 Cathy January 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I must concur with BLW. Dreaming and wishing is fine but it leaves your head in the clouds. Doing is what matters, what makes a difference. Happy new year Belinda. My holiday spirit is gone but I’m okay with that. I find it overwhelming and stressful. Now I can simply relax – and hope for snow.


6 Hilary January 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Hi Belinda .. good to see you commenting over at my blog – thanks for that.

Gosh – dreaming and wishing .. don’t help much – except perhaps to remind us where we should be – I do it every morning, but don’t rise and shine earlier! Then I can’t catch my tail for the rest of the day … however

… being us, being relaxed, not fretting, giving a little more time to people, not rushing off … doing what we do, not what others expect … life is ours. I love your words: “I wish for a warmer civilization where nurturing, encouraging and caring for others is the norm. ”

We cannot change the world ourselves, but we can set examples, and lead by being responsible for our actions … which some will catch on to – we are way too selfish as ourselves. But just do all the things we believe in ..

Have a good year – and I do hope it rains soon .. reminds me of when I left SA – I was quite glad to be back in cool England .. except we had a warm summer that year – 20 years ago! Cheers for now .. Hilary


7 Sara January 19, 2012 at 11:18 am


I read through all the comments, curious about others felt about this great post. I think we have to wish and dream — it makes us see our possibilities and disconnects from being stuck in the mud of every day life.

But, like others said…dreaming without action is like believing in a mirage — it leaves us with false hope. We have to find ways to take a step and then another one and another one to make dreams come true, whether they be personal or global.

Dreams come with responsibility.


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