Dreaming In Real Time – by Myrtle Sodhi

Have you ever drooled over something so much that you could barely wait till you got it? Like the time I saw this very striking jacket with 3 quarter length sleeves, with a skirt that flowed out like a tutu at the waist, and was held together by a lavish belt. I know-  irresistible.  I literally couldn’t wait until it was delivered to my house.  Everyday I would check my emails to see if any delivery notifications appeared on my inbox. 

Well it did arrive and as I ran my fingers down the quilted fabric of this extravagant purchase I felt such excitement.  I tried it on and twirled around in front of my mirror, watching the sides of the skirt flare open and ripple all around me.  I couldn’t wait to wear it out – maybe my birthday dinner – who knows.  Well it has been 2 years to be exact and I still haven’t worn it.  It still stands on a hanger in my closet poking out from all the other dream outfits.  The dream outfits will never cut it. The problem is the more we devour is the more we are devoured. The system we live in was intentionally created to keep us consuming without being satisfied.  Realizing this I embarked on a journey to figure out how to live outside of this misaligned value system.

Dreaming at What Cost?

Since Covid came through and swept us up into a state of stillness, reflection and a bit of life assessment, I have come to realize that I had been sold a big, big, big lie.  Not just one about fashion either – about everything.  As a child of an immigrant single mother from the Caribbean I was expected to fulfil the dream dreamt by my mother and her parents.  To go abroad, settle, and acquire all the things that show that we were worth the stamps on the visas, the seats on the plane, the desks in the schools, and the jobs that were so “graciously” handed to us.  We wouldn’t waste this opportunity – this chance at happiness, and success – at dreaming in real time.   One problem remained – the dreams stole our ability to experience living.  Yet, we still continued with them. We devoured them even though we choked on them from time to time. 

The truth is the dreams we were sold came at the cost of community, service, self-care, leisure and renewal.  We had no time for rest, to linger long enough on a thought to invite a spark, to sit long enough with a pause to welcome the creative spirit that usually accompanies it. The dreams also told us the lives that we left behind were somehow substandard, backward, and lacked value.  Moving at a slower pace meant we didn’t value work.  Taking a break meant we were not valuable.  The hard to swallow dreams raged on.

Back to Covid and how it made all of us sit, wander, and contemplate the value, the meaning, the necessity of living.  Of living – for the living.  I started looking closely at what I took joy in.  I was ushered back to community.  To people.  To my mother who from 17 – 65 spent her life working for others – for their happiness, for the fulfillment of their dreams. All the while she endured oppression, racism, and stress induced illnesses.  During the summer of Covid we spent many mornings out in the garden harvesting and planting – noticing all the small changes in nature with each sprout, with each offering.  There I started experiencing dreaming in real time. I was also brought back to my children who forced me to accept that their value was not embedded in being a product of the education system, my parenting, or society’s offerings.  They are evolving beings on their own journey.  With their own right to explore their role in community. To my neighbours and friends who show me that pulling up a chair in the driveway, dropping by to say hello, witnessing voices on the phone are what sweet dreams are truly made of. 

The Community: The Center of the Universe

In The Courage to Be Disliked, Ichiro Kishimi explains that the community is the center of the universe and it is our service to community that brings fulfillment and happiness. Not the acquisition of wealth or approval from others – but service without need of praise or ego stroking. This is the heart center of the universe. So simple. So accessible. Considering all of this – why are we still chasing the capitalist dream? Why do our actions continue to stoke the flames of a system that cares little for the every in everybody? Why do our actions continually place product over people, and profit over impact? All those who have sold us the lie – the capitalist lie of accumulation and domination, are not happier, more fulfilled, or at peace. So why do we keep believing them? What is the root of this cognitive dissonance?

Three Questions for Creating A New Dream

 Before Covid being busy was a sign of success. You gained a sense of worth and value from how in demand your time was from your employer. Now we have been gifted time. Time is the real killer of a capitalist regime. Capitalism tells us that too much time means we will grow weak, stupid, lazy – that our brains will shrivel. But for the first time many people had time to reflect on the tasteless mouthfuls they were consuming. Some of us took the time without guilt to really ask some questions. According to Deepak Chopra, yogis live by 3 questions: Who am I? What do I want? and How do I serve? I started writing these questions down at the top of my daily to do list. Everything that went on that list had to answer one of those questions. It was in the answers I found a way to address the cognitive dissonance that plagued my life. It was also the path to dreaming a new dream that aligned with my values.

