Showing Up on TV With Dreams

On this Thursday, July 10, I’ve been invited to appear on Arizona Midday, a show on the local NBC Affiliate. The smart thing would be to watch it once or twice, but I don’t have a television, and I’m working on most days at 1 p.m. when the show runs.

The reason I was invited is that I’m teaching a course at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe on Dream Journaling. The course came from some research that started as an interest and developed into a keynote speech, “Daydreams, Nightmares and the Power of the Imagination.” I’m a professional speaker, and most speakers choose a topic and specialize. Most smart speakers choose big topics like communication or life/work balance, something they can tailor to many situations.

I chose something I was interested in, something I could feed on intellectually, spiritually and artistically. Something that would change as I learned more, and push in front of me in wonder. Dreams. What they mean, they symbols they bring, how to interpret them. How popular it will be as a speaking topic remains to be seen. Personally, I think more corporations ought to spend time daydreaming (there’s a link at the bottom so you can learn how) because daydreaming and night dreaming are both respect ways to solve problems.

The jar of stars

The jar of stars

What I like most is that interpretation is individual. No sense looking up dream symbols in books and curving your thoughts around what your dreams are “supposed” to mean. You don’t get your life explained to you in symbols. Life is not Bingo, where picking the right number lines up a win. Dreams are personal, deep symbols that can be interpreted in different ways. You have to figure it out. You might be wrong, but won’t know it. You might be right, and still not know it. That’s the mystery of symbols. And life.

Back to the TV appearance. It’s a 3 to 5 minute segment, and I have to stuff it full of content. Not only because that’s what I do–as a writer, content is my life–but because I am neither blond, attractive, slender or young enough to have the camera focus on me. I have to bring visuals. It’s hard to bring in a dream.

So now I’m honing down the material to three interesting minutes. What do I focus on? How Hannibal dreamed that the way to attack Rome was to use elephants and bring them across the Alps? That would have been a really hard symbol to accept. How the Hebrew word for “dream” is a homonym for “health”? Should I demo–without practice–how the same symbol could be totally different for different people?

It’s only three minutes, and yet, it is a whole three minutes. Time for a dream to develop.

–Image: “Jar of Stars,” collage by Quinn McDonald

–Read “10 Steps to Creative Daydreaming”

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach who has never dreamed of being on TV, but is about to do it anyway. See her work at