About a month ago I was sitting in the sanctuary readying myself for the weekly worship run through. Looking over the script up in the Tech Booth, I immediately see the headline for that week’s sermon — daydreaming. I thought that sounded very interesting to me and wondered where it was going. I didn’t have time to read it, nor do I particularly like reading the sermon beforehand.
Unfortunately, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey had a tragedy that Saturday beforehand. Senior co-minister, the Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael quickly wrote another sermon and that one was never spoken. Understandably so, after all we lost a youth of the congregation, but I sure love to have heard her thoughts. However, the title “daydreaming” did have me thinking about it quite a bit.
It happens to all of us I am sure. We should be focusing on something important — class, reading, an assignment but the mind says nope and wanders off somewhere. Sometimes we just sit back and join the ride. If it’s not wandering to a bad place there’s no point in fighting it, since it may be good for you.
Lately, with my mother in the hospital that’s a lot of what I have been doing. My mind wanders off and I’m lost in a game on my phone not paying attention or just thinking. Sometimes it’s a good thing, I wrote my whole blog, I just needed to type. Other times it works against you such as worrying for example. You end up, as my elder the Rev. Foxxy (Sher) Pullen puts it, “hamster wheeling” the “what ifs” in your head.
Then there are times when you’re not just daydreaming anymore. Those times when you end up in a deep meditation or you’re off on an astral travel. You don’t need to be asleep and most of the time you don’t even have to try. Funny how your mind works.
That trip you wanted to take may be weighing on your mind and suddenly you are there. You can picture yourself sitting on the beach, watching the waves crash onto the sand, hearing the seagulls’ joyful laughter. Okay, maybe that’s where I travel to when I am caught “daydreaming” at times, after all my totem is an otter.
These adventures are fun and you can go just about anywhere without leaving your chair. During the shutdown of the COVID-19 pandemic this was well needed. I’m sure those that could easily astral traveled often.
I believe all of this is necessary though, well all except the wheel. Whatever you do, remember to not catch yourself in this vicious cycle. I have many times and it’s not fun. Sure, what you may have been doing might have been important but I believe your mind knows best. At least sometimes it does. You may be working out a problem in your head — talking to yourself while others are present even.
Then the times I see the work ahead of me and how I need to do it, all of it. I plan the whole process in my head wondering how and if I can get it all done. You can quickly “hamster wheel” here too. That’s when I think of Foxxy’s late husband, my elder, Hermotimus “Herm.” He’d remind us to not look at the pile or long list of things to do. Tackle one thing at a time and you will see how quickly everything will get done. He’s right and I get more done following that bit of advice.
Time flies when you are daydreaming and that could be important especially if you are somewhere you rather not be. The hospital lobby or emergency room are perfect examples. Might as well let your mind drift off, no sense in worrying and stressing out, it’s not helpful.
Your mind can go on any adventure it wants, the key is you need to allow it to happen. Encourage it, and go with the flow. When you do, you’ll surprise yourself with all the places you can go. We all need to daydream now and then.
So whether it is daydreaming or astral travel during the waking hours, it’s important. I believe if done correctly — no “hamster wheeling”– it could be a stress reliever. We all need that no matter who you are or what you do. Try it, don’t fight it, you just may like the spontaneous adventure after all.