Although Bernard starts of lesson 8 by saying, “By now you will know how to recognise the difference between wishes, vague dreams and true desires.” yet even so he goes on to encourage us to dream. He encourages as to dream, but not to stop there.
There is nothing wrong with dreaming, as Bernard points out, it can be a wonderful way to explore possibilities. By day dreaming we can “test the water” and see what something would be like before we commit ourselves. This gives us a chance to explore options; adjust, fine-tune and get a sense of what we really want. In this way day dreams, rightly used, bring clarity. They are like a mental form of window shopping, or even of trying on things for size, till we get to – “Yes, that is what I want.”
That is the job of day dreaming: to help us find out what we want. But as you know it is not usually enough in itself to make things happen. Unless you already have a deeply ingrained positive habit of turning your dreams into thought bricks and beginning to work on them, you will need to take some deliberate steps to bring your desires to fruition.
The key to turning dreams into reality is commitment. Commitment means saying “yes” to what we want and taking action. Yet, something can block our willingness to commit. We may stumble on the stone of “I don’t know how to make this happen!” We may want something, something achievable, but not have no idea – at the moment – how to go about it.
This is where a very practical form of Faith comes in. In one way it is not your job to know “How” something will come about – at least not in the beginning. Your job is to focus on “What” you desire. You need to get the “How” out of the way, for a while, and get clear about the “What”.
Once you are clear about the What then the How starts to take care of itself. Inner prompting will arise. You need to follow them. Ideas will come to you, you need to note them and act on those you can. Notions will come about someone you ought to talk to, or a place you need to go. You may want to sell a product and notice a magazine which would the perfect place to advertise it. You may bump into someone you have not seen for years who can help you with what you are trying to do. In this way you can see that the “How” comes out of you being clear about what you want.
Not everything which will arise in this way will work – at least not in an obvious way. Some of the notions, or promptings, may just be flights of fancy. You may need to sift a bit, to decide which is which. But for the most part, if a notion arises and it is harmless to you and to others then the best way to tell the difference between genuine inner promptings and wispy fancies is to follow up on them and see what happens. Sometimes, it is the only way to know for sure.
If you discover that a notion you had was without substance, that does not mean that it was waste of time – not by any means. It is all part of the process of getting inner clarity. It is all part of you learning discernment and which inner promptings to listen to act on. You will soon learn the difference between the inner “voice” which is real an practical and the one which is not. This comes with practise.
Even wispy fancies can serve a useful purpose of reminding us to let life be fun and not take things too seriously. A chance to gently laugh at ourselves and our quirks and foibles is not a bad thing. It is a chance to affirm that life is good and bountiful and there is room for us to make “mistakes”. We can be playful and still achieve “serious” goals. Sometimes being too serious can be the very thing which is getting in the way of us achieving our goals and being a bit lighter makes life flow a lot better and a lot more quickly.
Know that you are on the way and enjoy that feeling. Making notes in your book about the steps which occur to you will help strengthen the feeling of being “on the way” to what you want in life. But know that this is just the part that you are given to do. Other powers and forces are at work too. They are helping you and assisting you to fulfil your highest potential. There is no need for stress or strain as you have plenty of help.