Some years ago I realised I had forgotten how to dream, I after wondered “How do I let myself dream again?” Here is what I experienced, what I now believe to be true.
If you don't ever admit, even to yourself, that you would love to climb the mountain you will never set out to do it.
What do you dream of?
What do you desire?
What do you want?
Many of us will answer these questions but are we answering them honestly?
Some of us may struggle to even answer them.
Others may shut down completely and refuse to even explore the possibility that they have dreams.
When we went through our financial challenge many years ago one of, if not the, most valuable things I lost was my ability to dream. I stopped giving myself permission to dream, I refused to dream.
Suddenly I felt trapped, trapped by reality, trapped by mistakes, trapped by my current, very limited and stressful situation.
What right did I have to dream?
It would be naive to dream now! Wouldn’t it??
What right did I have to dream when we struggled to buy food?
I never realised the importance of dreaming, the power of dreaming, the transformational ability of dreaming until I lost my own ability to dream, until I denied myself permission to dream.
I stayed stuck in this place for a long time.
Unwilling and unable to dream.
Dreams seemed pointless, hopeless and to be honest even painful. I decided to keep my eye firmly on my current situation and not get ahead of myself, not to dream or hope or want because I would just end up disappointed, let down, hurt a little more. I didn't want to seem unrealistic. I became very real, I focused on the now and decided to put some energy into gratitude, gratitude for what I did have, gratitude for what was around me. I avoided situations, people, conversations even TV shows that reminded me of what I didn't currently have. I stayed firmly rooted in my current experience, and that experience was one of limits and lack.
Gratitude helped, don't get me wrong, it helped me cope and feel better in the now, in my current situation, which was invaluable, but it didn't help me grow, it didn't push me to grow or explore things outside of my current experience.
It is around this time I asked myself “How do I let myself dream again? How do I encourage myself to dream?”
I don't know what shifted, I have tried to remember.
We stared using an affirmation and a work opportunity came up that we just didn't see coming, this opportunity gave us hope. Every now and then I caught myself daydreaming about what might, MIGHT be possible. For a long time I pulled myself away from those thoughts. I thought I was protecting myself, protecting myself from disappointment, from pain, I decided I was being 'realistic'.
Then one day, I am not sure why, I switched on the TV and a travel show came on. I had been consciously and successfully avoiding these shows for quite some time as I just didn't want to see all the places I had no hope of going. At least I had no hope of going in my limited thinking but at that time all I had was my limited thinking.
For whatever reason this day I sat and watched and something in me stirred.
"Wouldn't it be fun to go there." I remember trying to stop the thought. "Don't think you can go there, don't get excited, you don't want to go there, you'll only be disappointed because you can't go there."
And I remember the words that came from inside me "Well it can't hurt to dream."
And I was right, it doesn't hurt to dream.
It was this realisation, this giving myself permission to dream again that led me to life coaching, that has led me to where I am now. Without my dreams, my want and desires, without acknowledging them and owning them I don't know where I would be. Probably still limited, sad, resentful, bitter and stuck.
I believe dreams and desires and wants are one way the universe guides us. Our dreams can be such great teachers, such great motivators. We must acknowledge them though for them to have this positive power.
The trick, or more like the key, is that they must be your dreams. Your goals. Your desires!!
No one else's, they need to be those dreams that speak to your soul, that stir your heart, that bring a smile to your face, that excite you.
Over time our dreams can become manipulated.
Manipulated by expectations.
By the wants and needs of others.
By society’s boundaries.
By limiting beliefs.
By pain and disappointment.
By any number of things really so as we explore our dreams we need to check in with ourselves. "Is this my dream? Is this my authentic dream?"
Our wants, our unique, authentic desires, our personal dreams can drive us, guide us, teach us and enlighten us. Dreams are one of the universe's greatest gifts.
To want and desire something you don't yet have does not mean you are unenlightened or too human or materialistic or unrealistic. To know what you truly, authentically desire is to be real, to be connected and to be a perfect balance of human and spiritual.
Dreams have a purpose, they play a vital role in our growth, development and story.
So how do you let yourself dream again?
You give yourself permission, you let yourself, you decide to dream again!
Dream your dreams.
Big or little dream them.
Just make sure they are yours!!!!!!!!!