Juggling fantasy and reality can be challenging unless we find a natural balance and rhythm. As someone who enjoys fiction reading and writing, I often find myself buried in make-believe. I spend a lot of time crafting fictional stories. Deep thought, though necessary for birthing a story, often excludes family and friends. And even when family or friends are around, I’ve found myself distracted by fantasy. At times, I’m out of balance.
Take a look at the photo above. I could fantasize about the other couples walking hand in hand along the shore. Or I can choose to create my own memories with my partner. I can imagine a great white shark lurking in the dark water and scoping out the nearest surfer. Or I can actually focus on the pod of dolphins frolicking at the edge of the surf.
In both examples, the first image creates a sense of anxiety. Fantasizing about the other couple’s lives can create a grass-is-greener feeling of envy. The shark example, straight out fear. Chosing to be present, to employ my senses, is awe-inspiring because those experiences are tangible.
Finding a balance plays a crucial part in improving our lives and relationships. By experiencing reality, we create meaningful memories.
To coral my creative nature, I have a notepad on my nightstand, in the kitchen, and in the theater room. I also carry a small notebook inside my purse and behind the seat of my car. I never know where or when a new story idea or intriguing character might spring up, but capturing the thought and holding the idea aside until the proper time has helped me to balance creativity and life. I suppose jotting down an idea halts further fondling as well, and allows me to balance fantasy and reality until I say when.
Getting lost in another’s story is a wonderful treat no less satisfying than a vanilla bean sundae with hot fudge… sorry, but you get the picture. A sundae every once in a while is an awesome treat, even a daily scoop (chapter) of ice cream is fine, but fill every moment buried in someone else’s story and we forget to build our own. Eventually, we will become desensitized to reality.
Living in the Now:
Give yourself permission to experience life by interacting. Listed are some examples of how you can taste reality: volunteer, exercise, take a vacation, hang out with friends, listen to music, get a massage, or try a new food.
Heightening senses forces us out of our heads and allows us to capture real sensory reactions, emotions, and thereby creates real, not fictional, relationships and memories. And also a more natural rhythm.
In my quest for balance, this week I planned and experienced the following:
- A romantic weekend in Carmel with my spouse.
- Weekend Mt. Shasta lacrosse tournament rooting for my son’s team
- Pizza party with friends
- Walked with a neighbor
- Tried a new Banana Nut Bread Recipe
- Started plotting a new story
I found balance and in doing so I stoked my muse.
Maybe, I’ll create a new romance between a traveling lacrosse coach and a Carmel patisserie chef who meet beachside and end up falling in love while savoring pizza…
See, by learning to juggle fantasy and reality, you, too, can find balance and rhythm. And maybe more…
Have any plans this upcoming week? Something inspiring to share?