Dreaming and Imagining

I went to a conference last week on the Gulf side of Florida. I absolutely love the area and the people were incredibly nice. The conference was on private practice and there were large workshops and breakout sessions for two days. One of our speakers finished his presentation, which was very good, and stood still for a second, then collapsed on the floor. It turned out he was okay, fortunately. He had been working long hours, not hydrating and hadn’t eaten any breakfast. He fully rested until the next day when he returned.

Self-care is so important and underrated in our culture. My colleagues and I talk about sleep deprivation a lot. We hear about students pushing themselves to do more, be more, compete, push, have more drive. Nobody ever writes a headline that says, “Great job getting 8 hours of sleep!!” Yet we cannot function without healthy amounts of sleep. Most of us know about sleep apnea, but we don’t know all the dangers of having it untreated for a long time. They are significant. We know people who snore and we laugh, or express empathy because we understand they’re tired. People in positions of leadership brag about how they can function on just a few hours of sleep. None of us can truly think clearly without a proper amount of sleep. 

We underestimate the need for self-care and pride ourselves on being able to tough it out. There’s nothing wrong with toughing it out when appropriate. There is joy and satisfaction in accomplishing something difficult. A friend of mine in the medical field went to Tanzania. While she was there, she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. That was awesome! We can only tough it out when we are mentally, physically and emotionally prepared. We can only embrace our goals that grew from hopes and dreams when we are nourished in every way.

George Lucas said, “Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it. ” He wasn’t talking about dreams we have when we’re asleep. Lucas was talking about our hopes and dreams; dreams that are part of a vision and can become goals. Imagination is something that needs to be fed and watered.

 In a few weeks, my spouse and I will be going to Madrid and joining a group of people who will walk the El Camino de Santiago with us. There are several routes that are known as El Camino de Santiago. This walk, or pilgrimage, as it’s known, is not something I ever imagined we’d do. Until about six months ago.  I saw the advertisement for it and said to my spouse, “We should do this!” I love to walk and I love to take photos. Walking 10 -12 miles a day will be different, for sure! We’ve been training for a while and that’s been really good. I am grateful for the excitement and encouragement we have gotten from people. It’s been amazing, when we’ve mentioned to someone that we were doing this, someone else nearby will say that they just came back from El Camino de Santiago and they share a little about what it was like for them. And they tell us how to take care of ourselves; they tell us what they learned about self-care. We’ve been in the process of imagining what this will be like. I know we’ll be able to do this. We’ve been dreaming, imagining and taking care of ourselves. Here’s a place for you to begin self-care and feed your imagination!


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