Who am I? I am a being with worth just as I am. No degrees, awards, recognition, accomplishments, failures, breakdowns, or heartbreaks can add to or diminish my worth and value.

What do I want? Time to wander, wonder, create, connect and learn.

How do I serve? Inviting others into spaces that help them recognize their worth, explore their connection to community, and experience moments of joy.

So take some time today to explore these three questions and see if your dreams are aligned with who you are, what you seek, and how you serve and start dreaming in real time.

Pain Tolerance by Katie Brown

Hello! My name is Katie, I am involved in Church due to my friendship with
Monika and the good vibes/needed vibes. I work in social services, currently in a
residential care facility which to put it simply 24/hr care for individuals affected
with complex mental health issues and developmental disabilities. I have been on
a recovery journey for just over six years now. It ebbs and flows much like the
rest of life, I have a lot of trauma. I have struggled with addictions both to
substances and behaviours (self harm being a huge one) for many, many of the
years I have been alive. I still struggle with myself a lot, and I have been trying to
write more because it’s always been an outlet to me. So that being said, it does
tend to have a rather sad undertone to it – because it is catharsis but afterwards I
always feel lighter and more “sane.” My mind is less chaotic I suppose… much
like yoga and music. Sometimes you need all three, together.

Anyway. These are just some of my thoughts I needed to get out a couple of
times, I thought it would be good to format them together. I suppose the reason I
like to share these things is in the hope it will open up “the conversation” a bit
more – and perhaps someone will find it relatable and not feel quite so alone.

Side note: This was written in two separate sittings in about a 1-2 week span. I
mushed them together because I wanted to.

I don’t even know where to begin.

It was March just yesterday, not it’s October and the leaves are falling.
at least the leaves still fall

I’m at a time in my life where I am acutely aware of my vulnerability – and very
quick to put up those walls.

People tell me my empathy is “beautiful” but it is also one of the qualities I
possess that brings me the most turmoil. I like my sleep more when I don’t remember my dreams, just black. empty. silence.

I am still feeling a need for constant sedation in some form, am I heightened or is
everyone else just numb?

I like the moments when the pain subsides, and I can enjoy some of the beautiful
things in life again – instead of focusing on what I am missing. Unfortunately,
these moments can be fleeting. Perhaps I need to stop trying to dictate the process

I guess sometimes exposure therapy works. It is jarring, but I am learning now
when I need to walk away. I’ve always been the type to “stick it out” and glorify
those precious moments because they. are. irreplaceable. – and I’m afraid to
lose them; I feel like they’ll be gone forever, and I’ll be left empty.

My pain tolerance grows as I do.

Sometimes (often) I accept a situation I know isn’t going to benefit me in hopes
that what I contribute and receive will be enough.

That I will be enough.

It’s also been difficult for me to accept that my journey has been in many ways a
solitary one for the past 5 years. I lose my mind constantly. I utilise poor coping strategies that typically only harm me further and push others away – as well as further removing me from myself. I am realizing that although I have many things “going for” me in life I still feel a
crushing sense of loneliness and isolation I am reminded of every night when I fall asleep alone again.


A nagging part of my mind wonders if I met my person, but he disappeared 3
years ago. It gets longer and lonelier every time. Another part of me likes to think that my person wouldn’t do that to me. I try to make new connections but there is always something off about every. one. I make that end up just hurting me more and then I find myself thinking about [them] again.

I don’t know if that “means something” or if I just miss the feeling of total safety
and intense connection. But: I’ve stopped trying to dictate the process, I am learning acceptance – what is worth fighting for and when to just let it go.

I also write my own blog, very sporadically… I tend to transfer journal entries into
there or sometimes I just go ham. It’s called word vomit and is
https://w0rdvomitblog.wordpress.com/ if anyone would like to read any of my other rants.