What do you dream about?
I’m not talking about those wild or wacky images that float through your sleeping mind in the middle of the night. I’m referring to the dreams or visions you might have about your own life and world.
They may seem outlandish, unrealistic or even impossible, but dreams are vital for your expansion. In fact, I believe that the dream or vision you create in your mind can very directly influence the course of your future.
Step back in time to the 1950s and 60s here in the U.S. A very famous dream was eloquently communicated to the world by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. At one point Dr. King declared, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
The power and influence of Dr. King’s speech, his teachings and actions over the course of his life are indisputable. Of course there have been many other brave and amazing leaders who worked, and are working, to improve race relations in this country. These improvements have come– and continue to unfold– in response to the dreams of these visionaries.
Your dreams may not seem to you as important as those of Dr. King. In fact, the way that we allow or disallow our dreams can have a significant effect on our lives and the lives of those around us.
Do you give yourself permission to dream?
I notice that I tend to be quite practical in my imaginings. I have a habit of keeping it “real,” not going what seems to me to be “too far” or “too much.” When I am called upon to state or write out a dream I have, I must admit that it’s a bit tricky for me.
It’s as if someone gave me carte blanche to do, be or have whatever I want and I stop frozen in my tracks. This kid set free in the proverbial “candy shop” seems to need to think it through and be “reasonable” about which packs of gum, caramel chews or chocolate bon bons would be the most appropriate or best choices.
Choosing your path consciously and mindfully is certainly advisable. Charging impulsively forward may take you in a direction or to a place you didn’t want to go.
However, I see that too often I stay frozen, spinning my wheels– blocking the dreams. I may decide on a single peppermint stick, but close the door to so much more that is there for me.
That’s the catch. When you shut down your dreams– sometimes before they can even formulate– you close yourself off to the future you desire.
Get in touch with your preferences and desires.
If, like me, you realize that you don’t always give yourself permission to dream, it might be helpful for you to take a deeper look at the resistance within yourself.
It could be that you hold beliefs about your own deservedness. Perhaps somewhere along the line you were taught the false message that you are not worthy of a particular level of happiness, abundance or pleasure. Maybe you believe that there is only so much of the “good stuff” to go around. You might perceive that your living frugally or denying yourself in some way will give other people improved lives.
While the compassion behind this approach is commendable, ask yourself if this belief is truly solving hunger or upset in others and is it benefiting your own thriving?
I doubt that it is.
Whether your tamped down dreams pertain to material pursuits or are more focused on emotional states of being, it doesn’t matter. When you hold yourself back, you simply cannot uplift or inspire others.
Take a look at the resistance you might be experiencing to dreaming. Start to heal the wounds you may be carrying from the past. Begin to shift those beliefs that limit you and your capacity to expand and then keep reinforcing these new thoughts and attitudes.
This might take some practice!
When you feel more open and excited about life, make a list of what you like. Don’t think about this or edit yourself. Simply write down whatever comes into your mind when you ask yourself questions such as:
*”What do I want?”
*”What is my vision for my future?”
*”What do my dream life, relationship, bank account, career, and world look like?”
Stay open to opportunities.
Sometimes resistance to creating a vision or keeping dreams alive stems from worries about how you can get from where you are now to where you want to be. The desired outcome of the dream seems so far away or even incomprehensible; you might get hung up on questions of “How can this ever happen?”
You might dream of a career in which you earn a salary significantly higher than what you make right now that involves activities and even a setting that are vastly different than your current experience. From the cubicle in which you sit at this moment and the paycheck that barely pays your bills, this dream career probably seems quite far away, if not impossible.
If so, I recommend that you give most of your attention to the dream and less to the “reality” that you are living at this time. Don’t even try to think out how you might make your dream career happen.
Instead, keep alive within yourself the vision you have while staying open with a positive frame of mind. There are always opportunities presenting themselves each and every day.
It’s your job to stay open to them.
Just because you’ve always lived your life a particular way, doesn’t mean you need to keep making the same choices. It could be that your usual choice will take you a step closer to your dream career– or whatever vision you are heading towards.
Or it might be that choosing a different option, an unconventional (for you) alternative will transport you to a place you never thought you’d go– one that is closer to that dream of yours.
Check in with yourself whenever you feel stuck or dissatisfied with your life. Remind yourself of your dream– you might keep that list of preferences and desires handy for re-reading. Now ask yourself if there’s another option than the “one” that seems to be before you. As you expand your view, you can feel more powerful and you’ll probably find that the opportunities before you seem to grow.
Above all, give yourself permission to dream and then keep on dreaming, no matter how practical or “realistic” you tend to be. Let yourself play around and create a vision for how you’d like your life and world to be.
Open up and see those opportunities. They are vast and they are there…just waiting to unfold for you.