What dreams do you have?

Recently, my daughter went to a women’s retreat organized by her good friend, Cindy.
This was the third weekend retreat that Cindy has organized and there were 25 women there this year—a network of young professional women, many of them in journalism or related fields.
The retreat is a perfect way for busy women to get away from their families and their professions for a refreshing and enriching weekend. And what a weekend it was!
My daughter came home excited and ready to get to work again. She had gone horseback riding, played Mah Jong, had stimulating conversations, carved pumpkins, tried archery for the first time, and studied tea-making—complete with a lesson in what tea mixtures can help with healing.
The women also made s’mores and sang around a campfire after a moonlight walk. But the activity that most intrigued me was “treasure mapping.”
The treasure-mapping concept comes from “Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life” by Shakti Gawain, a book that has sold more than six million copies in 30 languages.
Gawain describes creative visualization as the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life. And one technique she recommends is treasure mapping.
To make a treasure map, you first define something specific that you’d like to see happen in your life. It can be a material possession, an improved relationship, or an experience, such as travel. Or you could do a treasure map for your whole life.
After identifying your treasure, look through magazines to find visual images that represent that experience or goal. Then, take a large sheet of paper and begin putting together a collage to create your treasure—paste an image of yourself, something that represents God or the eternal, and the pictures you cut out of the magazine.
The final step is writing on the collage something like this, “My goal should manifest itself in harmonious ways for the good of all.” After all, you don’t want any selfish dreams that aren’t good for other people.
If you find this exercise grade-schoolish, think again. Just how are you going to fulfill your dreams, unless you have dreams?
Some people think dreams and goals are for young people, but that is a foolish idea. Young people have their whole lives ahead of them, but older people do not have unlimited time.
So it is much more important for older people to know what they want to accomplish in their remaining years.
Why not sit down right now with a cup of coffee and do some creative visualization. What are your dreams? Do you want to write your memoirs, or put your personal theology on paper?
Do you want to piece quilts for all of your grandchildren, or do you dream of winning a national award for your watercolour painting?
Do you want to make a difference by volunteering, or would you rather start a business? Do you want to plant a wonderful garden, or learn to play the piano?
Whatever your dreams, don’t let them die. And possibly, a treasure map could help you define them. Always remember, when it comes to creating the life you want, it’s up to you to take charge?
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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