“Nothing happens unless we first dream.” Carl Sandburg
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” Christopher Reeve
Are you pursuing a dream that you are passionate about? Do you have a dream that you have sat on for years and have not taken action on it? Do you even know what your dreams are?
Dreams are actually part of our guidance system in life. They give us clues and a road map for what roads we should be traveling. So if you feel unclear or confused about your dreams you have lost touch with your “dreaming” self. Your dreaming self is that part of you that is connected with all of the possibilities in life. It is the part of you that truly believes in the magic and joy of living. It is the part of you that will guide you to the sweetest happiness and fulfillment you could ever imagine. So often people get disconnected from their dreaming self at a very young age by parents who stopped connecting with their own dreaming selves.
When I work with clients, part of the healing process is to re- connect with their dreaming self. The part of them that has expansive dreams. Very often they believe this part of them is not even there anymore -that it is lost and they never can retrieve this part of them. The good news is that this part of them never goes away—it is just buried under the limiting beliefs of their conditioning and fears. It may take a bit of time, but they can re-connect with this dreaming part of themselves and then start to listen to this voice.
You may be in that same position of being disconnected from your dreaming self too. If that is the case I will give you some tips to help you make this connection. Others of you may have some clarity about your dreams, but you have not taken action to pursue your dreams—I will address how to get beyond this too.
Tips to Reconnect with your Dreams
1. Let Go of Your Critical Thinking- To hear the voice of your dreams you first must quiet the critical voice inside. If you think of what it is like to share a dream with a friend and they shoot it down with criticism. How likely are you going to share your dreams with that person again? Not very likely. It is the same way with your internal voice of criticism. If you bring a dream into your own mind and right away you find ways it won’t work or judge it as a stupid idea—the voice of your dreaming self will grow silent and pretty soon you have stopped dreaming. Open up to being loving and supportive of your dreams. This will create a safe environment for your dreams to come forward and be voiced inside of you.
2. Make a list of 100 things you would like to Do, Be or Have. This may be a bit of a challenge to start this, but as you work on this list you will be taking the heavy lid off your dreaming self and it will begin to speak to you—and you will be able to add things to the list. By starting the list you are priming the pump for more ideas to come through. Here are some examples of things you may have on your list: travel to Hawaii, learn to salsa dance, learn to paint in watercolors, go on a weekend camping trip alone, take a family trip to the Grand Canyon, start your own business, be more adventurous etc.
3. Notice When You Like What Someone Else is Doing- Sometimes our dreams are brought forward because we see someone else living them. This can sometimes come out in a statement like “Oh, I wish I could do that”. For example if you have a friend who travels a lot and you love to hear the stories of her adventures—this may be a dream of yours that you should take action on. Pay attention to when you feel this way –this can give you clues to your own dreams. What do you see other people doing that you would LOVE to do?
4. Forget about the “How” When You Are Dreaming- You may disregard your dream because you can’t see how this dream could ever happen. You may say “I could never quit my job and do this thing I love—I can’t see how it can happen.” The most important thing is to identify the dream and decide if this is the dream you want to pursue. I have seen over and over that once people decide and commit—and move forward in action towards their dreams—the pieces of the puzzle of the “How” fall into place. You will not experience this if you hang back and try to figure it out in your head “how” to do it before you will decide if you will do it. The ideas, inspiration and the “how” come to you after you decide and commit.
5. Go somewhere Special and Inspirational to Contemplate Your Dreams- Take time from your busy schedule to reflect on your dreams. Sometimes people are so busy with their day to day lives that they don’t have the time to reflect on their lives. You need time and space to drop down into your feeling self—that is where the dreaming part of you lives. Find a café or other inspirational place to go and reflect. Write at the topic of the page “If I could do anything I would……..”—and just let your mind drift and write down the ideas that come to you. And remember like I mentioned above to quiet your critical voice while you are doing this.
6. Decide You Will Love Yourself Enough to Honor Your Dreams- It is an act of self- love to listen to the voice of your dreams and to pursue these special dreams. Just like you want the people in your own life that you love so dearly to be happy and to pursue their dreams—love yourself in that same way and listen to your own dreams. The level of happiness you feel in your life is directly related to how well you are listening to your dreaming self—and taking these dreams seriously.
7. If You Are Not Pursuing Your Dreams or are Confused about Your Dreams—What Are You Afraid Of?- If you have been stalled on pursuing your dream, know that there are some fears that are holding you back—some of these are conscious and some of these are unconscious. If they are conscious fears that you are aware of—write them down. Look at what you wrote from the highest part of you—the part of you filled with faith and trust. From this perspective write a response back to this fear. An example of a fear could be “I could never make money at doing a job that I love—I have to just stay stuck where I am at—besides things are so unstable with the economy right now I can’t take any risks.” Your answer back could be “Yes you can make money at doing a job you love—it just takes time, effort and persistence. Trust that as we pursue what we love we will be supported on every level. We can take steps now to move in that direction and trust that the right opportunity will open up for us. We actually will be in a better position with the economy if we move in a direction of doing what we love rather than staying stuck out of fear.” Some of your fears may be more unconscious. To address these unconscious fears ask yourself on a piece of paper. “You aren’t taking any steps towards your dreams—why are you so afraid?” Close your eyes and just listen in to what thoughts pop into your head—or the feeling you feel in your body. Write the response down and do the same thing as I listed above—which is to write a response to this fear from the highest part of you.
8. Get Support- Out of everything I have listed above this is the most important tip of all. Get support from believe who believe in you and the beauty of your own dreams. In my last Life Purpose Mentoring Group some of the people had these dreams in their hearts for years, but never took action to pursue them. With the support of the program they made more progress in 3 months than they did in 10 years of sitting on their dream. Others were able to step out of the confusion of going around and around again about trying to figure out their Life Purpose and were finally able to get the clarity they needed to move forward. It was amazing—it was like seeing a group of people become alive again after years of holding themselves back and not fully living. The power of positive, inspirational support is a key element in moving beyond your fears into the joy of living your dreams.
Begin today to re-connect with your dreaming self and listen to its beautiful wisdom. Allow this wisdom to guide you to a life that is filled with joy and possibility!
Shelley Riutta MSE, LPC is a pioneer in the Holistic Psychotherapy field. She specializes in Transformational individual counseling, Presentations and Workshops. For her free Workbook “What Do You REALLY Want: Finding Purpose and Passion” and free monthly tele-classes visit her web-site at http://www.RadiantLifeCounseling.com/